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

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

Are you looking for a cost-effective way to do member segmentation and target marketing? With our program, YTheyJoin™, there is an option for those wanting to do a test drive before implementing it on a larger scale.


YTheyJoin identifies nine types of members based on their professional needs and motivations and it starts with a one-page survey that we call a tagging form that goes to all members. For those wanting to do a test drive, you can distribute the form only to new members.


New members have the least ties to the association and may be the most likely not to renew membership at the end of the year. Intervention is essential! Include the tagging form with the member application or welcome-aboard packet and the new member immediately sees that you want to meet their specific needs. The form asks them to spend 100 points on the various association services that they consider the most important.


With this info we can identify nine types of members including Mailboxers, Relevant Participants, Shapers, CompShoppers, Cognoscenti, Boosters, Altruistics, Doubters, and Non-Relevants. Each new member is identified with a 3-digit code that goes into your data base. You also receive a Pie Chart that shows which member types dominate your association, a Summary of the Implications, and our Workbook with marketing ideas for each member type.


Now you know what each member wants and you can do very effective target marketing and communications!


Call for a quote and more information. 703-772-5263 Or e-mail us 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

Posted By Leah Baker

With target marketing you segment your members into various types, and I like to segment them into nine types. These types are based on the member’s professional needs and expectations, not on traditional demographics. It is part of a program called YTheyJoin based on why they paid the dues. The key question always is: Why did you join the association?


1. Mailboxers-(snail or electronic) want concise info/no time to mingle

2. Relevant Participants-like to attend meetings for info or to network

3. Shapers-like to serve on committees, help shape assn policy

4. CompShopers-look for value such as discounts/benefits

5. Cognoscenti-like the publications or opportunity to write/speak

6. Boosters-like the assn to boost the image of the profession

7. Altruistics-believe in your mission and legislative action

8. Doubters-tend to resist change and new initiatives

9. Non-Relevants-may be retiring or changing professions


I will discuss each type in later blog articles, and provide marketing ideas for each, but first you need to learn the three steps to implement a simple target-marketing system and this is in the next article.


(Please note that YTheyJoin and the nine member categories are trademarks of ARG.)




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Leah Baker
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