Sunday, May 28, 2017

Is your new member pitch angering your current members?

Generating new members is a key component of association member development programs.

Most associations search for incentives that entice nonmembers to join. And aggressively recruit new members via direct mail, social media, one-on-one calling and other tools.

But, here’s the thing, if you offer incentives to join, what does that say to current members who joined or renewed before you offered new member incentives?

Two recent “pitches” to sign up for affinity credit cards made me feel stupid for getting the credit card before the incentive and made me realize that’s how current association members may feel too!

The first pitch (above) came from the credit card bank (from which I currently have a card) and offered up to $500 cash bonuses for opening a new credit card account. No mention of a bonus for current card holders. I thought about cancelling my current card and signing up for a new one so I could “earn” the bonus.

The second pitch (above) came from an airline credit card (which I already have) and offered up to 60,000 bonus miles IF I would sign up for the card and use it. Again, no mention of a bonus for a current card holder. Doesn’t make me a “happy camper” as I’ve had this card for about 15 years and have not been offered a “bonus” for renewing.

Perhaps associations should develop incentive programs for renewals too!

What do you think? Go to and enter your comment or, email your comment to me at

1 comment:

  1. My association experience was this past month with an organization I have been a member of for 19 years. My first disappointment with the group was my earning my certification. No one called to tell me I had earned it. A letter with the announcement came a week after the monthly magazine arrived with my credentials announced in the mailing label. As they would boast of how few people earned the credentials, I thought something more was deserved.

    In March, the association sent an email telling me dues were to be paid. A second email came in late April. When the due date passed, there was a phone call to me some two weeks later with an offer to "help me renew". I told the person I would not be renewing.

    Three days later the same person called with the same offer. Another week later the same person called and I suggested he take notes of my decision. This past week I received an email from this person with a fourth offer to help.

    My response was that I heard more from the association after I left than the 19 years I was a member.

    Yes, Steve, what are associations doing about their current members?