March 08, 2022   |   Vol. 21   |   Issue 3
By John Sample, CDM and CeM, MGI’s Relationship Director

Association Marketing Tips from the MGI Pros

We began our 15 Minutes to Impact podcast series at the start of the COVID crisis and it’s received great response. While Spotify isn’t going to be calling me with an offer anytime soon, we’ve been encouraged by the number of episodes our clients and colleagues in the association industry have downloaded.

We are especially excited about our latest episode: Association Marketing Pro Tips for 2022. In this episode, I asked several of my incredibly smart colleagues for a single tip that we could share; one that would make an immediate impact for association marketers. The answers were too good not to share across all of our channels.

Here are just a few highlights:

My first stop was MGI President Rick Whelan’s office. Rick’s pro tip is to not give up on lapsed members and past customers. His recommendation is to reach out multiple times per year to those who are familiar with and enjoyed the benefits of your association in the past. He recommends testing new offers and discounts to either reinstate them as members or sell them other products.

Next, I spoke with Todd Michaels, VP of Digital Services. Todd’s tip for 2022 is to continually be selling online and to plan a digital marketing calendar for the year. He also suggests starting with your highest impact initiative and filling in other revenue-generating initiatives around it. Let’s say your annual conference is your biggest revenue generator. If that is the case, schedule 60 days of digital advertising in support of it. Then schedule ads around other priority initiatives. And don’t forget about regularly scheduled membership ads. Todd reminds us that someone is always searching for information about your industry online. Make it easy for them to find you.

Jana Darling, our Vice President of Account Services, exhorted our podcast listeners to make retargeting an integral part of their overall digital strategy. She points out that when retargeting is used, you know you’re reaching the right audience. Statistics say that only a small percent of website visitors convert (join, register, buy) on their first visit. Retargeting keeps your offers in front of those who navigate away from your site. It’s especially essential in boosting event registration, particularly in light of the ongoing uncertainty around in-person, virtual, and hybrid meetings.

I had the opportunity to meet with several other colleagues who shared tips on renewals, multi-channel / multi-touch campaigns, personal phone calls to members, and keeping your automated communications and offers fresh and updated. These tips are all high-impact.

My final conversation of the podcast was with Tony Rossell, Senior Vice President of MGI. Tony gave me a preview of the session he is presenting at ASAE’s MM&C Conference in May. While most of my colleagues gave tips on things to try in 2022, Tony discussed what associations should not do in 2022. The title of Tony’s upcoming session is The Seven Deadly Sins of Membership Marketing. In the podcast, he introduces seven impediments that hold associations back from reaching their full membership marketing potential.

I invite you to spend 15 minutes listening to all of the great ideas that my colleagues shared with me during this podcast.

Finally, I’d like to ask a favor! We created this podcast series to benefit our clients and industry colleagues. Please share your thoughts and ideas on topics that you would like to see discussed in the future. Email me directly at

John Sample is Senior Relationship Director at Marketing General Incorporated and creator/host of the 15 Minutes to Impact podcast.

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