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 AllegianceResearch@gmail.com


 
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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