to Increase Your Member ROI Quotient
Ed Rigsbee, CSP, CAE
your membership organization wants to grow, engage industry stakeholders
through delivering honest and usable value. The universal thought that is
whirling around in everyone’s mind is, “What’s in it for me?”
Perception is reality; and today’s associations and societies must get
real about the ROI (return on investment). While most really do not know
how much ROI they deliver, just delivering ROI is no longer good enough;
today you have to prove high-level ROI to keep members and recruit new
delivery is both an art and a science. The science is adding up the
numbers and disseminating the information. The art is in managing the
member perception of value. You must prove to your industry that
membership in your organization is a good business decision. To do this,
you must manage your resources in a new way.
Giving It Away
is huge, please take notice! There is an omnipresent erroneous belief
among association professionals and volunteer leaders that, “If
we give it away to non-members they will see the value and join.”
Nothing could be farther from the truth. When you give away, for example,
your legislative updates, newsletters, and magazines, all you are really
doing is reducing the value your members receive for their membership
dollars and minimizing the motivation of non-members to join. Why should
the non-member join? Look at all the value you are giving them for a zero
investment. The cold hard truth is that if they haven’t joined by now,
they’re not going to join.
a Price on It
will dramatically increase your member ROI. Anything that you make
available to members should exhibit an honest “retail” price;
everything from electronic newsletters to member lists to legislative
updates—everything. To legitimize the price, offer those products,
services, and access to non-members at the stated retail price. Don’t
think outsiders will pay? Think again, and, regardless of if non-members
purchase these items or not, you are stating the value (ROI) your members
receive. Do not make the mistake of letting members just think it’s
your members call the headquarter office for advise when they get into a
jam? Send them an invoice, zeroed out with an equal discount, just like
any other professional service provider would do. This goes for other
services the association provides “free of charge” for its members.
Every single day of the week you have to remind your members of the
real-dollar value they receive because of their membership in your
organization. Keep the value fresh in their heads and they will remember
when it is time to renew.
Else Do You Have to Sell?
gold hidden in your organization’s dusty shelves and computer files.
Look around your organization for items, services, and various methods of
access that might be perceived by non-members highly valuable. Put a
retail price on those items and services, and make them available to
non-members at the retail price and to members at no charge or a greatly
discounted price. The differential will add to your members’ perception
of their yearly membership ROI.
rub here might be that some of your board members still hold on to their
antiquated belief that all of the above is sacred and proprietary
information and thereby not to be disseminated. Come on, it’s the
twenty-first century, let’s move on and provide as much ROI for your
members as possible.
ask your members to send you a check each year. And, each year when they
write out that check they have to make a new decision to buy. Make it easy
for your members to see that it is a good business decision to hold
membership in your organization. Do this through higher ROI delivery and
perception and guess what? They will become membership evangelists for
your organization and convince their colleagues, many that you might never
reach, to also join and partake of the plentiful ROI.
© 2011-2013 Ed Rigsbee
Rigsbee, CSP, is an internationally recognized expert on business
partnering and strategic alliances. He has authored three books and over
1,500 articles on organizational collaborations. He travels
internationally delivering keynote presentations and multi-day workshops
for corporate and non-profit audiences. Ed has received the coveted Certified
Speaking Professional designation from the National Speakers
Association, one that is enjoyed by only about 10% of the membership in
the Global Speakers Federation.
Chief Member Evangelist at Rigsbee Research Consulting Group, he is
frequently engaged by trade associations and professional societies to
facilitate board strategic retreats, conduct organic member recruitment
campaigns, and help associations to determine their ROI quotient through
his proprietary, Member Value
his spare time, he serves as the Executive Director of the Cigar PEG,
Inc., (US Internal Revenue Service recognized non-profit public charity).
Rigsbee may be contacted through www.rigsbee.com
Articles on This Topic
Association Membership ROI from Paul Bridle on Vimeo.
Valuation Session with Ed and Travel Expense to Any Location in the United
States or North America.
plus $950 Travel Expense. Click here to charge $3,450 to your card: then
call Ed to book a date.