It’s that time of the year again! Marketing General Incorporated (MGI) just released what we believe to be one of the most valuable studies in the association space - their 2017 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report.
This is the 9th year MGI has conducted this benchmarking survey, and it gives great insights into how associations (in the U.S. and around the world) are recruiting, engaging, and retaining members.
This year, MGI surveyed 1,005 unique associations, and the results are fascinating. Below are just a few of the study’s key findings:
- Overall, close to half of associations report increases in membership over the past year (46%).
- The top two recruitment methods for new members are word-of-mouth recommendations (68%) and email (54%).
- For all associations, networking with others in the field is considered the top reason that members join the organization (55%).
- 51% of associations send a mailed welcome kit to new members. 81% send a welcome email.
- 69% of associations saw an increase in participation in their public social network. The use of private social networks also continues to increase (60% of associations saw an increase in participation over the last year).
- Only 13% of associations saw a decrease in attendance at their annual conference/trade show.
- Associations with an 80% or higher renewal rate are significantly more likely to offer a grace period (85% vs. 73%).
- 62% of associations begin their renewal efforts at least three months prior to expiration, with the three-month mark being the most popular start time (36%).
- 79% of associations indicate that email marketing is the most effective marketing channel for renewals.
Now we want to circle back to bullet point #1 for a second. Why the increase in membership growth? Well it appears that many associations are more effectively reaching out to upcoming generations of members. In fact, associations estimate that about 21% of members are Millennials or Gen Z.
Are you seeing similar trends at your association? Are you noticing an increase in younger members? If not and you need help recruiting (or even just engaging) younger members, check out our free guide, How to Engage Different Generations at Your Association.
And for more insights regarding how other associations are recruiting, engaging, and retaining members, check out MGI’s 2017 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report!