Leveraging Non-Member Email Addresses for Membership Recruitment

Many membership organizations have accumulated email addresses in their database of prospective members through site registrations, event attendance, or product purchases. 

Here are some strategies that you may want to consider in order to maximize these records to strengthen your overall membership marketing efforts.

1.     Improve Targeting – Email is one of the least expensive marketing tools, but also has lower response rates than other more expensive channels like telemarketing, direct mail, or face to face sales.  However, email can allow you to cast a broad net across industry segments, recency of contact, and source of records and through open rates and click through rates see where the hot spots of interest appear.  The emailed segments that demonstrate interest in membership with high click through rates or new joins will probably warrant the use of more expensive marketing channels.  The non-responding segments will be unlikely to be cost effective targets for more expensive promotions.    

2.     Gain Contact Information – Some organizations have only a name and email address in their database.  Without a mailing address available for a thorough merge-purge, there may not be clarity whether the individual is a current member or not.  Sending the individual an email that offers free content with the requirement of providing full contact information is a great way to update information and re-engage a prospect in the membership conversation. 

3.     Verify Data – Another concern of many organizations is the accuracy of mailing addresses for non-member records in their database.  People change jobs and move to new companies.  Once again, email is an effective tool to verify that a prospective member is still at the same company.  If the work email is not deliverable then it is unlikely that the mailing address is still correct.  Other data hygiene solutions should also be used like running mailing addresses through the National Change of Address (NCOA) registry.

4.     Deploy Flash Offers – Although email may not produce as high of a return as other marketing channels, it does lend itself to deadlines and instant response.  That makes email a great channel for short-term specials called “flash offers”.  These are exceptional deals made available for only 24 to 48 hours that are designed to encourage an impulse buy.  Like it or not, sales do motivate purchases and email lends itself to immediate decisions.

Effective marketing is all about connecting the tools and channels available to you with the appropriate target markets, messages, and offers.  Email is one tool that not only can be used to sell, but also allows you to read the digital fingerprints of those who receive it to leverage your overall membership marketing program.


Scott Oser said...

Hi Tony,

Good stuff as always. I wanted to add to your list. Many associations have e-newsletters that they send to members only. The e-newsletter could have value to non-members as well so how about sending a non-member version to the non-member email addresses? Or how about sending the member version to them occasionally so they will get a taste of one benefit they would receive as a member.


Tony Rossell said...

Thanks Scott. Good comment. I agree. Our clients who have a non-member version of their newsletter find it is an excellent list for recruiting new members. Tony

Hailey Andersen said...

Interesting perspectives here, Tony. I often find that a combination of physical mail and email works well with staying in contact with customers- and with learning more information about them. I use direct mailing solutions because having a physical envelope often makes a customer feel more connected, and more inclined to read the contents. Email follows up on that, and because of the direct mail, users are more likely to open our emails.