No One Joins To Network
"Join for networking," is a clause I've found at the top of many associations' membership offers. It's an interesting benefit to focus on, because I've never met someone who actually likes networking. It's sort of like saying to a potential member, "Come to a party where you don't know anyone." So why is networking highlighted? It's because associations are communities and much of the value you offer is through being a community. What do you do in a community? You network.
Are There Members in TikTok?
Yesterday, I joined a meeting on membership and marketing with CalSAE. The facilitator posed a question to the group asking how people were using video like TikTok to reach potential members. No one had a successful strategy. One of the executives on the call insinuated that it was a distraction. "Members join for a reason. We should build our marketing strategy around that rather than whatever is the latest trend."
Risk Sabotages Membership Offers
In behavioral psychology there's a concept called "loss aversion." Loss aversion is the tendency we have as humans to prefer avoiding losses over equivalent gains. Of course we all prefer avoiding losses, but loss aversion says that our response to potential losses is more dramatic than to gains. The potential of losing creates more avoidance than the potential of gain creates seeking.
Differentiating Membership Offers
"They're not the only game in town anymore," a peer recently told me, "I bet they're having to learn how to compete like most private companies do." We were discussing associations and the challenges of pitching membership. We live in a time of great abundance. The people that you'd like to become members have more options than ever. To pitch membership effectively, you must not only address their desires with a relevant offer, but you must also differentiate your association from every other...
Relevance & Membership Offers
A common marketing mistake that association executives make is that their messages have low relevance to a member or potential member. The messages don't stick in their minds because it doesn't connect with their situation. Critically important marketing where this low relevance issue manifests is in your membership offer. Rather than being intrigued by a highly relevant offer, potential members see an offer that leaves them guessing to whether membership is worth the cost? To fix this, you...
The Mirror Fallacy
Many associations struggle with communicating the value of membership. The staff know that membership is valuable, but they can't seem to put it into words in a way that potential members "get it." This is a symptom of what I call the Mirror Fallacy, where fixating on our perspective impairs our ability to communicate effectively with others.
In this teardown, we review the website of the American Society of Workers Compensation Professionals and discuss how to make it more effective.
Genghis Khan, Recessions, and Member Growth
Many historians argue that Genghis Khan changed the world for the better. Under the Khan’s control, all of Asia was united, crime was non-existent, trade flourished, technologies were exchanged, and citizens were able to freely practice whatever religion they wanted. Historians call it the Pax Mongolica- the Mongolian peace. However, his conquest of Asia was arguably the most cruel and bloody period in history.
The Member Magnet Framework
Why does one person sign up with your association and another doesn’t? One person says, “Yes, I want that,” and another says, “No thanks.” Not everyone is a good fit for your association. But it would be a mistake to assume that all those potential members that don’t join are in this category.
Membership Offer Redesign Case Study
Leadership in the Endourological Society approached us about a website redesign. After a few conversations, it became clear that they were facing similar challenges to most societies and associations around engaging members and communicating value.
Members Don't Join for Dollar Value
There has been an idea rolling around the association space that members sign up for economic reasons. The gist of it is that you need to look at all your benefits and calculate a market price for each to present as the value of membership in your offer.
5 Minute Fixes for Your Member Benefits Page
If you’re like most association staff, you don’t have enough hours in the day and you’re almost hamstrung with a lack of budget. But you know you could be doing a better job selling the value of your association... If only you had more time and money! Catch-22! Darn it! Here’s the thing: You don’t need hours of effort and you don’t have to break open your piggy bank. If you’ve got just five minutes to spend boosting recruitment, I’ll reveal five easy changes to transform your current member...
A Membership Director Transformed Their Offer Into a Compelling Pitch
Pam Williams is the VP of Membership for AMA Triangle, a large chapter of the American Marketing Association based out of North Carolina. She consulted with us as part of a membership drive, looking for ways to make their digital strategy more effective.
John is a graduate of 10,000 Small Businesses, a certified Customer Acquisition Specialist, and a Zend Certified Engineer. He speaks and writes on connecting digital strategy to association goals. Outside of work he's an avid traveler, climber, diver, and a burgeoning sailor. He also volunteers with Rotary and Big Brothers Big Sisters.