Lapsed Member Recruitment

I recently attended a breakout session on lapsed member recruitment led by Vivian Swertinski.  We could all learn from the following ideas the next time we decide to kick-start a lapsed member campaign.

Oh by the way, don't make it up as you go! Here's her four step strategy of lapsed member campaign.

1.              Analyze the data

What happens after they lapse?

  • What do they have access to
  • What do they still need
  • What would be different or new

Reasons for not renewing - forgot to renew, not sure of ROI or no longer working in industry.

Message to deliver - be part of the solution, access to the latest information to help you run your business.

And by the way, your lapsed members are still engaging with you, you just don't know it!  At the organizational level people are still working with those lapsed members.

2.              Target Audience

  • Length of time lapsed
  • Length of relationship
  • Demographic data
  • Membership type

Talk about what they've missed during the time that they lapsed

3.              Create the Campaign

  • You want to make an emotional connection
  • They take center stage
  • Renewal is not the end goal

Assume they forgot to renew.  The pitch - we're committed to help your small business, the top priority for us is to be your advocate and we want to make sure you have the latest information to be successful.

Attached is your invoice to make it easy for you to get back in the know, game, etc.

4.              Execute the Plan

  • Friendly From (what name would they recognize - CEO)
  • Subject Line (we want you back)
  • Short and Long Message

Automate your campaign and segment your messages. Message to 3 - 6 months lapsed members, assume they forgot to renew. Message to 7 - 24 months lapsed members, showcase new programs, focus on whatever is new that they may not know about that your doing for the small business sector or the community at large.

A couple of tips:

  • Subject Line:  Rediscover the (Name of Your Chamber);
  • It's been x amount of time since you lapsed and we want to highlight what's new; and
  • We encourage you to visit (you fill in the URL) and see where you can plug in.

At the end of the day, you want to serve them and let them plug themselves in where it appeals to them.

Don't use the "We Miss You" verbiage letter, make a connection with what they need.  It's all about them, not us.

Try to make an emotional connection with your lapsed member - it's all about the altruistic member.

Use a theme like "get back in the game" and don't forget to make it easy for your lapsed member to renew!

If they renew, give them a special thank you (handwritten note) when they renew not just the normal acknowledgement email the typical renewal member gets.

In Summary:

Analyze your data, target your audience, create a campaign and execute your plan.

Remember, lapsed members are generally your warmest leads so spending some quality time in communicating with them with the right message can yield positive outcomes.

Good luck on your next lapsed member campaign!

High Impact Marketing on a Small Budget

I attended a breakout session recently on the title of this blog and jotted down the following suggestions from the speaker.

The following 8 tips are worth a review as you look for ways to get your message out to not only your members but to your non-members in the community.

Here's also a great website to get more ideas on marketing on a small budget from Entrepreneur Magazine.

#1 Exclusive Campaigns

  • TBT (throw back Tuesday) is a great example of an exclusive campaign in social media
  • Get pictures from past events - pictures, facts, etc.
  • Tie it to each programs (i.e., months lunch, annual meeting, etc.)
  • Book it on Hootsuite
  • History Monday - facts on your chamber

#2 Thought Leadership

  • Staff as experts (networking tips)
  • Content marketing
  • Visit a member and write about it
  • Building the brand

#3 Earned Media

  • Relationship building
  • Be a source in good times and bad (answer the phone)
  • Find the hook
  • Find the human element

#4 Testimonials

  • On your events or mission
  • On helping a business grow
  • On a legislative victory

#5 Out

  • Membership plaques
  • New member orientations

#6 IN

  • In-window clings
  • E-plaques
  • Membership 101 (for everybody, including new members)

#7 Public Service Announcements and Media Partnerships (free)

  • Radio station (quote something from research, etc.)
  • One minute spots each week (interviews with business owners)
  • Spots run 8 times a day for a week

#8 Video

  • Storytelling
  • Everyone is going in this direction
  • Use your smartphone, hold phone horizontally and use a business card holder to keep phone steady
  • Portable light for phone (battery powered) - side of face
  • Put yourself between the light and the interviewee
  • Keep camera rolling at all times
  • Do not script answers, ask questions
  • Know what your story is going to be about - asking 2, 3 or 4 questions should do it
  • Use iMovie to tweak the finished product

Great tips to think about as you market your chamber to your members and the community at large.

Volunteer Excellence: Elevate the Volunteer Experience

I attended a seminar led by Lowell Aplebuam, CAE on volunteerism.

While we all have our idea of what works for us, I took the following ideas to heart and can see where we might all be able to expand on his suggestions.

Make it personal.  Reshape the volunteer experience for your organization by allowing your volunteers to give back, receive recognition and gain credibility.

You should think of the following on how to involve young professionals?

