Mass marketing is so 1990's! Spend spend/waste wasteThis blog will take you in a different direction. It focuses on association recruitment and retention of members by using targeted methods and communications, and there will be an occasional sojourn into related topics of interest. Rather than discuss the broad, the general, and the "same old," the goal of this blog is to provide useful tools, fact sheets that answer specific questions, and inspiration to those looking to make their jobs more interesting and fun.Thank you for visiting and I welcome your feedback and ideas.

Posted By Leah Baker

I would like to introduce you to YTheyJoin™, the original member-segmentation and target-marketing program for associations. We identify and code nine types of members including Cognoscenti, Altruistics, and Boosters.


The categories are based on member needs and expectations which takes you beyond traditional demographics. It starts with a one-page form that each member completes (distribute 100 points among your various services and products), and based on their answers we assign a 3-digit code to each. Then your organization enters the codes into its member database and now you know what each member wants!


The program is very simple to implement. There is no software to buy or manual to learn.


YTheyJoin can pinpoint your efforts with more efficiency and accuracy. Want members to serve on a committee? Contact Shapers. Want members to write or buy publications? Contact Cognoscenti. Want members to sign up for certification programs? Contact Boosters. Want to learn more about the members most likely to attend meetings? Contact Relevant Participants. Want members to write legislators? Contact Altruistics.


The program also includes a Workbook that has marketing and communications ideas for each of the nine segments – For example, why write the same renewal letter to all members? We show how to customize the letters for each segment so as to maximize response rates. There are numerous ways you can make this information work for you so you become pro-active rather than re-active.


For more info go to or call 703-772-5263.

Posted By Leah Baker

By Dale Paulson, Ph.D., President of Allegiance Research Group


This article is a continuation from the previous article and shows another 5 ways to use your wit to defend the status quo.


Help your CEO maintain their privacy. I mean if the CEO is too accessible, what is this going to do to his/her golf score? Your evaluation could hinge on keeping a low profile.


Show hostility to new ideas. I mean there are some really great ideas out there. But, wait, don’t get in a hurry to find them and remember the Hummer ain’t dead yet.


Re-cycle the same old speakers. How do you find new speakers with fresh ideas? You got speakers, why change? Simply have them change the title of their speeches and seminars. What’s the problem?


Keep your dues inflexible. Don’t go there. You are losing members as it is. Association money is short. Flexible dues? What a dumb idea.


Make your Web site as bloated as possible. I mean it is hard to prioritize, let alone customize according to what people need. Throw stuff in there and they will find it – if they want it badly enough.


Now you have the 10 ways to keep your job simple. Remember “Change is Pain!” But should you be an association executive who wants to make a difference, I invite you to visit

Posted By Leah Baker

By Dale Paulson, Ph.D., President of Allegiance Research Group


Let’s face it, there is some pretty lousy assn marketing out there. You can always blame poor economic times and if the boss is happy and the board is not complaining, why change? Occasionally a committee chairperson gets ambitious and asks “Why can’t we grow?” This is when your wit should hit the sham. In other words, use your wit to defend the status quo. Here’s how.


Outsource is what you should be doing. Yep, there are some good outfits that will do mass marketing for you. Take a company like Churn’em and Burn’em Inc. They will mail thousands of letters about your assn and a 2% response is considered wildly successful. Never mind that you can do the same thing yourself, and that 98% of the prospects say “No” to you because the mass mailing did not say the right thing to them. As a bonus, when things don’t work out you can blame your outsource buddy.


Assume that all of your members are basically the same. After all, they all paid dues didn’t they? But what if your members are different and have different needs? You must figure out what they want. You’ve got enough to do without opening that “can of worms.”


Forget preferred channels of communications. People like to get their info in different ways. What a hassle. I mean there are some great e-mail churners who will do all your communications. If people don’t want info the way you want to send it, ignore them.


Take your time responding. Some people are excited when they first see what you offer, but there are only 8 hours in the day and they can wait.


Make your assn like junior high. We all fondly remember jr high when it was important to belong to the right “clique.” Let some of your more aggressive members run things. They will like you better and it means less work for you.


There you have it, 5 ways to keep your job simple and 5 more in the next article. Remember, “Change is Pain!” But should you be an assn exec who wants to make a difference, I invite you to visit


Posted By Leah Baker

YTheyJoin identifies nine types of association members based on their motivations for joining and this article discusses one of them, Cognoscenti™.


Why do they join? How should you communicate with them effectively? What will they do for the assn? Need some writers or speakers? Just contact the Cognoscenti members!


Cognoscenti join because they want specialized info they believe they cannot get elsewhere. This includes your magazine, journal, newsletters, Web site, directories, library services, etc. Some may want to write, speak or teach. Unlike the Mailboxer type who wants quick and concise info, the Cognoscenti type takes the time to read and study.


Letters or appeals to Cognoscenti should include announcements of technical or scholarly studies sponsored by your assn. Emphasize the availability of up-to-date data and statistics, and consider asking for feedback to ensure they are receiving what they need. Examples include compensation surveys, trends analysis, sales or hiring statistics in their field, etc. If your assn provides certification programs many Cognoscenti members may be interested.


Cognoscenti are also resources. Ask if they would like to serve in a Speaker’s Bureau, submit articles for publication, or teach seminars. If you publish specialized books, gather Cognoscenti members to discuss new ideas and some may submit book proposals. Are they aware that you may have research grants?


At renewal time ask what topics, leaders in the field, or types of studies interest them and consider sending a discount coupon for a publication. Write a renewal letter just for Cognoscenti showing how you met their needs during the past year and how you will continue doing so. These are called resonant statements.


People are always complimented when you ask for their opinions - - if you don’t ask them, someone else will!


For more info about the program go to or call 703-772-5263 in the U.S.

Posted By Leah Baker

Dale Paulson, Ph.D., invented YTheyJoin in 1992 and he originally called it Allegiance for Associations. He is the sole provider. He invented the nine categories and the system of codes and has clients around the country. It is the original member-segmentation program for associations. Gallup tried to buy it but he said no. Like most good ideas, YTheyJoin is occasionally “borrowed” by other consultants who may present it as their own, and the buyer should be an educated consumer.


Dr. Paulson specializes in research for national associations and his innovative methodologies have received several trademarks. As President of Allegiance Research Group, he conducts survey research and gives seminars and speeches. While others like to say they are the “biggest and best in the Western Hemisphere” or “the world’s leader in the field”, Dr. Paulson tends to avoid these types of descriptions.


In 1998 Dr. Paulson’s book on Allegiance was published by the American Society of Association Executives and it contains detailed information about the program and how it was developed. It is based on his empirical research and much of this is included in the book. The book is available for sale at ASAE or at Amazon and is titled “Allegiance®: Fulfilling the Promise of One-to-One Marketing for Associations.”


Hundreds of thousands of association members have now taken the YTheyJoin one-page survey, and the program helps associations save tons of money by target marketing which is both personal and timely.


I invite you to visit the Web site at for more info about the program.


In the next article, I will describe one of the nine member types in the YTheyJoin program, and specific marketing ideas for this group.



User Profile
Leah Baker
Washington, ...


You have 1516250 hits.

Latest Comments

No Latest Comments at this time.