The key to retaining members is to ensure that they are receiving value from their membership and that they’re aware of the value they are receiving. Engaging with members on a regular basis to communicate this value to them helps keep it fresh in their mind and reminds them of why they became members in the first place.
So what are our top retention ideas and strategies? Well there are a lot of tools and tips you can apply, but here are five of our favourites:
1. Communicate through a channel that the member has said they prefer
By allowing members to specify their preferred communication platform, then being able to tailor your communication with them in that format, you’re more likely to get a level of engagement back from them. So whether its text message, email, letter or telephone, make sure you’re communicating with them how they’ve requested. This can easily be set up in most CMS or membership management solutions.
2. Focus on the first year
It’s been well documented that if you can keep a member for more than a year, then the chances of subsequent renewals increase. This is why the first year is called the ‘Conversion Year’. Tailor your communication to target these new members specifically and make sure they’re as engaged with your organisation as possible.
Tweaking the communication with each member based on their profile and past activity will help create a closer relationship between you and the member. Details such as job title, qualification, events they’ve attended, exams they’ve taken and commiittes they’re members of, can all be taken into account and used when communicating with them. This can be automated through your membership solution so that the effort required on your side is minimal!
Hopefully you shouldn’t be struggling to provide and show value to your members, but for those individuals that do not seem as engaged as others, then a relevant offer may encourage them to renew their membership. Thing like early bird incentives or discounts on other items are often popular.
5. Let them know they’re about to expire
Believe it or not, some members may not renew simply because they forgot. As we said, people are busy, and often renewing their membership isn’t top of their to do list. So make sure you let people know in advance when their membership is about to expire, and communicate with them on a regular basis in the lead up to their renewal date.
And remember, if they don’t’ renew it’s not all lost. Keep on communicating with them on a regular basis – let them know of the value they received whilst they were members, how easy it is for them to renew, and what’s in it for them if they do renew (i.e. upcoming events, discounts, qualification maintenance etc). Don’t stop communicating with them until they specifically request it!