Identify the Best Member Forum Platform for the Most Member Engagement

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A member forum that empowers its participants to communicate with each other provides a benefit that improves member retention without creating something else you’ve got to fulfill. When done correctly, there will still need to be some oversight and engagement by members of your team. However, you’ll be able to rely on your members to set the agenda and provide the bulk of the content. Here are my observations, based on my own experience and what I see working for my clients. Private Facebook Group If most of your members are already on Facebook, the benefit of a “members only” private Facebook group is that popular member posts will show up in each member’s newsfeed. This is the epitome of showing up where your member is already spending their time. As a member organization, you have unprecedented access to your members’ attention. There’s never been a platform that puts your … Continued

Dependably Unpredictable

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McDonald’s is the leading franchise in the world because of its consistency and predictability. You can be on the other side of the country or around the world and when you see the Golden Arches, you know exactly what the food will taste like. There might be an independent restaurant with better food next door, but most people will never know because they’ll choose McDonald’s. McDonald’s is the safe choice. It became that way through consistency, delivering a similar experience every time. McDonald’s spends millions of dollars a year taste testing individual restaurants to ensure the food tastes the same way in California as it does in New York as it does in England. All new suppliers are put through a rigorous process to ensure the products they produce conform to McDonald’s exacting specifications. That food is going to be consistent, something Burger King has never figured out. How do … Continued

Simplify the Complex to Increase Member Engagement and Long-Term Retention

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How do you customize your marketing message to fit the variety of customers joining your program, all coming in at different skill levels? What should your offer be when some of your prospective members are head of one-person businesses while others run businesses of 20, 50, or more employees? How do you structure a new member welcome, when new members are starting at different places? Attorneys join the Personal Injury Lawyers Marketing & Management Association (PILMMA) at different stages in their law practice. One might have a solo practice, while another could have associates; still another might have a large practice with dozens of attorneys in offices around their state. Developing a member proposition was a challenge for such a diverse market. That’s when Ken Hardison, together with members of his team, Frankie Fihn and Billy Fansler, developed the Stages of Law Firm Growth chart you see here. This chart … Continued

Give Less to Increase Sales

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During a Jump Start Coaching Call coaching call, a relatively new info-marketer wanted to know why he wasn’t generating any sales from his website. He asked me to review his site for him. While the opt-in page looked ordinary enough, he had five different training videos on his sales page. He wanted to prove he would over deliver, so he over delivered on the sales page. He gave his customers two hours of training for free before he asked them to buy anything. Trouble is, the old saying is true: Absence does make the heart grow fonder. Too much of something reduces its value. You must have water to survive. But too much water isn’t any better than too little. In fact, it can kill you! Same in relationships. When you are dating someone new, you want to spend time together to form an emotional bond. You must balance that, … Continued

When You Let Up Before the Finish Line, You Lose the Race of Member Retention

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They drove 2,634 miles within 24 hours, non-stop. This is more than the distance between Daytona Beach Florida and Los Angeles California. Each team had three to four drivers taking shifts completing 740 laps around the Daytona International Speedway road course. Meanwhile, my son, Robert William, and I enjoyed watching the race from brand-new suites at the speedway. We even took part in the buffet, which included a prime rib brunch and my favorite dessert: pecan pie with ice cream and caramel sauce. While we were eating and relaxing, the drivers were pushing their cars through each turn as fast as they could go. Each car has a team of drivers taking turns to push the car to its limits through each turn for 24 straight hours. In the end, after racing for a full day, only 1.33 seconds separated the winner from the first runner-up. Any slip-up on any … Continued

The Best Type of Value to Provide

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I first noticed it in my dad’s tire store. I worked there during summer vacations from high school, changing tires and doing oil changes. There were some guys in the shop who worked hard and got a lot done, and then there were others who smoked cigarettes more than they worked on cars. Because the hard workers were almost always prompt in the mornings and worked hard throughout the day, my dad gave them the most slack on the days they were late or the times they wanted to take their kids to the doctor’s office. The guys who didn’t work as hard got sent home or were trouble if they were just a couple minutes late one morning. I took this lesson to heart and applied it to all of my work. In my first professional job, I quickly decided I’d do the work of three or four people. … Continued

What’s in it for them?

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As selfish people, we are always thinking about what we want. We want our customers to complete surveys, to confirm their opt-ins and to upgrade their memberships. Our customers are selfish people, too. While they may like us and may be willing to do us a favor, they are much more interested in doing themselves a favor. Every time you need a favor from your customers, whether it’s completing a survey, RSVPing for an event or bringing in a completed form to facilitate your on-site event registration, you must always ask by telling them how the action will benefit them. The survey is so you can provide training suited to their tastes. They are RSVPing to ensure there is a seat reserved for them. And they are printing and keeping up with their forms to speed up their time in the registration line on site. The fact that each of … Continued

Eight Goals of Your New Member Welcome Package — How Many Have You Included?

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The most important part of your new member orientation system is your member welcome package. For the Auto Training Institute, a new member welcome package contributed to longer retention, increased member lifetime value, and $1.4 million in revenue the first year it was implemented. You don’t have the opportunity to have a member for 10-months or 10-years unless you properly handle the first 10-minutes and 10-days of the relationship. Your new member welcome is the single most important part of your member relationship and, when done properly, it can earn you money each month in retained memberships. There are eight key elements needed to maximize the impact of your welcome package. In a world where Amazon.com Inc. can deliver a book, a protein bar, or a vacuum cleaner within two days, your members have little patience for anything slower from you. Your new member just input her credit card number … Continued

Your staff can create systems for you

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Tammy was at her wit’s end. Not only was she trying to keep up with two jobs, but she also had to take care of two Labrador Retrievers. In 2006, shortly after starting the Information Marketing Association, Bill Glazer and I had an idea: Let’s provide training for info-marketers’ staff. Because info-marketers are preoccupied with marketing, maybe if we trained their staff we could make sure the info-marketers received the benefit from the training in business systems and finance without them having to participate in the training themselves. I arranged to attend a Dan Kennedy Platinum Mastermind meeting. Dan invited his Platinum members to bring staff members for a special day-long mastermind meeting that I led. Eighteen staff members from around the country attended the mastermind session. The attendees represented a wide range of business sizes. One info-marketer brought two staff members out of the 31 who run his operation. … Continued

Forging a new identity, while being yourself

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I get frustrated when I hear about the social structure in high school. But then I realize it is the same everywhere else, if you let it. When my daughter, Samantha, was in high school, she had several classmates she had known for many years. They went to elementary and middle school together. But she doesn’t talk to them. Confused, I asked her why. She told me, “They are ‘populars,’ and I’m not. I hang out with the band.” Definitions can be interesting. According to high school social vernacular, “populars” doesn’t mean these students are well known or well liked; it means they are full of themselves. Samantha is looking for people who are more accepting of each other, and that’s the band kids. I don’t like this because I want everyone to like my daughter, and I want her to be the most popular kid in the school. More … Continued