  • Structures of inclusion (different levels)
  • Executive leadership, starting early
  • Empowering recruitment (peer to peer)
  • What do they want to learn
  • What can they contribute

Create a job description for the volunteer to set expectations:

  • Micro volunteering is a great way to get the younger generations involved in your program of work - use them as content specialists - write a blog, etc.
  • Create a quick volunteer role at an existing program - volunteer behind the registration desk, then recognize them and ask them to do more

Create micro opportunities to participate in your organization - what can they do?

  • For a program
  • For communications
  • For social media - post three pictures on Instagram
  • For outreach
  • Be a photographer

Skills Based Volunteering - pick volunteers based on their skill-set vs they have no experience but you find a way

  • Finance skill set could be your Treasurer
  • Fundraiser
  • Marketing expert
  • Event planning
  • Foodie can help with your events where F&B are involved

What is the appropriate balance for your board?  Are you keeping your retirees involved with your boards? They have the knowledge and expertise in the sector.  They also have:

  • Time
  • Talent
  • Treasure (money)

Do you have a retired member coordinator?  These folks have been your supporters over the years why kick them to the curb?

The Volunteer Precipice:  The End of the Volunteer Path - he ended with the following three areas to think about if you think about resetting the volunteer experience (path to the chair) that has been around our chambers for so many years.

What are we losing?

  • Organizational history
  • Strategic fluency
  • Key VIP connections
  • Models of passion and loyalty
  • Association operational mastery

What are the risks?

  • Strategic overstep
  • Burnout
  • Ego
  • Growth
  • Creating the space for models of respect

Build a bridge for journey extension after the normal volunteer engagement.

  • President's advisory council
  • Foundation Service
  • Volunteer first responders
  • Diamond in the rough mentors
  • New member orientation
  • Story tellers/evangelists
  • Thought leaders - research focus

At the end of the day, he left us with the idea of thinking about volunteering as a journey, not a position and make sure you recognize your volunteers on a regular basis!

Content Marketing

Some say that Joe Pulizzi is the father of content marketing.

Joe is the founder of Content Marketing Institute and for more information on CMI go HERE.

I recently attended a session of his and came away with the following observations.

Where did it begin?

  • Website = infinite storage.
  • Social Media
  • Corporate stuff and customer stuff (circles)
  • Content stuff and customer stuff (circles)
  • Corporate stuff/content stuff/customer stuff

You must be consistent with your content marketing (i.e., regular posts). Did you know that 85% of blogs have 5 or less posts.

The five elements of building a presence on the web.

1. Sales, Saving, Sunshine (create a why for each social media channel):

  • Sales - Copyblogger gives content to get sales
  • Saving - en.jyskebank created a TV station
  • Sunshine - John Deere created a magazine The Furrow - largest distributor of agricultural content - new customers

2. Create a content marketing mission statement:

  • Help X save time, answer questions - you fill in the blank.
  • Template - core target audience, what will be delivered, and the outcome for the audience
  • Create a mission statement
  • Define your audience
  • Deliver the goods
  • What is the outcome you want?

3. Don't build your content ship on rented land:

  • Facebook - pay to play - only 5% see your posts.
  • Joe is a big fan of LinkedIn
  • Focus on subscribers as a key metric (building an audience)
  • What's the difference between those who subscribe to my content and those that don't?

4. Leverage influencers, then build an audience:

  • OPC - other peoples content
  • 4:1:1 OPC, ebook, sales tweet
  • Slideshare owned by LinkedIn

5. Open up your wallet:

  • Build vs buy - you can build your own or buy it
  • Buy an influencer

Another great book I read on the subject matter is The Laptop Millionaire. The one thing that was repeated over and over is that subscribers are key to your success.  Get peoples emails - emails are the key.

Until next time!

Engaging and Promoting in a Digital Ecosystem

I recently attended a conference session (title of this blog) by Shama Hyder and Eric Kuhn.

Social Media - new definition - people are now the media!

The reach of any event can go viral - the old event that had 10,000 now is reaching millions - think the United airlines story - everyone around the world knows what happened.

In today's age you have the opportunity to get your message out and many will say the Millennials are the ones to get that message out.

By 2020 they will make up the majority of the workforce.

3 Trends in Social Media

  1. Identity-Based Ecosystem - showcase their own identity;
  2. Content Curation and Community - collaboration, community; and
  3. Video Device Agnostic (web + people = TV).

Eric Kuhn - from Hollywood to Silicon Valley.  Where we came from?

3.7 billion global Internet users who are on facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, email, Kickstarter, Tumblr, Podcast, Tinder.

Fight for future - Uber owns no cars, Alibaba has no stock, airbnb owns no properties, wiki-links sells no encyclopedias.

SoMoLo - social, mobile, local - Uber and Lyft - content is important.

Best Practices

  • Have a purpose, a point of view on social media;
  • Go viral - inform, inspire and insight to action (why you should share); and
  • Talk with the audience not at the audience or down to the audience.

How social media now effects every organization?

