Tuesday, February 23, 2010

How to decimate your membership in one easy step ...

An association based in New South Wales had a new accountant who had been there for about three months and had yet to talk to a member. It was time for renewals to go out and, being conscientious, he had read the constitution where it clearly stated that "members must be given six months written notice should they wish to resign their membership". So he sent out the renewals with a bright yellow sticker attached that stated "Payment required within 7 days or legal action will be taken". Without speaking to a member he had single-handedly managed to devastate their membership numbers that year (and for several years afterwards).
Renewals are a form of direct mail ... and one that this organisation had roundly stuffed it up. This was unfortunate because direct marketing is not difficult. It is simply a matter of understanding how the different factors work together to produce a successful outcome.


  1. Great post:

    i worked as Membership Manager of University of Michigan Alumni Association. Having basic database marketing strategies helps with segmenting groups of members that either lapsed or never became members. We came to the conclusion that we we're spending too much money on the never membership and not enough on lapsed membership. Determine life-time value on average and this will give you a baseline to determine how much to spend attracting lapsed members.

    Tim Little
    Publisher, http://www.marketinglistbroker.com

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