December 02, 2020   |   Vol. 19   |   Issue 11
Jana Sabol Darling, MGI Managing Director

Offset revenue shortfalls with membership growth.

Let’s face it, your current membership marketing strategy probably looks much different today than it did at this time last year. Even the best marketing plans have been turned upside down.

So here we are approaching the end of 2020, making strategy and budget decisions for the year ahead. The question is: How do we take the unprecedented challenges we’re currently faced with and come up with a practical and doable plan to get member counts and revenues back on track?

You’ve probably heard us say it before. Still, history has shown that organizations who stay active and engaged with their members in bad times and during economic turmoil are the first to emerge–often with a stronger market presence when conditions improve.

Make 2021 the year you reinvest in your membership!

Many organizations are facing budget shortfalls due to canceled in-person events. One fundamental way to offset this loss in revenue is to grow your membership.

By growing membership, I’m not talking ONLY about your membership count. You should be growing your benefit offerings, increasing member engagement, expanding product buyers, and cultivating meeting attendees. A strong membership base helps balance the unpredictability that comes with relying heavily on events and has the added benefit of providing a more stable revenue stream through both dues and non-dues revenue.

Now you know why it’s essential to focus on membership growth in 2021, but how do you get the budget to do so effectively? At MGI, we have a few ideas:

Know Your Numbers. The truth is most membership organizations have been underinvesting in their membership for some time. With accurate analysis of your membership, you’ll be better equipped to develop a practical membership marketing strategy and have the numbers to back it up. If you need help pulling your numbers together, download our free Guide to Membership Marketing Metrics.

Cost-Effective Channels. Paid digital campaigns should be part of any marketing effort. These campaigns are cost-effective, can be optimized in real-time, and are proven to generate strong ROI. Typically, it takes seven interactions (or touches in this case) before a purchase takes place. Running digital retargeting campaigns as a complement to your email campaigns keeps your messages in front of targets long after they leave your website.

Focus on Value. Your audience is looking for support, community, and solutions to the challenges they’re facing. Is your organization’s value proposition aligned with these needs? A small investment in a survey to better understand your members’ needs could pay huge dividends. Not only could you discover a need for new programs and services, but you may also find efficiencies and ways to save money in your existing acquisition and retention efforts.

Now is the time to invest in your membership! If you need help making the numbers work for you, I’d love to help. Contact Jana Sabol Darling, Managing Director, Account Services, at or 703.706.0349

Request a Membership Consultation