YMCA Win Back



The YMCA looked to increase membership. A number of issues were resolved prior to the program:

  • Understanding cancellation codes in the YMCA database
  • Validating those codes
  • Identifying canceled members most likely to rejoin
  • Identifying those least likely to rejoin
  • Developing ‘a resonating message’ to influence former members to reconsider membership value and benefit


Data analysis identified former members most likely to rejoin. Further segmentation created an optimum target list.
The data cleansing and segmentation process eliminated:

  • Formers for invalid reasons
  • Formers for invalid or undeliverable addresses
  • Formers living outside the 5-mile radius of a branch
  • Formers consolidated under the Family & Couples Membership

A win-back campaign was developed targeting former members through a personalized direct mail campaign. The messaging addressed reasons for cancellation identified in the pre-campaign analysis. The mail piece included a special ‘join now’ offer, including a waiver of the standard $80 joiner’s fee. Affixed to the mailer was a temporary membership card granting immediate access to a one-week free trial. A personal URL site was developed to claim their $80. Once on the site, the prospect could either print their voucher or have their voucher emailed to their branch of choice. All online activity was accessible in real-time by designated YMCA staff for follow-up and campaign management purposes.


Applying the Micro-Targeting Strategy reduced direct mail cost by 62% and increased response 260%. Almost 8% of the target audience re-joined the YMCA.