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6 Reasons Discount Programs are Growing Among Farm Bureaus

By Brandon Carter | Updated on Jan 20, 2014 11:17:00 PM


Back in the day people joined associations, paid their dues and were content just to assume that the organization was making good use of that money. Of course, those were the days when grandpa walked two miles in the snow to school, barefoot.

And uphill. Both ways.

This isn’t your grandpa’s economy. Associations are still doing the important work they’ve always done, but consumers are increasingly critical of where every dollar is being spent, and what the returns are. The result is a need for associations to enhance and communicate their value very clearly.

That’s Access Development’s sweet spot. In the past year, Access has seen a surge in Farm Bureau® clients. We’re currently working with Alabama and Virginia, among several others, helping them to engage and retain members.

In our work with these groups, we’ve found there are six distinct ways they benefit from value-added member benefits such as discount programs. Every one of these factors plays a key role in member retention and loyalty:

1. They offset member costs

When members are pinching every penny, it helps to have a benefit that helps offset their dues. The typical Access member saves an average of $16 per transaction, more than paying for the cost of membership in just a few transactions.

2. They’re a high-usage replacement to low-usage benefits such as AD&D

Thankfully, most people will never use the accidental death and dismemberment benefit. On the downside, that means this benefit is an afterthought to most. For many of our clients, discount programs serve as a high-usage alternative to AD&D, at roughly the same cost.

3. Members will provide email addresses

Getting content into the digital mailboxes of modern consumers is critical, yet many Farm Bureaus have email addresses for only a small percentage of their members. Discount programs require an email address for activation, often collecting thousands of emails within a few days of activation, and growing incrementally from that point forward.

4. Discount programs appeal to younger demographics

College age kids and millenials are a tough nut to crack, but their dollars – now and in the future – and incredibly valuable. Coupons (especially mobile coupons) are a big attraction for this demographic – according to a Nielsen survey, 80% of them look for the lowest price when shopping, and 49% have redeemed a digital coupon.

5. The value helps the membership stand on its own

Though many Farm Bureau members are there for the insurance, adding a discount program into the benefits package enhances the standalone value.

6. They open the door to everyday engagement

Every company is fighting for those scarce consumer dollars, which makes any face time your association can get with consumers incredibly valuable. Discount programs help people save on everyday purchases such as groceries, clothes, entertainment, automotive parts, etc. If that program is labeled for the Farm Bureau, it means the Farm Bureau is getting valuable, positive face time with members frequently. It’s a marketing campaign, except the member is actively inviting your brand to engage with them, not the other way around.

The positive engagement opens members up to new worlds of interaction – they know the Farm Bureau provides great benefits, and they’ll be more open to messages outside of the discount program. Farm Bureaus will finally get a chance to show their members the countless other ways the bureaus are helping to better their lives and communities.

2014 offers a big opportunity for Farm Bureaus and other associations to show exactly how much they help members. We look forward to helping them retain and enhance those relationships through relevant, everyday value.

 Build Engagement with Discount Programs

Topics: Discount Programs, Member Benefits

Written by: Brandon Carter

Brandon is a former writer and marketer for Access Development. He's a frequent blogger on customer and employee engagement & loyalty, consumer trends, and branding. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter at @bscarter