Is it worth it to join the Alameda Chamber & Economic Alliance? How do you know? Calculating the return on investment for chamber membership can be quite simple. But first, you must decide how you plan on measuring it. Here’s what you need to think about:
Return on investment is calculated quite simply. According to Investopedia, the calculation is:
Not hard to figure out.
Your gain from your chamber investment would be any new sales you made due to membership. Subtract what you paid for membership from that and divide it by that same amount.
You can calculate it as a one-off sale and one year of membership, or if you know what your average customer is worth over their lifetime, you can calculate it over several years.
That calculation is easy enough if your new customer has identified themselves as someone who found you through the chamber. It also works if you connected with them at a chamber event. But it’s not the only way to calculate return. Here are a few other ideas.
Specialized Discount Code
Many businesses circulate the same discounts in multiple places. They use the same discount in a welcome packet, visitor’s map, phone book, or any number of other local spots. It’s the same 20% off coupon or the same savings code. That’s great for the customer but not for the business. It tells them very little about where it came from. If you’re going to offer member-to-member discounts, provide a special code just for that source. If you’re providing discounts for directory referrals, make sure you are tracking them differently than through a generic coupon or discount code. Creating unique discount codes or coupons is essential to understanding which referral sources are working and which ones aren’t. Plus, you’ll have a more accurate look at your return on investment.
ROI should also depend on what your goals are for chamber membership. If you simply want more customers the ROI equation presented earlier works with a couple of additional qualifiers like the discount code. But it’s not the only thing you can calculate return on.
Landing Page Analysis
If you’re getting ready for a big chamber networking event, create a landing page and use a special QR code to get people there. That way you can track the performance of your landing pages using analytics tools. By examining the data, you can identify which landing pages are generating the most leads. Compare the performance of different landing pages to understand which marketing initiatives, campaigns, or events are driving leads.
Implement conversion tracking on your website. This involves placing tracking codes or pixels on key pages, such as thank you pages or confirmation pages that appear after a lead completes a desired action. By tracking these conversions, you can attribute leads to specific sources or marketing campaigns.
Lead Generation Forms
This is another great tool to use for a networking event. Create an event-specific code (or create a code for chamber members or on the collateral you leave at the chamber office) that directs to a lead capture form on your website. If this lead capture form is specific to the chamber/chamber members and it’s the only place you use this, you needn’t include fields that capture information about the lead source. You’ll already know what that is. If members (or the chamber) refer others using that code/form, you’ll see that too.
Your goal may not be about new customers but increasing brand recognition first. For people to buy from you, they need to know, like, and trust you. If brand recognition is important to you and a goal for your chamber membership, then you need to track brand awareness to figure out your return. An increase in brand awareness will be evident in Google Analytics by looking at direct hits to your website. This figure tracks people who typed in your URL to get to your site directly. If you see an increase over time, this says more people are thinking about you specifically, not getting to you by searching for keywords.
But if you want to know how much of your brand awareness is chamber related, go to Google Analytics, and click on the acquisition tab. In the “Acquisition” section, you can explore various reports such as “Channels” to see which channels are driving the most leads, “Source/Medium” to identify specific websites or platforms, or “Campaigns” to track leads from specific marketing campaigns.
This is not full-proof because the chamber could conceivably refer clients to you and make people aware of you outside of coming through the site. We are asked for verbal referrals all the time. But this gives you a basic idea of the kind of traffic you’re getting from us.
Calculating ROI can be done through direct referrals and web referrals but in addition to being known, you may have a goal for chamber membership that involves building trust. To build trust, you have to get involved. The chamber is a well-established brand and according to the Shapiro Study, people associate chamber membership with organizations that use good business practices.
The chamber makes it very easy to be identified as a member through plaques or window clings for your business, being listed in the chamber directory or Destination Alameda Magazine, or even being featured in our newsletter, but your ability to extend that reach comes from other benefits of membership like presenting at a chamber event, teaching and mentoring other businesses, volunteering, hosting a Lunch & Learn, an even guest blogging. When you give freely of your knowledge and expertise, people will have a more favorable opinion of you and want to be a part of what you are offering.
If you’re selected to share your expertise with the larger group, don’t be sales-y. We are happy to share your bio and contact information at the end of your presentation. Many organizations see an uptick in interest when they host an informative Lunch & Learn or other events. If you have a free electronic download that will provide them with additional information, let us know because you can probably share it. If you do, we encourage you to ask for an email from the person downloading it.
Building your email list by creating a chamber-specific landing page and then tracking referrals from there is a terrific way to calculate your return on investment as well.
Speak to us about the opportunities out there to serve other members and the community. The return on that is astronomical.