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By: Chandra Chakravarthi

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March 23, 2016

Driving Sales Through Membership Upselling

Member Engagement


Joining an association can be incredibly rewarding and enriching in many ways. It provides access to a wealth of information and allows you to stay informed on the newest developments and breakthroughs occurring in the industry. The value that comes with being a member versus a non-member can even be noted in cost savings.

 

Most organizations typically offer membership and non-membership prices for a variety things ranging from conferences to paraphernalia to online products. However, individuals are not always aware that there is significant price difference between the two, and that there is a benefit that comes with being a member. This was a problem that the Parenteral Drug Association (PDA) recognized and wanted to find a solution where everyone would benefit.

 

Membership upsellingThe PDA has an online store that generates revenue for the organization and offers valuable resources that make a membership with the organization worthwhile. PDA offers member and non-member prices when someone purchases an item or registers for a conference on their online store. PDA noticed that when non-members paid a registration fee for a conference, they weren’t opting in for a membership.

 

“It was not obvious to customers that adding membership would be a cost-savings to them. And it wasn’t very clear that they were paying for it with the non-member registration,” recalls Hassana Howe, Senior Director, Membership and Chapter Relations, at PDA.

“Another challenge that we had was that we did not have an efficient way of targeting people who made purchases as non-members that could be considered as leads,” says Howe.

 

PDA tried a variety of tactics in order to encourage people to purchase a membership. Membership offers would appear in the product details or checkout pages to show the difference between member and non-member pricing. However, customers seemed to either avoid it or chose not to act on it. PDA realized that the only way a person would acknowledge a membership price is if it appeared in a more prominent way.

 

“Ultimately, we wanted to get to the person during the shopping experience. As they were deciding to purchase a product, we wanted to put a discount right in front of their face. When they put something in their cart, a pop-up message would appear,” recalls Josh Carlson, CEO of Perbyte, who helped PDA implement their upselling features.

 

Within the pop-up message, there was a call-to-action so customers had to acknowledge whether they wanted to accept the discount or not before they could proceed with their purchase. The message would ask the user, “Did you know that you could have saved X amount of money if you had purchased a membership?” Behind the scenes, PDA was tracking whether they said “yes” or “no” to the products and discounts that were being applied, and this allowed them to analyze the data afterwards. By examining this data, PDA could see how much was being made through specific promotions and ultimately their ROI.

 

“We set up the process so that it is all automated and helps our department run more efficiently. It has been very successful with very little development work,” says Howe. This was all done through the Aptify e-Business suite.

 

The second solution PDA developed was if someone declined the membership upsell, an email would be sent to the non-member giving them one last chance to join. “We set up a scheduled email that included a calculation of how much that customer could have saved if they had purchased a membership,” says Carlson. As an added incentive to upsell, the email also included a discount membership if they joined by a certain date.

 

Since its implementation, PDA has sold 165 memberships through upselling online which generated $43,000 in sales. “Most of the sales came from the pop-ups, so it’s been a very successful campaign with no plans to discontinue it,” Howe says. With this increase in membership, PDA has been able to demonstrate to non-members that there is an added value that comes with being a member of an association, which in turn benefits the association as a whole.

 

To find out more about how PDA handled membership upselling, check out Hassana Howe’s and Josh Carlson’s webinar.

 

Member engagement

About Chandra Chakravarthi

As a Coordinator of Content, Branding, & Buzz at Aptify, Chandra supports the department with content creation, digital advertising, and overseeing the social media channels. Outside of Aptify, you can find her exploring Chicago and eating too much pizza while she waits for her letter from Hogwarts.

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