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"Learn, Connect, Thrive" Membership Promotion: Synopsis - Newmarket Chamber of Commerce

2015 ACE: Grand Award

We developed a series of three postcards to be sent to all non-member businesses in our community to support a new communications strategy that included an update of our value proposition, key benefits of membership (identified through a membership survey and predictive modeling analysis) and an environmental assessment. The campaign included a new membership brochure to drive recruitment. It was used on sales calls, displayed in racks, displayed at events, and distributed to new businesses. Images, icons and branding in the brochure will be repeated in future publications and online vehicles. The key messaging of "Learn, Connect, Thrive" become the three key pillars for our organization and communication objectives.


Date: August 14, 2015
Organization: Newmarket Chamber of Commerce
Chamber Website: http://www.newmarketchamber.ca
City: Newmarket, ONT
Revenue Category: $450,001-900,000

Synopsis:

We developed a series of three postcards to be sent to all non-member businesses in our community to support a new communications strategy that included an update of our value proposition, key benefits of membership (identified through a membership survey and predictive modeling analysis) and an environmental assessment. The campaign included a new membership brochure to drive recruitment. It was used on sales calls, displayed in racks, displayed at events, and distributed to new businesses. Images, icons and branding in the brochure will be repeated in future publications and online vehicles. The key messaging of "Learn, Connect, Thrive" become the three key pillars for our organization and communication objectives

Our primary objective was to raise awareness of the Newmarket Chamber of Commerce; secondarily we wanted to drive membership recruitment and interest, and create a list of non-member businesses who were likely membership prospects. We worked with a local design firm to create visually appealing print pieces that were fun, memorable and interesting. We developed a call to action (participate in a contest) to drive recruitment. Repetition was an important aspect of the campaign, so we created three separate postcards built around the key benefits. The different postcards were mailed to all non-member businesses in three-week intervals. We created a landing page (www.kickstartyourbiz.ca) featuring the postcard graphics as a place to capture contact details for membership sales follow-up.

The main call to action was "find out more about the Chamber at newmarketchamber.ca."

Results:

When the last postcard was mailed at the end of November 2014, we were somewhat disappointed--only half a dozen businesses entered contact information for the contest, however two of them joined. Two months later it was clear that we had not given the campaign enough time to take effect. In December 2014 and January 2015 we had a spike in new members, and the online membership application question "how did you hear about the Chamber" suddenly begins to include references to "print advertising." This is the first direct mail print advertising campaign our Chamber has done.

  • December 2014: 18 new members (vs. 13 the previous year)
  • January 2015: 29 new members (vs. 16 the previous year)
  • Mid February -- at the time of submission: we have 21 new members so far (vs 19 for the month of February the previous year)

Budget:

The brochure design, copy-writing and print (initial run of 500 copies) came in at $3,620; the direct marketing campaign including design and printing of three postcards and postage for three mailings was $3,750.

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