• Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube. Video, photos, stories, animation. Long, short, personal, impersonal. And OMG, hashtags.

    Organic Social Media … it’s an amazingly powerful way to engage and interact with members and prospects alike, but it is also constantly changing, challenging to measure, and time consuming.

    Not only do you need to be generating content and responding to comments, but you need to pick the right content for the right platforms, mix your mediums, and post at the right times on a near daily basis.

  • Why Prospects Don’t Join and Members Leave

    It may not come as a surprise if I tell you that not every prospect you ask to join your association will, and that at some point even the most devoted long-term members may not renew.

    We “Membership Marketers” know instinctively that we oftentimes survive and even thrive on 1/10th of a percentage point rate of return. The difference between a 0.90% and 1.00% in the number of members and revenue you generate can be huge.

    Knowing the reasons why prospects don’t join and members don’t renew can only help us do a better job in growing our total members and revenue. You may remember some of these thoughts from years past, but they are still good reminders.

  • What goes for baseball, goes for membership marketing!

    In 2003, Michael Lewis published Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game. Lewis examined how Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland Athletics baseball team, utilized an advanced analytical approach to maximize the talents of his players while still maintaining one of the lowest payrolls in baseball. Using this approach, Oakland performed above expectations and made several postseason appearances.


    That was an actual sign I looked at every day in the lobby of the corporate headquarters at The Trane Company, my first job in corporate business.

    It’s Back!
    The rumors abound right now, just like 2009, 1999, 1983, 1976, and so on. Recessionary impact frightens the entire association world with concerns about finance, employees, members, investments, and more. But there is good news. Associations that deliver significant value to their members usually thrive in a recession—countless studies have proven it—but not without careful thought and the contingency plan to be always prepared. The best method for that is to start now so that if and when a recession comes, your organization is already prepared. Here are some insights.

  • It’s Not too Soon to Start Making Plans for Black Friday.

    Once considered the kickoff of the holiday shopping season, Black Friday marked the beginning of the most profitable time of year for traditional retail stores.

    Through the years, and with the assistance of the internet, the nature of Black Friday has evolved and expanded. Many brick and mortar stores are now open on Thanksgiving Thursday, Small Business Saturday provides an opportunity for local businesses to kick off the holiday shopping season, Cyber Monday is now the internet’s version of Black Friday, and Giving Tuesday is the Black Friday for charitable giving.

  • MGI’s 2019 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report is out!

    We recently released the 11th edition of our MGI Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report, the industry’s most comprehensive membership marketing study. This year, 824 unique individual, trade, and combination associations responded to our survey, answering questions covering the spectrum of the membership cycle. We also added questions delving into innovation, membership models, and value delivery.

  • It’s that time already. Time for your mid-year marketing check-in.

    Flowers are blooming, butterflies all aflutter, and days are getting longer, which can only mean one thing. It’s almost July 2. With 182 days before it and 182 after, July 2 is the exact middle of the year.

    If you’re wondering where the time went, you’re not alone. The good news is that right now is the perfect time to look at your 2019 plan and ask yourself if this year’s results are meeting expectations. If you wait until your year-end review, you are missing out on more than 6 months to course correct.

  • Does Your Association Have a Member Referral Program?

    If you answered “no,” you are likely missing out on an opportunity to engage your members by referring their colleagues and friends, while promoting your association. How, you might wonder? With one of the oldest forms of advertising—”word of mouth.”

    According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers trust referrals from people they know. When you are looking to introduce your association to potential new members, existing engaged members make great trusted sources; engaged members know the benefits of your association and how they have personally used their membership to grow their knowledge and network.

  • Do New Member Discounts Really Work?

    Many associations struggle with the question of whether or not to offer new members an introductory discount to improve recruitment efforts. Within limits, the data that we have seen over the years support offering a discount to incentivize new members to join your association.

  • The S Word

    Coffee is for closers!

    What image comes to mind when you think about the S word? If you grew up in the 70s or early 80s, it might be Herb Tarlek of WKRP in Cincinnati. For movie fans from the 90s, images of Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross might come to mind. Perfectly slicked back hair, a plaid jacket perhaps, a slight aura of cigarette smoke in the air. It is the Hollywood image of the S-person. Power lunches, power ties, power suits, pinkie rings, high pressure closes, golden circle clubs, spiffs, expense accounts, blah, blah, blah. You went to college, got your MBA, and pursued a CAE so you wouldn’t have to do that horrible stuff… right? Not Sales!