Complimentary Content as a Membership Growth Strategy

Vivian Swertinski

Get noticed, then give them a reason to come back for more!

Offering complimentary samples to potential customers has long been a marketing staple for promoting consumable products. In-store marketers, tasked with promoting product consumption, generously hand out free samples to consumers passing by. For higher-value products, we see consumers willing to pay for sampling a product or brand before making an investment decision. Associations have desirable content that prospective members would find engaging, valuable, and useful for growing membership.

So what is your membership growth strategy? Do you offer complimentary content as a draw for attracting new members? Do you offer paid sampling by inviting prospective members to partake in conferences, webinars, and educational sessions, but at a non-member price? If you have a lure to attract prospective members, the next important question is, “what happens after the sampling?

The challenge for in-store marketers is that their audience walks away when the conversation is over. No follow up, no nurturing opportunity, no second chance. Game over.

For digital marketers, these limitations do not apply. This is not the END of your story! As a digital marketer you have ample opportunity to keep the conversation going.

Marketing automation technology provides you with the ability to observe and serve prospective members with purposeful content through automated email campaigns. Prospective members that sample your content and return to your website should be noticed and nurtured. You can use marketing automation technology to identify and fast track high-value prospects. You could set up an automated campaign flow that includes inbound and outbound nurturing efforts. The beauty of having marketing automation capabilities is that you can choose to communicate to prospective members as naturally as you would in person.

It’s easier than you think. Here are a few steps to get you started:

  1. Know what your target audience needs and wants with personas.
  2. Identify high-value content that speaks directly to their needs and wants.
  3. Utilize a data collection form as part of the download process.
  4. Develop a nurture communication strategy.
  5. Create automated campaigns to efficiently nurture your audience.

Don’t miss out on opportunities because you let your prospective member walk away. Savvy marketers are embracing technology as a strategy and leveraging their digital marketing assets to the fullest. I encourage you to take a self-reflective view of your website and email program and see the journey through the eyes of a prospective member. Are you making the most of your digital marketing assets?

Check out Become a Marketing Machine with Marketing Automation for more getting-started resources, including handy worksheets and templates, and learn how to make the most out of your complimentary content in meaningful marketing campaigns.

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About the Author
Vivian Swertinski

As the Strategic Services Manager at Informz, Vivian partners with clients to maximize their digital marketing efforts with customized strategies leveraging the Informz marketing automation platform. Outside of work Vivian enjoys shopping, boating and volunteering her time to help disabled individuals in the community.