The usual sources of association membership ideas, such as ISAE and ASAE, are always great resources. But if you feel as though your membership trends are flat, and so are your ideas, it can be helpful to mix it up. With that in mind, here are three approaches to finding new ideas for your membership marketing:
1) Step outside the box. While I learned long ago that marketing association membership is far different than marketing non-association products and services, reading broadly about product management and development can lead to crossover ideas that can be adapted for associations. Here are examples that might get you thinking:
- Mind the Product: Customer Retention
- Product Talk: Why You Are Asking the Wrong Customer Interview Questions
2) Stop listening, and start looking. Ask an association executive to explain their membership strategy, and you'll often get a big picture perspective that differs from the reality of how they really market their association day to day. Rather than ask them, go look at their association's membership information. Pretend you are a member seeking information as to why you should join. Here are some good places to start:
- ADDC: They put the value proposition up front, and then seek to close the deal with human interaction rather than a form, which is unusual for associations these days. In this case, they believe the personal touch is important.
- PDA: Their home page is completely dedicated to their key value proposition, which is education, but in a very appealing, image-driven approach. This is a very interesting promise, perfect for younger generations: "Our education scheduling is designed in a format that supports a work family balance." Once they get you to the application, they know they have you—no further marketing is needed.
- ASTQB: The decision-makers for this certification are very diverse. They can be an individual software testers, test team leaders or high level managers. That is why this organization provides a value proposition for every type and level of decision maker right up front.
3) Get inside the mind of others. Are you asking the right questions? What do others want to know about association membership marketing? Here are questions that have been asked by association executives across the country, and as far away as New Zealand. Happily enough, for each question, there is also an answer.
Do you have a question that hasn’t been answered? You can also submit your own question on this site and have it answered at no cost.
Good luck in your membership marketing!