The financial industry geek in me comes out:
When you say PSI has only had 2500 members in it's lifetime, those are under the behaviors that we have exhibited up to now, so we have to be careful to not use that as a benchmark- I mean, How many members MIGHT WE HAVE HAD if we had place a comprehensive relationship program in place years ago. The membership program became centered around event participation because it was, for lack of a better term, easy.
And when it is put out there that PSI has only had at peak 900 active at one time, it says there are a number of people, that for whatever reason, didn't feel they were getting value from their membership. That's an opportunity to look at that relationship and say, "hey, what's important to you? Even if you aren't going to the big tournaments any longer, what can we offer to make your membership worthwhile?"
Let me put this forth-
Let's say we have a "fairly" comprehensive membership management program- so, let's say we communicate a "single of the week" to the membership in the same way that Apple iTunes does, and offer them an mp3 of someone somewhere at a reduces rate. Let's say we tag onto that email a message about the upcoming tourney, and a breif profile about one of the certified venues. When a new DVD comes out, let's say we throw a promotional tag into the email for it.
Let's also assume that we are promoting the $35 membership level, and offering some additional benefits as outlined below.
Membership is a source of income, just like event registration- think of it it's own reoccurring event, I mean:
900 paid Members at $35/per is $31,500
If you keep the "costs" associated with a $35 member to $15, that's an additional $18,000 to the bottom line (with 900 members).
So, with 900 members, you can offer $13,500 in benefits.
2% (or 18 people) of those members an all access pass to NPS at (retail $50) say $40 because they got a discount for being a member, that adds an additional $720. You've spent $180.
2% (or 18 people) of those members purchase all access pass to iwps at $40 (again, let's say they got a 20% discount from $50), then there is another $720
WOWps? OK, lets assume the same, plus $720. You've spent $180.
And the Merch store, let's say that we send out a regular MP3 of the week for sale for $.89 (exclusive to members), and 1%, or 9 people, from the membership list purchase that MP3 each week- that's $8.01 per week or an additional $416.52 per year. You've spent $46.80
And the year two thousand whatever DVD that results from the show? Again, let's say they get a discount (20%), and 1% of membership, or 9 people buy one (retail $19.99, disc $15.99), so we have spent $40, and acquired an additional $143.92
So far, you have "Spent" $550 of your $13,500, and added $2000, or in the neighborhood of generating $4 for every $1 you spend.
Now, let's assume you would liek to add to your membership rolls, beyond the 900. So, let's say we go to one of our most popular poets, a different one every year, and we ask them to donate the use of 5-10 recordings to use in an exclusive membership. I think it's both fair and I think alot of poets would be willing to help. Or, even turn it into a contest, or something similar.
So, we make a Special CD each year, and if someone refers someone to be a member (that had not been a member in the previous 3 years), then, each of them receive a copy of the special edition disc (cost at $6.50- shipping). Let's assume 2% (18 people) of the existing population each year actually refers someone and get credit, so now, we have "spent" $234 additional dollars, and added $630 more dollars in income. This creates an upward cycle, creating a larger membership base and growing the other numbers organically.
These are all fast and furious numbers, but numbers I don't believe are unrealistic- IF there is a dedicated person working on the program on a regular basis.
So, let me summarize this a little better...
Assumes 900 members at the $35 level.
Category Generated Income Expense
Membership Renewal $31,500 $5,000*
NPS Discount $720 $180
iWPS Discount $720 $180
WOWps Discount $720 $180
MP3 $416.52 $46.80
DVD $143.92 $40
Referral Drive $630 $234
Totals $34,850.44 $5,860.90
Let's just assume that misc costs associated with emails, reminders, and time are placed here.