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The most common way that chambers use the Business Intelligence Report is to e-mail or print/mail the publication to the membership as a value-added benefit to increase member retention and goodwill.
However, chambers of all sizes have created different ways to use and distribute the Business Intelligence Report. Some insert it into their chamber newsletters to increase readership. Many have found it to be an effective tool for selling memberships to new companies. Some chambers secure sponsors, while others rely solely on increased member retention to fund it. All have found that it translates into positive feedback from members..
Second, you can always ask them if this is something they can use. However, don’t fall into the trap of asking just a few people for their opinion. Those few people do not represent the average chamber member. Instead, we will allow a survey of up to 500 randomly selected members to get their opinions on our publication. This is an option that we offer for free to chambers that are serious about using our product. Call for details.
Are we locking ourselves into a contract?
That’s a tough question. Many factors go into whether a member stays with a chamber or not. Let’s face it, you can’t simply ask, "Did you stay with the chamber because of the Business Intelligence Report?" If the Business Intelligence Report is the only reason your members are staying with the chamber, your chamber has bigger problems than we could probably address. Usually it’s a mix of benefits that makes the difference.
Even so, we can indirectly measure how well we are helping you retain members. We do this by surveying your members and asking them to rate how valuable the publication is to them and how important their benefits package is to remaining a member. If we rate as one of the top member benefits, and benefits are important to your members, it’s likely that we’ve made a positive impact on your chamber’s revenue. We offer this option for free to clients who have been with us for one year or more. Call for details.
There are several methods to do this:
1) E-mail is the least expensive method and has become the most popular. We've developed an easy-to-read HTML e-mail version along with a text version for text-only email clients.
Our original PDF version can also be emailed to your members as an attachment, or you can email a link to the PDF version posted on your web server (see method 2 for more on this solution).
2) You can post it on your chamber’s Web site. However, it must be located in a password-protected, members-only area. This can also be a great way to drive member traffic to your web site, but you need to create a way to let them know there’s a new issue each month (such as emailing a link to the new issue).
3) You can also insert part or all of it into your existing newsletter. This is often done to save on printing costs and to increase newsletter readership.
4) Finally, you can print the publication and mail it to your members. This is one of the most effective ways to communicate with your members, but additional costs are involved. Chambers that use this method will usually have sponsors or advertisers to cover printing and mailing costs.
We e-mail the PDF version of the publication on the 24th of each month for the following month’s issue. The HTML version can take an extra day.
We also offer several formats: Adobe Acrobat (the most common format and the viewing software is free), InDesign and HTML. We can also supply the publication text as a Microsoft Word file if you are planning on using the editorial in your newsletter.