From: Association of Collecting Clubs
18222 Flower Hill Way #299
Gaithersburg, MD 20879
To: Digital Reprieve, Inc.
From: Association of Collecting Clubs
Subject: ACC Update, Vol 4, No 6, April 3, 2006
Club Promotion - Membership Recruitment/Retention - Networking
With this ACC Update we are continuing our current emphasis on promotion and
membership recruitment. As always, we like hearing your comments on how you are
promoting your club, recruiting new members...keeping your members...and trying
networking ideas. We welcome the opportunity to share your experiences with the
leadership of other clubs.
Share the Hobby. Member Recruitment with a Cash Incentive
The American Philatelic Society has a campaign whereby members can propose a
new APS member and earn $5.00. Their message is simple and direct:
"Do you correspond or trade with other stamp-collectors? Do you buy or sell
via Internet auctions? Do you edit a newsletter or publish price lists? Well,
consider distributing APS Business Referral Cards in your mailings to other
"The cards not only are a great recruiting tool for the APS, they also serve
to identify you as a member of America's national stamp society.
"For dealers who can display it in a retail store or at stamp bourses, we
have available a distinctive 9" x 12" card-display plaque. A smaller plastic
fold-up counter box for displaying free APS membership brochures also is
"And, best of all, you will receive a $5.00 check every time someone joins
APS as a result of your referral. Cash it and buy lunch, or send it back to us
as a tax-deductible donation. Actually, we hope you'll "reinvest" this money
somewhere in the philatelic marketplace.
"Sponsor at least five (5) new APS members in the same calendar year and
we'll also give you one year's dues FREE in addition to the checks you receive.
So recruit five new APS members you'll receive $25 and a year's FREE dues!
"Become an APS Booster! These free cards can mean members for us, and $5 for
you! Only APS members may distribute these cards. you must provide a valid APS
member number to obtain these."
To view the referral card and ordering information form, go up on the
American Philatelic Society website:
We asked Ken Martin at APS how the program has been working. Ken says the
program is working well enough that APS will continue to offer it, but it has
not generated as many new members as they had hoped. He adds, however, that the
program has been more cost effective than paid advertising or direct mail
solicitations. Ken states that over the past year about 375 members recruited at
least one new member and a portion of the recruiters donate back their earnings
to the Society.
Like many other clubs and societies, Ken says that dealers and auction houses
remain their largest source for new members. For the 15th time in the last 16
years, Donald Sundman of Mystic Stamp Company in Camden, New York, sponsored the
most new applicants for membership in APS.
ACC Club Promotion Traveling Loan Library
As promised in the last ACC Update, the Club Promotion Traveling Loan Library
is now available. If you are thinking about developing a new promotion piece, or
upgrading your membership brochure, you might want to borrow this loan library
to review some samples of what other collecting groups are using. Perhaps you
have an upcoming board meeting where you would like to share them.
The loan library consists of over 50 examples representing that number of
clubs. We have several sets however ask that you keep the Traveling Loan Library
for no longer than two weeks and that it be returned in the same condition as
received. Your only obligation is to return it on time and to pay the return
postage (which we estimate as being below $6 in the U.S.).
If you are interested in receiving this loan library please let us know what
date you would like to receive it, along with full postal mailing address and
the contact name and club to whom it should be addressed. (If you have optional
dates that would be helpful.) Send your request information to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Club Promotion Brochures...The Good, The Bad and the Ugly
Well, it may not really be that bad - but there are examples of all kinds of
printed promotions that can easily illustrate what to do and what not to do.
Club leadership needs to remember that what you are using to promote your group,
no matter whether a tri-fold brochure or an 8-1/2 x 11 flier or something else,
for many people...and potential members...this is their image of what you are
all about. Next to your website, it may be the most important visual thing you
The Association of Collecting Clubs has just reviewed the promotion pieces
used by several hundred clubs. As a critique, we offer the following points to
consider when planning a club promotion piece:
1 - Identity. Make sure the club name is highly visible on the cover if a
brochure, or at the top if a single-sheet flier. Using the club logo can serve
this purpose IF the logo is easily readable...many of them are not.
