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The Art of Membership: How to Attract, Retain and Cement Member Loyalty

Book Description

Member engagement, recruitment, and retention are fundamental activities that all membership organizations must master to ensure the growth and viability of their organizations over the long term. The Art of Membership by Sheri Jacobs, CAE, provides associations and membership organizations with the practical tools they need to build a loyal and diverse membership base over the long term. Readers will be able to put the tools to work immediately regardless organization size, budget, culture, type, or environment. The recommendations are concrete, irrefutable and backed by data derived from ASAE research, the author's own more than 40 Market Research Studies conducted with her team encompassing members and nonmembers from organizations of all types and sizes and her more than 15 years of experience developing and executing membership recruitment and retention plans for more than 100 associations. The book contains ample cases and examples from associations, nonprofits and for-profits (pricing strategies, value propositions, and marketing tactics) in addition to chapter-by-chapter "how-to" guides with checklists and worksheets that break down the concepts from goal to strategy to tactics culminating in an actionable "to-do" list.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Contents
  3. Title
  4. Copyright
  5. Dedication
  6. List of Tables, Figures, and Exhibits
  7. Preface
  8. About the Author
  9. Part One: Find Your Value
    1. Chapter 1: Understand the Value Before You Start Selling
      1. Did You Really Want Lasagna Anyway?
      2. Case Study: The American Physical Therapy Association
      3. The Next-Best Alternative
      4. Action Steps
    2. Chapter 2: Value Is in the Eye of the Beholder
      1. Two Similar Members; One Major Difference
      2. Dig Deeper Than Demographics
      3. When a Member Says “No”
      4. A Different Approach to Profiling
      5. Matching Benefits with Reasons to Join
      6. Case Study: AOTA and 136 Pieces of Data
      7. Action Steps
    3. Chapter 3: Sell What Matters
      1. Understand Why They Join—And Why They Leave!
      2. Focus on Organizational Strengths
      3. Leverage Your Uniqueness
      4. Connect the Dots to Member Value
      5. When It Comes to Benefits, Less Is More
      6. Case Study: AAHPM Sells What Matters Most
      7. Action Steps
    4. Chapter 4: Charge More or Less—And Other Alternative Pricing Strategies
      1. Consider Small Change for a Large Impact
      2. Look Toward Viable, Valuable, and Strategic Pricing
      3. Cost-Plus Pricing Alternatives
      4. What Is Your Pricing Goal?
      5. Case Study: HIMSS Grows with Group Membership
      6. Action Steps
  10. Part Two: Who Are Your Members?
    1. Chapter 5: Members or Customers? Developing the Most Qualified Prospect List
      1. Who’s Qualified?
      2. Case Study: The ABA’s Approach to Grabbing Low-Hanging Fruit
      3. Action Steps to Create the Right List
      4. Action Steps to Apply the Right Marketing
    2. Chapter 6: Behavior and Preference Are Very Different Things
      1. Dig Below the Obvious to Make Decisions
      2. People Don’t Know What They Don’t Know
      3. Market Research Findings and Debunking Assumptions
      4. McDonald’s Adult Burger Doesn’t Cut the Mustard
      5. Case Study: Association Forum of Chicagoland Fails . . . Or Do They?
      6. Not a Failure But a Lesson Learned
      7. Action Steps
    3. Chapter 7: Look at Where Your Members Are Going
      1. It Sure Pays to Be Online
      2. Case Study: HIMSS Proactively Makes Progress
      3. Encyclopaedia Britannica Reinvents Itself
      4. Case Study: Massachusetts Medical Society Models for the Future
      5. You Don’t Need a Crystal Ball, Just Crystal Clarity
      6. Action Steps
  11. Part Three: Sell Your Organization
    1. Chapter 8: Be a Problem Solver
      1. Start Selling Those Solutions
      2. Career Transitions Provide Opportunities
      3. Just Say No (Except Don’t)
      4. An Example: ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership
      5. A Two-Way Street: Gather and Offer Information
      6. Ask Why Multiple Times
      7. Integration of Marketing Efforts
      8. Case Study: Electronic Retailers Association Tells Stories to Enhance Brand Image
      9. Action Steps
    2. Chapter 9: Prove It!
      1. Take the Words Right Outta Their Mouths
      2. Focus on Problems, Solutions, and Outcomes
      3. Collect the Proof
      4. Be Unforgettable: Play the Numbers Game
      5. 100 Billion Can’t Be Wrong
      6. Zero Moment of Truth
      7. Membership Meets the Press
      8. How Do You Measure Up?
      9. Case Study: ACG Mines Testimonials for Gold
      10. Action Steps
  12. Part Four: Personalize the Process
    1. Chapter 10: Overcome Objections
      1. “I Will Not Join (or Renew) Because . . .”
      2. Action Steps
    2. Chapter 11: Engagement, Onboarding, and the First Ninety Days
      1. The Secret to Long-Term Relationships
      2. Take Time to Get to Know New Members
      3. Have It Your Way
      4. Alternative Approaches to Engagement
      5. Case Study: AHIMA Centralizes Its Engagement Efforts
      6. The Biggest Myth in Member Engagement
      7. Experiences Are Meant to Be Shared
      8. Action Steps
    3. Chapter 12: Be Flexible
      1. Show Off Your Flexibility
      2. Be Categorically Flexible
      3. At the Other End of the Spectrum
      4. The Fine Print
      5. Be an Enabler: Empower Your Staff
      6. We’ve Always Done It That Way!
      7. Case Study: Rotary International Focuses on Flexibility
      8. Action Steps
  13. References
  14. Index