February 20, 2018

The value of membership marketing

Membership marketing

Membership marketing is when an organisation starts a membership programme with the aim of generating additional income, generating leads, and/or achieving other organisational goals. In other words, a membership programme is designed to offer clear benefits to the members over a specified time period in exchange for something of value to the business i.e. subscription fees, engagement, sales opportunities, etc.

The membership process generally comprises three basic stages: acquisition of new members,  providing value to the members and renewing their memberships plan. Each stage is usually broken down into sub-stages, and each one of those is aligned to specific types of communication.

Membership marketing impact on businesses

Membership marketing offers businesses some very powerful benefits. One of the biggest is that it helps you secure a regular, predictable income, which is key to creating stability and growth. Another major benefit is that, since people love to be part of something, it earns loyalty; and having a base of loyal members is a great starting point for launching and marketing other profitable goods or services – essentially it gives you a database of warm leads. It can also lead to wider brand exposure since many members will spread the word for you.

How to get it right

Firstly, you need a clear idea of how it fits into your general marketing strategy. What do you want to achieve? More revenue? More engagement? More sales or bookings? Once you know what your objectives are you can then design your membership programme around them.

The next stage is understanding your target audience. Who are they? What makes them tick? What problems do they need to solve? This knowledge is essential for making decisions about what to include in the membership.

Then you need to design the membership communication cycle. At Romax we suggest there are five stages in the cycle:

  1. Welcome pack
  2. Activities
  3. Newsletter, Catalogue or Magazine
  4. Unexpected Content
  5. Renewal letter.

Each stage should have well-crafted communications that help you bond with members, deliver value and encourage continued membership. This can mean a lot of specialist work, which is why many businesses partner with marketing firms like Romax who first help you plan the cycle, and then use their specialist resources to produce high-quality content both in print and digital media.

This type of service also helps you measure results and then use the data to improve the programme.

It’s worth noting that some firms choose to focus on digital communication because it’s cheaper and easier to analyse. However, the online market is heavily saturated and many people are suffering from email fatigue which lessens the impact of digital communications. So, to get ahead, many businesses are opting for traditional print media because its tangibility offers something real, that is, something tactile for the member and that in turn strengthens the brand perception.

Romax Marketing & Distribution has more than 20 years of experience managing membership and client printing and communication services for organisations such as Southbank Centre, DKMS and PlusNetContact us for a bespoke Membership Marketing Solution: hello@romax.co.uk, +44 (0) 20 8293 8550.

February 14, 2018

Webinar | 20th February | 1 pm

February Live Free Webinar

“Boost Your Membership Programme”

To make your Membership Programme a real success, you need to truly understand and engage your members through conversation on media platforms of their choosing.

Learn what works best to welcome members and ensure that they both benefit from their membership whilst increasingly supporting your organisation.

From the live free webinar Boost Your Membership Programme, you will:

  • Understand how to interact with members across all media types at the right time to suit them
  • Improve your chances of early and increased renewal
  • Be introduced to techniques aimed at increasing member spend
  • See how to successfully boost your membership


Webinar: Boost Your Membership Programme
When: Tuesday 20th February 2018
Time: 1 pm GMT (30 min duration)
Host: Robin Sumner, Managing director Romax Marketing & Distribution.

Romax Marketing & Distribution provides a wide range of services in Membership Communication Services.  We work with membership organisations such as DMKS, Southbank Centre, V&A and PlusNet.

January 3, 2018

How a Membership Programme Increases Loyalty and Renewals

Written by Nilda Cerna, Marketing Manager at Romax Marketing & Distribution.


Are you looking for new ways to convert and reactivate new and old customers? The answer is most likely yes, who doesn’t want to reduce the time spent on converting a new client, whilst increasing the number of membership renewals?

As a marketer, are you wondering how to increase your member loyalty, upgrade their status, increase their use of your services, convert them into an ambassador of your brand and increase the likelihood of them renewing without having to chase them. The answer to your dilemma is a fully interactive Membership Programme.


De Vere Hotels Membership – Case Study at the end of the blog post.


What is a Membership Programme – MP?

A membership programme is an excellent way to find new customers and retain current. The status of a member through a subscription, which can be paid or unpaid subject to your chosen model.

The organisations and companies who are likely to implement a Membership Programme are those who provide a permanent advantage or privilege reflected in special services, products or give beneficial access to their installations or activities.

