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It's a Balancing Act!


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It's a Balancing Act!

  1. 1. It’s a Balancing Act!<br />Session Highlights<br />The “art” of renewals - ideas, strategies, materials<br />The “science” of renewals - timing, performance, <br /> evaluating the impact of changes and new initiatives<br />Diverse garden representatives to share their experiences<br />
  2. 2. <ul><li> 890,000 guests a year </li></ul> (248,000 member visits, 642,000 general public)<br /><ul><li> Grounds encompass 1,050 acres
  3. 3. More than 400 events or programs held each year
  4. 4. 500,000 lights outdoors at Christmas attracting more than</li></ul> 200,000 visitors from Thanksgiving through Jan. 15th.<br />
  5. 5. HOW OUR RENEWAL PROGRAM WORKS<br /><ul><li>Run a basic renewal program with letters and online e-renewal reminders with a members only </li></ul> e-newsletter preceding both.<br /><ul><li>Different letter and text each month – but all (R1-L2) get the same exact letter.
  6. 6. Occasionally offer discounted membership as incentive to renew with great success. ($10 discount)
  7. 7. Sometimes offer two (2) extra guest passes as an incentive to renew.
  8. 8. Recently offered via the APGA partnership a free subscription to Better Homes & Gardens ® magazine as incentive to renew and join. (NO COST)
  9. 9. Beginning in October, we will be offering a free subscription to Martha Stewart Living as incentive to renew and join. (NO COST)</li></li></ul><li>Renewal Notice: Details and Schedule<br />Printed on the renewal forms:<br /><ul><li>Barcode for ease in processing
  10. 10. Member email address so they </li></ul> can verify it is correct<br /><ul><li>Check box to become Eco-friendly
  11. 11. Member name, address information
  12. 12. Member Number
  13. 13. Membership expiration date</li></ul>Online Members Only e-Newsletter<br />Mailed the last week of each month<br />E-Renewal Reminder – 1st week of the month<br />R1 - Two months prior to expire date<br />Mailed reminder – 2nd week of the month<br />R2 - One month prior to expire date<br />R3 - Same month as expire date<br />L1 - One month after expire date<br />L2 - Two months after expire date<br />
  14. 14.
  15. 15. E-Mail Renewals<br />E-Discounted Renewal Offer<br />Offer: $10 off all levels, except Student - $5 off<br />3,112 emails sent to recent lapsed and members within renewal cycle<br />Offer ran from 1/15 – 1/30<br />Response Rate:19.7% or 616 memberships<br />
  16. 16.
  17. 17. Current Renewal Notice<br />
  18. 18.
  19. 19. Seasonal specific language<br />Its summertime at Longwood Gardens and we are celebrating the Festival of Fountains with six spectacular fireworks shows this season.<br />Member specific events or public programs offered free with membership.<br />Be sure to register for the upcoming members lecture series.<br />Join us for the third annual Kite Festival on ….<br />Highlight key benefits or benefits specific to the season (complimentary guest passes, discounts)<br />Ways to renew (online, mail, phone, onsite)<br />RENEWAL NOTICES INCLUDE:<br />
  20. 20. Garden Pass <br />Member Cards<br />Fulfillment and Acknowledgement Packages<br />Student<br />Individual<br />Dual<br />Family<br />Garden Plus<br />
  21. 21. Fulfillment Packages Include:<br /><ul><li>New Member Cards
  22. 22. Complimentary Guest Passes
  23. 23. Buck Slip with important seasonal dates
  24. 24. Special promotion postcard if applicable, such as Better Homes & Gardens ®</li></ul>Text in fulfillment letter always includes:<br /><ul><li> Gift amount and tax-deductible information
  25. 25. Dates of the next several upcoming events – especially those that </li></ul> are free with membership<br /><ul><li> Primary members email address to verify for a second </li></ul> time, along with instructions for accessing member benefits online.<br /><ul><li> Where to locate member specific website pages that include</li></ul> Member Exclusive Event listings and Member Discounts.<br />
