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

This blog is dedicated to finding, keeping, and serving members. It helps associations that are interested in learning about member needs and motivations. It is this knowledge and personalized service that leads to stronger bonds and higher retention rates, as well as to the ability to get new members. These are member-driven associations.

 

Other associations prefer to skip this step and simply “churn ‘em and burn ‘em” which means they send mass mailings, sometimes called direct mailings, to thousands of people with the hope of a 1% response rate. They do not care if they lose members because they figure they can find enough new ones to replace them. These are not member-driven associations. They hire companies to find lists, write generic letters, and use junk-mail methods and postage.

 

Today I received a member application from SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management. Please note that I did not request an application so this appears to be part of a mass mailing, and it looks it. It uses junk-mail postage and a plain white envelope - and my name and address, along with the SHRM address, look like they were xeroxed onto the envelope.

 

Inside the envelope were a business reply envelope and a member application that looks like an IRS form! There was no letter, simply this cold and intimidating form. At the top it has a “Promotion Code Number” and a statement that says “Reply by December 11, 2009.” I am turned off right away. It does not ask about my professional needs, interests, or motivations at all. It lists some things that are included in the membership like the magazine and government representation. The usual stuff. Nothing that excites me, but then they know nothing about me! It also says that Conferences/Seminars are included but when I read the fine print it says “at discount registration rates.” At the bottom of the form is a portion to tear off and include with your payment – like a phone bill.

 

I turn the form over and in very small print there is a laundry list of services, a Web site address, and some questions that ask about my company, my gender, and my birth year. Are they planning special services for women of a certain age who work in large companies? My feeling is that they request this info so they have demographics for their advertisers.

 

There is a better way! Learn about YTheyJoin™ at www.YTheyJoin.com or call 703-772-5263, or e-mail AllegianceResearch@gmail.com


 
Posted By Leah Baker

Dr. Dale Paulson, President of Allegiance Research Group, finds that target marketing, even when using snail mail, can be fifteen times as effective as mass mailing, or more.

 

Recently, a large mass-mail company conducted a study of the effectiveness of mass marketing/direct mail to prospective members in the past three years and found the following: one to three mailings showed a response rate of 1%; four to seven mailings, 1%; and eight to ten mailings, less than 1%.

 

I suppose this demonstrates that assns should use less mass mailings but my question is “With such abysmally low response rates, why do mass mailings all?” It is marginally successful, wastes money, and turns off the large majority of people who receive the mailing and throw your brand into the trash basket.

 

Contrast this with a strategic, targeted mailing to lapsed members that Allegiance Research Group did for an assn. The members were considered lapsed after they failed to respond to four mass mailings by the assn. Then the assn asked us to apply our YTheyJoin™ system to this problem. Dr. Paulson invented this system to identify nine types of members based on their professional needs rather than traditional demographic categories. For example, Cognoscenti want specialized info not available elsewhere, and Altruistics believe in your mission and want a legislative voice. Then we write distinct renewal letters for each member type.

 

Fortunately, when these lapsed members belonged to the assn they had completed the YTheyJoin form where we identified their member-type. We used this info to write the letters and, after receiving one targeted letter, many of these lapsed members joined the assn again. Here are the results, and notice how much higher they are than the 1% results from mass marketing.

 

    Response Rates for Renewing Lapsed Members with Target Marketing

 

Shapers 23% renewed; Relevant Participants 20% renewed; Altruistics 13% renewed; Cognoscenti 12% renewed; Mailboxers 8% renewed; Boosters 6% renewed; and Other three categories 11% renewed.

 

Free Offer-If you want to see how this would work for your assn contact us and we will code 100 of your members at no charge. Call 703-772-5263 or e-mail AllegianceResearch@gmail.com


 

 

 
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Leah Baker
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