Last Chance to Participate

We are closing the questionnaire for the 2010 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Survey. But before we do, I wanted to give you one last chance to participate.

This is the second year we are conducting this research. And by completing the survey, you will receive a free copy of the final report. The report will include a trend analysis of what has changed over the past year and highlight key data on what associations are doing in membership marketing and what practices correlate with better renewals and more members.

Please take a moment now to complete the survey. It should only take 10 minutes.

You can participate using this survey link.

2010 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Survey: Please Participate

We have just launched the questionnaire for the 2010 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Survey and I want to invite each of you who work for a membership organization to participate.

As you may recall, last year, our survey provided critical comparative data on how organizations recruit members, engage new members and renew their members. This year the report will add trend analysis and segment membership organizations by industry.

The survey gives you a chance to benchmark your organization against nearly 500 other associations.

You can participate using this survey link.

To thank you for your participation in this best practices research project, I will send you a copy of the final report from this study. No specific responses will be reported from any individual or association without your specific written consent. Your participation is much appreciated.

How to Calculate where your Membership is Headed

Last month was really busy. I met with many organizations who are looking for help after a distressing 2009. And some of them do not realize just how much trouble they may be in going forward.

When I meet with groups, I use a simple method to calculate where their membership is headed given their current metrics. It is called a Steady State Analysis.

Using your current data, you can also do this analysis to see what the ultimate equilibrium of your association membership count will be. You can also use the analysis to model where it might be if you add more new members or have higher renewals.

To do the calculation, you only need two numbers; your renewal rate and your total new member input from the past year. Here is how it works. You take your new member input from the past year and divide it by your lapse rate presented as a decimal. So if your renewal rate is 80%, then your lapse rate is 20% or .20.

For example, 20,000 New Member Input / .25 Lapse Rate = 80,000 Steady State Total Membership.

Here is the formula: Annual New Member Input / Reciprocal of Renewal Rate (or Lapse Rate) Shown as a Decimal = Total Membership Steady State.

Here are three examples of how you can project your future membership.

• A 75% renewal rate and 8,000 new members per year will result in a steady state membership of 32,000 members
• An 85% renewal rate and 2,000 new members per year will result in a steady state membership of 13,333 members
• An 80% renewal rate with 5,000 new members per year will result in a steady state membership of 25,000 members

One other thought to consider. From my personal observation, the organizations that I am seeing in the most distress are those that pulled back from marketing this past year. Groups that continued to aggressively market membership actually came through the year in much better shape. This confirms some of the research that we shared at the start of this recession.

Is your SEO Really Optimized?

Do you think that your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is doing great? Well it may not be doing as well as it appears to you.

I missed this news around the holidays, but amidst Google’s China news, they also announced that they were moving everyone to personalized search results.

As they noted on their blog, “Today we're helping people get better search results by extending Personalized Search to signed-out users worldwide, and in more than forty languages. Now when you search using Google, we will be able to better provide you with the most relevant results possible.” In the past, Google only offered personalized search to signed in users.

This might be great for you if you frequently look for certain topics. But it can really fool you if you are trying to monitor the SEO of your site. If your site comes up first every time when you search on key words, it does not mean that it is happening for anyone else. Personalized search may cause your site to come up first because that is what you have clicked on in the past. But for someone else, it your site may show up much lower on the page. 

There is a way to disconnect personalized search. Here is the link to learn how to do that.

The bottom line is that with a Google search what you see is not what others may get.