Membership

Three Membership Tactics to Borrow From This Year’s Prime Day

By / Jul 10, 2018 (AdrianHancu/iStock Editorial/Getty Images Plus)

Amazon’s annual promotional event for its Prime membership offering is getting a few new wrinkles this year thanks to changes within the Seattle-based company. Their tactics might prove useful to borrow from.

We’re closing in on one of the most corporate of modern holidays, and it’s likely to be a big one.

I’m, of course, talking about Prime Day, Amazon’s attempt to bring some of the giving (or more specifically, buying) spirit to the month of July, while helping to draw attention to the benefits of being a member of the company’s closely watched Prime service.

Amazon has been doing this routine for a few years now, but the company is continually tweaking the formula of its popular offering. (One way it’s doing so? The event, starting the afternoon of July 16, takes place for 36 hours, not 24.)

A few membership ideas from what Amazon’s trying out this year:

Use membership campaigns to highlight lesser-known perks. Amazon has greatly diversified its offerings in recent years, thanks to a series of acquisitions and product launches. And this year, according to Business Insider, the company is offering discounts to Amazon Fresh with a $30 discount on an order of $100 or more, as well as similarly strong benefits for Prime Now delivery and Prime Pantry. “Taking all this together, Amazon is turning Prime Day into Prime Highlight Day,” the publication’s Dennis Green notes. Associations, likewise, should use a membership promotion campaign to show off the full breadth of the what they have to offer.

Turn benefits into sales with a private label. One way Amazon is helping to bolster its position as a membership-driven store is by offering a variety of products that can only be purchased at Amazon. Per Retail Dive, these vary from pet food to furniture. And not all of the brands are obvious—while many are familiar with AmazonBasics, the company also has brands like Rivet, Mama Bear, and Solimo. For associations, the play here might be with content—for example, by selling a line of books under your organization’s brand name (discounted for members, of course) or by launching a product like a podcast.

Add a physical component to your membership drive. The crown jewel of Amazon’s offerings that it didn’t have a year ago, of course, is Whole Foods, a widely watched acquisition that is expected to transform the retail giant’s business in significant ways. And the company is doing much to promote Prime Day in the grocery stores, reports Chain Store Age. (Among other things: Between July 11 and July 17, if you spend $10 in Whole Foods, you get a $10 credit to spend on Amazon on Prime Day.) While you may not be in the market to buy your own retail chain, Amazon’s move to put membership in the public eye by making it tangible at Whole Foods stores around the country is an interesting strategy and one worth borrowing from. Maybe it’s a conference; maybe it’s a partnership with a business that has a direct tie to consumers. But adding a physical component to membership holds a lot of potential.

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. More »

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