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

If you are in charge of membership or marketing you may have problems. First, you probably have several bosses. In a sense all of your members are bosses, plus there are the volunteers some of whom head membership or marketing committees. Of course, they all have the direct phone number to your main boss, the Executive Director.

 

Also, most associations want more: more members; more sales; more people attending seminars; and more people at the convention. Guess what, this is your responsibility and did I mention that we are in the middle of a recession? Unfortunately, you don’t have a lot of tools to work with especially if you depend on mass marketing which is cold and impersonal and treats everyone the same.

 

This is where member-segmentation and target marketing can help. Let’s say your Executive Director wants a ten-percent increase in attendance at the next annual convention. Where is the growth going to come from? Try the following strategy.

 

Send everyone a notice about the convention (and be sure to mention the most exciting speakers and topics). Then target the people most likely to attend, and for those of you who use the YTheyJoin™ program this would be the Shapers and Relevant Participants. If you do not use the program, this could be those who attended in the past, possibly new members, and people living within 200 miles of the convention city. Send repeated announcements and any expensive color brochures to these people; just send postcards to the others. This type of targeted marketing will save you money and should also result in increased attendance. We know this because our clients have used this strategy with excellent results.

 

A good strategy for increasing membership is your member application. Take a good look at it. Is it cold and impersonal? Intimidating? Like a laundry list? You can change this by simply allowing a little white space where you ask the person to write about their professional needs and expectations. Better yet, include the YTheyJoin tagging form where they get 100 points to spend on your products and services, etc. to explain what is most important to them. We often get comments like “Thanks for asking!” And a check follows.

 

Do you have ways to get more members, more sales, etc? If you do not have ideas and good methods, your job may be at risk and a raise or promotion may not materialize. Member segmentation and target marketing can make you look like a star! For more info, call 703-772-5263.


 
Posted By Leah Baker

My company is known for achieving very high response rates for surveys, usually 65% or more. Our record is an 80% response rate that we achieved for a membership survey for the Population Reference Bureau. The process to achieve a high response rate for a survey by regular mail involves an orchestrated strategy and today I will share some of our secrets with you.

 

1. Always start with a well-constructed questionnaire and be sure at least one person working on the project has taken a statistics course in undergrad or grad school. They also need to understand the software that will be used. We recommend The Survey System for mail or Internet surveys because it is powerful yet fairly easy to understand. In my opinion Survey Monkey, etc. is too limiting and SPSS is waaaay too complicated (been there, done that).

 

2. Print the questionnaire on lightweight paper in a small-booklet format. This stands out from other papers on a person’s desk and it can be up to 12 pages.

 

3. Include a personalized cover letter signed by the Executive Director or the President, and a postage-paid return envelope.

 

4. The mailing, including the lightweight booklet, cover letter, reply envelope, and mailout envelope will be under one ounce! (Take a bow please) Use first-class postage, preferably a stamp rather than a meter.

 

5. Send out the first mailing, then 10 days later send out a reminder postcard (it is a reminder plus it also says thanks if you already responded), and 14 days after that send out a second mailing to non-respondents.

 

6. If you want the most candid answers and a higher response rate, do not ask for the name of respondent or make it optional.

 

You will be well on your way to a high-response mail survey. Internet surveys get lower response rates and some of our clients like to combine the methods and do both mail and Internet, especially if they have international members. For more info call us at 703-772-5263 or e-mail AllegianceResearch@gmail.com 


 

 

 
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Leah Baker
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