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Are Your Vendors Engaged? Would You Like Them to Be?

Are Your Vendors Engaged? Would You Like Them to Be?

Rumor has it, in some association circles, trade show attendance is struggling. This could spell trouble for how vendor members find value in belonging to your organization. While some industries may be feeling the pain more than others, it is never a bad time to think about the ways you are engaging your vendor/supplier members. Read on for a handful of ideas on engaging your vendor-side members in effective and successful ways.

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The Return of Print Marketing (And Why It Matters for Your Association)

Posted by Callie Walker

Print Marketing.jpg

Exciting news, association pros! Print marketing ISN’T dead! I was tuned into Kiki L'Italien’s Association Chat the other day with special guest Tom Morrison, and Tom made a comment that REALLY made my ears perk up: Print marketing is making a comeback!

When Tom explained why, it made perfect sense. See, it used to be that everyone and their mother was sending direct mail pieces. We were all overloaded with it to the point where we didn’t check or read any of it. It all looked the same! But fast-forward a few years and everything is now digital. A lot of companies and organizations made the switch from print to digital marketing - and for good reason.

But that’s where it gets interesting. Because not a lot of people are sending direct mail pieces anymore, that makes the pieces that come in really stand out. And that creates a huge opportunity for your association. If you can put together a really well-thought out and well-designed print piece, you can potentially reach and engage your membership in a way that, as of late, you haven’t necessarily been able to.

A few thoughts/ideas regarding print marketing at your association:

  • Quarterly publications - If your association has a quarterly or bi-monthly publication, consider mailing that out (via traditional mail), if you don’t already. Chances are, that’s some of your association’s best content, so spruce up the design/layout if needed and try sending your members a hard copy. (My alma mater does this once a quarter and I read it every single time. Again, because I don’t get a lot of mail, aside from bills.)
  • Event promotion - If you have a big meeting or annual conference coming up, now’s the time to get creative. In addition to your digital strategy, think about what you can do with print. Would a well-designed postcard resonate with your members? Or what about a funky cut-out? If it’s cool enough, people might even hang it up on their fridge!

Now one final, but important note: The key to marketing at your association is to focus on a hybrid approach. Don’t halt your digital marketing and focus solely on print. Instead, work to create a hybrid print-digital strategy. Some people prefer digital and some people prefer print, and by experimenting with both, you’ll start to learn what your members like and prefer - and when.

Speaking of content and marketing, has your association experimented with inbound marketing yet? It’s a cost-effective way to grow your association’s membership online. Learn more about it in our free guide, Growing Your Organization’s Membership: A Beginner’s Guide to Inbound Marketing for Associations.

Growing Your Organization's Membership

Topics: association management, member engagement, membership management, Small Staff Chatter

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