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Membership Benchmarking Report: How do You Compare?


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How does your association’s membership marketing practices and performance compare to other associations?

Marketing General, Inc. has just publicly released the final report of a Membership Marketing Benchmarking Survey on the tactics and strategies associations use to recruit members, engage new members, renew existing members, and reinstate former members.

The Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report included over 500 participating association executives.

Among the report\'s key findings are that nearly half of the associations surveyed continue membership growth; direct mail is the most effective channel for recruiting new members; offering a first-year dues discount is the most effective membership recruitment incentive; a highly personal approach to new member on-boarding helps retain new members; and continuing renewal contacts and services improves renewal rates.

Membership Benchmarking Report: How do You Compare?

  1. 1. Benchmark Membership Marketing Survey Presented by Tony Rossell How does your association compare?
  2. 2. Membership Survey Background <ul><li>Goal: Gain benchmarking insights in key areas of membership. </li></ul><ul><li>Ask respondents to report on practices and define what is most effective </li></ul><ul><li>Cross tabulation: Compares practices of high member recruitment, retention, and growth associations. </li></ul>This research presents correlations not predictions .
  3. 3. Most Associations Report Membership Growth 5% 5% Not Sure 11% 8% Over -10% 16% 27% - 1 to 10% 8% 16% No Change 34% 37% +1 to 10% 26% 8% Over +10% Five Year Change in Membership One Year Change in Membership Percentage Change
  4. 4. Recruitment Up 9% Not Sure 6% Over -10% 15% - 1 to 10% 22% No Change 37% +1 to 10% 12% Over +10% Change in Membership Recruitment Percentage Change
  5. 5. 2009 Membership Study <ul><li>What channels are most effective? </li></ul><ul><li>What offers are most effective? </li></ul><ul><li>How do the high renewal groups </li></ul><ul><li>onboard new members? </li></ul><ul><li>What renewal tactics get high </li></ul><ul><li>renewal rates? </li></ul><ul><li>What lapsed member practices correlate </li></ul><ul><li>with membership growth? </li></ul>How do they do it?
  6. 6. Membership Lifecycle Copyright 2009, Marketing General Incorporated Awareness Recruitment Engagement Renewal Reinstatement
  7. 7. Best Membership Awareness Builders 61% Email 54% Co-Worker/Colleague 65% Promotion at Own Conference 76% Direct Mail 77% Member Recommendations and WOMM 85% Association Web Site Rated Most Effective Marketing Channel
  8. 8. Best Recruitment Channels 11% Personal Sales 15% Promotion at Own Conference 24% Email 32% Member get a Member and WOMM 46% Direct Mail Rated Most Effective Marketing Channel
  9. 9. Best Recruitment Offers 7% Free Gifts or Premiums 8% Member Referral Incentives (Given to Member) 9% Free Trial 17% Conference or Convention Discount 25% First-Year Dues Discount Rated Most Effective Marketing Offers
  10. 10. Top Reasons Members Join 1) Access to specialized Information 2) Network with others in the field 3) Connect with Others in the field 4) Obtain Discounts on Product or Meeting Purchases 5) Learn Best Practices in Profession 6) Continuing Education 7) Advance their Position
  11. 11. New Member Engagement <ul><li>1) Mailed Welcome Kit </li></ul><ul><li>Email Welcome </li></ul><ul><li>Membership Card or </li></ul><ul><li>Certificate </li></ul><ul><li>4) Volunteer or Staff Welcome Call </li></ul><ul><li>5) Invite to Chapter Meeting </li></ul><ul><li>6) New Member Survey </li></ul><ul><li>7) In-Person New Member Reception </li></ul><ul><li>8) Special Discounts on purchases </li></ul><ul><li>9) Custom New Member Email Follow-Up </li></ul><ul><li>10) New Member Newsletter </li></ul>
  12. 12. New Member Engagement Invite to Chapter Meeting In Person New Member Reception Telemarketing Welcome Call Volunteer or Staff Welcome Call New Member Newsletter New Member Survey Member Card or Certificate Mailed Welcome Kit Associations with under 80% Renewal Rate Associations with over 80% Renewal Rate
  13. 13. Association Renewal Rates 29% Over 90% 39% 80 to 89% 17% 70 to 79% 8% 60 to 69% 7% Under 60% % of Respondents Renewal Rate
  14. 14. Top Reasons Members DO NOT Renew <ul><li>Too Expensive </li></ul><ul><li>Employer Won’t OR Stopped Paying Dues </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of Perceived Value </li></ul><ul><li>Forgot to Renew </li></ul><ul><li>Retirement </li></ul><ul><li>Lost Job </li></ul>
  15. 15. Continuing Renewal Contact 26% 14% Do Not Stop 18% 17% Over Four Months 15% 9% Four Months 18% 26% Three Months 11% 16% Two Months 8% 12% One Month 2% 3% On Expiration Renewal Rate More than 80% Renewal Rate Less than 80% When do you stop renewal efforts?
  16. 16. Length of “ Gracing ” Members 2% 5% Not Sure 13% 5% Over Four Months 13% 4% Four Months 28% 20% Three Months 13% 19% Two Months 12% 22% One Month 19% 25% On Expiration Renewal Rate More than 80% Renewal Rate Less than 80% Grace Services After Expire
  17. 17. Continuing Reinstatement Efforts 13% Other 30% Do Not Stop 7% Four to Ten Years 6% Three Years After 13% Two Years After 25% One Year After 8% On Expiration When do you stop Reinstatement Efforts?
  18. 18. Practical Research Implications <ul><li>Awareness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Build your share of database. Get permission to </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>stay in touch </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Recruitment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Multiple channels, offers, and messages are </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>effective to get new members. But some are better </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>than others. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Engagement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make a Personal Connection to successfully </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>onboard a new member. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Renewal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t let members leave because they “forgot” to renew. Use frequency, benefits, and time to campaign for the renewal vote. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Reinstatement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Never give up. Former Members are more likely to come back than new members are to join. </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. 2009 Membership Study <ul><li>What channels are most effective? </li></ul><ul><li>What offers are most effective? </li></ul><ul><li>How do the high renewal groups </li></ul><ul><li>onboard new members? </li></ul><ul><li>What renewal tactics get high </li></ul><ul><li>renewal rates? </li></ul><ul><li>What lapsed member practices correlate </li></ul><ul><li>with membership growth? </li></ul>How do they do it?
  20. 20. Tony Rossell <ul><li>Tony serves as the senior vice president of Marketing General, Inc ., an Alexandria, Virginia-based firm that specializes in membership marketing solutions for associations. </li></ul><ul><li>A frequent write and speaker on marketing topics, Tony is a contributing author to two books, Membership Marketing (ASAE 2000) and Membership Essentials (ASAE 2008). He writes the Membership Marketing Blog . </li></ul><ul><li>Contact Tony at 703-706-0360 or </li></ul>