How to retain new members through increased engagement

Membership Retention |

It’s a well-known fact in the membership industry that new members are the ones most likely to fail to renew their membership subscription after their initial year has passed. In fact some stats put the renewal rate of new members to be as much as 20% lower than longer term members.

So what can you do to try and reduce this lapse rate? One thing we recommend is to think about implementing an engagement programme, specifically targeting new members. The aim of these initiatives is to get new members involved and active in your organisation’s events and services. By doing so you help to build a stronger relationship between you and the member. The member will also be more aware of the value they’re getting from their membership, so is less likely to want to let their membership lapse when the time comes to renew.

From the membership organisations we’ve spoken to, it would appear that the majority do not offer any form of new member engagement programmes. There are a variety of reasons for this:

  • Lack of time
  • Not enough resources available
  • Not having processes in place to enable such personal 1-2-1 type communications
  • Not having a clear view of each and every member

By implementing a CRM based membership solution, like Silverbear’s, membership organisations can have full control over the communication and engagement with each and every member. It’s easy to set up automatic email campaigns, and out reach programmes when you are able to control and view all the data relating to your members from one single platform.

So what are the best ways to engage with your members?

C. David Gammel defines member engagement as the following: Engagement is the result of a member investing time or money with the association in exchange for value. So it’s important to understand that engagement isn’t just about communication.

If a member takes the time to call you, to purchase something from your shop, to register on an event – these are all engagement activities that should be monitored. The more time and money a member invests in your organisation, the more engaged they are with you, and all the more likely they’ll renew their membership when the time comes.

So encourage your new members to:

  • Follow you on your social media platforms
  • To view your website on a regular basis
  • To share your content and news
  • To purchase products from you
  • To register for events
  • To submit papers/abstracts/request speaking slots at events
  • Volunteer for various events/activities
  • Become a mentor
  • Continue with their professional development
  • Spend money on advertising or exhibiting at your events etc

The key is to have a variety of options available for new members to engage with you. Some may not be interested in attending events, but will be keen to network with peers on your website.  Other members may want to attend events and will be wanting to take training courses and exams to help further their career.

By using a membership management solution you can have a clear view of each and every member, and so understand their needs and wants appropriately. You can then make sure you’re communicating with them the relevant information they need in order to maximise the level of engagement with your organisation.