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The Non-Dues Recipe for Success: Part 3 – Data is Delicious


The Main Ingredient – ¼ Cup of Data with a Pinch of Tracking

If you have been following our journey through Achieving Early Lift along with Activation & Onboarding then you know we pride ourselves on bringing a custom fit solution for each of our association clients. We truly believe this is not a one size fits all world and value our clients’ unique culture and visions of the future. We also like to provide benefits over and above simply increasing revenue. We like data and lots of it. Below are a few things we do to ensure we have accurate, concise, and useful data to make the most of the experience.

1. Build a Comprehensive Database

  • Include Previous Advertisers – and past revenue numbers (ideally for the past 3 years, but at least 1 year is essential).
  • Ensure the Data is up to date – With all the job changes that take place each year, it is important to make sure the data is current. This helps to avoid reaching out to people that no longer work for the company or have transitioned to different roles.
  • Research Competitors – by combing through competitor publications and websites to see what advertisers are spending in the same industry for similar offerings. This is a great way to build contact information by then searching for the marketing or high-level decision maker at respective advertising companies.
  • Attend Industry Events – gain new prospects and talk with exhibitors/sponsors to understand who they are trying to reach and see if the clients’ audience and solution is a good fit.


  • Contacts – a database management system that connects with a marketing tool is essential to keep contacts clean and up to date.
  • Email Marketing Response – a good email marketing system tracks views and clicks, which are important metrics in showing the effectiveness of email campaigns and follow up.
  • Sales Revenue – a simple spreadsheet is all it takes, but in some cases, more advanced system that connect with the contact database can be beneficial as well.
  • Deadlines/Reminders – use a calendar system to track deadlines, invoices, material submission reminders, and other important dates.
  • Ad Materials – create an upload link to ensure that all ad materials are trafficked to the correct person. This serves as a self-service for the advertisers and ensure efficiency for all.
  • Invoicing and payments – There are many different billing systems option. However, choosing one that has multiple options (checks, ACH, wire transfers, and credit cards) is best. So, that the advertisers can pay with what is most convenient for them.
  • Kudos! – Send your client a final issue closing report to showcase total revenue collected, outstanding revenue and ad count. Most importantly, let the client know exactly how much lift there was from the new partnership! – Kudos all around, and thanks for the collaboration!

We implemented these steps recently during the onboarding process of a new Association client, in which we were tasked with revamping and rebranding their flagship print publication, as well as building out a full-scale advertising program that would deliver growth and a healthy net return. Click here to learn more about the recipe in action as we embarked on this journey. 

Looking for the rest of the recipe? Click here to read Part One (Culture) and Part Two (Activation)

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