3 Membership Marketing New Year’s Resolutions

The start of the New Year is a good time to step back and look at the big picture and put in place some initiatives that can really make a difference. So here are three resolutions that you may want to make for a more successful membership year in 2011.

1. Adequately Fund Membership Marketing – Just like putting money into retirement savings, investing in membership pays dividends for years to come. A new member produces a long term income stream. However, as I meet with membership organizations, I am continually surprised at the budgets that have been set aside for marketing. Almost every organization wants to grow their membership, but rarely do I see budgets that are tied to the lifetime value of a potential member. Lack of funding means many organizations are leaving money on the table and missing their potential by not crunching the numbers to determine how much they should be investing in getting more members.

2. Initiate and Cultivate Potential Member Relationships – We find that a promotion sent to a prospective member who provided an opt-in to receive more information from an organization will garner up to four times the response than the next best list. To gather this opt-in, we offer free content from our clients in exchange for contact information (an opt-in). The content offer may be presented through SEM, online ads, or to visitors to the organizations website or social media sites. The key is to initiate the lead and then cultivate the relationship.

3. Test and Track Membership Marketing Efforts – If you want to double or triple your marketing returns over the next year, then setting up marketing tests with a control and test cell is your best opportunity. You can test what marketing list is most responsive, what message is most compelling, and what offer best encourages action. To test you need to code the outbound marketing pieces and track the responses as they are returned. To capture un-coded responses, match back returns to your promotion file.

These membership marketing resolutions are summed up well by a comment from one of my survey respondent who wrote:

“When you actually do a recruitment campaign, they join. When you engage with your members, they stay. When you analyze the data, you find a nugget of information that can change all of your preconceived ideas.”

What are your membership marketing resolutions for 2011?

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