January 2008 - ERA Membership Benefits

Membership Benefits the Retailer

By Robin Greenspan

My name is Robin Greenspan and I’m a marketer-like you! While I don’t sell a product, I do sell a service: ERA membership. Because of this, our worlds are probably not much different. While you look for new customers, I look for new members. But I also understand, as I know you do, that getting customers is only part of the equation. The challenge is turning a customer, or in my case a member, into a loyal fan. This separates good companies from great ones.

Fortunately, my job was made easier this year when the ERA leadership made a commitment to the electronic retailing community. To ensure that ERA is the trade association for direct-to-consumer commerce, the membership offer (or the “product”) was reviewed. Three areas were recognized as critical elements for e-retailer membership: research, advocacy and education.

Every month, retailers and marketers receive two data-rich research studies from a nationally known research conglomerate. These studies provide the latest on digital technologies, consumer empowerment and behavioral marketing techniques all with one goal in mind-increased ROI.

In addition, ERA commissions its own studies. This year’s report, “The Evolving Role of Direct Response Television in Multichannel Marketing Execution,” provided data on the power of DRTV and predicted its future growth opportunities. In a few short months, the Association will release its current study, “How Consumers Utilize the Multichannel Environment.” This report will illustrate how consumers use various multichannel sources and then weigh them in order to make a purchase.

Although there’s little that’s “sexy” about Capitol Hill, there’s also nothing that can damage your bottom line faster than unfavorable legislation or regulation. This year, we are working to protect remote retailers from having to collect and remit sales tax. Imagine the compliance cost to remit sales tax to over 7,500 jurisdictions! Keeping the Internet free and calling for federal versus state privacy requirements are also high on ERA’s government affairs agenda. And, as the FTC reviews its advertising regulations, ERA is front and center, keeping retailers informed.

Whether it’s education offered at ERA’s conferences, the specialized seminars held throughout the year or the monthly webinars, one thing remains constant: ERA keeps retailers current on trends in social marketing, search, affiliate marketing, website analytics and direct response selling. Speakers are recruited from the top 50 retailers-and their presentations reflect their corporate successes.

If you aren’t a member, I encourage you to give us the opportunity to help you succeed. ERA’s introductory offer of $1,900 includes a conference registration to an ERA domestic meeting. Our eRetailer Summit in Miami is March 2-4, which is a perfect opportunity to experience ERA for yourself. And you won’t be alone. We’ve implemented a New Member Mentor Program. A fellow retailer will introduce you to the community to ensure that you hit the ground running!

From one marketer to another, I hope that you will try my product. I guarantee that your membership will result in increased sales. After all, ERA has championed quantifiable results before it was considered “cool.” This philosophy has served us well: if you can’t prove it, it’s probably not working.

If you are an ERA member-thank you! We’re working hard to bring you new services to increase your ROI. Although we are a trade association, we understand the importance of keeping our customers…I mean, members, happy!

Robin Greenspan is ERA’s director of membership sales. She can be reached at (703) 908-1036, or via e-mail at [email protected].


No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment