I recently had a chance to sit in on a committee meeting of an association. One of the topics that came up was why should people join the association. Besides being a member, what additional benefits did being a member offer?
Any membership, whether it’s for a fitness club, a business association, or travel group (airlines, rental cars or hotels), should have some type of special benefit. Especially if you consider the number of emails some memberships send.
I find it challenging to keep up with the memberships I have. But the ones I keep on the forefront of my mind are those that offer specials and benefits I use. A great example is YYoga. I haven’t been to a YYoga class in a long time, but I often visit their Membership Benefits Program page. In addition to being able to visit a class, they have also partnered with some great organizations to provide specials and discounted rates to their members.
American Express had it right…”membership has its privileges.”
1. Services offered can, in normal instances, be very expensive
One of the biggest memberships most employees are part of is an EAP, Employee Assistance Program. I remember the first “real” job I had and this was a part of my employee package. I never took advantage of it. I paid for it but never used the services available. Some of those services included consultations with lawyers, financial advisers, and short-term counseling. Do you know how much it would take to speak to a lawyer for an hour? I don’t but I can imagine. Memberships allow you access to services that are often pretty pricey but at reasonable rates.
2. It’s a chance to expand your experience
Zipcar is almost everywhere (hopefully in Dallas soon-I could really use on my visits). The company offered a special sign-up promotion to residents of my building. Even though I have a car I saw a benefit of signing up under this special promotion offered. In addition to the benefit and cost of using a Zipcar for an hour or day, the company also provides member benefits. One of those special offers is from the Daniel Hospitality Group. Food! The chance to get a percentage off a meal at a restaurant I normally don’t visit is win-win-win.
3. It’s a great opportunity to share an experience
It’s no secret. I love a deal. I love free stuff. I love saving money where I can. For years, my family has purchased the Entertainment Book. This book provides coupons on many restaurants, recreation, personal services, travel and event home improvement services. One of my biggest beefs about this book is that so many coupons are BOGOs–buy one, get one free. I’m a loner so these deals don’t always benefit me. But when I’m with family or a friend, it’s a true bargain. By the way, when you purchase one of these books, you also receive a membership to receive monthly specials & deals online. On a side note: the 2010 Entertainment Book for Vancouver was sold out before the beginning of the 2010 year probably because of the 2010 Winter Olympics. I guess there were some folks who knew how to get a good deal.
4. You’ve already paid for it
Maybe I’m sharing too much about myself but it’s for the sake of sharing and blogging. If you have paid for the membership, it’s yours why not use the full extent of what it provides? A great example of this is Costco. There is no doubt I will be shopping at Costco for toilet paper, dishwashing liquid, veggies, fruits, and personal items. I’m buying a Costco membership anyway. Why not buy the Executive Membership and receive the 2% reward (cash back). No matter what amount you receive back, you can apply that to the cost of your new membership. After all, you are paying for the membership anyway.
Most business associations encourage you to become more engaged in the association through volunteerism. I encourage you to become more engaged with all of your memberships and look at the additional benefits you are paying for but never use. Now is the time to make the most of that relationship.