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aaca renewals and registration blues


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I have seen many commets on this forum about getting the word out on meets and getting new members. Perhaps one of the easiest things to do is to change the method of registering for a meet and change the method of notifying members that dues are due. THAT STUPID PIECE OF PAPER IN THE FRONT OF THE MAGAZINE THAT GETS CRUMPLED UP AND TOSSED THE MINUTE THE MAGAZINE IS OPENED HAS GOT TO GO!<BR> I know of more than one ex-member who is an ex-member because he unknowingly threw out the renewal notice and then just didn't bother to look up his membership to renew. And I know of a 35 year member that sells at Hershey every year that accidently did the same thing and had to overnight express mail his membership when he tried to register for hershey.<BR>The same thing happens with the nat'l meets, people throw out the %^$%# piece of paper they need to get the registration packet (note that a zerox is not acceptable). DUMB STUPID WAY TO REGISTER.<BR> This system may have worked when a person got 3-5 pieces a mail a day, but when when we are inundated with junk mail, bills, and other mailings it is too easy to miss that %^#%$# piece of paper<BR> Bill (yes I am a member but not too active and yes I threw out the *&^*^ paper for registration to Aptos by accident) <BR>

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It does seem to me to be an very antiquated method... <P>how about online registration applications?<BR>online membership renewals?<P>or at least renewals send in a separate envelope?<P>

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Bill & Anon ~ First, it's good to see you here, even tho you've not registered. Why not do that and become a regular? As Ronbarn says, "it's free & it's painless". <P>To Anon: I am guessing that you haven't been reading many of the threads and haven't seen the posts that everything possible that can be done to get headquarters online is being done. The Powers-That-Be would like to do the things you mentioned as much as any of us would.<BR>To Bill: I don't mean this to sound snotty but I would think that any member who had been receiving the AA magazine for any length of time would know that the "96^97*" piece of paper with your name and address on it contains valuable information and after trashing it once would learn better. It is as easy as putting it inside the magazine until you've decided you don't want/need it. Thank goodness the AA magazine isn't filled with all those nasty little inserts that fall out all over the place or that you have to remove over and over again as you read it. PLUS, neither does it have all those pages that smell like the magazine was used to wipe up after shave or perfume spills before you got it.<BR>OK, so I got on my soap box and if I have offended either of you, I apologize. <BR>Patt<BR>

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Getting as much as possible online is a great idea, however we shouldn't forget those that are not online. It may be surpising to us computer savvy members, but there are a large number of people with no computers or internet access.(although I do think Ms63falcon's comment to Bill about anyone receiving the magazine for any length of time has a valid point) <P>SalG...I may be wrong but I thought the information given at the 2000 Annual Meeting stated something like 87,000 members?

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Sal,<P>Point taken... BUT.<P>The circulation of Antique Automobile is closer to 30,000 (remember, a couple is counted as 2 members, but rec. 1 AA)<P>So... to do a bulk mailing to 30,000 addressed (after printing, bulk postage, etc. would be closer to 30cents)<P>So... 30cents times 30,000 = $9,000 mailing cost.<P>Now lets assume we can retain 2% more members a year (30,000 * 2% = 600 retained members) Pretty conservative i think cause of the targeted mailing.<P>600 retained members * $26 membership fee = $15,600<P>Pay $9000 and get $15,600 = a good thing! Add to the the improved efficeincy of not having people FORGET their membership (as described above) etc. etc.<P>It seams to me that this finacially makes sense.... on top of that we retain 600 enthusiasts! THATS A GOOD THING! smile.gif<P>Just my opinion!<P>ANON<P>(a regular but staying ANON cause of the heat i know that blastphamious thoughts as this would generate)

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When I failed to renew my membership, I received a nice little card from headquarters making mention of that fact and telling me they missed me. Maybe I am just special??? NOT !! :-)<P>The point being is that most of us know that there is an issue that has the renewal in it and act accordingly and if we forget, there is a reminder later. Plus if you miss the Mar/Apr AA, that will sure be a great reminder that your membership has dropped.<P>BOB<p>[This message has been edited by oldmotorcycles (edited 08-13-2000).]

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Some great points and I will add the following comments:<P>Once, many years ago, we had the membership and event notice inside the magazine - there were frequent complaints by members who complained that they never saw the notice. Of course, none of these complaints were on the net or DF since they did not exist at the time.<P>The notice was moved to the sheet inside the wrapper - there were frequent complaints by members who complained that they never saw the notice. Of course, by now some of these are on the DF. But remarkedly, the frequency or number of complaints have not increased - there has just been complaints which more often than not indicate the reader just did not look for or find the information.<P>Interesting cost analysis in the one post, but the facts are that after several attempts to use different types of mailing - some members just never seem to be able to find the mail or the magazine or whatever. About the only thing we haven't tried is to assign an individual who will go up to each individual, stand in their face until they renew - but we all know how impossible that would be and then we would probable faced with invasion of privacy.<P>Finally, while we are so elated about the success of the website and particularly this DF, we are very aware of the fact that for the time being we are reaching a minority of members through this method. We are NOT abandoning the more traditional methods, but we will continue to improve the electronic procedures.

