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Author Topic: Recruiting new members for clubs via mail  (Read 3832 times)

Posts: 51

« on: June 07, 2006, 10:49:46 PM »

Has anybody had any measurable success (or failure) with using direct mail or email as a means of contacting potential new members?  I'm a member of the Southwest Dallas County Amateur Radio Club (SWDCARC), and I've had a running debate about this for the last 6 months with some club members.  Most say it doesn't work, they did a costly drop of about 300 pieces 3 years ago and only had 2 or 3 new people show up.  In my book (and I work in direct mail advertising), that's not really a failure, but it is in their mind.  However, I've heard other local clubs have some success with this.

The data is out there on (postal and some email), and I think they sell that data on CD ROM too.  So it can be done, but my question is it worth it?  Are there better ways of bringing in NEW members.

Thoughts? Comments?

Posts: 223

« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2006, 07:56:11 AM »

Rather than doing a mass mailing to all hams in a particular area check the FCC database regularly for new hams/address changes/renewals.  Send a post card (personalized?) to these inviting them to the next meeting of your club.


Alan  N5NA


Posts: 51

« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2006, 08:25:12 AM »

Tnx. for the post...I essentially did that by taking all recent hams, creating a spreadsheet thru cave-man style data entry.  Everyone belly-ached about paying for hundreds of names in the mail, and I suggested just mailing the most recent 100 additions to the database, people who wouldn't know us from Adam...that fell on deaf ears.  

But I didn't think about the personalization angle.  Maybe we can get club members to commit to doing, say, 5 or 7 cards then mail them out.  Hell, I send out dozens every week to DX and stateside contacts, so sending another 5-10 won't hurt me none.


Posts: 542

« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2006, 10:24:46 AM »

"Rather than doing a mass mailing to all hams in a particular area check the FCC database regularly for new hams/address changes/renewals. "

Although this can work, it depends on the area you are in.  Since I became licensed in 2000, we have had a grand total of ONE new ham in our town.  Now I'll admit, we do have three or four guys who have joined our club in the past 6 years who are from the area, but this isn't a very efficient means of recruitment in an area our size.

I'll give you a positive and a negative about doing a mass mailing, though: The positive is that you've got nothing to lose.  You aren't going to LOSE any members, and you just might gain a few.  The negative, though, is that there may well be a reason why those hams aren't a member of your club to begin with.  More than likely they have heard of you, from internet searches if nothing else.  Yet they still aren't a member of your club.  We have a situation like that where I'm at.  Our club contains only a small fraction of the number of area members, and I've never found out why.

Posts: 18521

« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2006, 10:54:01 AM »

We force club membership on them.

All new licensees in the county get a free one year membership
in the local club.  They don't have to attend, of
course, but they get the monthly newsletter so they
know what is happening locally.  If the newsletter is so
boring that they decide from that not to participate, you
either need a better editor or more club activities.

I think this has been one of the best recruitment methods
that they have used.  It doesn't work for hams who are
already licensed, though, but it could be extended to
license upgrades and/or those who move into the county.
The cost is relatively low, especially now that the
newsletter is delivered by email to most members.

Posts: 191

« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2006, 06:44:09 AM »

Newsletters, fine. Mailings, great. Automatic inclusion into local clubs upon licensing, excellent idea.

Now, when potential members walk through the door of the club for the first time, are they met with blank stares? Does anyone walk over, great them, and introduce them to others?  Or do they wander around alone for a quarter hour or so and then disappear?

Someone should be at the door of every meeting and introduce themselves to this, possibly uncomfortable, new arrival. That person should then introduce the new arrival to another member and that member now escort him or her around. By the way the "gate-keeper" should be one who would recognize an unfamiliar effect have a photographic memory of the current membership.

This was not in practice at a local club when I and a couple of interested others turned up a quarter century ago.

Haven't been back since then and no regrets.

If you already exercise this procedure...Great!

I genuinely wish you and your respective clubs success.


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