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

The past ten years have been full of ups and downs, unexpected developments, and demands for the most creative and resourceful leadership. Associations that anticipate the future needs and demographics of their members are in a much better position to succeed than associations who prefer to work in the dark.


Some associations are actually afraid to hear from their members! Others value this feedback and use it to do strategic planning, to set budget priorities, and to give members what they want.


My company, Allegiance Research Group, has done membership surveys for over 100 national associations and this has been our specialty for twenty years. This data will prepare you for the years ahead and here are some types of questions we like to ask on a member survey.


Q Do you think you will be a member of this association in five years?

Q What words come to mind when you hear the name of this association?

Q Do you expect to find articles of interest in every issue of the association magazine? Topics you would like?

Q How do you like to receive communications from this association?

Q Do you plan to attend the next Annual Conference? Topics you would like?

Q What issues do you consider most important when we represent you before Congress?

Q Do you plan to take part in this association’s certification program?

Q Do you have ideas for books or articles by this association?

Q Tell us about yourself: age group; gender; region; years as member; etc.

Q What is your biggest professional need?


In twenty years we have never missed a deadline and we take care of all the steps involved in doing a survey such as: selecting scientific samples; designing the questionnaire; computer programming; and final report with narrative, charts and graphs, and crosstab tables. Most of our surveys are by mail or Internet. For more info call 703-772-5263 or e-mail

Posted By Leah Baker

There is an interesting Web site called that has hundreds of articles on a wide range of topics. Dr. Dale Paulson, President of Allegiance Research Group, writes occasional articles for Ezine and you can find them by looking under “Business” and then the sub-topics of Marketing, Non-Profits, Management, and H.R.


His newest article, just published, is “Nine Member Types – the Future of Your Association May Depend on it.” In this article he discusses the member segmentation program that he developed and that is now called YTheyJoin™. He identifies nine types of members based on their professional needs and motivations rather than traditional demographics and they include: Mailboxer; Relevant Participant; Shaper; CompShopper; Cognoscenti; Booster; Altruistic; Doubter; and Non-Relevant.


Then sit back for a few minutes and enjoy a humorous article that he recently wrote called “Ten Ways to Be Mediocre and Keep Your Association Marketing Job.”


His other articles at Ezine:

“Context is the Key to Understanding Consumer Behavior”

“Job Interviews: Do Ask, Don’t Tell”

“Is it Easier to Hire Good Workers During a Recession?”

“How to Hire a Really Bad Employee”


For more information contact us by sending an e-mail to 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 two of them: Doubters™; and Non-Relevants™. (The other seven types were discussed in previous blog articles.)


Doubters are members who question membership for a variety of reasons. In an economic downturn, the problem could be dues. Other people are Doubters because they had a negative experience – perhaps they asked to be on a committee or to write an article and were ignored, or they had a problem with customer service. Some Doubters may be long-time members but they have a personality that always sees the glass as half empty rather than half full, and they carefully evaluate the information they receive from the association when deciding to renew. If you really want to understand Doubters, ask them to specify their concerns. Consider giving newly-unemployed members an extension on their membership and they may like a job bank.


Non-Relevants are members who have changed status and the association is no longer relevant. This could include changing jobs or professions, retirement, etc. If it is important to you to keep these members, consider a special category with reduced price such as “Retirees.” It is important to watch the percent of Non-Relevants from year to year since it may start increasing due to demographic changes that are looming such as Baby Boomers starting to retire. If they form a large part of your membership, you will need to find new, younger members. There may be other reasons that this category grows, such as major changes in your industry, and it is up to your organization to determine the reasons.


At renewal time consider sending Non-Relevants a postcard asking if they intend to renew and, if not, why. This serves two purposes: it provides valuable feedback as to why people do not renew; and it saves the cost of sending multiple renewal notices to people who do not want them.


To learn more about YTheyJoin, the original member-segmentation and target-marketing program, please visit You can also call directly 703-772-5263 or e-mail




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Leah Baker
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