Founded in 1992 and headquartered in Pittsburgh, Inalink Corporation provides phone-based programs to assist professional and trade associations in connecting with their members. Because maintaining healthy relationships with current and potential members means growth and strength for the organizations, they benefit immensely, typically earning a 100-, 200-, 300-, or more percent return on investment. Members gain by becoming aware of all the opportunities for professional development, social interaction with colleagues, conferences, publications, and other available services and events. Unlike telemarketing, the Inalink system relies on unscripted one-on-one communications, without quotas, to development relationships and trust, and not just when the association needs money.
National clients of Inalink include associations representing scientists, engineers, financial groups, health care workers, and other professions. Ranging from memberships of less than 9,000 to more than 150,000, the organizations include a medical association of 60,000. For this group, Inalink called lapsed members, recovering 73 percent of those contacted, generating more than $312,000 in less than six weeks. For an engineering association of 125,000 members, the company aided graduates as they transitioned into the real world, informing them of benefits and reactivating memberships for 77 percent of the individuals contacted.
Inalink works on conference-course planning and promotion to increase attendance and implements retention and loyalty programs such as Benefit Awareness and Keep-in-Touch as well as new-program and service announcements and a welcome for new members. For association publications, the firm audits, verifies circulation numbers, identifies potential advertisers, and garners subscription renewals and upgrades. Future-growth programs entail qualifying and acquiring new members, profiling current participants, and completing member-value studies. In the technology-driven 21st century, the Inalink method works because it relies on something we all need: human contact.