Monday, June 10, 2013

Tactical Planning for Developing Prospect Awareness

Developing “awareness” of your membership offer is the first step in any “sales cycle.” But what is awareness and how do we use it in the membership sales cycle?
First, “context” is a very important component of any stage in the sales cycle, and awareness is no different. We need people to listen when we talk. But the only time people listen is when it means something to them, usually when they have a problem or slight concern and are looking for a solution. Therefore, in promoting awareness, we must look for those opportunities when prospects will be open to listening to what we have to say.
A good way to learn when your prospects are open to listening is to ask your members when did they first learn about your association. After all, they too were prospects once.
The 2013 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report indicated that the Top Five ways “…members initially discover (your) association” are:
Word-of-mouth recommendation....86%
Association website....80%
Email....66%
Promotion to/at your own conferences/conventions....54%
Local events/meetings....52%
To find this out, you can either “ask them” through qualitative and/or quantitative research, or analyze your database and look for correlations between members joining and other events (i.e.: attended a conference or even, purchased a product, etc.).
Once these are identified, we “reverse engineer” the channels with the goal of understanding how many members/buyers resulted from these efforts.
Word-of-mouth recommendation
  • 200 prospective members were referred by current members
  • Generated five new members for a close ratio of 2.5%.
Association website
  • 1500 people visited the Cookbook page
  • 15 followed the “Join up” link (1%)
  • Generated one new member (6.7%)
With these metrics in hand, we develop tactical plans to drive awareness with an appreciation for the ultimate result of generating paid memberships.
Online Lead Generation Program
  • Goal: 10,000 prospects (or 670 new members)
  • Overview: Develop a landing page and bring online prospects to the site by offering FREE materials which they can download by providing their first & last name, postal address and email address. With delivery, offer the opportunity to join. Place all prospects who download the recipes but don’t join into a 7-step on line conversion program where they will receive an email referring to the original offer as well as present other benefits of membership. At the end of the program, all non-joining prospects will be placed into a quarterly promotion program and distributed to the appropriate county for follow up.
  • Target Market: People looking for discounted tools
  • Promotion Channels: Expired members; Google PPC (key words TBD)
  • Offer: 150 Free Coupons
  • Time Period: July 1 to October 31.
The key to any promotion or tactical program is being able to measure its effectiveness in accomplishing your overall goal. Understanding why prospects seek you out and what it takes to help them decide to buy is key to your business.
Good luck.

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