How Charity: Water Transforms Donors into Members

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It's focused on the feeling of why members joined

If you haven’t yet discovered Charity: Water, you should check them out right now, visit and watch the video. By bringing people clean, healthy water, they are preventing hundreds of other problems, enabling children to get an education and helping people build an economy. It’s an organization that’s changing lives in an important way. Beyond that, Charity: Water has been successful in reaching a donor segment that’s previously ignored charities — young people. The average age of a Charity: Water donor is decades younger than most organizations. These donors have made Charity: Water the single largest water charity in the United States today, even though the organization launched just 10 years ago. In the last few months, Charity: Water has launched their new membership program called The Spring. This is an opportunity to turn one-time donors into members who give monthly. Rather than feeling great about supporting efforts to … Continued

How the Largest Direct Response Marketing Company Communicates with Its New Members

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Communicating with your New Members

No one woke up this morning and said, “I hope today is the day I get an email.” I remember a day when I looked forward to receiving an email. It made me feel important that someone thought enough about me to send me an electronic message. Today, you, your prospective members, and I are receiving a deluge of email. We’d all prefer to receive fewer emails, not more of them. This can present a challenge when the core products you are selling are a series of email newsletters. One of the largest newsletter publishers in the world could be a company you’ve never heard of — The Agora. This is a $1.4 billion company headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, that has divisions around the world publishing financial investing advice, health information, and variety of other topics. I’ve had the honor of working with two Agora divisions in Baltimore, Agora Financial … Continued

Onboarding that Stops Members from Quitting

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Stops Members from Quitting

If your goal is to add 1000 new members this month but had 300 members cancel their membership, then 30 percent of your the marketing expense, your copywriting efforts and the efforts of your sales team were expended to replace members you once had. Think about that effort and expense for a moment. All just to try to stay even. Thirty percent of your month invested to keep from falling behind. It’s even worse if you experience significant refunds. Now you’ve got to expend more marketing dollars just to get back to the revenue number you thought you had achieved. Churn, cancels and refunds have been accepted as a normal part of subscription businesses. Yes, there will always be churn and some of it is normal and healthy, you can’t please everyone. But if you consider the percentage of your marketing efforts are devoted to replacing members who quit and … Continued

Creating a Subscription Business for Long-Term Growth is Worth the Investment

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Creating a Subscription Business for Long-Term Growth

Sitting in a cab, stopped in traffic, in the dark, at 5:53 am, 17 degrees outside. There’s a long line of cars sitting on the highway, each waiting to enter the Laguardia Airport. Ramit, my cab driver, tells me Laguardia has been under construction for the last two years. And, it’ll take another two years to finish the new terminal. Meanwhile we wait as traffic tries to squeeze from three lanes to one in a construction zone. Several passengers have given up on riding to the airport. They have leapt out of their Ubers and cabs and are dragging their suitcases to the airport on foot, through the snow banks on the side of the road. Hurrying to get to the gate before their flight departs. I’m in New York City for consulting days with two clients. I love my New York City clients, in May. January is too cold … Continued

Your Biggest Membership Retention Breakthroughs Always Come from a Better Understanding of Your Members

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Biggest Membership Retention Breakthroughs Always Come from a Better Understanding of Your Members

There are more than 18 million high school students in the United States. What if you had the secret for making a student completely successful? What if you could enable them to quickly learn their lessons, perform well on tests and handle social situations with ease? Even if you sold this secret for $10.00, that’s more than $180 million. And, the good news, there will be a new crop of high school students to sell this secret to next year. It’s a never-ending gold mine. When looking at a population, it’s easy to make broad assumptions about their motivations. For high school students, on the surface it’s easy to believe students are interested in improving their academic performance. After all, students spend more time in classes at school than anything else they are doing. Certainly, it’s safe to assume that every student would want to know how to improve their … Continued

Illustrated: How to Make Your Member the Hero of His Own Story

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Make Your Member the Hero of His Own Story

Have you ever been disappointed when the secret behind a magic trick was revealed to you? At first you were amazed when the trick was performed. It’s amazing to see a skilled magician executing a trick so perfectly you can’t imagine how he did it, except by some form of magic. For instance, I always thought the David Blaine levitation trick was just amazing. He just lifted up off the ground. But, from a different angle you could see he’s just lifting his body with the front of one foot while keeping his heels together. From the back you can’t see that foot and the trick looks amazing. And, as long as you don’t know the trick, it does look amazing. And, when used with skill, it makes the performer look, well, magical. There’re a lot of these tricks in marketing. There are tricks that get stated so many times … Continued

Your Membership Renewal Results Depend on a Lot More Than Your Renewal Notice

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Your Membership Renewal Results

When you are ready for a good cry, do a YouTube search for “marriage proposal.” There are thousands of amazing videos with gentlemen (and ladies) making marriage proposals. If it doesn’t make you emotional, nothing will. It’s impressive how many different ways there are to propose. Skywriting is so passe. There’s the surprise proposal at a sporting event, the boyfriend as a hospital patient turned proposal, fancy custom written songs, jumping out of airplanes, and I even saw a proposal in a duck blind. While the proposals can be impressive, the answer delivered in response to the proposal is always based more on the relationship leading up to the proposal than it is on the proposal itself. Sure, it’s good to make it nice. But in reality, if the relationship isn’t there, the answer will be “no.” And, trying to deliver an elaborate proposal when there’s not a good relationship … Continued

How to Compete and Win Against the Biggest Publishers in the World

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What if you had to compete against the Wall Street Journal, Investors Daily, Financial Times, Barron’s, MSNBC, Yahoo Finance and thousands of other paid and free resources. Dan Fink, managing director of Money-Media, offers innovative solutions and lessons learned from his years of competing against some of the biggest publishers in the world, and winning. “It’s really about having a 365-day mentality that if you’re going to try and renew these people a year later, your job starts in day one to make sure that they have a good experience all year long. And then the pressure’s off when renewal time comes.

How to Create Great Content That Your Subscribers Want and Will Pay For

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How to Create Great Content That Your Subscribers Want and Will Pay For

The real money in a subscription business is not in getting new subscribers, it is in keeping them and increasing their value. They might visit if your sales process is good, but they’ll only stay if your content is truly engaging and you are communicating with them in an entertaining and engaging way.

Jim Sinkinson founded Infocom Group in 1980 and sold it in 2015. The company produced online data services, newsletters, webinars, books, special reports, ad-based media, live professional development conferences and seminars for the PR/corporate communications market. Continued

It’s 2018. Are You Choosing High Membership Churn or Fast Membership Growth?


Are You Choosing High Membership Churn or Fast Membership Growth

Thousands of people died from infections in 1846, while doctors refused to admit they could be spreading disease from one patient to another. Yet when Hungarian doctor, Ignaz Semmelweis, promoted the idea that doctors wash their hands and medical instruments with soap and chlorine between patients he was ridiculed, even after he was proven to be correct. The way we do things gets ingrained, we develop patterns for completing projects quickly. And with the never-ending anxiety from approaching deadlines, it’s a lot easier to get something done, than rethink why and how you are doing it. Over the last 12 months I’ve encountered hundreds of instances of membership programs doing things because that’s the way they’ve always done them. And they’ve showed me, with pride, the onboarding campaigns they’ve created for their newest members that ignore all of what we’ve discovered that generates engagement, retention and increases revenue through upsells. … Continued