Membership Marketing Update
Because new member recruitment efforts have been disappointing, the membership and marketing
team made a decision to focus on retention and renewal this year. We introduced the book of the
month offer that is available to members only as a recruitment strategy (with a 9-18% conversion rate
and increase in books sales). An email was delivered yesterday asking members to update their
membership records. A follow-on printed piece will be mailed to those who don’t respond to the email.
We are continuing to find ways to make additional member-only offers to increase retention and
We have engaged a marketing firm to do some focus group interviews with the funds that we would
have used for new member recruitment. These focus group sessions are intended to help us uncover the
reasons for joining/renewing/not-renewing with AIAA, possible programmatic improvements, and help
us to better understand the needs of our customers. We will use the intelligence gathered to improve
our new member recruitment outreaches.
The marketing and production teams (and other interested staff) participated in a direct marketing class
customized by the Direct Marketing Association in March. Based on the exercises from that class, we
developed some very targeted messaging for membership renewals to test against the messaging that
we are currently using. Unfortunately, the test messages are not performing as well as the control email
messaging. We will continue to test messages to improve conversions.
Marketing is assessing the entire Institute’s marketing budget for FY12 and has made some suggested
shifts in funding to put emphasis in areas that will make a higher, long-term impact. For instance,
they’ve suggested an increase for student membership, honors and awards, and events marketing as
these areas impact new member recruitment and long-term membership retention.
Marketing has been working with the core team on website redesign. The business goals for the new
website, in order of importance:
1. Increase customer retention for members and non-members
2. Be a source of information and expertise
3. Enhance member and customer value
4. Develop new business opportunities and markets
5. Increase revenue
6. Increase market penetration across organic and new areas
In order to meet these goals, the entire website experience will be overhauled, including
navigation, functionality, and design. The goal for initial launch is early Fall 2011.