Marketing General (more precisely Tony Rossell) has just released their second annual Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report. Tony recaps the top 10 findings in a great post at the Membership Marketing blog.
A few things in particular jumped out at me:
Association membership is in trouble – 48% of respondents have seen a decline in overall membership in the past year, and it’s down across the board – first year renewals, acquisition, and long-term retention – and the trades are in worse shape than the professional societies.
The reasons people could choose for not renewing basically all relate to money – because, let’s face it, even though “lack of value” was the #1 reason given, what that really translates to is: what I got wasn’t worth what I paid for it.
On social media, 92% of the associations that responded have some presence on social media. Interestingly, although Facebook tops the list, when asked which social media technologies are most effective, the majority picked old skool listervs and a plurality picked private-label socnets.
Direct mail still ranks at the top of recruitment efforts, with word of mouth, although personal sales calls have moved into a close third. The larger the organization (number of members), the higher the reliance on direct mail. But I suspect that’s caused by the fact that large numbers of members usually translates to a low dues amount personal membership, which means it’s more like a small donor fundraising relationship, where direct mail is still king.
The percentage of associations who report that members are joining for access to information is WAY down, which again, given the ubiquity of free information on most topics on the web, is not that surprising. It does point up the need Jeff De Cagna’s been promoting recently for associations to curate the flow of information for our members, though. Number one? Networking.
Lots of other good information to comb through – go download a free copy for yourself.