Monday, October 19, 2009

A Master Strategist Gives Us a Successful Strategy

John Day, the Director of Membership Development for IEEE, is most likely one of the best membership pros that I'm fortunate enough to call a friend. A real "strategist" in every sense of the word. We met a few years ago at CESSE and have exchanged ideas for a while now. Recently he related to me that he has had tremendous success this past year in growing membership. I asked "how?" The following is what he wrote back . I hope that you'll find it useful information.

"The growth came from different channels, and fortunately compensated for the decline in year-over-year recruitment in professional grade members. We instituted a massive and well-coordinated reinstatement campaign, that returned about 3,000 members more than the prior and uncoordinated year (a large proportion professional grade members).

We instituted a campaign for members who did not complete the online application, which brought in 16,000 members (a large proportion students). And, through an intricate and expansive renewal campaign, we increased professional grade retention by 1%.

Between e-mail and postal direct outreach, 3+ million contacts - furthermore, we concurrently mobilized our Volunteer ranks worldwide in ways we hadn't before. All messaging reinforced career-related benefits, job site, and reduced-dues assistance provided to unemployed members. Our thought better to keep them, albeit at a lower amount, than lose them."

John, thanks for sharing this.

I think that we can agree that this was a well coordinated, multi-channel strategy that took into consideration several different niche-markets within a pretty expansive base. What's important to look at here is that, while John does work for a power-house of an association, his strategy could be implemented by any one of us who has taken the time to understand the markets he is serving and develop the offers, tactics and channels to attract and effectively communicate with them.

If you'd like to communicate with John, I'll be happy to forward your information to him.

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