by Frank Kenny
Wouldn’t it be great if you had plenty of time to look for membership leads? You would scour newspapers, social media, trade journals, and other sources for hours, looking for people and businesses that should be members of your organization.
And wouldn’t it be great if you had time in your schedule to meet one-on-one with leads to tell them about your organization and find out if they were truly a hot prospect? You would sit and visit with them and discuss their wants and needs. You would have the time to get to know their problems and areas of interest. You would look for ways your product and services solve problems for them.
Further, you would meet with them on multiple occasions during the sales process, never rushing or coming across as needy and pushy because you have all the time in the world. You would just focus on them and their needs.
When the sale did occur, you would thoughtfully onboard the new members to bring them into the family. You would introduce them to your board and staff. You would make sure they were brought aboard systematically over weeks or even months because you would have the time to do it right. They wouldn’t be overwhelmed, and you could make sure they were using membership benefits.
Wouldn’t this be great? But guess what? We don’t live in a perfect world, and you don’t have this kind of time.
That’s why you need to learn about—and start using—marketing automation. Marketing automation allows you to generate leads, turn leads into prospects, convert them into paying members, and correctly onboard them, so they become members for life.
Sound ideal, right?
Let’s go through the simple steps to set up this kind of marketing automation system:
- First, invest in a marketing automation tool. GrowthZone has a built-in marketing automation module. ConstantContact and MailChimp offer this too. The price and difficulty in the use of these systems have decreased significantly over the years.
- Next, create and offer a lead magnet to collect email contact info—request permission to market to those who download the lead magnet.
- Once you have the contact info, use a simple 3-step drip welcome email campaign to turn the leads into prospects. This series of emails introduce your organization to the leads and builds interest in your programs and services.
- Next, use a simple 3-step conversion drip email campaign to make the entry-level offer. The first email explains what they will gain by joining. The second explains how joining just makes good business sense. The third is based on the fear of missing out. All contain an entry-level offer, not the full membership sale. The goal is to get them to say “yes” to you again.
- Follow up with those who take advantage of your entry-level offer with a membership sales call or another email with an offer of full membership.
- Use your onboarding email campaign to onboard the new members so they begin utilizing the benefits of membership and remain members for life.
- If your prospect did not immediately join from this first attempt, keep them on your nurture list, and run them through additional conversion series until they do. Some may never join, but they often become champions for your organization.
It takes a bit of setup but once up and running, your organization’s marketing automation system will be working for you 24/7/365, giving you back your time while growing your membership.
Frank Kenny is an internationally recognized author, professional speaker, and consultant. He is the founder of the Chamber Focus Show and the Chamber Professionals Community Group on Facebook.
Over the past ten years, Frank has helped hundreds of chambers reach their goals with staff and member training, strategic planning, board retreats and orientations, social media, digital marketing, technology, and more.