Four Sources for Inbound Membership Marketing

At some point you reach the limit of how often and how many direct marketing efforts that you can send out to your established lists of membership prospects.  But your leadership may still say, “I want more members!”
This is when inbound membership marketing can become an important new contributor to your media mix.
Inbound membership marketing helps you reach new prospects that you may not have interacted with before and allows them to raise their hand and come to you in search of the very information and products that you produce.
Here are four proven sources to feed you inbound marketing efforts. 
1.      Google and Facebook Remarketing – After all of your efforts to drive a prospective member to your website, you may be shocked at how many abandon your join shopping cart before completing the transaction.  One of my clients has over 10,000 shopping cart abandons from their join page each year.  Remarketing efforts – following your visitors around the internet and Facebook with ads – encourages those visitors to return to your site to gain more information and perhaps complete their transaction.  

2.      Paid Search Engine Marketing (SEM) – Search Ads appear when a prospective member enters a word or phrase into a search engine that matches one of your keywords.  They are effective because you are responding with your information directly to a seeker who wants some piece of information that your organization possesses. 

3.      Content Ads – Whereas search ads are driven by keywords, content ads are shown on other websites offering information that relates to your products and services.   When the prospective member’s reading interests are a match to what you have to offer, your ad is displayed. 

4.      Social Media Advertising – Many social media sites offer millions of more impressions than one will ever achieve with traditional direct marketing efforts.  LinkedIn allows you to target ads to very specific job classifications, titles, and industries.  And Facebook allows you to match your current members to potential prospects who are on the site and display ads to these look-a-like audiences. 

All of these inbound online marketing sources come with these additional benefits:
·        Awareness – Many more prospects will see your ads than will click on them, but you typically pay just for clicks.
·        Coverage – Online advertising gives you access to every corner of the world where there is an internet connection. 
·        Flexibility – With these online efforts, you can adjust and allocate funds on a daily basis to maximize response.  
·        Speed – You can literally have a digital advertising program up and running and producing response in a day.
·        Measurement -- You can know impressions, clicks, and with good tracking the number of members joining.
The most important aspect of optimizing each of these inbound sources is thinking through the tactics on how to gain an opt-in for follow-up with anyone who does come to your landing page or website from one of these sources.  Lead capture and relationship building is where the pay-out comes from these efforts. 

Developing an inbound membership marketing program is not at all meant to eliminate traditional tools like direct mail, email, and telemarketing.  If these tools are productive by all means continue to use them.  But at some point even these established methods will see diminishing returns.  You need to find new, untapped audiences for the information and services that you offer and inbound membership marketing has proven to be an excellent tool to assist with reaching new prospects.

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