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Membership Sale!

Connie Boord
Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, USA
From: LEAVEN, Vol. 34 No. 3, June-July 1998, p. 53.

Two for one! One day only! Buy one, get second half price! Eighteen hour sale! 50% off! Bargain prices! Clip coupon! Rebates! One cent sale! Discount! These are some of the slogans that sellers use to entice buyers. People are tempted to buy an item just because it's on sale or at a discount. Who doesn't love a bargain?

Since becoming the editor for this column, I have been thinking a lot more about how our own local Group could promote membership. What would interest more mothers in joining La Leche League? How could we offer them a bargain that they couldn't refuse?

There are many ways to increase membership sales. Some Groups offer THE WOMANLY ART OF BREASTFEEDING at a discounted price when purchased in conjunction with a membership. Other Groups include a coupon in their New Mothers Packet for a reduced price on a membership. Another idea is to offer a member a rebate on her Area Conference registration. What mother doesn't like to save money while buying something she can really use?

LLL membership can also be promoted by emphasizing the many tangible benefits that LLL offers its members. Mothers know they are getting their money's worth when they receive their yearly subscription to NEW BEGINNINGS (or other member publication), an invaluable source of information. Discounts on orders from the LLLI Catalogue, reasonably priced term life insurance, a years attendance at meetings and use of the Group Library are additional benefits that mothers can use. And of course, the intangibles such as telephone help, breastfeeding information, parenting support and companionship are the major benefits!

Which of these advantages of La Leche League membership is the most attractive to mothers? Looking for an answer, I decided to take a quick informal survey of mothers in our Group, as well as other local Groups. I telephoned women who had recently purchased a membership and asked them their primary reason for joining La Leche League. I knew that their answers would help me solve my problem-how to increase Group membership numbers.

Now, I admit I conducted a very nonscientific poll with a small sampling of a tiny area of the world. However, I was surprised by the almost unanimity of the results.

Not one mother answered that she paid her membership in order to be able to attend meetings or to use the Group Library. Not one mother mentioned that she paid in order to receive a discount on books or products. Not one joined to save money on her conference registration or to purchase life insurance. And only one mother stated that she had joined especially to receive New BEGINNINGS.

What motivated these mothers to join LLL? The majority of women gave two top reasons for their decision, First, most of the mothers who come to LLL with breastfeeding questions join because they find answers they can use! During our phone conversations, many mothers told me their stories in detail, how indebted they are LLL and Leaders for helping them. They are grateful for all that they learn about nursing and mothering. One mother said. "The information and support I receive is so valuable. At only $30 it's a bargain!" Women join to say "thank you" to LLL.

The second most important reason mothers pay their membership is to support the organization that supported them. Mothers not only value the breastfeeding information they receive, but also the unique mother-to-mother support we offer, the companionship of like-minded women. Women join LLL not for material goods or personal gain, but for altruistic and humanitarian reasons. They want to see LLL work continue. One woman said she was "inspired by breastfeeding" and wanted our "wonderful organization to continue its great work." Mothers become members to show they passionately believe in our cause.

No matter what other benefits LLL has to offer, they are secondary to the real reason most women join. These women believe in our mission-providing education, information, support and encouragement women who want to breastfeed. And this belief compels them to join.

Perhaps our best sales pitch is to tell mothers, "La Leche League thrives because of mothers like you, who believe in the importance of mothering through breastfeeding. If LLL has helped you in any way with the information and support we share, please join so that La Leche League will be here for generations to come."

Ed. Note: Membership benefits may vary from country to country. Check with the Area Coordinator of Leaders.

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