Art organisations, such as Southbank Centre and V&A Museum, are using their MP successfully as an important way to acquire and retain members.  However, such programmes are applicable to a wide range of organisations who offer permanent services associated to a monthly or annual fee, such as professional organisations, charities, leisure centres, gyms, insurance companies, who also refer to their customers as members, because they received a welcome pack detailing services according to the plan selected.

You are not a customer with American Express – or the Automobile Association, you are a ‘Member Since’, this differential instils a belonging amongst its ‘customers’ inferring membership as a privilege, not a business transaction.


What Constitutes Membership Communication?

A membership communication is a series of useful and personalised communications, across all media both printed and electronic, to your members aimed at increasing your brand recognition, customer engagement with your product, services as well as a brand.

There are multiple options and the frequency that you communicate will depend on the services schedule and promotions that you have in a certain period. However, there are some ‘must have’ communications that should be considered to keep your brand front of mind and push the first purchase or user interaction. Regular printed and digital communication are needed.

How often do you have to send them?

It will depend on your offer and your capacities of managing the material either internally or with a direct marketing partner and marketing agency. At Romax Marketing, we review the stage of your business, the offers and services that you provide, the type and expectation of your market and of course your budget, then make best practice and practical advice on how to leverage that to your best advantage. 


What kind of information do I have to send?

  1. Welcome Pack

Every time a new client or member comes along, sending a welcome pack is strongly recommended, this must include:

  • Personalised welcome letter and thanks
  • Personalised member card or at least a list of member/customer benefits and how to access them
  • Call to action. Such as the current offer activities, a discount coupon or code if you are selling products or services.
  • Where best to find you – the local branches – events in the members geographical area.

Additionally, you can include in the welcome pack your latest magazine issue and other marketing collateral. London Zoo’s welcome pack includes a member card, welcome letter, a member’s seasonal guide,  activities book, a height record chart, some badges with animal’s pictures which are very popular with children and the discount offers pack.


  1. Activities Programme

The best way to encourage customers and members to join in your activities are by sending them targeted content. Most membership organisations segment their members according to their status.

For example, the V&A museum has four membership types: Standard, Under 26, Contributing and Patrons. All of them have access to all their collections, but the Patrons have private events which include visiting the studios of Sir Antony Gormeley OBE for example or invitations to the annual dinner. For this reason, the V&A museum sends a targeted communication to their members, which have different text and different images to reflect the membership and drive engagement suited to the member type.


va_full_letter_1 va_full_letter_2 va_full_letter_3







3. Newsletter, Catalogue or Magazine

Providing members with useful information that they can read and keep for a long time is another way to build your brand and increase engagement. The options are varied, a smart A4 bi-fold newsletter, such as Romax sends quarterly or a more elaborate magazine. You can also send them catalogues if you have a services or products to offer that hold variable content directed to the individual recipient.  Remember that 63% of people prefer to read brochures and catalogues in printed format, source: It’s all about Mail and Email, Royal Mail MarketReach, 2014.

4. Unexpected Content

 To stand out from the crowd, your content must be innovative. When you receive something unexpected or different, it grabs the attention and reinforces your brand recall. Including an insert in your regular communication is a low-cost option. Romax, for example, includes such items as a guide to Paper and Envelope Dimensions or a Marketing ‘Key Dates’ Calendar, to act as a reminder to you for the whole year.  Unexpected content, or the design to portray your offer, when thought through has not cost prohibitive. Imagination and clever use of data to drive your message correctly will pay dividends.

5. Renewal Letter

This is probably ‘THE’ key communication for any organisation seeking to improve or start a member benefits programme. It’s the way to portray your organisation, its activities and promote member loyalty. Giving them multiple options on how and when to renew their membership is essential. Nowadays, any payment is the best payment, printed forms and timely reminders will create action from your member and help you to accelerate the renewal process. Did you know that 92% of people went to online as a result of receiving Direct Mail?

Southbank Centre Membership send a designated sequence of letters around the renewal process which drives membership and increases retention.

Sending a renewal communication also gives you the opportunity to present other plan options and recommend upgrades, both, for the membership plan and to increase the number of members. In one year a lot of things can happen!


How Do I Send Membership Communications?

Sending your offer by email is cheaper, but remember that 70% of people say, “I feel that I receive too many emails” and 51% of the emails are deleted within two seconds. Moreover, if you want to impact on your members, you need to send them a targeted printed communication. Brands that communicate through print are perceived as higher quality, with increased brand trust.

You can manage your own “printing” in situ or you can outsource this job to companies as Romax Marketing to improve your user experience, reduce turnaround, save on print costs and reduce postage expense.


