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Posted by Kendra Lusty on Sep 10, 2019 8:26:55 AM

Congratulations! You’ve attracted yourself a new member and you’re bound to be best friends forever, right?

The reality, unfortunately, is that most members won’t stick with you beyond the first week, and even more will disappear by the end of a month. 

Those that stick around for the long haul are your loyal members and your best source of income.

But first you have to get them to stay.

New members are notoriously quick to abandon loyalty programs when they don’t see immediate value. They delete apps, leave points unredeemed, fail to continue a free trial and basically forget you exist. This happens when people don’t immediately see the value of membership.

Posted by Michelle White on Aug 27, 2019 8:36:00 AM

Happy Labor Day!

Here on the Access Loyalty Blog we talk a lot about member engagement and how to earn it. We dive deep into the world of member loyalty and seek to master it from just about every angle – especially when it includes discount programs. (Those are our favorite.)

But today the occasion calls for something a little different. This Labor Day, we want to give a front-page salute to all the workers that show up day in and day out to contribute to the prosperity of our society.

So much of business today centers around attracting and satisfying end-users (a.k.a. members or customers). And when we aren’t focused on them, we’re usually working to keep our shareholders happy.

Rightfully so. Shareholder and customer engagement are both critical to corporate success. But what about employees? They’re the ones responsible for appeasing those customers and shareholders. Who takes care of those important people? It’s not sales or business development or the director of membership marketing.

Posted by Gary Toyn on Aug 21, 2019 9:27:00 AM

For decades, the conventional wisdom has touted this stat: 80% of consumer spending occurs within 20 miles of home.

We've cited that stat before, as have countless other respected sources like ForbesEbay, and MediaPost. All of which have quoted this statistic without attribution.

The problem is, the stat is a myth. It doesn't exist, as this writer documented.  

Typically, they point to an official source identified simply as “US Census data,” but no link to a study or web page is given.

It really sounds good and seems to make sense.

But then again, what about the "retail-apocalypse?" What about the growth of online spending?

Posted by Ashley Autry on Aug 13, 2019 9:09:28 AM

In simplest terms, successfully managing (and growing) any membership organization boils down to two key objectives. 

Member acquisition. And member retention.

While many membership professionals focus their growth strategies on luring new members into the fold, the bigger and more urgent challenge that most organizations face today is churn – i.e., the unhappy outflow of members who for whatever reason decide their needs have not been adequately met.

For example, more than 20% of members say they have canceled their membership or let it lapse in the last year. And when asked their reason for ending membership, 32% said it was too costly, 19% said it had too little value, 16% forgot to renew, 13% can get same benefits elsewhere, and 12% said there was a decline in benefits.

So what can you do about member churn? Focus heavily on member engagement.

Simply put, member engagement is the ongoing interaction between a member and organization in exchange for meaningful value.

In previous blog posts, we’ve also defined it as “…building relationships with your members, adding value to their lives and capturing their attention just often enough to remind them of the role you play in it so there’s never a doubt.”

For example, 58% of alumni organizations report a lack of engagement as the primary reason members don’t renew.

Member engagement is something many organizations continually contemplate, but rarely take the time to define. A key component mentioned in the definition above is that in order to achieve meaningful engagement, interaction must be frequent. Sending emails one or two times a year won’t cut it.

The other essential piece of information the definition points out, is that there must be value involved in the transaction that is of personal relevance to members. Offering them something like a logoed bottle opener or a campus bookstore discount is unlikely to be enough to cross that perceived value "tipping point."

Member engagement is affirmed, reaffirmed and/or damaged with every interaction, including reading a tweet or Facebook post, a “Like” on Instagram, looking at an email, utilizing member benefits, etc.

Each of these interactions should be connecting the organization with the member’s needs and preferences. Create those relevant messages with frequency, and that’s how member engagement is built.

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Posted by Ashley Autry on Aug 1, 2019 10:49:21 AM

With summer winding down, back-to-school season is in full swing. Many parents have started the annual, costly ritual of shopping for another school year.

Posted by Gary Toyn on Jul 25, 2019 10:33:47 AM

We’ve written previously about the underlying science behind why discounts are such a powerful member/customer engagement tool. Aside from the rush of endorphins that comes from getting a good deal, evolutionary science tells us that our brains are hard-wired to conserve our resources and avoid inefficiencies. That’s why saving money is a universal desire.

So it’s no coincidence that virtually every retailer, airline, supermarket and restaurant offers a discount or rewards program. Most membership organizations understand the potential impact of offering a discount program as part of their membership perks because of how such programs drive member retention (among other favorable behaviors.)

With the increasing popularity of using discounts as rewards and incentives, it’s not surprising that more and more discount programs have sprung up, trying to sell their white-labeled discount network (also called a private-labeled discount network) to member associations, trade organizations and other membership-based groups.

But not all discount networks work the same. And not all can drive member retention and boost acquisition rates.

If your organization is considering a white-labeled discount program to help you connect, attract and engage your members, good for you. It’s a wise decision that has helped many organizations grow.

Once you’ve decided to offer a discount program, what criteria should you use to find the best one suited for your organization? As the competition for your attention intensifies, so too will the intensity of the competing voices who are trying to win your business.

As a result, be prepared to encounter some rather creative methods with how discount networks compare themselves to their competitors. Here are some of the tricks some companies use to trick you, and how they spin their message to get you to sign on the dotted line.