Lunchtime Links: Don’t Let the Odds Get You Down

Why even a microscopic percentage of prospective members converted is still worthy of your time. Also: Google crunched the data and learned this---about M&Ms.

Sure, it may feel like you have a better chance of winning the lottery than winning over that prospective member—but it’s a chance worth taking, if you do it right.

Why all’s not lost in your quest for membership growth, in today’s Lunchtime Links:

Shoot for the 0.5 percent: If you feel like the odds are against you as far as bringing a member back into the fold—or winning them over at all—fret not, says Marketing General’s Tony Rossell. “The fact is that even if 99.5 percent of the time you are correct and indeed a prospect will not join your organization, most organizations can still be remarkably successful with a 0.5 percent acceptance rate,” Rossell writes. Do those odds sound hopelessly small? It doesn’t matter, he explains, as long as you have the right scale. If you hit up 5,000 prospects, for example, at a cost of $1 each, and only 0.5 percent of those prospects sign up for a $200 yearly membership, you’ve broken even. And if 80 percent of those members stay on board for longer, the financial benefit is substantial.

What an M&M can tell you: At this year’s ASAE Annual Meeting & Expo, General Session closing speaker Dan Heath recalled the story about how rocker David Lee Roth used M&Ms as something of a barometer of how effectively a venue had followed a set of complex instructions in his band Van Halen’s concert rider. Not to be outdone, Google has been playing with the candy-shelled treats themselves, using them as sort of a data test to see how they can encourage healthier eating habits in the office. How’d they do that? Simple—they took M&Ms and placed them in opaque jars, while leaving healthier snacks visible in clear glass jars. What they found was that fewer employees reached for the candy, cutting their intake by 3.1 million calories in the company’s New York office alone. So why does this matter to you? It’s another example of a company utilizing actionable data over gut feelings. (Even if, well, those gut feelings tell you that M&Ms are awesome.)

Where does all the time go? Feeling a tad overworked? According to CMSWire, you’re not alone. A new infographic shows that 28 percent of top executives spend 60 hours or more working each week. The site’s Marisa Peacock offers up this caveat, however: “While we don’t doubt that there are executives working more than 60 hours a week, research shows that most of us tend to overestimate by 5-10 hours. Still, it’s a lot any way you look at it.” Be sure to check out the rest of the piece, which breaks down an average executive’s busy day, piece by piece.

What’s your biggest focus day to day? Tell us about it in the comments.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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