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Partnership v. Membership: Is There a Membership Role for Suppliers?

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In my previous post in this series, I concluded with the question: What role, if any, does supplier membership play in this ecosystem?

Partnership v. Membership: What Behavior Do You Want to Encourage?

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That question is not rhetorical. Corporate membership can be complicated. To being with, there are at least two main types: Companies that are your core audience (i.e., trade associations’ typical members). Companies that are NOT your core audience (i.e.,

Partnership v. Membership: Prospecting Dos and Don’ts

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In Lewis’s last post in our ongoing series , he shared some great advice on prospecting for corporate partners. Lewis highlighted DO items, such as: Weed out “dead ends” Understand your potential partners’ business challenges and goals for your audiences. Focus on mutual benefit. He also called out time-wasters to eliminate (I love that framing!), such as: Pursuing a company that has no connection to your profession/industry.

Partnership v. Membership: Defining Terms

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Lewis and I are both going to take a crack at this topic, and I’ve elected to go first. I see partnership and membership as being founded on the same broad idea: individuals or organizations that seek some type of a relationship with an association.

Membership Q&A: When Should I Ask Them to Join?

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What is the ideal time to ask a prospect to join? This is actually two questions: When in the cycle of relationship should I invite a prospect to join? When in the cycle of the year should I invite a prospect to join? Relationship. The glib answer is: “When she’s ready to say yes.” ” Hopefully, the follow up question has already occurred to you: “How do I know when that is?”

Membership Q&A: Why Won’t They Join?

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Why aren’t our prospects joining our association? They don’t see value in joining. Let’s unpack that a little bit. The reason they don’t see value in joining may be because they don’t see it YET, or it may be because it isn’t there. They don’t see value yet. What that means is that you’re moving too fast.

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Membership Q&A: Calendar v. Anniversary Renewals?

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Which is more member-centric? In most cases, an anniversary renewal cycle – that is, I renew at same time as I joined (or renewed) last year – is going to make the most sense to your members. My annual membership starts when I pay, and I get 12 months of service for my dues. A calendar renewal cycle is generally seen as association-centric. We renew everyone at the same time, on a cycle that’s driven by our business needs (often tied to the association’s fiscal year).

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Membership Q&A: How Long Should Our Grace Period Be?

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Ah, the grace period, the bane of the membership profession’s experience. Should we have a grace period at all? How long should it be? I will admit to being a hard-ass about grace periods. My preference is none. If your membership lapses on July 31, 2019, then your access is cut off as of 12:01 am August 1. Remember how I recently wrote about rewarding the behavior you want to encourage ?

Influence Across America

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Thanks to the generosity of my friend and colleague Ed Barks , I had the opportunity to attend Influence Across America: The Rise of State and Local Power and the Impact of Digital Media , a National Digital Roundtable panel event at the Newseum earlier this week.

Membership Q&A: Don’t Leave Us!

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What’s the #1 reason a long-standing member would not renew? As Dr. Theodore Woodward of the University of Maryland School of Medicine taught his med students in the 1940: “When you hear hoofbeats, think of horses not zebras” For our purposes, that means start with the obvious: Did that member switch careers or retire? If so, you may have to chalk this one up to “forces beyond our control,” and let that person go.

Membership Q&A: What’s the Most Effective Renewal Cycle?

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When is the best time of the year to begin renewal communications to members? How many notices should we send? Should we send paper or electronic notices? What should we send WITH the notices? I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there is no one right answer to these questions. There are some good guidelines, which we’ll go over in a minute, but really, you have to test different options and, more importantly, PAY ATTENTION to what happens.

What Should We Do to Get Ready for Blockchain?

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One of the key elements of blockchain networks is the network. This technology is a system-level technology. What that means is that its true power lies in the network effect, in the system.

How Will Blockchain Affect My Members?

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As you may recall from my previous post on my new whitepaper, Blockchain for Associations: Separating the Hype from the Promise , my co-author Shelly Alcorn and I think that this is the REAL question association execs need to be asking ourselves right now.

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Should Associations Care About Blockchain?

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And if so, why? Blockchain for Dummies offers some qualifying questions when you’re trying to figure out whether blockchain is an appropriate solution for your association and for which projects: Do we need to track transactions that involve more than two parties?

What IS Blockchain?

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At it’s most basic level, blockchain is a ledger-style database. “Wait a second!” ” you might say. “There are PLENTY of database options out there. Why do we need ANOTHER one?”

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Membership 101: Who Counts?

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Who do you consider to be your members? That seems like an easy question: “Anyone whose dues are current,” right? But if you dig a little deeper, it quickly gets a lot more complicated. Do you offer a grace period? Are there ways to pay other than money?

Membership 101: Ladders of Engagement Revisited

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Once members join, the next question becomes: How do you keep them? How do you build real relationships over time that deepen your commitment to each other and lead to long-term loyalty on both sides? The answer is ladders of engagement.

Member Q&A: Who Makes the Call?

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Who should make contact around things like joining and renewing: other members or staff? Member-to-member (or member-to-prospect) communications can be very effective, IF you can persuade your members to actually make the calls. We’re often tempted to ask volunteers to call lapsed members – in fact, that can be a stated requirement of serving on a membership committee.

