Friday, November 20, 2009

Continue Efforts to Reinstate Former Members

Posted by Princess Eva Angelica at 1:47 PM
The other day, I was presenting some of the membership research and one of the audience members expressed shock that our data suggested not giving up on trying to reinstate former members. “The former members left the organization. Why would you keep trying to bring them back?”

I thought that it might be of interest to share some real world response rates that support the point of working to restore the membership relationship with an expired member.

With one client organization, we regularly market to former members and ask them to reinstate their membership. In fact, we go back to members who expired in the year 2000. These members who have been gone for nine years still produce a very nice return -- 40% margin over marketing costs. On the other hand, for this organization, reaching out to those who have never been a member actually produces a return well below breakeven.

One note to remember, going back to former members only works if there has been good database hygiene practices in place. Running records through National Change of Address (NCOA) which corrects records going back for up to 48 months needs to be done on a regular basis. Also USPS Ancillary Service Endorsements should be used. "Ancillary service endorsements are used by mailers to request an addressee's new address and to provide the USPS with instructions on how to handle undeliverable-as-addressed pieces." There are a number of options available, so take a look at the link.

It is almost always a safe bet to reach out to former members as a first priority over prospects who have never been members.

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