2012 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report

Marketing June 13, 2012

Lori Halley

By Lori Halley

We’ll be providing the results from our Membership Renewal Survey and offering a new "How to" Guide to Membership Renewal later this month. But in the meantime, here’s a look at the 2012 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report from Marketing General Incorporated (MGI).

The report, which looked at the membership marketing initiatives of 680 membership and trade associations, suggests that:

  • 52% of the associations surveyed have seen an increase in their overall membership this year - with an average increase of about 3%
  • 60% report an increase in new member acquisition

Here’s an overview of the “biggest impediments to growth” noted in the report:


Reasons Members Join:

The report also sheds some light on “Reasons Members Join Association,” noting:

  •  ...the primary reason association executives give as to why members join associations continues to be networking (22%), access to specialized/current information (12%) and advocacy (12%)
  • What is surprising, is the continued downward trend since 2009, shown by networking and access to specialized/current information. This contrasts with the upward trend reported for advocacy and continuing education.

Data on Member Engagement:

Since “member engagement has long been recognized as a key factor for increasing renewals,” the report offers insight into the communications methods for onboarding new members. Here are the top 6 methods noted in the report:

    1. Email welcome (72%)
    2. Mailed welcome kit (64%)
    3. Membership card or certificate (51%)
    4. Volunteer or staff welcome phone call (29%)
    5. In-person new-member reception or orientation (25%)
    6. New member introductory email series (25%

Download the 2012 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report

If you’d like information on member engagement in activities; how much associations are spending on renewal efforts; specifics on changes in membership; and much more, you can request a copy of the 2012 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report - here.


Stay tuned for our Membership Renewal Report & Guide

Stay tuned to this blog for the results of our Membership Renewal Survey later this month - when we’ll offer insight into:

  • Communications methods used to remind members about renewals;
  • Renewal methods - automated, etc.;
  • Renewal cycles;
  • Grace periods;
  • Incentives or special offers
  • and more

We’re also developing a Membership Renewal Guide that will be available in our Membership Knowledge Hub later this month - offering tips and advice about renewal for small associations and other membership organizations.

The Membership Growth Report:

Benchmarks & Insights for Growing Revenue and Constituents

Get the report now!

Sorry, this blog post is closed for further comments.


  • Tony Rossell:
    Hi Lori -- Thanks so much for sharing our 2012 Report. I think that your readers will find it of help. Best wishes on your study. Tony
  • Lori:
    Tony: You're welcome - the report is full of great insight. We'll be sharing more of the data in our "How to Manage Membership Renewal" guide which we'll be launching later this month.

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