Health Check: Discover, Diagnose, Design, Deliver

Association goal: Revenue Development

  • We need to increase the number of members.
  • We need improve our retention rate of members.
  • We need to improve the satisfaction of our members.
  • We need to increase the activity of the members.
  • We need to increase our value to members.

Association challenges and problems we often hear:

  • We’re not sure what’s working, and what’s not working.
  • We need to assess what’s working, and what’s not working, and not sure how to best do that.
  • We do not have the resources on staff to best do this.
  • We can’t afford the resources on staff to best do this.
  • We do not have the information or proper data to do this.
  • We do not know if we have information or proper data to best do this, and how to uncover it in our systems.

The Associations Connections team will assess your current state, make recommendations, develop a strategic plan, and execute that plan to help you reach your goals. We call it the Four Ds: Discover (current state), Diagnosis (assessment of effectiveness), Design (planning and strategy, recommendations for improvement, future state), and Delivery (execution of the plan, reporting, and results).


The Discover phase is to learn and identify the current state of your association’s needs. It is to uncover the objectives, wants, and expectations.

We begin the process of assisting our clients by asking many, many questions such as:

  • What are the response rates and pay-up rates of your membership marketing promotions?
  • What are the response rates, cost and pay-up for your membership renewal program? Have you tested alternatives?

With our four metalworking magazines, the entire demographic is male. However, we noticed that over two-thirds of the checks written for our subscriptions are from women. So, if the reader’s spouse doesn’t get the renewal notice, many times it doesn’t get paid – and the subscriber doesn’t know that until after the subscription has expired!

Knowledge is King! And, paying attention to the small details, and measuring them, makes all of the difference in an optimized promotion strategy.




The Diagnose phase is to ascertain the cause or nature of the stated problem or needs. It is the evaluation and assessment of the current state and identifying the gaps. Why were campaign goals not met? Why did objectives fall short? What could have been done better? What are the implications if the problem isn’t fixed?




The solution, cost, value, benefits, and show the return. Design the campaign plans and strategies, outline tactics. Refine the target audience. Craft the key message. Define new expectations and measurements.




After all the work and thought, it’s time to execute your strategy. For every online and print initiative, it’s about creating, testing, sending, and tracking, and measuring response and performance and setting up reporting to analyze the responses and performance over time.