Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Component Relations Section November 2013 Virtual Roundtable

"Components and the Race to Membership: 10 Tips to Develop and Effectively Use Components in Membership Marketing"


Erik Schonher, Vice President, Marketing General Incorporated

Trevor S. Mitchell, CAE, Executive Director, Member Programs & Services, ARMA International

 "Components offer associations a multitude of opportunities to drive their missions and increase their revenues. From the development of content to driving membership, when properly designed and managed, components become essential channels through which associations develop and deliver their value."

Excerpted from "Components and the Race to Membership"

 Join our guest presenters, authors of the recently released white paper, "Components and the Race to Membership: 10 Tips to Develop and Effectively Use Components in Membership Marketing" as they discuss their conclusions, tips, and suggestions for partnering with components to develop, demonstrate, and deliver membership value.

"Whether components are organized/defined by location, industry, interest, or other delineators, they are a valuable untapped resource. Those that work with them, leverage their power, and unlock their potential are positioned for success."

Excerpted from "Components and the Race to Membership"

Bring your questions and comments to this enlightening and important conversation about components and membership marketing strategy and find your association's path to success.

To register, follow this link http://tinyurl.com/kdmby3u. or you can register via the ASAE Calendar at www.asaecenter.org

Date: Wednesday, November 20, 2013

 Time:  2 pm - 3 pm Eastern time/1 pm - 2 pm Central time

12 noon - 1 pm Mountain time/11 am - 12 noon Pacific time
Cecilia Sepp
Vice President
Association Laboratory Inc.
Silver Spring MD
(301) 346-9656

Friday, October 25, 2013

Selecting a New CRM - Some Good Advice

Given what I do as a membership marketing consultant with a background in Information Management, I'm often asked to give advice on selecting a CRM.  To that point, I read a great post on ASAE's Collaborate (Membership Section) by Paula Aviles, Membership Director for The Special Libraries Association (10/25/2013), which is worthy of repeating.

She prefaces it by writing that these are "Some lessons learned..."

TIME: It always takes longer than expected.
DEMO: Be watchful as it shows you what it can do, not how, so it may end up taking more time or staff hours then anticipated.
REPORTS: Most systems capture data. It's pulling it out "where things take a turn." Check the queries and reports and be sure that they are reporting the metrics YOU USE to communicate with your leadership.
HISTORY: What data points will it capture, maintain or discard/overwrite when updated?
TRAIN AND TEST: Make sure you allow for training and testing (all we need to do is look at what's happening with the health-care website to realize that testing BEFORE launching is essential).
LAUNCH DATE: Remember the first item mentioned - 'Time' so keep the launch date movable as long as you can. Yes, at some point you need to fish-or-cut-bait, but don't rush it.
This is for the MEMBERS: You're doing this for them.

This is what Paula advises and I think its pretty good. The only item I usually add is:

EASE OF ADAPTABILITY: Change is constant. What will our Association look like in 5 or 10 years and can this system handle the change? How many of us are paying the price with poorly constructed or operating websites because they can't interface properly with the CRM?

In summary, its about properly setting the expectations of leadership, staff and your membership.

Good luck and my sincerest appreciation to Paula for her great post and clarity of thought.

Erik Schonher is Vice President for Marketing General Incorporated. A sought after speaker and writer, he has over 30 years of successful experience in marketing to include associations, designing and implementing member acquisition and retention programs, research initiatives, promoting conferences and guiding leadership. To speak with Erik about your programs, you can call him at (703) 706-0358 or through his email erik@marketinggeneral.com .  

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

How do I enhance my renewal rate? Just ask your member.

There are many factors to take into consideration when soliciting members to renew their memberships. Some of these we simply can't control (ie: employement status, dues compensation, etc.). One that we can control is, which in my humble opinion is the most important, making sure that the member realizes benefits from their membership.

The key here is our knowing what benefit the member looking to realize through their membership and if they ever realize it? 

Some of this can be gleaned by analyzing the offer they responded to (source analysis) then through data-analysis look at what products or services the member purchased or participated in to see if there is a trail to follow. A good point to this kind of analysis is that you can then look to see if the member renewed in previous years. This kind of data-analytics is very powerful and can lead you to a more indepth understanding of your entire "business" (ie: RFM Analysis). 

In other cases we need to go to the members themselves, usually through a survey. But, we're not looking at just one survey but two. The first survey right when the member joins and the second six to five months prior to expire.

But what questions should I ask in the first survey? This is dependent upon what you plan to do with the data and what can your CRM effectively capture?

First and foremost, don't let this turn into a game of "dogpile" where various departments want to measure what is important to them. This needs to be very sleek and targeted so as not to "be a pain to fill out."

Next, what is the best methodology to accomplish this? That depends upon several factors including the number of new members, budgets, etc. Many associations use telemarketing or email. Like anything else in what we do, which offers the greatest bang for our buck.

While every association is different, I would focus on the 3 to 5 primiary benefits you present when promoting your association. I would then ask the member to provide "how" they plan to realize the benefit.  For example, if a benefit is "Networking," then give them a chance to respond by listing 3 or so features that promote networking: "Attend Annual Conference" "Attend Chapter Meetings" "Volunteer for Member Committee."

As you can see this will get pretty big pretty quickly.

In the second survey what we want to find out is if they've realized any benefit from their membership. To that end, second survey is similar to the first, asking why they joined and offering up the opportunity to explain what features they participated in. Of course, you'll also want to ask if the member "intends to renew." If yes or no, why?

In addition, you may also want to ask in the second survey "How important is this feature to you and how well did we deliver it to you?" This "gap analsyis" will help you determine the value of benefits you promote and how well you deliver them.

Now we analyze the first and second survey results to help us understand:
  1. Why members join?
  2. What features (if any) do they use?
  3. Are we effectively delivering the benefits they are looking for?
  4. Do they plan to renew?
Secondary benefits of this kind of program include:
  1. Potentially identifying "high risk for renewal" members (which might allow you a chance to fix this)
  2. Promotion of some underutilized features


New Membership Models


10 Tips to Develop and Effectively Use Components in Membership Marketing

Components offer associations a multitude of opportunities to drive their missions and increase their revenues. From the development of content to driving membership, when properly designed and managed, components become essential channels through which associations develop and deliver theirvalue.

But exactly what is a component? What are the elements associations need to consider in creating a
component? What is necessary in the management of a component? How can they be used to increase

Written by two respected leaders in the field of association and membership marketing, Erik Schonher, CeM MBA,VP Marketing General, and Trevor Mitchell, CAE, Executive Director Member Programs & Services ARMA International, the purpose of this white paper is to act as a primer and provide association executives with an appreciation of the growing importance of components in the development and delivery of membership value and how to take the initial steps necessary to develop and integrate a component strategy into an association’s overall membership marketing plan.
If you'd like a free copy of the whitepaper, or discuss how you can grow your components and increase their effectiveness in driving your membership, please contact me at 703.706.0358 or Erik@MarketingGeneral.com