Eight Membership Retention Strategies and Ideas

The simple answer to improve membership retention is to provide more value and engage members. That said there are also very practical marketing tips that can help you keep more members. Here are some to keep in mind:

1. Frequency – Like it or not, people forget to renew. Don’t give up too soon on retaining a member.

2. Channels – Use all of the tools that are available to you for retention – mailed notices, postcards, email, staff or volunteer calls, telemarketing, and website interstitials.

3. Conversion – Almost always, first year members are the least likely to renew. That’s why the first year of membership is called the conversion year. Focus time, effort, and budget on these first year members.

4. Budget – As long as you are not spending more to renew members than to acquire a new member, you are budgeting fine.

5. Payment – Offering payment options, especially some form of automatic credit card or EFT renewal, turns renewals from an opt-in decision to an opt-out action.

6. Offers – This is highly debated, but some organizations have great success with giving incentives for early renewals. It may be worth a try using a postcard and a website only promotion code to track effectiveness.

7. Personalization – Adding personalized messages to renewal notices can be effective. For example, “because of your membership, you saved $50.00 on your product purchases this year.” Or, “we had some success on the legislative issue you were most concerned about.”

8. Analytics – Figure out what segments of your membership are most likely to renew and which are least likely and allocate your resources. Your best members may only need a few contacts and more effort may be needed for your lower responding segments.

I hope this gives you some food for thought. Feel free to add your successful strategies, tips, and ideas below.

Mark your Calendars for an Upcoming Membership Marketing Webinar Series

I wanted to invite you to take part in a free webinar series. The series will include sessions from highly regarded and talented membership professionals. The focus of the webinars will be around recruiting, engaging, and keeping members.

As part of the series, I will be presenting a session titled, “Diagnosing and Solving Your Membership Marketing Challenges”.

My webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 2PM Eastern.

The webinar series is sponsored by the following groups, Young Association Professionals, Aggregage, Association Universe and Infinite Conferencing.

Here is the site to learn more about this series and to register.

Are You Keeping Up with the Digital Marketing Revolution?

More and more of the marketing dollars for my clients are moving to digital channels to build awareness, generate leads, and recruit members and customers. The majority of the money is flowing to various Google ad options, Facebook, and LinkedIn with a good amount also going to specialized ad networks.

But it is not just membership organizations that are moving in this direction. Business Insider shared the following graph on the rapid growth of digital advertising in a presentation on The State of the Internet.

Clearly traditional channels like email, direct mail, and telemarketing are still great tools and in some cases more cost effective than online marketing. But when you want to market to populations that are hard to find on traditional lists, online marketing is hard to beat.

How is your organization experimenting with digital advertising channels?