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


 
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