The following blog post are my notes from a webinar sponsored by Marketing General and presented by their SVP Tony Rossell, on his new book and title of this blog Member Recruitment: How to Grow Recurring Revenue, Reach New Markets, and Advance Your Mission. Get your copy HERE.
He started out by talking about the power of membership and the difference you can make in your industry. He went on to ask the question – “What’s Your Strategy?”
The discussion pivoted to what marketing channels are you using to recruit members? He mentioned, in my opinion, the new buzz word in the space, “Omnichannel.” What does that mean? In a nutshell, it means meeting your prospective members where they are, at a time they want to engage, and on a platform they choose.
You already are doing this with your website, mail, email, digital advertising, conferences, texting and possibly video. In my opinion, the key is messaging and I subscribe to the COPE process (create once publish everywhere) keep the message the same.
Speaking of messaging, it’s one of his five pillars of a membership plan. The five are:
Define your target market – he mentioned the data pyramid, some may call it the sales funnel, it’s makes you focus on who to target as a priority (i.e., lapsed members, prospects who attended an event of yours, a referral and then your list).
Special offers – this is your call to action. Many do a 15 month for 12 membership campaign. He talked about how membership is a push product. We need to go to them. They don’t show up at your chamber door to buy like the retail sector.
Messaging – what is your value proposition? For a past blog post on that subject go HERE. Find out what your members want from you. This can be done with your annual member survey.
Channels – what platforms are you using to get your message out? Website, mail, email, digital advertising or texts.
Resilience – you need to track and analyze your results and adjust accordingly.
He went on to talk about the two biggest reasons why membership growth is a challenge:
- Paralysis of analysis; and
- No budget or staff resources are put in place for the plan.
Just get started! Get a test out there. Go to your lapsed members first. Some may have dropped because they had to watch their budgets last year.
Membership builds loyalty, trust and repeat customers, that’s why corporate America are calling their customers members and charging them to do it (think COSTCO).
At the end of the day, we are membership organizations, and as he said, you can’t renew your way to growth. You need new members to grow your chambers and have a healthy organization. And as far as budgets to fund your recruitment campaign, make sure you know the LTV or lifetime value of your members.
Another key aspect to your marketing is to test your message and frequency of responses to maximize your recruitment dollars.