Remember: High Quality is an Investment, Not a Cost

How you portray your organisation is an important part of your brand.  A study realised by Sappi, shows that when people assess brands purely on the way they were being promoted (high quality versus cheaper uncoated paper and online), they found they were three times more likely to recall the name of the brand which had a high-quality and coated paper and was more impressed by that company. A high-quality welcome pack can make a massive difference in the perception and offers associated with your brand.



Case Study – De Vere Hotels Membership


De Vere is a collection of modern, country estate hotels with mansion houses at their heart, mixing leisure with marketing-leading conference facilities.

They set the challenge of launching “De Vere Golf Points”, a loyalty programme, with the goal to recruit 3,5K infrequent golfer to use their 16 courses.

The research showed that the target audience wouldn’t be engaged by something called Golf Points. Insight showed the target was a real golfer who wanted all the benefits, heritage, style, emotion and status that come with a real golf club membership.

The solution was a new brand, look and feel based on a far more aspirational name was created: The De Vere Club. A stylish and elegant “Golf your Way” campaign was launched with a promise to “change the way you play golf forever.”


The results on the first six months were:

  • 700 full cost memberships sold – worth up to £2,500 pa.
  • 3,220 De Vere Club memberships were sold across 22 sites
  • Golf membership has grown by 130%.

Source: DMA






Romax Marketing & Distribution, a Greenwich-London based company, provides a wide range of services in Direct Marketing for B2B and B2CDirect Mail, Data Management, Printing, Discount Postage and Membership Communication Services and Consultancy. Contact us: hello@romax.co.uk +44 (0) 20 8293 8550


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June 21, 2017

UK printing facts and figures

Written by Nilda Cerna, Marketing Manager at Romax Marketing & Distribution.

What is printing?

83% of people valued mail that kept them up to date.

It’s almost impossible to imagine the world without print. It’s all around us and plays a vital role in our daily lives, newspapers, magazines, invoices, brochures, notebooks, books and adult colouring books!

Printing is a highly effective offering “a real-world experience” via tactile sensations, grabbing and holding peoples’ attention longer than digital communications. According to the Institute of direct and digital marketing, “62% of young families keep mail in a special place.”

With an industry turnover of £13.5 Billion and employing around 122,000 people in 8,600 companies, the UK printing sector is an important economic contributor, and the fifth largest producer in the world, behind the US, China, Japan and Germany.

The rapid growth of the internet has put the print media under threat, however, the latest Advertising Association reveals that the printing advertising grew by 8.1% in 2015, and is forecasted to grow by 3.8% in average over coming years as the overload in electronic communication reduces its effects.

uk-facts-figures-graph Why print media?

59% of people have visited a company website to find out more after receiving a door drop

The vast majority of printed products have an impact on marketing. Printed communications are available in a wide range of sizes, forms and textures, and is engaging, versatile and creative. Direct mail uses its ability to gain access to an individual’s home delivering a targeted sales messages, while doors drops have an enviable reach and ROI. According to Royal Mail, 92% of people read the door drops delivered to their homes and 59% of them have visited the companies website.

Direct Mail and Catalogues provide inspiration for customers before they make the purchase either online or in a store. Research from The Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing shows that “1 in 4 couples have bought something as a result of addressed mail in 2016.”


Why people value print media?

60% of Britons said valued mail can help keep the brand front of mind

Print communications contain information that keeps customers and leads up to date. According to the Valued Mail research study by the Royal Mail MarketReach “44% of people feel better informed by mail they value”.

Direct Mail and others types of printing communication create real feelings. Some are personal, others purely transactional and some arise due to the relationship between the recipient and sender. 45% of people feel happy when they receive mail they value.

Companies who have membership programmes, know the high impact of the printing communication to add value to their service. The V&A Museum in London, the world’s leading museum of art and design, is one of those who sends more than 95,000 targeted letters and printing communication annually to their members, in partnership with Romax Marketing.

How print media increases ROI

 Campaigns that included mail were 40% more likely to deliver top-ranking acquisition levels than campaigns without mail

When mail was included in a marketing campaign, the total communications ROI rose by 12%.  A personalised direct market could increase even more this value, duplicating it in some cases, as the prestigious UK retailer Emma Bridgewater, who increased by 25% their ROI from a Direct Marketing Christmas Campaign.

UK Printing facts demonstrate how the inclusion of printed communication as part of the online and offline media mix, increase the interaction and the customer is more likely to take positive action.

