Membership Marketing from A to Z

Here is something that I have wanted to put together for a long time.  It is a glossary of membership marketing terms linked to past posts that I have done over the years.  I have called it "Membership Marketing from A to Z". 

As you will note, I still do not have an entry for "X", so feel free to share your ideas.  Your feedback will also be appreciated on topics that are important that I have missed.  Generally, the reason a topic may not show up here is because I have not had a post to link to it.  But share the idea and maybe it will prompt me to put a post together on the topic.  All comments are welcome. 


A. Alternative Membership Models

A. Awareness: Starting the Membership Relationship

B. Branding

B. Brainstorming

C. Conversion of New Members

D. Dashboarding Membership

D. Discounting Membership Dues

D. Dues Increase

E. Economics of Membership

E. Engaging Members

F. Freemium Membership

F. For Profit Membership

F. Free Trial Membership

F. Frequency of Contact

G. Group Membership

H. Hiring Marketing Help 

I. Installment Dues Payments

I. International Membership

J. Joining: The Need to Belong

K. Keeping Members

L. Lead Generation and Conversion

L. List Selection

L. Lifetime Value

M. Maximum Acquisition Cost

M. Market Expansion Strategy

M. Marketing Plan

N. New Product Development

O. Offers to Incentivise New Members

P. Payment Options

P. Pricing Strategies

Q. Qualitative and Quantitative Reseach

R. Recruitment

R. Reinstatement 

R. Renewal Rate

R. Renewal and Retention

S. Segmentation Strategies

S. Steady State Analysis

T. Tiered Membership Structure

T. Test Marketing

T. Trade Show Member Sales

U. Unique Selling Proposition

V. Value

V. Volunteers

W. Website Maximumization

Y. Younger Members

Z. Zero Growth (4 reasons)

Under Investing in Membership Recruitment: The Biggest Mistake made by many Membership Organizations

This afternoon, I was interviewed for an upcoming article on association membership. The writer asked me, “What do you think is biggest mistake that organizations make in the membership marketing?”

I shared with him that for me the answer is pretty simple. Most membership organizations under invest in getting new members.

Frequently, I speak with organizations that have very lofty plans on how many new members they want to add. When I ask them what they have budgeted to accomplish this, the answer is shockingly low.

One recent group I spoke with, for example, wanted to stem their decade’s long membership decline by developing a marketing campaign to recruit an additional 3,000 members over the next year at a dues rate of $65 each. However, they only budgeted $30,000 to accomplish this goal or $10 per new member. Unless they discover a marketing silver bullet, it is unlikely that they will accomplish their membership goal.

At the same time, members in this organization typically stay for four years. So from the members that they acquire, they will realize an income stream from each new member who joins of $260 plus any revenue from non-dues purchases. Assuming that they have incremental servicing costs of $15 per member, per year, a new member represents a $200 net revenue stream for the organization.

How much should an organization be willing to spend for a new member in order to produce $200 in net revenue? They should be willing to spend more than $10.

The basic mistake that many membership organizations make is that they under estimate the cost of acquiring a new member and they overlook the lifetime value that a new member can deliver to the organization.