Radio, Newspapers, Trade Journals, Broadcast Television, and Social Media Will Come and Go: Why Membership Will Outlive Them All


The only sustainable business model for dispensing information is membership. Membership transcends media platforms because it’s built on a relationship rather than on a delivery mechanism. But there’s a lot more to membership than gathering your employees together to announce you’ll now refer to your customers as “members.” There are three basic ways media companies support themselves: Advertising We are living through the demise of the local newspaper. While readers still pay a small “subscription” fee, the bulk of the news’ revenue is generated through advertisers. Media built upon a foundation of advertising is vulnerable to collapse. It only takes a new, more popular media to illustrate the fatal flaw of this formula. This is the same reason Facebook is doomed to the same fate as the local newspaper or national magazine. Facebook’s business model is based upon advertising. Sure, Facebook tries to be better at it by giving you … Continued

Stop Your Members From Quitting With a Transformation

Leave a Comment

I had the opportunity to meet with the owners of a terrific direct marketing resource. This resource provides a database that would be a useful shortcut to anyone creating advertising online or through email or direct mail. Yet it’s poorly subscribed to and renewals are low. This resource is being marketed as a library. A repository the marketer can refer to at any time. I asked the client, “How are libraries valued in our culture?” After a moment of silence I told him, “Not highly. That’s where the homeless people go every day, and the library isn’t helping them any.” Your customer doesn’t want a library either. A repository of products, past issues of your publications, and old recordings or video lessons are not compelling. Within seconds, your prospective member can download a lifetime of high-quality materials (audio and video) using the podcasting app on his phone. Your library isn’t … Continued

What a Former Chicago Drug Dealer Taught Me About Membership Marketing


I was on my way to Chicago to visit a client for two days of planning their new membership offering. I was late to board the plane, so first class was full except for my seat. Sitting in the seat next to mine, I saw a gentlemen who didn’t look like someone you’d ever see on a plane much less within the first class cabin. His appearance was very different than other passengers’. More gold teeth and FUBU clothes than the typical business causal you’d expect on an airplane. It didn’t matter to me; I was glad this flight had power outlets in the first-class section so I could plug in my laptop and get some writing done during the flight. As it turned out, my seatmate was chatty. Within a few minutes, he’d revealed he was on his way home after nine months of in-patient rehab. He was from … Continued

Retain Members Longer by Engagement with Your Team

Leave a Comment

Imagine you’re signing up for a new membership when you’re suddenly told you’re about to be connected with “customer service.” What image comes to mind? Is it the bad service you’ve received from other customer service departments in the past? Are you about to be delegated to the poorest trained, newest employee in the company? Now that you’ve finished your long conversation with a sales person, are you really going to have to explain everything again to someone else so they can actually get you the solutions you’ve been trying to get? It’s not likely that you are thinking, “Oh boy, now I get to talk to someone else.” And your new member isn’t thinking this either. Getting handed off is a scary experience for your new member. They don’t know who your people are. They don’t know that these people are the ones who actually create solutions for your … Continued

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

Leave a Comment

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

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

1 Comment

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 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

Generating Product Sales and New Memberships by Giving Away Books

Leave a Comment

The most expensive part of running a membership program is recruiting new members. Willie Miranda is generating leads, product buyers, and new members in the real estate niche using his new book, “How to Not Get Your Ass Kicked in the Real Estate Business.” After creating his own successful real estate brokerage company, Willie has been a coach to the real estate industry for several years. Last year he launched his new product teaching agents how to get more listings and sell more homes through referrals. His focus now is on using that product revenue to invest in marketing and grow his membership. It’s worth checking out Willie’s site and getting his book so you can see the videos he’s created to upsell the individuals who take him up on his free book offer. Even if you don’t get the book, from the landing page video, you can see Willie’s … Continued

The Member Retention Secret That Doesn’t Require Creating More

Leave a Comment

I have taken the family to New York City between Christmas and New Year’s a few times, but we’ve never been there for the big night — the ball drop on New Year’s Eve. This year I decided to brave it. We stayed at the Renaissance Times Square. This made waiting a lot more convenient since we didn’t have to do it like everyone else, standing around in a corral all day. It is amazing that more than a million people flock to the area each year to catch a glimpse of the ball drop. On Broadway and Seventh, the police set up corrals for the revelers. As the corrals closest to Times Square were filled, the police would move up the street to create the next corral. These corrals filled the street from Times Square all the way to Central Park, more than a half mile away. Yes, both … Continued

The Single Most Powerful Member Recruitment and Retention Tool


There are three key decision points in your membership lifecycle. All of which can swing in your favor with the same tool. Before I explain the tool and how you can use it, here are those decision points: When a potential member is considering joining your program. When a new member is trying to find time to engage in your materials to get value. When an existing member is deciding whether or not to retain his or her membership. It’s at each of these points that a well-crafted client case study can make the difference between a long-term member or a member gone forever. Really? A client case study? Yes. These case studies and client stories are the most powerful tools you have on your side to foster strong relationships with potential members, new members, and long-time members. The publishing industry has undergone a huge transformation in recent years with … Continued

What the Presidential Race Reveals About How You Can Build a Vibrant Tribe of Supporters

1 Comment

Over the last couple of months, I’ve seen a lot of The Skrob Report readers at mastermind meetings and events like GKIC’s Info-SummitSM and Infusionsoft’s PartnerCon. Everywhere I go, friends and readers of The Skrob Report ask me about the upcoming Presidential elections. Readers ask me who I think will win. Then they want to tell me who they think will win. I know who is not going to win, and that’s Donald Trump. The national polls are irrelevant, even though voting is set to start in less than a month. The reason? The national polls contemplate a national popular vote election for the Republican nomination which doesn’t happen. Instead, individual states vote over the course of several months from February to May. During this period, individual states vote on a nominee. When you look at the state-by-state breakdown for Donald Trump, it’s not so “amazing” for the billionaire. Over … Continued