Using Online Lead Generation to Drive Membership Recruitment

Whether you recruit new members using direct mail, email, or telemarketing, your efforts are empowered by identifying the very best prospects for membership and then promoting to them.

But where do you find the names and contact information for top prospects that have an immediate need for the information and content that your organization specializes in producing?

For an increasing number of membership organizations one source is using your website, search engine marketing (SEM), targeted social media ads, ad networks, and other online tools to offer free information that invites prospects to raise their hand and request your content in exchange for their name, address, email and an opt-in for you to continue interacting with them.

When a prospect searches for your information, finds material provided by you, and requests follow up, they identify themselves as excellent candidates to join.

Here are some examples of effective free information offers that encourage the exchange of contact information for content:

1. A free whitepaper with a compelling title and useful information
2. A free webinar offering continuing education
3. A registration for a private social network
4. A free organizational or industry e-newsletter

Respondents to the ad are directed to a microsite that is designed to reinforce the value of the free content and collect the prospects information. Once the form is submitted, a follow up email fulfills the offer and the membership cultivation process can proceed.

Sample Lead Capture Microsite
One of the additional advantages of online lead generation is how measurable it can be. From the initial click to the final join each step the prospect takes can be tracked through the process. Effectively the fingerprints of the prospect are left each step along the way from the ad that was initially clicked, to the follow up emails, to the submission of a member application.
How active is your organization in trading content for contact? Please feel free to comment on your experiences.

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