  • Content is currency;
  • Live your brand;
  • Design matters (what it looks like); and
  • Have purpose and value with your product, programs.

Until next time!

The Marketing Basics

I recently attended a session headed by executives from 360 Live Media at an association membership and marketing conference.

There session was fast paced and very informative.

They started with Simon Simek's question - Start with why?

They went on to talk about the 5 things every marketer should know:

  1. The 6 R's our metrics for success:  reach, retention, relevance, reputation, revenue, roi (relationships)
  2. 9 P's of marketing - purpose, place, people, promotion, performance, packaging, product, positioning, price
  3. Segmentation - demographic, geographic, firmographic, economic, behavioral, attitudinal
  4. Know your competition - not only chambers but also Prime and other groups asking your members for membership dues dollars (think economic development, CVB, etc.)
  5. PR squared - what consumers want, precision and relevance as well as power and reciprocity

In addition, they gave a list of 45 little things you should try in your marketing practices.

  • Words matter (#1 word free - exclusivity)
  • Bad words matter (Alert)
  • Triggered emails work
  • Speed matters (auto responders - don't go past 3 hours)
  • Thank you page traffic
  • Landing page fields (don't go over 45 seconds to fill it out or you'll lose 42%)
  • Must field responses
  • Landing page navigation bar (remove the navigation bar)
  • Mobile landing pages
  • Invitation emails (you're invited)
  • Submit button (click here, go, download are others words you could use)
  • Non-offer links
  • All links to offer page (with no navigation bar)
  • Logo clicks
  • Question emails
  • Suspense emails (and the winner is...)
  • Single day offers
  • Engagement matters
  • Inactive recipients hurt you
  • Last call emails
  • Pre-Headers are Important
  • Offer in The Pre-Header
  • Test Emoji's (it's working on increasing open rates)
  • Minutes email (grow your business in 15 minutes)
  • Just for emails (CEO's, HR professionals, etc.)
  • Sense of Urgency (time is running out, date in the subject line)
  • After offer expires (more people open after expired than who open before)
  • Horizontal vs vertical
  • Pre-population
  • Free is king (filtering is now done by your ISP, junk mail)
  • Free vs complimentary
  • Multi-touch is only option (same offer - within a two week period or less)
  • Seed yourself
  • Sending time (could be up to 12 hours for large lists)
  • Tomorrow (not the day of the week)
  • Details matter (no last name in emails)
  • Personalization
  • Letter format
  • Primary Image (same for email and landing page)
  • Clocks Work (countdown clock on offer)
  • Flash Sale Offers
  • The 10% Test (not the A/B split test)
  • End of the QTR (don't send in the last 3 days)
  • 3 Second Rule (page needs to load in less then 3 seconds)
  • You Have a Giant Finger (you need space between links)

Their final comment - Test Everything!

For more information about 360 Live Media go HERE.

Rebranding Your Organization

I recently attended an educational session on rebranding your organization and wrote this post on from my notes.

Expectations vs Reality!

Change is hard and most people don't like it.  Who should you involve in getting from A to B?

Do you use an outside group to help in the transition?  Most will tell you this is key!  Get outside expertise to get the ball rolling.

First step is to acknowledge that you need to change:

  • Buy-in first from the CEO and then rally the troops - staff and volunteers
  • Everyone needs to be on the same page
  • Remember, rebranding is not about changing your logo

Brand = Reputation

Define what you want with this rebrand?  Create and align all your program of work that you want to do (hint, get rid of the sacred cows)

Three phases of the launch: 1) Preparation; 2) Internal launch; and 3) external launch.

Plan on at least 12 months, set your strategy and then tell the story - where we were, where we are, where we're going.

  • Culture vs behavior:  Create a culture that will change the behavior.
  • Make the change matter - tell them why we're changing.
  • Stand your ground when the naysayers show up.

You've based your decisions on data (survey work with your members).  Tell the story that they were involved with from the beginning.

Three types of groups you'll encounter:

  1. They love it (small)
  2. I don't know how I feel (most will come around)
  3. They hate it and have already made up their mind (not that many but can be loud).  And by the way, some may find their way out!  That's ok.  Focus on the new, not the old.

Measure and do better as you go through this process.

  • Who moved my cheese book - let them move their own cheese!
  • Use the Horizon Initiative: Chambers 2025 report to help with the discussion on what you want to be.  I'm a fan of the "fund the mission" not events.  I've said it before about getting out of the ribbon cutting business, get into the advocacy business.

You'll find that you'll have more time to focus on moving your chamber forward instead of chasing the next event.

Think about your monthly Board Meeting!  Wouldn't you like to get those down to a quarterly basis?  That way you can focus on getting real stuff done vs writing the minutes and then turning right around to create the next months Board agenda.

It's a never-ending cycle!

In addition, how many times do we complain that we can't get our board members to attend the monthly meeting?

Maybe you'll get better attendance if you move it to a quarterly basis!