Simply stated, most membership marketing programs are not as thought out in their design as needed. What is meant is that the programs don’t have all of the elements to satisfy all who will be involved in the process.
Every club needs to begin with a well structured plan that is based in thorough research, a defined target market, attainable outcomes, metrics to track your progress, and solidifying everyone’s role in the process. Your plan should be the basis for your activities over the coming months. However, you should always be willing to enhance or redirect your plan based on what proves successful.
Members Must be Provided the Proper Tools to Succeed
If there’s anything we’ve learned in membership recruitment, it’s this: never make things difficult on the member or prospect. Your goal is to make the process of referring new members as easy as possible.
A club must understand that the members are often poorly informed as to the needs of the club as well as the exact specifics of a marketing initiative. Believe it or not, just communicating the elements of the program in the club newsletter is not sufficient to prompt the actions necessary for a successful program.
The fewer hoops your member has to jump through, the better. Even the most loyal of members won’t want to participate if they find out there is a complicated or time consuming process set in place.
Presentation and Packaging is Important
First impressions are often formed with very little information and then become stubbornly persistent. Your packaging and presentation should be creative, professional and memorable enough to reflect your club, yet functional enough to serve its purpose.
A well packaged program will include all of the information that a prospective member will need to help facilitate joining the club. This could include: professionally designed ‘lifestyle’ brochure highlighting membership, experiences and amenities; explanation of offerings; membership classifications available; benefits and financial responsibilities for membership; application for consideration; and communications from the club outlining the goals and objectives of the program.
The presentation is an added bonus that shows a prospective member that the club values itself and its members. The private club experience doesn’t start when they sign on the dotted line and begin their membership, it begins when they receive their very first club communication, member endorsement and/or have the packaging in front of them.
Marketing Professionals, Membership Committees and members will naturally be more apt to take ownership of the program and increase their participation if the program is packaged and presented in an image conscious and prestigious manner. As such, it is important to ensure that the image projected by your marketing efforts be commensurate with the image that your club has spent a great deal of time establishing.
Ask for Feedback
Feedback will tell you what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong. By asking your current members for their input, you’ll be able to adjust your efforts and tools to address any problems they may have experienced. Some members may even offer some really helpful suggestions.
Feedback is also especially valuable from new members; they’re the ones most at risk for resignation. Consider a loyalty assessment or satisfaction survey to determine your new members’ feelings about your club and how the recruitment or orientation of new members could be more effective.
It takes hard work to achieve membership growth for your club, but as long as you consistently remember the needs of members – through the collection of feedback, personalization, available resources, and more – you’ll be sure to keep current members happy, and create interest among potential new members.
To read Part 1, please click Here.
If you would like assistance perfecting your current Membership Marketing Plan, or if you would like more information on how to design a plan from scratch, please Click here or call (800) 526-8794 and we can start today.