Member retention is an increasingly critical topic for our clients. I have a few ideas re-vitalize renewal efforts.
1. Go beyond “invoice based” renewal. The best associations have a designed engagement program which contacts members at least seven times. These contacts should be made in addition to regular communications like newsletter and marketing pieces.
Action: Develop a retention program with at least 7 outbound communications (include phone, email and conference calls)
2. On-board members within the first 30 days of joining. Conduct a member briefing which involve key stakeholders about government relations, education and business development opportunities.
Action: Build an on-boarding agenda for each new member.
3. Build organic outreach within your member companies. Often, we have maybe two or three contacts per company…tops. Identify a method of obtaining multiple people who could benefit from membership services, and begin building awareness about what you have to offer.
Action: Set a goal to increase company contacts 50% each member billing cycle.
4. Offer renewal payment flexibility. Our accounting systems provide the ability for multiple billing options. However, most associations are tied to a legacy system of renewal based on our business cycle, not what is most helpful to our associations. Learn from your members about the timing which might help renewal rates uptick a point or two.
Action: Survey members regarding the most viable billing time.
The underlying theme with the above is we must proactively design a renewal program with outbound calls and invitations for us to speak about how membership services are being delivered and utilized with members.
Have you developed a retention plan which rivals a membership recruitment effort? Or, do you send invoices and hope?
Your members are evaluating membership each year. Start reinforcing the good decision to be a member on day one.