  26. 26. What Changed……..<br />New program structure, categories and benefits introduced (10/2009)<br />New membership desk added significant presence for the member program in our Visitor Center. (10/2009)<br />Special Member’s E-Newsletter with behind the scenes info, tips, highlights and free downloadable wallpaper. (2/2010)<br />E-Renewal reminder program started<br />Onsite fulfillment of all memberships (2/2010)<br />Added members only events<br />Educate our members more about their benefits and importance of support<br />Educate and train staff on Garden Pass Member program<br />
  27. 27. Future Plans for Growth<br /><ul><li> Increase member rates
  28. 28. Add new member categories:
  29. 29. $250/$500 levels with more exclusive </li></ul> benefits<br /> - Add a Dual plus One category to <br /> accommodate couples that would like to <br /> bring a friend with every visit.<br /><ul><li> Telemarketing renewal program to help </li></ul> boost retention rates<br /><ul><li> Occasional discounted member offers for </li></ul> existing members such as offering a 10% <br /> discount if they renew before expire date.<br />
  30. 30. <ul><li>Create a full-color member magazine with behind the </li></ul> scenes info, tips, articles, project updates, staff/ <br /> volunteer/ member highlights and coupon <br /> opportunities<br /><ul><li> Create more exclusive events and special members-only </li></ul> hours<br /><ul><li> Expand a current members free lecture series from 6 to </li></ul> 10 lectures from October through May. <br />Low Cost<br /><ul><li> Hold a new member welcome lecture and tour
  31. 31. Reciprocal admission, discounts to other local museums </li></ul> and gardens - $2 off when you show your member card.<br /><ul><li> Member Appreciation Days in the Gardens Shop & </li></ul> Restaurant <br /> – TODAY ONLY MEMBERS GET 20% OFF ALL <br /> PURCHASES<br />Future Plans to add benefits<br />
  32. 32. 2010 Spring Acquisition<br />
  33. 33. 2010 Spring Acquisition Results: Lapsed/Ticket Buyers vs. Purchased/Borrowed ListsResponse & Return on Investment<br />Mailed to 250,559 households:<br /><ul><li>2,083 Lapsed Members</li></ul>Response Rate: 4.9% = 102 memberships<br />ROI: $9.11<br /><ul><li>30,865 Longwood Ticket Buyers</li></ul>Response Rate: 1.46% = 452 memberships<br />ROI: $2.60<br /><ul><li>217,611 Borrowed/Purchased Lists:</li></ul>Response Rate: .97% = 2100 memberships<br />ROI: $1.58<br /><ul><li>This mailing net more than $92,000</li></li></ul><li>
  34. 34. Overview<br />100,000 annual visitors<br />$5.6 million operating budget<br />Opened Tree Adventure exhibit in July 2009<br />6,200 memberships<br />10 membership levels<br />
  35. 35. Renewal Communications 2006 to 2010<br />Letter with perforated return form<br />R1 (60 days prior) through R3 (30 days after)includes upgrade ask<br />Membership levels and benefits pre-printed on back of stationery<br />Use mail house for memberships of $105 and below<br />Upper levels ($165) and above are signed by the Executive Director– done in-house<br />Email renewal request sent prior to R1 – R3<br />Maintained 65-68% renewal rate (new and multi-year combined)<br />
  36. 36. Printed Renewal Notices 2006 - 2010<br />
  37. 37. eRenewal Notices <br />
  38. 38. Renewal Tracking<br />Responses were tracked by source only:<br />BR – Mailed billing renewal<br />Online – Member renewed online<br />Phone – Member called to renew<br />Visitor Center – Member renewed on-site<br />Plant Sale – Member renewed during Sale<br />Tracking system implemented March 2010 includes R1, R2, and R3 labeling to renewal letters<br />
  39. 39. Recent Activity<br />Summer Palace Sculpture – April 2009<br />Tree Adventure – July 2009<br />Higher attendance<br />Higher admission fees – January 2009<br />New membership cart with sales-oriented staff<br />Increase in new members<br />
