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.


JoRo said...

Some very good points!

Kodulehe Loomine said...

Thanks for sharing, i liked your tips and tricks, will try them

Julianne Z. said...

These are great points. Personalization can be especially effective throughout an association's website as well. If your looking to increase engagement, this is where to do it. Those personalized messages can be especially effective in increasing donations, product purchases, event attendance and more. We've worked with a few association's who have utilized personalization and they've seen dramatic increases in conversion rates and it's not hard to see why. Members are more likely to convert when they're most engaged and this often happens when they're actively seeking out information on your association website.