Print is sustainable

Reading a print newspaper can consume 20% less carbon than viewing news online

Print media needs paper as a main raw material source, raising an emotive area for environmental concern. The European forested area has grown over 30% since 1950 and the paper industry is recycling 72% of the paper used – that’s equivalent to recycling 2 tonnes every second, according to the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology.

The printing process is constantly becoming more environmentally friendly, refining its materials and processes to reduce its impact.


Romax Marketing & Distribution, a Greenwich-London based company, is leading the printing industry with the latest technology and process since 1997.

Romax provides a wide range of services in Direct Marketing for B2B and B2C, including Consultancy, Direct Mail, Data Management, Printing, Discount Postages, Membership Services, contact us for your client focused proposal.

Resources: Mailmen.co.uk, Twosides.co.uk, 3Bet Media Marketing, Royal Mail – Door to Door Bpif.co.uk.

Romax Marketing & Distribution provides a wide range of services in Direct Marketing for B2B and B2C, including Direct Mail, Data Management, Printing, Discount Postage, Membership Communication Services, and Consultancy. 

Contact us, either by phone +44 (0) 20 8293 8550, email hello@romax.co.uk

September 6, 2016

Membership and Brand Loyalty Management

Membership and Brand Loyalty Management

By Charlene Plows, Head of Client Services, Romax

How often to you interact with your subscribers or customers? Every week, month, quarter, yearly, or just when you remember? How are you creating brand loyalty?

Membership and subscriptions are vital for the survival of many companies.

Regular communication with consumers is paramount in creating mutual benefit. Subscribers to your services should be informed of upcoming events, incentives, renewal dates and general day to day updates.

An initial welcome pack to new users of your service is usually taken very well and there are many benefits to sending these out. Welcome packs can create a positive first impression with your new audience in a way that helps nurture a good perception of your organisation. They provide a great platform to promote other services along with presenting useful information to your patrons that they can store in a convenient and accessible way. Welcome packs are an inexpensive and practical way of starting brand loyalty.

Corporate Brand Building

Membership cards and member benefit offers are important elements within marketing programs designed at building brand loyalty. Consumers and business customers can apply for membership cards offered by companies that sell products or services that they buy frequently. The cards provide customers with such benefits as discounts on future purchases or such privileges as VIP access to events. Membership cards may be free to customers or may incur a charge if they offer high-value privileges.

Membership cards provide companies with an opportunity to add value for their customers. Members, for example, may receive exclusive offers or rewards in the form of loyalty points that they can exchange for other products or services.

Companies can structure their membership programmes and discount offers to encourage higher spending. They may offer tiered discounts or additional rewards to customers who spend above a certain level. Companies can also offer different categories of membership to customers who commit to spending at an agreed-on level. The scheme might offer silver, gold and platinum membership cards, each with corresponding levels of benefit.

Retail Sales and Loyalty Creation

Membership cards that incorporate magnetic strips or micro-chips enable companies to capture data at the point of sale and build a picture of individual customers’ spending patterns and preferences. These data enable them to develop a detailed understanding of their customer base and create personalised marketing campaigns that build stronger customer relationships. A retailer, for example, might offer individual customers a series of discount vouchers based on their most frequent purchases.

Provided the scheme offers benefits that customers value, membership cards can strengthen brand loyalty. Customers who receive personalised discount vouchers, for example, are likely to continue purchasing the same brand to take advantage of the offer. Membership cards can also solidify a customer’s connection to a company, particularly if the customer enjoys high-value privileges.


Romax Marketing & Distribution, a Greenwich-London based company, provides a wide range of services in Direct Marketing for B2B and B2CDirect Mail, Data Management, Printing, Discount Postage and Membership Communication Services and Consultancy. Contact us: hello@romax.co.uk +44 (0) 20 8293 8550

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August 20, 2015

Is it Time to Refresh your Membership?

Is it Time to Refresh Your Membership and Re-evaluate Your Approach?

Members of an organisation are its lifeblood. But what is the perfect member?

How many members do you want? Or need? Or can the organisation cope with?

Who is your target member(s)? Which members bring the best to the organisation?

The list goes on and on. What is the best way to not only recruit but to retain members, and how do you increase the length of an average membership?

Membership of an organisation revolves around the positive outcomes that the member receives by being a member of that organisation, so how do you improve on that, and continue to make the benefits of membership to the member far outweigh the cost or commitment of membership?

Firstly, value, the cost of membership must be ‘worth it’. Exclusive clubs give the perception of worth through limited membership and high cost, the perceived value of membership being that of exclusivity. The majority of members, however, must feel that there is a greater fiscal return or emotional value (usually both) compared to the cost of membership.

