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Driving Revenue with Context

Dave Will
September 15, 2020

I got about 20 marketing emails today. (I know, you got more.) Every single one of them felt like they were talking to 1000 people. They were broad in value and I had to read lots of words to figure out if there was anything of value for me there. I don't think any of the 20 made it through my filter today.

I believe Contextual Engagement is the fix.

Instead of assuming you know what's important to me and telling me a little about a lot of things, maybe ask what's important and talk to me about that. That's the idea of contextual engagement. And it's proving to be lucrative.

Here are a few use cases where contextual engagement is driving revenue. (I'm going to refrain from using actual organization names, but if you want to learn more about ANY of these, I'll connect you with the association.)

Conference Registration Drive Examples

  • One trade organization was starting to collect registrations for their conference. They were giving out Swag Boxes to the first 250 registrants. They asked one simple question. "Do you want a Supplies and Swag Box before the convention this year?" 22% of their membership responded with a conference registration and they decided to order more swag boxes rather than tell people they ran out.
  • A medical association has several keynote and general session topics that should be of interest to their members. They sent a question asking which topics were of most interest. Based on how the member answered they were given information about the related sessions and told that they would need to register to access the session. This resulted in 30 new registrations (25% increase in registrations) out of 1 email driving $12k in revenue. This was just the first of several contextual engagement emails to drive registration.
  • A large publication with a $750 ticket price for their conference wanted to break 900 registrants. After several traditional marketing emails, they sent out a question asking which topics were top of mind for this audience. All answers led to relevant sessions related to those topics along with a link to register. This single email drove 60 new registrations driving $45k in revenue and bringing them well over 900 registrants.

Member Acquisition Campaign Examples

  • A trade association struggling to grow membership nearly doubled in size from one 2 step drip campaign asking which of their resources would the prospects find most valuable. Based on the answer the association was able to drill down on that particular resource and provide relevant value to the prospect. They interacted with 374 prospects interested in joining their organization.
  • A legal association drove 750 non-member attendees to their webinars over the course of 3 months. After a series of 4 courting-type questions driving them to relevant content, 88% of the respondents (82 people) said they were interested in joining the association.
  • Another professional marketing organization did something similar and the same campaign led to 117 individuals saying they were interested in joining.

Lapsed Member Campaign Examples

  • One medical society ended the year with 5383 lapsed members. These members were given several reminders and still did not renew. As the 60 day grace period was coming to a close, they initiated a campaign with a very simple question to gain context: "Did you know your membership expired?" Based on the answer they triggered workflows to drive renewals. They received 410 answers and 53% had no idea their membership had expired. That's 8% response rate on one email to people that have been completely unresponsive to date. Those 410 responses converted to $53,150 in renewals.
  • An association of HR Professionals ran a very similar campaign resulting in a strikingly similar outcome. They received a 10% response rate on an unresponsive audience with 53% of their respondents saying they had no idea their membership expired. This led to automated workflows driving those that "had no idea their membership expired" to renew, sending alerts internally to follow-up and finding out why those that did know, didn't renew. As it turns out, many of them still intended to renew, but have not got around to it yet, so another internal alert was sent to call them.
  • Similar answers to this question with another professional association showed a 66% "didn't know" rate.

Membership Renewal Campaign

  • This Trade association begins the renewal process through their AMS integration. When a member hits 90 days from renewal, they receive an email saying they're 90 days out from renewal and asks if they're planning to renew - yes or no. If they are, they get a prompt and an incentive to renew early. If they are NOT planning to renew, the association has 3 months to change their mind and they start by asking WHY. They also send a question 60 days out, 30 days out, and the day-of and after expiration. If they still don't renew, they're transferred to the Lapsed Member Campaign.
  • This small trade medical association has a big ticket price on membership. If they can save just a handful of members from leaving, it has a significant affect on their revenue. As a result of these renewal campaign questions they were able to identify 6 accounts that had let their membership expire for various reasons, each of which warranted a phone call.
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