Membership as Economical Unemployment Insurance

Positioning your membership offer is as important as ever. And when it is done properly, I am seeing membership marketing response rates continue at a good pace this fall.

Here is an example of a smart way to position the benefits of a professional membership. I received this promotion in the mail the other day. The letter focused on the practical economic benefits of membership in this organization. One point was that membership was cheap unemployment insurance. Here is a quote from the letter:

“When I talk with younger colleagues, I have frequently described the value of STC membership as being a form of layoff insurance. Think about it: if you've accumulated a lot of additional skills and knowledge, you're more likely to weather layoffs because you will be more valuable to your employer. And even if you do get laid off, you'll probably be able to get another job quicker than your compatriots. Here's a little secret: STC members get a 14-day advance look at all the new job postings on the online Career Center. (It's an exclusive membership benefit.) That's a two-week head start on your competition.”[1]

The lesson here is that people still make purchases during tough economic times. But their priorities and motivations change. Be sure that your marketing differentiates your organization as a solution.

[1] Society for Technical Communication, Membership Letter, October 1, 2008.


David M. Patt, CAE said...

Good point, Tony. In fact, societies of association executives do well during tough economic times, serving as professional lifelines for many execs.

John Hedtke said...

Thank you! I'm very pleased to have had this quoted. I originally wrote this as an article to underscore the incredible value the organization represents to members. Speaking from personal experience, I pointed out that the benefits of membership were enormous: that I'd made an add'l $500K-750K over the last 22 years as a result of being a member, as well as developing ancillary leadership and public speaking skills, making lifelong friends and having some great times. I'm still a member and I'm still very happy to be involved in the organization. :)

Tony Rossell said...

John -- Your article and subsequent letter were very effective. Sometimes those of us who do association marketing lose sight of the real benefits that members receive. I glad that STC has been such a value to you. By the way, the Society for Techincal Communication is a very good group. Take a look at their web site to learn more. Tony