7 ways to boost acquisition for professional associations

in Associations - Membership,Direct Mail,Marketing for Nonprofits

Here are 7 ideas to help boost response in your direct mail acquisition campaigns.  Get more prospects to join your professional association when you . . . 

1 – Mail to the right people at the right times with the right product.  Choose your lists wisely.  Look for cycles over history and time you acquisition campaigns.  Develop a great offer.

2 -Use clean lists.  Segment and scrub.

3 – Mail deeper into lists with higher response.

4 – Carefully consider premiums or some other incentive.  I’m not saying you should or should not offer a premium.  I’m saying weigh this decision carefully.  And if you offer an incentive, make certain it is connected to your association.  Here is an idea for the Renewable Energy Association to illustrate my point:

Weak premium/incentive that doesn’t compliment the assn: $50 gas card

Better premium/incentive: Find more investors for your renewable energy research with this 22-page guide … available when you join the Renewable Energy Association before xx [date].

5 – Be cautious about discounting membership dues.  In essence you’re discounting the value of what you offer.  For example: A $50 discount says membership is really only worth $100 instead of $150.  This can also set an expectation that haunts you in member renewals.

6 – Offer flexible payment terms for dues.

7 – Write member-centered copy.  Focus on how your members work, career, etc. are made easier.  Highlight these facts when you talk about your membership benefits.  Don’t just list them and expect it to be obvious.  There’s an article on my website I invite you to read, “How to boost usability of your nonprofit website.” Specifically, item #3 in that article – How will my money be used – has an example on writing more member-centered copy.  Scroll down and read about Acme Association

Bonus suggestion: In everything you do, ask yourself whether you’re adding value.  Are you doing or sharing something that helps members or gives your members worthwhile information?  More valuable content.  A simpler member registration form.  Font that’s easier to read.  There are unlimited ways to add value and even the small ones add up to a significant difference.