Associations “Get it” that it is all about the Relationship

If you read this blog frequently, you will know that I believe that membership association executives are really relationship marketing professionals. Just like transferrable association job titles for director of IT, marketing, human resources, the relationship marketing role is one that we should highlight as needed and important both to non-profits and for profits.

So it is interesting to see that although for profits want to build relationships with their customers, many do not get it yet. I think that it is fair to say that all associations have some type of welcome program for new members.

However, it appears not to always be the case in the corporate world. “Two recent studies – one by deliverability firm Return Path, another by e-mail service provider Silverpop – found that a third of online merchants fail to send any e-mail to new subscribers within 30 days of sign-up. Even more astonishing, 60% of online marketers don’t send ‘welcome’ e-mails to new registrants, according to Return Path.”[1]

[1] Ken Magill, “You Can’t Even Say Hello? DMers that don’t send ‘welcome’ e-mails are just begging for trouble”, Direct, July 2008, p. 33.


Ian Gilyeat said...

This isn't surprising to me. I've spent most of my career in corporate settings and it's the simple things that are frequently overlooked or forgotten during the implementation of large projects of big initiatives. Small and simple gestures, like a thank-you email, make a big difference in acknowledging the customer and giving value to the relationship.

Scott Oser said...


I was actually thinking about just that the other day. As you know I spent quite a bit of time doing circulation marketing in the publishing world. We were extremely focused on recruiting and retaining subscribers but we never spent any time on making sure that subscribers felt they were part of something the entire term of their subscription. I wonder how subscribers would react if they got some "check in" type messages from magazine publishers as opposed to only getting renewal efforts. Magazines have become a low priced commodity so personally I would think that a welcome message and consistent communication program before I was asked to renew could really increase retention rates. I am sure there are lots of other industries that this type of thing would work very well for, too.

See you in San Diego!


Tony Rossell said...

Ian and Scott -- Thanks for the helpful feedback. With the very high costs to acquire customers, subscribers, and members it makes sense to spend a little money on trying to strengthen the relationship. Good points by both of you. Tony