targeted lapsed member campaign

Targeted Revenue Source: Lapsed Member Recruitment [Webinar Recording]

Alex Mastrianni

At the ASAE Annual Meeting early this month, we had the pleasure of speaking to a standing-room only crowd about how to craft a successful lapsed member campaign. It was such a hot topic that we did an encore presentation yesterday for over 700+ association marketers.

Former members, previous donors, past customers – whatever you call them  – every organization has them. Too often we think of this audience as lost opportunities, but the decisions that people make to join or not join are not final decisions. They can change their minds.

We call this the forgotten lifecycle because we don’t pay much attention to the people that we used to do business with.

The American Association for Respiratory Care, AARC, turned a membership challenge into a membership opportunity. We worked with them to build a 4-step strategy that brought 800 members back within 45 days.

Like most organizations the American Association for Respiratory Care’s membership levels didn’t plummet overnight; they had telltale signs that things weren’t moving in the right direction. It had been a bit of a balancing act. Membership had been flat year over year until eventually lapsed members outpaced new member registration.

Here’s how they “stopped the bleed.”

Step 1: Analyze

The first step is to gather information and analyze. Do your upfront homework to get the value in the end.

Gather together any direct feedback from former members and current members. Exit surveys, satisfaction surveys, event follow up surveys — even talk to people in your organization’s front lines that have direct contact with your audience.

Do you know of any pain points that clouded the member’s experience? Do you know why they didn’t renew?

This information is critical, as it will lay a firm foundation for the messaging strategy.

Step 2: Target your Audience

Don’t lump all of your former members together and craft a one-size-fits-all message. Running counts on your lapsed members using different filters is an important step that is often overlooked.

What observations and insight might you get if you looked at the lapsed members from different angles?

AARC looked at members that lapsed 3 to 24 months ago and ran different profiles to see if anything popped — and it did.

Think about your lapsed members and make note of what filters you would want to use to profile your audience. When you look at segmentation from different angles, you see different things. What insightful observations could you make that could help drive content and messaging for this campaign?

Step 3: Create the Campaign

Now you can start the content creation process. Take note that this is step 3, not step 1, which is where many marketers choose to start.

It’s time to start mapping out the messaging game plan based on what you learned in steps 1 and 2. Now is the time to connect with the audience at the heart level and focus on the value for them (NOT you).

AARC identified two paths for campaign members based on why they lapsed — those who had simply forgotten to renew, and those who had lost sight of the value. Clearly the messaging should be different for these groups to truly resonate.

Step 4: Execute the Plan

Finally, execution. AARC used this time to test small segments of the lapsed members before sending messages to everyone to see what worked best.

They tested the friendly from, the subject lines, and the messages. Once satisfied that they had the winning elements, AARC put it all together and sent out the final version to the rest of the target groups.

We all know how this ends — AARC renewed over 800 members in 45 days. That’s over $64,000 in revenue that was just left on the table.

Putting It Into Action

We go into a lot more detail in the slides and recording, but this outline should get the wheels turning. How can you turn this 4-step approach into dollars for your organization?

For more ideas about getting your campaigns setup, check out our automated campaign guide today!


About the Author
Alex Mastrianni

As the Marketing Manager at Informz, Alex drives the development and implementation of our content marketing plan and marketing campaigns. Outside of work, Alex is a pop culture junkie, ice cream fanatic, and semi-pro vacation planner.