2 - Size. Our preference is rack card size because of its versatility -
8-1/2" x 3-3/4" vertical. Many clubs use tri-folds (6-panels) which fold to this
size, or even quad-folds (8-panels) if you have a lot to say, but single panels
- one side or two sided are also good and you can get 3 copies from just one
sheet of card stock. The standard 8-1/2" x 11" flier, single sided or 2-sided,
is also a popular size selected by a number of clubs but not quite as functional
as the rack card size. Rack card fliers can easily be put into an envelope, and
remember all those promo pockets that many antique & collectible malls have just
for this purpose.
3 - Full Color versus one or two color piece. More and more clubs are going
to full color promotion pieces, but there is no reason why a well done piece in
just one color or two colors can't be just as functional. One factor here - in
this age of digitized printing full color is not necessarily cost prohibitive.
Also, use the Internet to shop around. There are printers who specialize in this
sort of printing, including small runs, who are exceedingly competitive - even
with the cost of having to pay shipping from their location.
4 - Layout and Design. This area may be the biggest weakness of the promotion
pieces ACC critiqued. Make it easy on the eye, clean...a piece someone wants to
pick up and to read. It should "sell" the organization. If you use photos, make
sure they are in focus, properly cropped and give the image you want to convey.
A picture of a group of "good old boys" hunkered over a display table at a show
may not exactly convey the image you are looking for. Anything printed in
multi-color should be tested by running it through a black & white photocopy
machine while still in the design stages to make sure it is readable in black &
white in case someone wants to copy the color version. Shocking colored paper
stock may be an attention grabber, but again remember this is the image of your
group - select wisely. If designing a tri-fold, make sure the copy flow makes
sense after the piece is folded.
5 - Content. Our recommendations: A brief statement about the collecting area
itself, objectives of the club, membership benefits including services and
activities, contact information including website address if your club has a
website, and membership application. Some clubs get preoccupied with including a
lot of club history...this belongs in another publication, not the promotion
piece. We feel the same way about listing club officers...probably totally
meaningless to most people picking up the brochure or flier. Listing dates and
announcements for your next annual convention or for shows totally dates the
piece and should not be included unless you have plans of revising your
promotion piece every year and destroying the old copies. The important thing
here is to remember that you don't have to tell them everything. A clear,
concise message written in a convincing way, and visually appealing, should be
6 - Self-mailer versus Cut-off member application versus insert. All club
promotion pieces with the objective of recruiting new members should definitely
include some form of member application. We have seen effective examples of all
types of application treatment and don't really have a preference so long as it
makes sense. One caution, if doing the application as one panel on a tri-fold
leaflet, make sure the information on the opposite side is well planned so there
isn't a major loss of information once the application is cut off and mailed.
Again, for tri-folds or quad-folds, a separate application form slipped inside
might be a good consideration, thus preventing the dating of the promo piece.
7 - Small Quantities. If you are a very small club and require only a small
quantity of promotion pieces, you may want to check out the pre-printed stock
now available in dozens of designs at any office supply store. If you find an
appropriate design to compliment the look and feel for your club, you can buy a
ream of full color border or background stock and simply print your message in
8 - Final comments. Remember that your club's promotion piece conveys your
image. Make sure you are satisfied with the look and the message. Also, a
professional looking piece does not have to be expensive.
Join A Club Program Off and Running
The ACC's new program to assist clubs recruit more members is now fully
launched. Check-off sheets allow collectors to indicate clubs from which they
would like to receive more information. The queries comes into ACC and are sent
out directly to clubs for you to handle as you deem appropriate.
Quantities of check-off forms are being placed in major antique malls, at
shows, flea markets, auction houses and museums. If you have an upcoming show or
event let us know when it is and where to send the Join A Club kit and we'll get
one out to you. Besides general check-off forms there are both geographic and
topical forms. Geographic forms cover various sections of the U.S. as well as
forms for Canada and for Great Britain. Topical forms are great for specialty
events such as glass shows, paper shows, stamp shows, toy shows, etc.
People can also use the "check-off" sheets on line at