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Not to be rude, but why not sign up for life membership. Then you don't need to whine about renewal notices. I'm a life memeber for about 18 yrs now (don't have exact date handy), and I'm 34 yrs old. I'll never have to worry about wether my dues are paid to date. As for the paper for show restration, tell everyone in your household to leave the magazine in the plastic. Then you can open it.

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I can't believe that some people have trouble with renewal notice and meet request forms. As mentioned in an earlier post, the first thing you always do is look at the cover sheet or put it in the magazine until later when you have time to read it. It doesn't take long to figure out this is where all the important messages and information is at for all meets. The cover sheet even stats to look on the reverse side for meet requests information. <P>As far as renewal goes, and if I am wrong someone can correct me, everybody has to renew by the end of December each year. Its not like everyone has a different renewal date. This is as easy as it comes. In fact you really shouldn't even need a reminder. Just send you renewal in each year the end of November or the first of decmeber and you have it made. How much easier does it get. And if you are one of the thousands to attend hershey you can always take care of it then at the headquarters tent.<P>I may be wrong, but AACA isn't the one that needs to change its procedure.<P>Rock

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A seperate mailing fo dues would be a good idea, as the final recipient of the magazine is not always the person that opens the bag (kids, spouse, or secretary). Binding the sheet to the center of the magazine would also help.... that way when you realize that you need the flier, it will still be findable. <BR> Most of the other national clubs do use a seperate billing, or at least a LATE BILLING to let members know that they may have overlooked somthing.<BR> Bill (pehaps I will register soon, reading these postings is quite insiteful)

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Hi all, I just read in the Rummage Box last night that we have 62,000 members and the five year goal is to get to 72,000. I stand corrected. I am a lifer, at the $400 level several years ago and 36 years old. I also am a lifer at both Model T clubs. SalG<p>[This message has been edited by SalG (edited 08-14-2000).]

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jnp -- I received my first paycheck for programming computers 27 years ago. I guess I only thought it was a computer I was working on. smile.gif<P>My dad used an IBM 650 in his research projects in the late 1950s. Computers have been around for more than 25 years.<P>Antiques are relative. In the furniture and arts world the object needs to be 100 years old to be considered an antique. Based on that the 1903 Olds does not quite make it yet. In the computer world antique seems to be about 5 years.

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As they used to say in the army "5% never get the word". I've been caught overlooking the renewal insert more than once. Whose fault was it? Mine. There is no foolproof way to insure renewals are error free. The current system can't be all that bad as evidenced by the membership maintenance and growth of the AACA in the mid 50M to low 60M area. JNP, check out the Smithsonian display of antique computing down on the mall in DC. Some of those computers are close to our age.

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Darn! How can I keep my youthful image when I took my first computer course in 1957 and remember seeing "How To" articles for building your own (with tubes and relays not chips) before that. Another gotcha is when I visit the Space and Rocket Center here in Huntsville and realize not only the computers but some of the current missile systems are older than the cars we show.

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Good input - appreciate all the info, and actually I did a lot of "exploring" into this subject area when I took on the Jobs of VP Publications and now VP Natl Activities for AACA. As Ron indicated, its a much more complex thing that just registering for a meet. We need to ensure meet info gets into the hands of members at least possible cost, thus the "request" method. Your individual mailing label appears on that request form so it represents a painless and simple way to verify membership status. Again, inserting the whole thing into a plastic wrap around your magazine is a simple and very cost effective way of distribution, and one I note a lot of the magazines I subscribe to are now utilizing. If the sheet gets lost, just contact headquarters and you'll get meet info. As we move towards getting every aspect of AACA "on-line" no doubt there will be e-commerce established at HQ where you can pay dues, register, buy stuff, etc, but I don't expect we will abandon the old way until we're sure everyone has a computer - heck, I understand there are some people who don't even have indoor plumbing yet. Meantime, anything we do with insert registratin cards, tear out pages in the magazine, all create more probs than they solve. Having toured our magazine print and mail process up close I can tell you we are getting a pretty big bang for our bucks, but anything we try to do with the mag itself complictes the process to the point of being cost prohibitive. Best advice - don't toss that insert, and do us all a favor and pass the word - just slip it inside the magazine until you are ready to use it, or pin it up on a bulletin board - or better yet, send it in right away, then you'll have only to remember where you put the meet registration stuff when it arrives.<BR>Terry

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Wow, what a lot of stuff about the mail-in form. Tod Fitch, it was terrific to see you at Aptos, CA. Tod, I'm almost a youngerster, as I began programming on the IBM 1401. And Ron, in '57 I was just taking my first course to learn how to use a keypunch machine. I don't like the current system for dues renewal, but it is proven the most cost effective, and I don't expect to live long enough to see everyone have a computer to renew on-line. Each day presents another difficult problem to solve, because technology changes each day. There are ways to "skin the cat" though if we just take time to look at "other" of our options. AACA leadership does that all time time. Unfortunately, we don't always fall into the right combinations as fast as some wish us to do.

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