MGI Tipster Volume 9, Issue 8

August 12, 2010   |   Vol. 9   |   Issue 8

The Five Step MGI Membership Lifecycle Marketing Model

The MGI Membership Lifecycle helps organizations adopt a comprehensive, integrated approach to membership marketing. It combines five basic marketing strategies that, when linked, can significantly improve success finding new members, keeping current ones, and returning lapsed ones.

Think of the Lifecycle as a general framework around which organizations can build marketing programs customized to best suit their needs and mirror the needs of their target markets.

The MGI Membership Lifecycle

In this edition of the MGI Tipster, we present an overview of the Membership Lifecycle and briefly touch on its five interconnected elements. In coming issues, we will examine each Lifecycle step in greater depth.

Awareness … when prospects first discover you.

Before organizations can develop awareness among their constituencies, they must have a strong sense of self-awareness—understanding clearly who they are and knowing their value proposition. Only then can they begin building share of mind by messaging to prospective members with email, direct mail, self-promotion, cross-promotion, and word of mouth.

MGI uses online tools to trade "content for contact," so instead of selling memberships, prospects are pushed to discover the organization by the content they provide. The relationship begins by delivering resources that only qualified prospects would value and grows over time to the point where membership becomes almost a natural consequence of prospects’ growing rapport and dependence upon the association.

Recruitment … when prospects choose to try you.

Associations cannot grow without recruiting new members. Successful recruiting requires focus on at least five basic marketing disciplines: target markets, membership offers, marketing messages, promotional tactics, and testing and tracking.

Whom the organization targets with its promotions is the single most important factor in the success or failure of recruitment programs. Next in importance is the offer made to prospects: the benefits membership should provide and the incentives used to attract members to the benefits.

Engagement … when new members feel they belong with you.

Members who are actively involved with an organization appreciate the value they receive much more than those who are not involved. An engaging interaction can be as simple as a telephone call.

Successful engagement programs usually include multi-step efforts to help members become involved in organizations by exposing them to beneficial products and services. The programs also seek to generate ongoing interactions with the member.

Renewals … when lapsing members decide whether to keep you.

Renewals are confirmations of the value members feel they have received from their organization. It is a member’s vote of confidence…or no confidence. Renewals are a critically necessary foundation for organizational growth, and they demand close attention to ensure the quality and timing of member communications.

In today’s competitive environment, three-part mailed renewal series are rarely effective. Instead, renewals are built on multi-media contacts combining mail, email, phone, and fax integrated with a Web renewal tool.

Reinstatement … when former members agree to return to you.

Reinstatement programs offer lapsed members opportunities to reconsider their decision to leave and to join once again if they forgot or somehow unintentionally did not renew. The most likely member to return to an association is the one who most recently left.

Win-back programs are an essential element of membership marketing and lend themselves to an integrated channel approach. With established business relationships, former members can be reached by email, mail, and phone—all effective channels for contacting former members.

Five steps to growth

While the MGI Membership Lifecycle separates the marketing process into five steps, they are by no means separate unto themselves. Taken together, they can deliver continuous streams of qualified prospects, new members, renewing members, and former members, all necessary to keep membership organizations continually adding to their member counts and strengthening their share of mind and wallet.

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