Effective member acquisition (sometimes referred to as member recruitment) depends on the fine art of building an integrated marketing and sales strategy that creates a pipeline of relevant, engaged prospects who then convert to members. The holy grail of membership marketing is to achieve strong member retention to build high value, recurring revenues, but it all has to start with strong membership acquisition. Through our work with companies offering memberships to their customers, MPG has developed a methodology for creating strong member acquisition strategies. Here we share with you our tried and tested 5 step approach. 5 steps to developing a strong acquisition strategy for B2B membership growth #1 Reach your target audience – build routes to market An essential first step to your acquisition strategy is to understand which of your market segments has the best potential for delivering the desired member growth. To do this, you will need a deep understanding of the composition of your end-user market. Market mapping and sizing is essential to understanding what the gap is between your high growth segment and your existing database. Depending on the size of the gap, you can work out how to deploy your inbound channels, and you might need a database build project. You can read more about MPG’s recommended market mapping and sizing approach in this related article. #2 Create your outreach marcomms strategy Your next step in the pursuit of new, high quality members is to build your marcomms strategy. Creating a well structured outreach strategy is centred around getting the right messages to the right people at the right time. To make this effective based on a fully integrated communications plan, you will need to consider: Brand and tone of voice – have you documented these to ensure your marketing and sales people are fully aligned? This also ensures they stay top of mind Core communications and channels – not only will you determine which communications will be used in which channel, and the frequency of those communications (ideally largely automated), you will need to factor in how often these will be reviewed and revised to suit your members’ changing needs and life cycle maturity Content – what pieces will resonate with your potential members, which channels you’ll be using to distribute and amplify your content, and when this content will be released? How can you customise this based on the specific profile and interests of your targeted members? Quantified, measurable objectives – do you have clear objectives for each communication piece? And have you specified how performance will be measured against each of those objectives? #3 Communicate effectively for awareness and interest Now that you’ve defined your outreach strategy, you should turn your focus back to ensuring you deploy the most impactful, relevant messaging for each target audience group. This means articulating your membership USPs (unique selling points), and membership benefits considering the specific motivations, needs, challenges and opportunities that your product addresses, and are being faced by your target persona’s. There is now more noise than ever with competition from your traditional competitors, and also from disruptors and new entrants who are taking advantage of rapid digitalisation to move into your space. As your competition and the noise everyone is making escalates, attracting, engaging and converting your target customers will require highly relevant and carefully crafted messaging. If you are not sure where to start with your messaging strategy, have a look at our step-by-step guide for building a winning messaging strategy to steer you through the process. #4 Engage and convert You’ve grown your database, defined your target segments and relevant messaging, and built your outreach strategy. The next priority is to get those prospects to convert to leads and ultimately sales. You need to ensure your entire customer journey is mapped out and optimised to drive those coveted conversions. A fundamental element in this customer journey is your website – you need to get more of the right people to visit your website, complete forms and ultimately sign up to your membership offering. Investing in your website is critical to ensure all your marketing works. Good SEO and a seamless user experience, with intelligent lead generation and calls to action (CTAs) that drive conversions are all a must. There are many factors that will impact how well optimised your website is, and in this article we share the top 4 things you should be doing for a high performance website. #5 Measure ROI and improve If you’ve been reading our blogs for a while, you know how much emphasis we put on the importance of tracking and analysing results to adjust and optimise your marketing approach in a responsive and agile way for the best outcomes. It’s so important in fact we’ve dedicated articles to measuring membership marketing success and the 15 metrics that really matter in digital marketing for B2B. When it comes to marketing metrics, it’s easy to go down the rabbit hole and lose focus on what really matters. The below areas are an essential starting point when measuring the success of your membership acquisition marketing: Database size and growth Marketing qualified leads (MQLs) Sales qualified leads (SQLs) Sales achieved Length of sales Cycle Revenue achieved Average yield DOWNLOAD MEMBERSHIP MAKRETING KPIS Coming soon… In the final installment of our membership marketing series to be published later this summer, we’ll be looking at the best way to build events (in all forms) into your membership offering. Not every events business needs a membership offering, and not every membership offering needs events (or at least large, in-person events). But when your product portfolio includes membership and events it is very important to tie them together in various ways to ensure your events support member retention and acquisition for steady member revenue growth. So, if you have not already signed up to MPG Insights – now is a good time! Subscribe here to get an email in your inbox every time we publish a new blog like this one, or create a resource (e.g. webinar, guide or report) that will help you achieve high performance B2B marketing. MPG’s marketing strategists provided us with clear direction on how to establish strong brand positioning. Their work for Outsmart Insight included a thorough competitor analysis, customer persona development, messaging strategy development, branding upgrade and website design & functionality recommendations. Having MPG as collaborative and creative marketing partners, focused on delivering marketing assets we could immediately put into action and gain ROI from really helped us move forward as a business. Alex Ayad, Manging Director & Founder, Outsmart Insight If growing membership revenue is a strategic focus for you, MPG can help. Our team of marketing specialists can create, and execute on, a robust membership marketing strategy for you. Find out more about our approach – get in touch.