Best assets: Highest Critics – Not listening, Not responding and fundamentally not ‘representing the needs’ of your members is the quickest way to reduce membership. Any organisation offering membership, should, rather than stipulating rules and dictating terms, services etc, be open to feedback that moves the organisation forward AND therefore is seen as a thought leader and proactive organisation. Often organisations react too slowly, (They do say if you want something done don’t involve a committee) but there must be a way for organisations to streamline and think more radically to meet the ever increasing and diverse needs of a broad membership.

Appropriate, timely and proactive communication for your membership is critical. But not every section of your membership is going to either need or want to hear about every aspect. How then do you define who gets what information and how do you manage that? Of course, this is down to what data is held and the storage of that data in a way that allows for ease of access and defines sections and subsections of a membership accurately. It must also allow for real-time interaction between the member and the data so that the experience is genuine and accurate. This brings us onto the software used for membership data storage. I am certainly not qualified to make any suggestions for this as the range of options and your needs are massive, but the following site provides a good software comparison across a multitude of sectors: Capterra

You are not alone! Remember, there are various forums and networks for membership organisations. Peer to peer communication makes for a stronger sector. Discussions within an industry around industry-related issues or concerns that effect the organisation or more importantly the members of that organisation, mean that resolutions can be found and common problems resolved to everyone’s benefit. One such network is the Membership Management Forum

Timely and Relevant Communication. Membership is not something that happens at annual renewal time. It is a strategic process, a process that needs to be implemented daily. Implementation happens through participation. Touchpoints that are relevant to the period of membership involve that member adding value to their experience and creating a further ambassador for your organisation. Be it a quarterly magazine, regular email with interesting articles, request for voluntary help, a survey, a call or something FREE that only members will benefit from. If when eating out, the only time the waiter paid any attention to you was when they placed a smiley face on the printed bill won’t make you want to come back or make a recommendation in a hurray! An article by Carol Dunitz Ph.D provides invaluable insight and a great reminder on how to approach communication.

There is no one size fits all solution to membership, but I believe that membership organisations need to work a little smarter to improve the experience their members experience and the first place to do that is to around the information that is shared and the two-way communication between the member and the organisation. The more involved the more data is known, the more valued the member feels as a result.


romax_logo_tag_blueRomax Marketing & Distribution, a Greenwich-London based company, provides a wide range of services in Direct Marketing for B2B and B2CDirect Mail, Data Management, Printing, Discount Postage and Membership Communication Services and Consultancy. Contact us: hello@romax.co.uk +44 (0) 20 8293 8550

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November 12, 2014

Membership Card Printing – Do Membership Cards Work?

How Can Membership Cards Work?

While loyalty cards are common for businesses such as grocery stores and gyms, they can also be applied to virtually any organisation that offers a service or benefit. These are particularly important in paid membership as the member expects to receive quality communication and the quality of the card and presentation reflects your organisation as a whole.

The benefits of offering a membership are many, with most of them psychological as a means to keep your organisation in the mind of your consumer. (It is vital that Members are seen as ‘consumers’ of your ‘product’).

– Most consumers who participate in a membership program are more likely to use that service and feel more engaged.
– Offering your Members certain ‘Member-only’ benefits for free (or inclusive of cost) after so many visits is a reward tactic many consumers love.
– Offering a discount on items within your organisation for loyal members is another valid tactic.
– Extended Membership programs allow you to compete against rival organisations more effectively.
– Gift cards introduce new members to your organisation, and provide a long-term value to the recipient.

Continued Investment in Membership Card Printing Equipment following further contract wins ensure that Romax clients receive the very best in quality and service.

Romax supplies plastic membership cards and the personalisation of those plastic cards for many clients that require membership communication. Clients range from NHS Trusts, Societies and Arts and Culture Organisations including Surrey and Boarders Partnership Foundation Trust, Southbank Centre, V&A and the Society of Operations Engineers.

The Zebra ZXP Series 7 printer has an innovative design, and our latest investment to enhance our current card printing capabilities automatically adjusts to the thickness of the card, and ribbon loading is easy with colour coded guides and a clear LCD control. The printer also allows us to code integral microchips, magnetic strips and print in exceptionally high definition colour on both sides of the card.

romax_logo_tag_blueRomax Marketing & Distribution, a Greenwich-London based company, provides a wide range of services in Direct Marketing for B2B and B2CDirect Mail, Data Management, Printing, Discount Postage and Membership Communication Services and Consultancy. Contact us: hello@romax.co.uk +44 (0) 20 8293 8550

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