Beth Meister: Give members belly dancing if they want it

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir November 14, 2011 19:26

Beth Meister: Give members belly dancing if they want it

Beth Meister, president of Club Marketing and Communication LLC, gave a thought-provoking speech to GCMA delegates on the issue of marketing.

Beth, recognised as one of the USA’s top marketing experts, gave examples of how clubs that she has worked with have used marketing to retain members.

“Survey your members,” she said. “Find out what they like, what jobs they do, where they live.

“Members calculate value by their annual subscription divided by usage. So the more they engage with the club the more value they will get from it.

“One club I know surveyed their members and found that more than 10 of the women like belly dancing! So twice a week they have belly dancing lessons! And now there is no way they will let their fathers cancel their membership of that club.

“Another found that many of the members play soccer. So every Monday they convert the driving range into a soccer pitch and have soccer practice there.”

She advised managers to have someone at the club who specifically looks after membership recruitment and retention, as this is such a vital task. She disclosed that the value of an average member is their joining fee, plus seven years of annual subscriptions plus seven years of additional spend. In many US clubs this equates to $5,000 plus $7,000 plus $7,000, or $19,000. If they bring about two other people to join then they are worth $57,000. “That is why it is so important,” she said.

Beth also gave specific marketing tips: “Market to people who’ve left the club; never take them off the newsletter unless they ask,” she stated.

“If someone hasn’t used the club in 30 days, then call them. Because if they don’t use it in 60 days you know what you’ll get in 90 days – a resignation letter.

“Map locations of your members to see if there are any patterns. That way you will get the data you need to know how far people are prepared to come to be a member, you’ll know which areas are particularly popular, so you can find out why, and you can help close the sale for a potential member if you know his or her neighbours that are also members.

“Elsewhere, use a customer relationship management tool to attract leads, speak to estate agents to find out who’s moved to the area to pitch to them, use references for members – and their guests – as your own prospective members and learn how to close the sale… one method I use is to assume the sale which often involves asking customers if I can fill out the application form for them!”

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir November 14, 2011 19:26
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