Pricing Strategies for Membership Associations that Build Relationships

Membership Association Pricing
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It is crucial for membership associations to form strong relationships with their current and prospective members. During a webinar hosted by Abila, the presenter gave advice on new ways associations can approach their membership pricing and packaging strategies. The specialist proposed taking Costco’s effective marketing template and applying it to membership organizations that provide their members with services, such as continuing education classes. At first glance, Costco may seem very different from membership associations. However, the company’s basic pricing and packaging concepts can be applicable to organizations across industries and may even spark fresh marketing ideas for your own association.

Similar to associations and other nonprofit organizations, Costco strives for continued customer loyalty. They achieve this by tapping into the psychological aspect of shopping for the best perceived value. Costco’s pricing strategy can be broken down into four main categories:

  • Bundling – Give your members different offerings through a variety of packages. You can break this up by content and topic type or by professional needs.
  • Free samples – Who doesn’t love free samples? Don’t give away your main offering, but give potential members a taste of what would be available to them should they become a member or sign up for new offerings. Allow them to attend a free meeting or networking event.
  • Subscription – Similar to Netflix and Pandora, think about how you can bundle a variety of services or class subscription.
  • Bulk – Consider giving discounts to businesses or groups that purchase memberships at certain thresholds or quantities.

Costco markets their products knowing that there is an increased perception of value over cost. Essentially, the idea of “Buy 2, Get 1 Free“ works best because the customer sees more benefits to acquiring more products for their dollar than spending less money.

As an association, it is important to remember that you are building and maintaining relationships over time. Members should see value in your association that encourages them to renew their membership and remain loyal.

To learn more pricing strategy tips from Abila, view their session, “The Costco Effect Part 2: Professional Development Pricing and Packaging Strategies” and download the Member Professional Development Study.

About Carol Barnard

Carol Barnard has written 200 post in this blog.

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