The Psychology of Membership Engagement

FEBRUARY 28, 2023 / Tips & Insights

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By Tony Rossell, Senior Vice President

The MGI Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report highlights year after year the importance of a defined engagement program supporting a more favorable outcome in member retention. The data statistically shows this positive outcome but does not explain why putting an engagement program in place is so effective. Understanding why it works offers the opportunity to develop an even more effective effort.

First, let’s look at the problem. It might be surprising, but once...


Defining the Process for the Decision to Join

FEBRUARY 14, 2023 / Tips & Insights

By Tony Rossell, Senior Vice President

We often hear the question, “Why does it take so many contacts to convince an individual or company to join our association?” The pat answer from marketers is that it takes seven contacts to turn a prospect into a buyer.  

However, as opposed to just doing more, establishing an understanding of the decision process involved in joining an association allows for a more nuanced strategy to be put in place.

One explanation offered by psychologists on the stages that a person goes through in making a decision is a theory called the Transtheoretical Model (TTM). The model says there are five stages...


Applying Reasoned Action Theory to your Membership Recruitment Efforts

FEBRUARY 06, 2023 / Tips & Insights

By Tony Rossell, Senior Vice President

For many years, social scientists have used Reasoned Action Theory (RAT) to evaluate a person's intention to take an action. Daniel O’Keefe, a preeminent scholar in the field, says of RAT, “It is unquestionably the most influential general framework for understanding the determinants of voluntary action.”

A simplistic overview of the theory lays out four drivers that determine an intention leading to a behavior. The first is Attitude with the components of belief (it is a good thing) and evaluation (there is motivation to act). The second is Injunction which is the infl...


5 Tips to Drive Membership Growth in 2023

JANUARY 25, 2023 / Tips & Insights

After facing several years of unprecedented global events, associations have begun to emerge from the heavy toll of the pandemic.  Associations are back to focusing on membership growth. We are now gathering  responses for the  2023 edition of the Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report. However, let’s look back at some of the top findings from our 2022 results to see the tactics that other associations used to achieve their recruitment goals. Here’s what we found:

1. Adding New Members is a Top...


Tracking and Measuring for Membership Marketing Success

JANUARY 11, 2023 / Tips & Insights

By Tony Rossell, Senior Vice President

In my book, Membership Recruitment, I share an eye-opening experience with a client. For several years, this association had been doing a sizeable annual mailing to recruit new members. The mailing went to a portfolio of outside lists totaling over 100,000 records. Results were below expectations, so they asked for assistance to improve returns.

The obvious place to start may have been looking at the creative or the offer for the mailing. Instead, we ran an analysis matching the new members that had come in compared to the lists mail...