  40. 40. Highlights from the past year<br />Membership revenue up 49% compared to this same time last year<br />Number of memberships up 29% compared to this time last year<br />2,066 new memberships as of May 31 – exceeds FY09 (1,260) and FY08 (1,480)<br />One third of our memberships are NEW<br />
  41. 41. What do we do in “year two”?<br />Focus on RENEWALS <br />Keep our members<br />Focus on REVENUE<br />Maximize income<br />Focus on GROWTH<br />Stabilize the base<br />Striving to have a 35% renewal rate for NEW members<br />
  42. 42. Price to Permit Discounting<br />Key Considerations:<br /><ul><li>1st Year Member Renewal Rates
  43. 43. New pricing offers a new renewal strategy
  44. 44. Enhanced renewal package</li></li></ul><li>New Member Retention Rates <br /><ul><li>New members demonstrate the lowest renewal rate
  45. 45. Industry average 30% - 40%
  46. 46. Post “blockbuster” even lower</li></li></ul><li>FY11 Renewal Cycles<br /><ul><li>High percentage of NEWs in renewal cycles
  47. 47. Almost (1) NEW for every (1) prior member</li></li></ul><li>Membership Prices – Effective May 1<br />
  48. 48. March “Batch” Renewal Mailing<br />Members that expire/d March - June 2010 were sent R1 letter on March 26 <br />Message renew now, prices increase May 1 <br />1,765 pieces mailed <br />On May 31, 518 renewed – 29 percent renewal rate – $63,000<br />Bought time for the organization<br />R2 went out to this group in May<br />
  49. 49. Updates to the Renewal Process<br /><ul><li>Implemented price increase
  50. 50. Over the next year, R1 will offer a limited-time discounted rate to renewing members in upgraded packaging with other extras…savings and values
  51. 51. Other collateral for R2 and R3 enhanced to 4 color </li></li></ul><li>Enhanced Renewal Mailing<br />
  52. 52. Enhanced Renewal Mailing<br />
  53. 53. Enhanced Renewal Mailing<br />
  54. 54.
  55. 55. * 830,000 visitors in 2009<br />* 34,500 member households<br />* 1,700 acres<br />Whether you seek a quiet walk in the woods or an active family exploration, the Morton Arboretum offers a wide variety of activities, events, tours and classes for people of all ages and interests. Within an oasis of magnificent trees and beautiful landscapes, come explore 16 miles of hiking trails and 9 miles of paved roads. The Arboretum is a unique place to explore, discover, escape and connect with trees and nature.<br />
  56. 56. The Challenge<br />The Morton Arboretum raised membership prices and admission prices in 2005, 2007 and 2009. <br />Since 2005, when the Maze and Children’s Garden opened, membership has more than doubled from 17,000 to 34,500 household units. Family and Family Plus now equal approx. 68.5% of total units.<br />Retention rates have declined by about 10%-15% overall.<br />
  57. 57. Renewal Schedule –a work in progress<br />R1 – mailed letter<br />R2 – telemarketing<br />R3- mailed letter<br />Sent 6 wks prior to month of expiration.<br />“Only letter you’ll receive prior to expiration.”<br />Incentive: 2 free guest passes (valued at $22) if renewed by 1st of month of expiration.<br />During month of expiration. <br />Incentive: if pay by credit card, 1 free month of membership. <br />Month following expiration. <br />“We miss you” message. 60 days lapsed.<br />
  58. 58. Renewal formats<br />In house fulfillment. 2 per 8.5 x 11 page<br />Outside partner. Variable printing. 8.5 x 11 page <br />
  59. 59. Current format<br />Side 2 features Benefits Chart and brief survey. About 15% completion.<br />In 2009 43% of renewals came via mail or phone!<br />
  60. 60. More details and decisions<br />E-renewal option for monthly program to be implemented (when issues with online renewal are fixed).<br /> Considering “guerilla” scenario.<br />Able to customize mailed letters for different categories of member recipients.<br />Need to use this not just talk about it!<br /> Plan to segment renewals into various interest segments, but need better database manipulation via “warehouse” (relational database).<br />We do not discount renewals, BUT . . .<br />
