A new study shows that associations with 5000+ members, find direct mail the most effective channel in recruiting new members. While using social media is commonly used, it is not necessarily considered the most effective in reaching membership goals by association executives. Are you surprised?

Marketing General reports some very interesting statistics that shed light on what’s working in association marketing:

  • Approximately two-thirds of respondents report using mailed welcome kits, a decrease from the 2009 study of 15 percentage points (68% in 2010 vs. 83% in 2009). However, findings indicate that associations with greater than 80% renewal are significantly more likely to use the mailed welcome kits (75% vs. 58%).
  • Associations showing an increase in renewals over the past year are significantly more likely to offer automatic credit card renewals, compared to associations with declines in renewals (29% vs. 17%).
  • Price is not the top driver responsible for non-renewals. A lack of perceived value is.

So, it looks like membership engagement, providing value, and showing flexibility are very important in recruiting and retaining members. These factors underscore the need to focus on the customer. Being member-oriented, listening to needs, and being responsive are the keys to success. Gee, just like it works in the business world! :)

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3 Responses to What Works in Association Member Marketing

  • Hi Elaine — Thanks for sharing some of the stats from our Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report. You did a great job of highlighting the key findings. We will publish a full update to the report this summer with data from over 700 participating organizations. Tony

    • My pleasure, Tony. As someone who is very involved in association volunteer leadership, as well as nonprofit marketing, I appreciate the work you do for the sector.

  • Thanks for sharing!

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