Maximizing Non-Dues Revenue

Maximizing Non-Dues Revenue

By Judy Paczko, Project Manager & Beth Zemach, Senior Consultant

Member associations en masse are finally recognizing that revenue diversification is the key to sustainability in the current economic and cultural climate. Focusing on developing key revenue generating sources outside of membership are job one. Concurrent with grandiose strategic plans forming around major non-dues revenue initiatives, organizations should start immediately with the low hanging fruit that can bring in small profits today leading to much larger profitability and revenue gains tomorrow.

AMC launched a program to help its healthcare clients squeeze every last dollar out of existing product inventory today (low hanging fruit). The key to success is knowledge of the demographics of prior buyers, followed by the creation of a targeted campaign to reach out to the top buying demographic in hopes they find the same value in the product and make a purchase. Phase one of this marketing effort is centered on optimizing the association’s current customer database.

Database Optimization

Informed Decisions© (ID) assists AMC marketers to successfully employ this strategy. ID involves forced collection of key demographics at various purchase points in the AMS system for both customers and members. If the user is purchasing fairly regularly, the demographic collection screen is suppressed, but if the system has not seen the user in 6 or more months, a pop-up screen asks for a profile update. 

Database Augmentation

Phase two involves the purchase of an external list of target audiences to promote the product. The use of an external list widens the reach of an association outside of its current customer database exposing more professionals to the value the association offers and if sales are made, widens the customer database.  Eventually, this will lead to more members, given the organization proves its value through its products.

The Results

Two AMC clients, American Pain Society and the National Association of Neonatal Nurses, completed Phase one of the program with one existing product in their inventory. NANN found one highly-targeted group of buyers to market its PICC 3rd Edition (downloadable PDF), and APS found two high-potential groups to market the Principles of Analgesic Use 7th Edition (178-page book). Over an eight week period, both clients saw a significant increase in unit sales/non-dues revenue after believing those products had sold to their potential.

strategic marketing results

Product launches are exciting events for associations. So much time, effort, and expense goes into the creation of that new product: committee and subject matter expert meetings, production, planning, then launch! The product is in the store and customers are introduced to the wonders of the product through email, website, social media, etc. Even more exciting is when sales start rolling in. The illustration above is the actual unit sales chart of one of the client products. Then, often after launch, it is on to the next project. Fast forward a couple of months, product sales have dropped off well below the initial launch, there is little to no advertising of the product, and the associations accept the declining organic sales each month. This can be reversed with good customer information and target marketing.

It is important to note however, the foundation of targeted marketing depends on quality data. Over the past several years, AMC’s healthcare clients have identified, implemented, and maintained current and consistent demographics for their customers through Informed Decisions©. This effort has provided rich customer data which enables clients to make informed decisions on a variety of business ventures including product and program development, sales, and sponsorships. Additional clients are proceeding with the targeting program at AMC. We’d like to hear about your successes in this area, too. Please email Judy Paczko at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to share your targeted marketing experiences!

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