  61. 61. Premium Program<br />Premium/Thank-you gift program<br />Logo items not available elsewhere at Arb.<br /><ul><li>Logo picnic blanket
  62. 62. Insulated picnic “basket”
  63. 63. Golf umbrella
  64. 64. Water bottle
  65. 65. Tote bag
  66. 66. “Chico” bag
  67. 67. Lunch lugger
  68. 68. “Plant Trees” cause bracelets
  69. 69. Baseball cap</li></li></ul><li>
  70. 70. ARB onsite renewals<br />Dedicated and trained sales staff with both individual and team goals.<br />- upsells<br /> - 2-year<br /> - premium levels<br />
  71. 71. ARB onsite<br />‘pitch book’<br />Mobilesales cart<br />Debuted 2008<br />Originally called “Membership” cart<br />Changed in 2009 to “Welcome” cart<br />
  72. 72. Occasional special offers sweeten the pot<br />Available to all new, rejoins and renewals:<br /><ul><li>APGA-sponsored free new or renewal subscription to Better Homes & Gardens® magazine. Sent in fulfillment package. March – June 2010</li></ul>Available onsite only<br /><ul><li>Chipotle free dinner for 4 with guac and chips. 2008
  73. 73. MacDonald’s flavored coffees coupons - free. 2009</li></li></ul><li>RenewalTRACK 2010 to date<br />
  74. 74. RenewalTRACK 2009<br />
  75. 75. ARB Rates by Quarter & Year2006 - 2009<br />
  76. 76.
  77. 77.
  78. 78. Weekly Tracking<br />
  79. 79. Mail IS Viable!<br />Stung by the economy,<br />non-profit fundraising looks for additional funds online.<br />“12% of new donors were acquired online, up from just 6% in 2005”<br />BUT . . . Take a look at channel and source!<br />Source: Blackbaud, Inc. Q4 2009 Index of National Fundraising Performance<br />Published by the American Marketing Association <br />
  80. 80. Meaningful Engagement<br />Stewardship<br /><ul><li> Loyalty Program - rationale</li></ul>Welcome calls<br />Enrichment series<br />Perennial Partner program<br />Anniversary cards<br /><ul><li> Member research
  81. 81. Tree Talk community
  82. 82. SEASONS changes
  83. 83. Events
  84. 84. Event Strategy</li></ul> Mission-focused<br /> Access to experts<br /> Behind-the-Scenes<br /> Volunteer Driven<br /> Post-Event Follow-up<br />
  85. 85. Renew by March 31 to receive 2007 membership rates!<br />Don’t miss our newest exhibition! Animal Houses opens May 22nd!<br />Wander our wetlands, woodland and prairieecosystems to see our 11 large-scale houses that will delight and amaze.<br />The gigantic interactive homes designed by professional artists let kids and families experience life as an animal and understand why trees play an important role in providing animal habitats.<br />We're rolling back our rates for a limited time, so act now! (Renew by March 31, 2009)<br />By renewing, you also receive year-round value for one membership price:<br /><ul><li> Admission to Arbor Day plant sale and advance ordering
  86. 86. Special member ticket price for Meet the Astronaut, the John Muir musical and Earth Day Green Tea
  87. 87. 365 days of free parking and discounts at Arboretum store and savings on educational classes</li></li></ul><li>2009 Email GuerillaDropped Campaign<br />79 respondents (about 1/2 in the first 24 hours and the final 1/2 before midnight of the final day)<br />Largest category of "takers" were in the Family category<br />Final number was 88 rejoins.<br />  <br />$8,800 total revenue / 83 memberships = $106.02 average gift for campaign.<br />Goal was 50 memberships at $90 avg. for $4,500.<br />COST: $288.<br />2010: Similar but slightly improved results. In 72 hours.<br />
  88. 88. Renew by March 15 to receive 2007 membership rates with 2010 member benefits!Don’t miss our newest exhibition! Steelroots opens April 9!<br />April 9, 2010 - January 2011We invite you to this exciting, first ever comprehensive display of the Steelroots sculpture series by artist Steve Tobin. <br />
