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

After the 3-digit YTheyJoin codes go into your member database there are many creative ways you can use them - to find new opportunities for your association, to make your job easier, to engage members, etc. You can cross the codes with any demographics in your database such as city, state, length of membership, certification, education, job title, age group, gender, etc. (The demographics that your assn records most likely come from questions on its member application.)


For example, if your next annual meeting is in Chicago, send multiple announcements to the Relevant Participants in Illinois and neighboring states. This category is the most likely to attend, and an extra announcement or mailing to them can bring a very high response rate.


If there is a prospect of legislation in a state that would negatively affect assn members, pull the Altruistics in that State and ask them to mobilize or contact their state legislators. We have had great success with this!


If you want to start a chapter in a city, let’s say Houston, pull the Shapers in that area and ask them.


If you want to start a Speaker’s Bureau or a Wiki with experts in your field, pull the Cognoscenti who went through your association’s certification program.


If you want to start an Awards Program that recognizes professional accomplishment pull the Boosters who work in public relations or similar fields for their help.


Maybe you want to start a committee of young members to focus on their needs and to communicate in quick, concise ways via hand-held devices, pull the Mailboxers in their twenties.


The possibilities are limitless! For more info about YTheyJoin call 703-772-5263 or visit

Posted By Leah Baker


Here is the most common question we get concerning the YTheyJoin program: “Is it software?” The answer is “No!” The program is actually very low-tech which is refreshing in a counter-culture kind of way.


YTheyJoin is simple to understand, simple to implement, and simple to use. There is no software to buy or large manual to master. Over the years, the goal of Allegiance Research Group (ARG) has been to simplify rather than complicate the lives of its clients. Here is how the program works.


1. Distribute the one-page survey (tagging form) to your members. This form asks one question, “Why did you join the association?” It gives the member 100 points to spend on various assn services to show which they consider the most important.


2. ARG reviews each completed form and summarizes the most important info into a 3-digit code that is written in pencil at the top of the form.


3. YTheyJoin identifies nine categories of members including Mailboxers, Relevant Participants, Shapers, CompShoppers, Cognoscenti, Boosters, Altruistics, Doubters and Non-Relevants. The 3-digit code tells you the member’s primary category, strength of that category, and secondary category. For example, John Smith may be a “367” which means “Shaper-60 Points-Altruistic.”


4. The assn enters these codes into its member database. Now the assn knows what each member wants and can do target marketing and build stronger relationships with the members.


Along with the codes, you also receive a Pie Chart showing the dominant categories for your assn, a Summary of the Implications, and a Workbook with marketing ideas for each category. There is more info in earlier articles on this blog, or visit

Posted By Leah Baker

     Yes, mass marketing is so 1990's. Spend spend/waste waste. You spend lots of money on mailings to random lists, assuming everyone is the same, to achieve maybe a two-percent response rate. Think of all the paper you sent that ended up in a trash can. Way over ninety-percent of the people you contacted rejected you and how can this be good for your association?

     Did you know there is a better way? Did you know there is a way to achieve high response rates? Did you know there is a way to save a lot of trees? And you can look like a star in the process!

     Sure, it is easy to sit back and send the same letter to everyone or have a vendor do this. If that is your nature, then you will not be interested in this blog. For those who are looking for a better way to serve members, to save money, to increase retention, and to make their jobs more interesting please read on.

     No, this is not about data mining that takes a lot of time and money, is based on past behavior, and gives you little information about newer members. And this is not about membership surveys that go to a small random sample and the results remain anonymous.

     This is about target marketing and the best way to do this is to get to know your members--learn about their professional needs--and record this information in their member record. Want to sell books? Go to those who say they are interested in your publications. Need help with legislative affairs? Go to those who say they are interested in grassroots efforts. Want to staff committees? Go to those who say they are ready to serve.

     I can hear you now! "My database is a mess!" "My to-do list is very long right now!"

     Hey, target marketing as I describe it can go into any database and the time involved is small. As a matter of fact, it will save you time overall. Target marketing takes three steps and I will describe them in my next blog article.






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Leah Baker
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