Membership growth and retention both need your association’s attention.The marketing channels that associations use in membership recruitment and retention show significant change in recent years.
821 associations were surveyed in the 2018 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report by Marketing General, www.marketinggeneral.com/knowledge-bank/reports, and almost half report increases in new member acquisition over the past year. Most associations use a variety of channels to capture a prospect’s attention and recruit them to a member.
What is the most effective channel for recruiting new members today?
According to the report, “word-of-mouth recommendations, email marketing, and promotions to/at your association’s conferences or trade shows are affirmed as the most effective recruitment techniques.” Compare this to the 2009 survey results where 46% of participants cited direct mail was the most effective membership recruitment channel. Your association is more likely to convert a prospect to a member while they’re a captive audience at your largest event than by sending them a mailed piece.
Latest trend: Paid digital marketing
One recruitment channel that has seen recent growth in reported effectiveness is paid digital marketing. For 2018, 17% of individual membership associations and 12% of all participants consider digital marketing to be one of their most effective channels for acquiring new members.
The associations that use digital marketing effectively note that paid Facebook advertising and remarketing (using Facebook, AdRoll, Google) are the most effective methods (68% and 49%, respectively). Consider adding new or more paid digital marketing to your next membership campaign and see how many new prospects you gain.
Which marketing channels generate the most membership renewals?
78% of associations in the report indicated that email marketing is the most effective channel for renewals. Sending messages directly to your member’s inbox will likely get them to convert, plus it saves on printing and postage! Direct mail is the second most effective channel (51%) and staff phone calls are the third most effective (37%).
Whatever marketing channels you use, messaging should be consistent and meaningful with every member interaction.
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