For years whyMarlin’s have been producing YMCA program guides for associations all over the U.S, both in print and digitally.
Program guides have proven to be an exceptional tool for featuring all the great programs YMCA’s have to offer. In most situations one needs to be an existing member or program member in order to properly understand it.
What if you aren’t a member, have never heard of, or don’t understand what the Y is?
The objective of the program guide was never to market the YMCA. Promoting the Y purpose and the importance and benefits of becoming a member somehow never reached those who could benefit the most.
The Program Guides primary use is for program registrations. Depending on the size of the branch/center program offerings can be large, therefore producing a lengthy, costly product if printed.
These are all reasons why we created the ‘ProZine’:
A ‘ProZine’ is a cross between a program guide and magazine. The ‘ProZine’ provides all readers, members or non-members, with a high-level menu of program offerings, but more importantly the ‘ProZine’ illustrates who the Y is, what their cause is and what the member benefits are for families, individuals and seniors. We accomplish this by including high-level program information, content, messaging and imagery all while producing a cost saving piece.
High-Level Program Information – we focus on seasonal or the most popular programs. We create short, marketing-friendly class descriptions and direct readers to the website to learn more and ultimately register for the program/class online.
Content – the content is both engaging and educational. We talk about the 3 focus areas (Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility) and how they affect lives. In most cases we incorporate Y stories or testimonials that share life changing experiences that all happened at a YMCA.
Messaging – we promote short, impactful messaging throughout the ‘ProZine’ that focuses on the outcome. The things that people care about… building confidence, promoting teamwork, developing character.
Imagery – we include images that are memorable, impactful, and tell a story. We strongly encourage using branch or center specific images where applicable so that we can build a strong sense of community.
Once we have the ‘ProZine’ created, what do we do with it?
The main purpose of the ‘ProZine’ is to drive membership and program participants, but it’s also a great tool to remind all the Y has to offer existing members.
We obtain member lists for all branch locations through their own member database and purchase prospect lists based on target demographics.
The Greater Indianapolis YMCA prints and mails these to both existing members and prospective members as well as keep extra copies on hand at each of their locations.
Understanding who the Y is and what they do can sometimes be confusing to someone who has never stepped foot into a YMCA. whyMarlin has helped YMCA’s across the U.S. achieve this with the ‘ProZines’. We are able to market the Y and their program offerings in a simple, easy to read ‘ProZine’ that can be printed, mailed and found online.