  89. 89. 2 EASY ways to renew<br />You must use Code S10-03T to take advantage of this offer!<br />For additional information on all membership levels and benefits, view online.<br />We want to offer the best personalized service we can, so there are two easy ways to reach us to renew your membership right away!<br />By phoneCall the Membership Hotline, at 630-719-2453Monday - Friday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.<br />In personPrint out and complete this membership form and bring it with you to the Membership Desk in the Visitor Center.<br />
  90. 90. Telemarketing Tips<br />The ‘Art’<br />The ‘Science’<br />The creative. Brainstorm!<br />Become a Team for a seamless process.<br />Educate your partner/vendor.<br />What’s the desired outcome?<br />Script development<br />Essential to get the message right<br />Test (Conversational engagement vs. “give me the facts”<br />Value-driven vs. mission<br />The psychology of telemarketing<br />Timing<br />Accurate analysis of response rates<br />List, List, List!<br />Clean data matters<br />Phone appending<br />DNC (do not calls)<br />Timing of list transmission<br />Analyze data b4 making decisions:<br />Look at renewals<br />Look at response rates<br />Analyze <br />Make changes as needed<br />
  91. 91. Staying on the TM track<br />Caller experience and training<br />What makes a good call?<br />List / Appeal / Experience<br />Monitoring<br />Daily Reports<br />Credit card processing: Getting money in the bank<br />Handling calls to/from members<br />End-of-Campaign Reporting<br />Now what do I do? Database updates<br />What about those refusals?<br />Fulfillment<br />
  92. 92. Spring Phone Campaign –dropped house list<br />2009<br />2010<br />Conversion avg: 7.2%<br />Average pledge: $ 98<br />On credit avg. 61%<br />Offer:<br />1 month and gift<br />Conversion avg. 14.54%<br />Average pledge: $ 106<br />On credit avg: 74.39%<br />Offer:<br />20% off; best offer of year<br />
  93. 93. Thank you! <br />
  94. 94. Renee Ezokas DePietro<br /><ul><li>Manage a 32,500 household Membership Program for Longwood Gardens.
  95. 95. Create members only opportunities through benefits and special events.
  96. 96. Responsible for growing program to 50,000 households by October 2014.
  97. 97. Oversee one full-time staff member.</li></ul>History<br />Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA<br />Membership Manager<br />Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA Associate Director of Development for Membership and Annual Giving. <br />The University of Pennsylvania Law School, Philadelphia, PA <br />Assistant Director of the Annual Fund<br />The Barnes Foundation, Merion, PA <br />Development Coordinator - Helped create a brand new membership program, responsible for all gift processing and database management as well as a new annual fund program.<br />
  98. 98. Alison Thornton<br />Associate Director of Development<br />Morris Arboretum<br /><ul><li>Manage Morris Arboretum Membership Program
  99. 99. Oversee two full-time and two part-time staff
  100. 100. Oversee all gift processing
  101. 101. Manage fundraising/constituent database
  102. 102. Collaborate with Visitor Service staff to improve overall visitor/member experience
  103. 103. Oversee Annual Giving Program
  104. 104. Manage 13-member volunteer committee </li></li></ul><li>Karin Nelson Jaros<br />Assistant Director – Membership, The Morton Arboretum<br />Membership program with 34,500 households.<br />Oversee 2 full-time and 5 part-time staff. <br />Following more than 16 years’ consulting in strategy, communications and marketing, Jaros joined The Morton Arboretum in 2005 as the Arboretum was opening it's now award-winning Children's Garden. <br />Prior to starting her own consulting company, Jaros worked for non-profits in publications and communications, holding senior level positions. Her last position was with The National Association of Realtors as VP and Publisher with staffs in Chicago and Washington, D.C.<br />
  105. 105. Thank you! <br />