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

We are often asked, “What are the YTheyJoin profiles of various associations?” YTheyJoin™ identifies nine types of members based on their professional needs and motivations. Each association has a unique mix and an organization dominated by Relevant Participants and Shapers is very different from one dominated by Altruistics and Boosters. After doing the research, we give each association a pie chart to show their mix and here are the top three categories for three national associations.


An association of land developers:

Relevant Participants




An association of doctors:



Relevant Participants


An association of nurses:





Some associations also like to break out a profile of full members and associate members, or national members and local chapters, and the differences can help you provide more effective services and spend money more efficiently.


Our program shows how to do target marketing based on the nine member types. For example, the first paragraph of renewal letters should change for each member type: a letter to Relevant Participants should emphasize meetings and speakers; while a letter to Cognoscenti should emphasize publications and opportunities to write.


Learn more at or call us at 703-772-5362.

Posted By Leah Baker

Your association is connected. You do social media. You know about mobile devices. You may even have a Director or VP for New Media! But how do you make sense of it all and know which members want what? YTheyJoin identifies nine types of members and here are some ideas for serving them with new media. The focus here is on four of the member types.


Altruistics: Use Twitter to send updates on pending legislation; use Facebook to create a grassroots community to support causes or undertake a major volunteer activity.


Cognoscenti: Ask them to write on topics relevant to your association for Wikipedia; put a short video on YouTube introducing the association’s Meeting Director who reviews the steps that speakers need to take before the next big meeting.


Mailboxers: Use Linkedin to create a group or network for your members who are dispersed around the country or the world and have little face-to-face interaction with the association; use blogs or ask some of these members to blog for your association.


Boosters: Go to and find topics where Boosters can write quick articles related to your association activities or “how to” articles; use list serves to start discussions on a variety of topics.


In your next member survey, consider asking how many use mobile devices such as i-phones or blackberries. Do they carry them all the time? How often do they check for info or messages? (And have you taken a look on Twitter to see what people are saying about your association?) Remember that members have different expectations on how you communicate with them and how quickly you get back to them. Send an e-mail to a person in their twenties and they are likely to get back to you in 5 minutes!


Have a new-media day!


For more info please call 703-772-5263 or e-mail or visit our Web site at

Posted By Leah Baker

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


Why do they join? What makes them tick? How do you communicate with them effectively? What will they do for the assn? Need some members to contact legislators or volunteer in the community? Just ask the Altruistic members!


Altruistics join because they believe in your mission and values. This could include: having a voice in Washington or locally that speaks for your profession; standing up for those you serve; or if multi-disciplinary, bringing together diverse groups of people. 


Letters or appeals to Altruistics should emphasize good works, serving the public interest, and how your assn provides members with a legislative voice. If your assn has a Foundation, Altruistics want to know how you “made a difference.”


Altruistics are a critical part of your assn and it is vitally important that proposed legislation be watched because one new law or regulation can have severe consequences for your members’ profession or trade and their constituents.


Altruism itself conveys a deep level of commitment to the profession or trade. The challenge lies in transferring some of this commitment to the organization. Altruistics would be very interested in a Code of Ethics. At renewal time, tell Altruistics about different ways they can get involved. For example, your annual conference may include a food or book drive. Perhaps you have a mentoring or tutoring program. Write a renewal letter just for Altruistics showing how you met their needs in the past year and how you will continue doing so. These are called resonant statements.


People are complimented when you ask for their opinions and if you don't, someone else will! For more info about the YTheyJoin program, go to or call 703-772-5263 in the U.S. The program also includes a Workbook with marketing ideas for each category.

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.




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Leah Baker
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