Executive Director’s Commentary
By Don Eversmann, F240000
Recruiting new members to FMCA is an ongoing goal. Every year a number of families fail to renew their membership, for a variety of reasons. So, to maintain FMCA’s footprint in the RV industry and be a significant voice on behalf of motorhome owners, we must recruit enough new families to replace those we’ve lost, as well as others beyond that in order to sustain growth. Last year FMCA’s membership grew to 129,138 families, based upon a net increase (gains minus losses) of 3,893 memberships.
Throughout FMCA’s 40-year history, current members have always been the most effective source for recruiting new members to the association. Last year 45 percent of the new families who joined FMCA were recruited by FMCA family members. To reward members for their recruitment efforts, FMCA offers incentives. Currently, members receive a copy of “FMCA’s North American Road Atlas and Travel Guide” for their first recruitment, and a $5 merchandise coupon for each subsequent recruitment. FMCA has a Membership Club that rewards members with pins when they reach various levels, and once they have recruited 100 families to the association, they receive a special FMCA watch.
On January 1, 2004, as a way of encouraging members to get out there and recruit new motorhome families, we started a new incentive program that will continue throughout the year. In addition to the aforementioned incentives, any current member who recruits five new motorhome families to FMCA in 2004 will receive a special reward “” a year’s free membership in FMCA.
Todd Moning, FMCA’s Web editor, has written an interesting article about this new membership recruitment program. In addition to it being placed online at FMCA.com, I thought it was important enough to share with you here.
Gimme Five! And Earn A Free Membership
By Todd Moning
What do you have to lose?
Recruit five members
And we’ll waive your dues.
Many FMCA members say that Family Motor Coaching magazine, which comes with each paid membership, is itself worth the price of membership. All of the other FMCA member benefits are just “icing on the cake.”
What if you could get FMC magazine and all of the other FMCA benefits for free? In other words, what if your membership was free? Well, with the kickoff of FMCA’s Gimme Five! member referral program, you can have your cake and eat it, too.
If you recruit five new family (F) members to FMCA in 2004, you’ll automatically receive a free one-year membership renewal. You can earn one free year for every five members you sign up. And there’s no limit. Sign up 15 new members and get three years of FMCA membership free, 25 members and get five years free …
Gimme Five! is part of FMCA’s effort to encourage other motorhome owners to join the FMCA family. Many members already promote FMCA in this manner. For them, passing along a good thing “” a chance to enjoy all of the FMCA benefits that enhance the enjoyment of motorhoming “” comes naturally.
To be qualified for referring a member, make sure your name and membership number (F or A) are placed on the “How did you hear about FMCA?” line of each FMCA membership application you pass on to others. This line also appears when members join FMCA online.
To obtain a membership application:
- Download a Full/Family membership application at fmca.com/membership/join
- Tear out the membership applications that appear in each issue of Family Motor Coaching magazine. (To find the page numbers, look in the Advertising Index for “FMCA Family Application.”)
- Phone the Membership Department at the national office in Cincinnati (800-543-3622) and request applications.
For inspiration in recruiting members, look to FMCA’s Membership Club (a list of members appears in each January issue of Family Motor Coaching). It consists of members who have signed up at least 10 new members, albeit not necessarily in the same year. Through the years, more than 120 member families have each recruited 50 or more new members.
Ready to get started? Here are some tips that can help in signing up new members.
- Make FMCA as visible as possible by wearing and using FMCA logo merchandise. Clothing, hats, mugs, flags, lapel pins, umbrellas and more are available online at FMCAStore.com, at international conventions, at some area rallies, and by phone (800-543-3622, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time; ask for the FMCA Store). The FMCA merchandise catalog also appears quarterly within the pages of FMC magazine, most recently in the March 2004 issue.
- Talk about FMCA to other RVers “” and prospective RVers “” you meet, even if they do not own a motorhome now. RV industry leaders are forecasting a strong market for sales in 2004.
- The FMCA membership emblem and the membership number it bears always are good conversation topics with those unfamiliar with the FMCA “goose egg.”
- Be an opportunist. If you encounter someone whose coach happened to break down while en route to a destination, mention the great rate FMCA members get for the FMCA Emergency Road Service and Technical Referral Program. Or, talk about FMCA’s Stoppin’ Spots listing, which includes members who volunteer to offer assistance to fellow members in their travels.
- When a motorhomer complains about that long tie-up around Atlanta delaying his or her travel plans, discuss FMCA’s trip routing service.
- If a conversation turns to staying in touch with loved ones, point out FMCA’s mail forwarding service, Traveler’s Message Service, long-distance calling card, or Internet access with a low monthly fee.
Testimonials leave wonderful impressions “” you read them all the time in FMC magazine’s “Readers’ Forum” section when members write in to laud FMCA’s emergency medical evacuation program and other benefits. So, by all means, share your personal experiences of how FMCA benefits have helped you.
For the budget conscious, discuss how discounts offered by participating FMCA commercial members or partners have saved you money on fuel, campgrounds, or rental cars.
You can’t be expected to relate everything FMCA has to offer. So, simply refer prospects to FMCA.com, where they can learn more about all of the membership benefits (fmca.com/membership) and absorb loads of essential motorhoming information (fmca.com/motorhomingguide). Plus, they can read about the history of FMCA and its purpose (fmca.com/about).
Of course, pass along or share a copy of FMC magazine, which contains membership applications in every issue.
FMCA also offers a free member recruitment tool kit that contains membership applications and background about FMCA. To request the kit, contact the Membership Department via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (800) 543-3622.
Only current family (F) and associate (A) members of FMCA may participate in Gimme Five! The recruiting member must be a current family or associate member in good standing with paid-up dues. Only new memberships for qualified family members will be accepted. Renewal and reinstatement memberships do not apply.
Members who recruit new members while volunteering or working in FMCA membership booths or FMCA-sponsored booths at FMCA international conventions, area rallies, RV shows, and rallies do not qualify for this program.
Free family memberships provided through FMCA’s Advertising Exchange Program are ineligible.
FMCA members who earn free membership renewals in the Gimme Five! program are still eligible for FMCA’s other recruitment rewards, including a free road atlas for the first recruitment after July 1, 2003, and a $5 merchandise coupon for each subsequent recruitment. Upon reaching 100 recruitments, members receive a special FMCA watch.
The Gimme Five! program ends December 31, 2004.
What’s that … you’ve recruited 10 members already? High five!