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How “Combo-Promo” Marketing Can Bring in New Members

This guest blog post is written by Ashley Uhl (Manager, Meeting Planning at the American Alliance of Orthopaedic Executives and Meeting Planner at Event Garde). The original blog post was featured online by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) here.


One association looked to highly engaged nonmembers as promising new-member prospects. The membership and marketing team tested a "combo-promo" campaign, which helped increase membership and engagement rates.

When it comes to membership, most associations struggle with two things: growing the membership base and increasing event attendance and engagement.

Associations want innovative strategies to attract new members, but they also have to be simple and cost-effective. If you're looking to experiment, consider starting by targeting your engaged nonmembers with "combo-promo" campaigns. This is a marketing strategy that focuses on nonmembers who recently attended a free event and may be interested in both joining and attending future events.

This type of combined offering helped the M&A Source grow membership and engagement at the same time. Established in 1991 to support business intermediaries with middle-market mergers and
acquisitions, the M&A Source has more than 350 members involved in the mergers and acquisitions process, including intermediaries, investment bankers, attorneys, accountants, and financial planners.

A big priority for the M&A Source was conference attendance. Events were largely seen as one of the organization's biggest benefits, since they provide opportunities to learn, network, and deepen member connections. Last year, the team at Meeting Expectations, an event management and association management company, collaborated with the M&A Source to target nonmembers who had previously interacted or engaged with the organization through free, monthly webinars.

In the six months preceding the conference registration period, 173 nonmembers attended one or more webinars, compared with 167 members who attended live events. These nonmembers were sent a combo-promo campaign—a series of four emails over a three-month period offering both membership and conference registration. The promoted rate offered nonmembers a savings of 54 percent. That savings was determined using a variety of factors, including the true cost of conference attendance (incorporating food and materials) and the cost to service a new member.

The results were impressive. On average, emails to nonmembers received a 27 percent open rate, and the campaign garnered 33 new members—a 19 percent success rate among engaged nonmembers.

Top 5 Marketing Trends of 2021

It feels a bit overwhelming to be predicting what the new year may hold after powering through such an insane year. Nevertheless, there are a handful of trends we have been watching that give us a closer look into what’s to come in the world of marketing and communications in the coming year. Here are our top five:

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Now is the Time to Explore New Digital Non-Dues Revenue Streams

Associations have a unique opportunity to quickly evolve their communications approach to become more digital-centric. In turn, the addition of more digital communications allows you to open up more advertising opportunities, keeping your non-dues revenue streams flowing so operations can continue through the worst of this current crisis and prepare you for any that may come in the future. However, as you explore new digital communications your association can offer, keep these things in mind.

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By: | May, 29 2020
CommunicationMarketingVideo

Video Made the Marketing Star

Paragraphs rarely go viral. Videos do! More so than ever before, marketers are looking for a way to help their organizations and companies stand out from the crowd. Video is an excellent solution for grabbing the attention of those you wish to reach in a creative and engaging way. So, where to start? Making videos can be intimidating for a lot of folks, especially if your team is remote and expertise, time, and resources are limited. But, incorporating videos into your content marketing strategy doesn’t have to be daunting if you keep a few tips and tricks in mind. Assembled below are some best practices for creating quality videos that will help you foster deeper connections with your audience.

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Picture Perfect: Tips for Taking Great Event Photos

​In a sea of hundreds of conference pictures, a good event photo is worth a thousand words. Taking great event photos can seem like a low priority when it comes to looking at your never ending to-do checklist. However, having good photos from your conference or event will provide many uses far after the last attendee has gone home.

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SHOW ME THE IMPACT! The increased importance of sponsorship fulfillment reports.

​The idea behind sponsorship fulfillment reports is not a new one however in unprecedented times, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to help sponsors see the impact of their marketing dollars. With the pivot to virtual or hybrid events, it may be more critical to demonstrate the value to sponsor who most likely has less experience with these formats. Let’s take a quick look into the why, the what, and the how as it relates to delivering successful sponsorship fulfillment reports.

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Intentional Marketing: Shaping Stories that Resonate

As marketers, we are often at the heart of DEI discussions with opportunities to inform strategies and make an impact in the DEI space, but maybe we’re unsure of how to make that happen. Or we might find ourselves caught in the middle without much chance to weigh in before being charged with the task of communicating about DEI internally and externally. Working in a niche industry like the outdoors can add another layer of considerations and challenges into the mix. For example, ever try finding a stock image of folks in wheelchairs enjoying the outdoors (particularly a free one)? There goes your afternoon. With so many potential scenarios, what can we do to prepare ourselves?

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