MGI Tipster Volume 1, Issue 20

Getting Your Membership Marketing in Shape


To get an individual in optimum physical shape, a coach appropriately blends regularity, variety, intensity, and dietary controls. In the parlance of direct-response marketing, this is an integration of frequency with intensity, channels, and content.

Just like in exercise, applying this concept can also get your membership marketing in better shape.

Working with one client organization that offers institutional membership, we put these principles to the test. We found that when we appropriately integrated these components, response rates and program economics really popped.

In the first test, we developed a split test and measured results using channel integration, connecting with prospective members through multiple media. We split our audience into two segments. One received only a direct-mail solicitation. The second received the same direct-mail package, and then a follow-up email with a link to an online microsite that provided more details about the benefits of membership. The combined mail and email group produced an 87% lift in overall response.

In a subsequent campaign, we based our control on the “winning” mail and email effort. Then, as a test, we added two additional emails to the mix with links to microsites containing exclusive and useful content.

The first content microsite featured specific answers to frequently asked questions prospective members might have on how to access funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The second content microsite offered a webinar sharing a detailed explanation of how the Act could help prospective members.

In addition to providing content, each element of the campaign focused on moving a prospect to a decision to join.

The test group that included the additional online content was the decisive winner. Allowing for a statistical margin of error, the test group outperformed the control group by over 300%.

What did we learn?

First, just as in an exercise program, intensity is an important component in a marketing strategy. More touches delivering valuable content over a short period of time gets prospects’ attention and helps convert them to members. In addition, it is key to have all of the communications push toward a membership sale and not simply provide good information. The proper integration of frequency with content, channels, and intensity clearly produced the greatest ROI.

If you would like to talk to us about getting your membership marketing program in shape using these techniques, please contact Tony Rossell or Vinay Kumar at the addresses below.

Tony Rossell
Marketing General Inc.
Direct: 703.706.0360 Tony@marketinggeneral.com Vinay Kumar
Marketing General, Inc.
Direct: 703-706-0313 Vkumar@marketinggeneral.com

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