Membership 101: The Role of Volunteerism

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“Engaged members renew. Disengaged members don’t.” ” If you’ve been around the association industry for more than a few minutes, you’ve undoubtedly heard at least one membership professional say that. Volunteerism is a MAJOR opportunity for engagement.

Membership 101: The Full Series

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I’ve gotten through all the topics I had planned for the Membership 101 series, which leads to two additional questions: What did I miss? Are there membership topics you were hoping I’d cover that I never did? So then you might ask: “Um, what were all the topics you covered again?”

Membership 101: What IS “Engagement,” Anyway?

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Association membership professionals, particularly in the last several years, talk about engagement A LOT. We want our members to be more engaged. We want to measure engagement. We want to score engagement. We want to reward engagement.

Membership 101: Exit Surveys

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Sometimes, despite your best efforts to understand your members’ most pressing problems and most important goals, and provide solutions for them, members lapse. What happens next? You should try to find out why they left.

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Retention is a Relationship

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And you can’t claim to have a relationship with people you don’t know.

Four Keys to Writing Good Marketing Copy

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How do you write good marketing copy? In a nutshell: Think about your audience. Who are they? What do you know about them? Use that information to craft a personalized message. Talk like a real person, and write like you speak. Shorter and simpler is better than longer and more complex.

Seven Keys to Great Testimonials

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One of the best ways to promote your association and its programs, products, and services is to let your members, customers, audiences, and other stakeholders do it for you. In other words, to use testimonials.

Membership 101: What About Trade Associations?

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If you’ve been following the Membership 101 series, you may be wondering: “What about trade associations? A lot of your advice seems directed to individual membership/professional associations. My members are companies/institutions. Does your advice still hold?” ” The answer?

Letter to John Graham and Scott Wiley

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Monday, November 21, 2016. John Graham, President & CEO, ASAE. Scott Wiley, Chairman, ASAE. Dear John and Scott: This letter is a call for meaningful community-wide dialogue and action on behalf of a nation at risk. One week ago, Associations Now Daily announced that ASAE signed a National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) letter “to the president-elect” expressing a desire to “work productively” with the incoming administration.

The Passive Experienced Member

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The MCI Group recently released the American Engagement Index 2017 (the link takes you to a page where you can enter your contact information to get your own copy, and you really should).

Membership Q&A: Networking Events

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What is the best type of networking event to hold to get the maximum member engagement? It depends. I know, I say that a lot.

Membership 101: Reinstatement

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Hopefully, your exit survey recaptured a number of your members who lapsed due to inattention. What about the ones who lapsed for cause? Is it worth trying to get them back? Yes, with some conditions.

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Q&A on D&I

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Did you miss the July 12 webinar my Include Is a Verb co-author Sherry Marts and I presented for the Wild Apricot Experts series on living your talk on D+I? Never fear!

Membership 101: Should You Reward Novelty or Loyalty?

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It’s a trick question! You should reward both. . Associations generally do a good job rewarding novelty. The new member gets the special rate. The first time attendee gets the unique badge ribbon and the exclusive reception with the board of directors and committee chairs.

Rethinking What It Means to Be a Member

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A few months ago, I had a chance to sit down (virtually) with Beth Brodovsky and talk about what’s changing in membership relationships. The podcast is out !

Membership 101: Effective Renewal Cycles

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At some point, after generating leads and nurturing relationships and persuading people to join and helping them find their own individual engagement paths, it’s time to ask your members to renew, to stick with you another year.

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Where are the YPs?

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“How can I recruit young professional members if there are no young professionals entering our industry?” ” I’ve been thinking about this question a lot recently, not least of which because I have a client that is in this EXACT situation.

Membership Q&A: Is There a Tipping Point?

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Is there a “tipping point” when too many benefits start to get lost in the shuffle? . People associate because they’re trying to accomplish something or solve a problem that they’ve been unable to do alone. So yes, your members come to you looking for something in particular – help solving a particular problem that has so far proved intractable or achieving a particular goal that has so far proved unattainable.

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Membership Q&A: How Much Is TOO Much?

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How many follow up touch points is too many follow up touch points? When are we just getting annoying? A good general rule is: As long as you’re still getting enough response to justify the investment of resources in the touch point, keep going. But how do you know? You have to pay attention to the response rate you get from each communication. Open rate matters, and per the INFORMZ 2017 Association Email Benchmarking Report , you should be looking for an open rate of around 35%.

Five Tips to Increase Your Email Open Rate

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Want to increase your bulk email open rate? Of course you do! The subject is the most important part of the email. Spend time writing a meaningful one that will ensure your recipient will open and read more.

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Bridging the Education to Employment Gap Will Take An Industry-Wide Movement

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I recently had the opportunity to contribute to Association Success’s SURGE 2018 spring conference, hosting a “monitor-side chat” with Shelly Alcorn and Tracy Petrillo on the association role in the new educational paradigm.

What Really Worked in 2016?

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Beth Brodovsky, who hosts the Driving Participation podcast (and if you haven’t checked it out yet, what are you waiting for?) recently asked a bunch of her former guests this insightful question for a year-end episode.

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