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Posted by Gary Toyn on Mar 30, 2021 8:00:00 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-label discount network (also called a private-label 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.

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If your organization is considering a white-label discount program to help you connect, attract and engage your members, good for you. It’s a wise decision, as proven by the many organizations that have discovered growth through offering discount programs.

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.

Posted by Kendra Lusty on Mar 17, 2021 8:00:00 AM

Scratch. Bills. Buckaroos. Smackers. Dough. Green.

No matter what you call it, there’s just something about cold hard cash.

People have more appreciation for items they purchased with cash rather than credit, according to psychologists. Hollywood loves to show suitcases full of benjamins or handfuls of dollars raining down in slow motion. And what school kid doesn’t dream of catching a leprechaun and claiming its pot of gold?

The allure of cash is strong.

And the same holds true in the world of member benefits and customer rewards. There’s just something about cash back rewards that brings customers back again and again.

Posted by Gary Toyn on Oct 1, 2019 10:58:00 AM

Researcher Gary W. Toyn has long investigated the challenges faced by organizations across the membership spectrum. In this study, Gary turns his attention to the central question of member expectations - and how recent data suggests a growing perception gap among the membership organizations that serve them.

At Access, we frequently consult with clients and prospective clients who are seeking to boost member engagement and retention. In the course of those interactions we see a surprising gap between organizational leaders and their members. Frequently, the misalignment that exists is due to a lack of understanding of what today’s members really want from their affiliation.

In many cases, leaders of organizations have never asked members what they need or want, nor have they asked what types of services and benefits members expect. Some leaders rely on guesswork or assumptions in identifying their member’s needs, and others simply ignore member feedback altogether.  We see this happen far too often.

Posted by Gary Toyn on Jul 24, 2018 7:54:00 AM

Let’s face it.  Many membership professionals have struggled with low engagement for so long, some may wonder if their program has been damned to membership purgatory.

It’s not easy to build a successful membership organization. And it’s even harder to maintain sustainable membership levels, especially when so many other competing groups vie for your member’s attention.

As experts in member benefits, engagement and loyalty, we wanted to look further into these ongoing issues. We recently conducted a nationwide survey of leaders and members from trade and professional associations, non-profit membership groups, alumni organizations and unions. Our research identified a significant gap between what members want, and what leaders are willing to offer. (You can see the full study here.)

The study also revealed many new insights into the mind and spirit of today’s members. Consequently, we’ve identified a few uninspired practices that are downright blasphemous when it comes to member engagement. The result is that many organizations are unnecessarily being removed from the good graces of their members.

So, forgive me for my sinfully frequent references to heaven and hell, but I’m sure you’ll be blessed if you avoid these 7 Deadly Sins of Member Engagement:

Posted by Brandon Carter on Feb 19, 2014 12:23:00 AM

Being an association representative isn't easy. You can talk yourself blue about all the great things the organization does - lobbying, insurance, collective bargaining - and inevitably, the potential member's eyes start wandering off, or they pull out their phone to catch up on the latest Facebook has to offer.

This is why someone invented member benefits. No matter what the core function of the association is, members are always going to need something a little bit more tangible. More often than not, these benefits are what make the difference in convincing someone to join, then convincing them to stay on as the years go by.

Discount programs are extremely popular for this reason. They make the "why you should join" conversation very simple.