6 RFP Questions for Association Affinity Shipping Programs
04/28/2014 — Scott Frederick
If you're an executive or a membership director with an association or trade group and you're considering offering an affinity "shipping services" program to your members, here are six (6) questions you should ask your potential partners:
- What is your company background and experience? Ask your prospective partner to tell you the history of their company, how many years of experience they have, how did they get into the business, and what makes them different than their competitors. In the case of PartnerShip, we were founded by an association to provide shipping services to members - something we've been doing for 25 years.
- Describe your sales and customer service approach? Will your partner have a dedicated account manager for your program? Does your partner have a dedicated customer service department and what is their process for handling member inquiries and resolving issues? PartnerShip, as an example, provides a dedicated "program manager" to every one of our association programs. Additionally, we have a dedicated customer service team to support members.
- What marketing communications strategies do you use? What marketing strategies will your partner adopt to maximize program participation? What has been their track record with other associations? What is the process for bringing members into the program? PartnerShip uses a turnkey outbound and inbound marketing approach that includes a variety of high-quality co-branded marketing materials, including a custom website.
- How much program implementation support do you provide? How will your partner implement the program for your members? Will they share in the cost of the implementation? Will they provide communications and digital assets to your association for placement across your channels? Do they provide any live webinar support or will they support your trade show? PartnerShip does all of this and more.
- Do you have detailed reporting and tracking tools? This is an important one and an area where many partners fall short. Will your partner be able to provide both aggregate and member-level participation information broken out in sufficient detail? Will members be notified of the savings they enjoyed through the program? PartnerShip association clients enjoy a high level of detailed reporting on both a quarterly and annual basis.
- What does your compensation model look like? What methodology do you use to establish a mutually beneficial compensation model that will provide long-term success to the program? What process do you use to allow for full-disclosure and transparency of compensation reporting? PartnerShip non-dues compensation models are flexible and very transparent for each association client that we work with.
I hope this blog post helped give you some ideas about how you might approach the RFP process of implementing this type of an affinity program. If you're still interested in learning more about how best to implement a shipping services affinity program for your members, we invite you to download a FREE copy of "Shipping Services as a Valuable Member Benefit" electronic white paper.