Do you have the guts?

19Mar09

A break from our regularly scheduled programming to bring this to your attention…

Today I was going through my reader and stumbled upon this blog post by David Meerman Scott about what AIIM is doing to help gain new members in this rough economic time. They are letting new members name their own price for membership.

I don’t know if I’ve ever heard of an association doing this! I have mixed feelings on this. From a marketing perspective you are allowing people to put a monetary value on the association (good or bad), so you get a great sense of what people think your association is worth. On the membership retention side, what happens after the first year? What if they feel that your dues amount isn’t reflective of what they receive. Well, I kind of think that that is good information to have personally. It allows you to be flexible and really focus on what your new members FEEL that they are getting. It’s the the aftershock so to speak of their act of joining.

My one concern is about the members you already have though. What are they saying about this? One thing I’ve learned in associations is that you can’t cast anyone off, you DO have to try and please everyone because you are an association for the profession (or trade). I’m wondering if this program was something that came from the membership at large or was run by them at all? Is this something that was hatched in a committee and then passed through? Just kind of curious where the idea came from and whether or not the membership had a say in it on more than just a Board level.

I will say bravo to AIIM for letting go of control and letting members tell them what they are worth! They’ve got the spirit of social media in their veins, don’t they?

AIIM’s President’s Blog

~Lynn

Update: After doing a little further digging I realized that the offer was only for a certain, short period of time (a few days), which I think make the offer sensitive to those who have been members.  And from the look of the comments the President posted on his blog (besides the almost 200 people who took them up on their offer!) it looks like people liked it and appreciated that THEIR association was willing to take a little out of their own pockets to help them. Job well done AIIM!

One question: Was the program for band new members to the association or for anyone wanting to renew or join?

Relating this to my other life: There are a lot of theaters out there that do this type of thing as well. It’s a great way to get people in the door who have never been in a theater. 🙂

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