If your business organization leans heavily on members and user groups to build success, then member retention is among your most vital priorities. You may be receiving constant positive feedback and reviews, but when the time comes to renew, you’ll notice that some members don’t respond to your reminders. Whether you do the work yourself or consult with professional membership management services, retaining your membership takes a lot of thoughtful effort and improvement. Here are six ways you can start increasing your membership renewals.
Make it easy
One of the simplest ways to improve your membership renewals is to make the process easier for each individual. Sending out email reminders with a direct link to renew is one way to do this, and you can take it a step further by streamlining the online renewal process to one step or offering members the option to set auto-renewal through their credit card.
Create a sense of urgency
People tend to take immediate action if you provide the right stimulus. A little positive reinforcement can go a long way; tacking on some form of incentive or sweetener, such as time-limited exclusive invites or other freebies, will help encourage your members to renew now. At the same time, their sense of being rewarded for their renewal will help to form positive associations on the individual level and encourage them to renew in the future.
Whether your default membership renewal structure is on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis, you may wish to consider giving members an option to renew for longer periods. A renewal good for 2-3 years, for example, will do away with the frequent hassle of going through reminders and filling out forms. You can offer an additional incentive for their long-term commitment as well, such as a discount on fees.
Build up engagement
Making changes to your renewal process can yield immediate improvements, but this is a form of reactive strategy – it deals with the symptoms, not the root cause. To begin to address the root cause of low membership retention, you’ll need to touch base more frequently with your members, across multiple platforms.
Create surveys, both online and in the mail, to gather responses. Use social media and event attendance to capture feedback and foster a greater sense of participation. Whether you employ a dedicated team of staff or volunteers or third-party services, it pays to reach out and engage with your membership throughout the year.
When you’ve invested the time and effort to stay in touch with your members, your team will be more aware of their needs. You should use this knowledge to anticipate issues and take measures to address them. Tailor your offers and campaigns to suit interests and discontinue efforts in areas where the response has been lukewarm or negative.
A high rate of membership renewals shouldn’t be a goal unto itself, but only a measure of your success at gauging their demands and providing solutions. This is what makes the membership program worthwhile and meaningful to them, and thus the retention process should be a deliberate and long-term strategic commitment.
Continue to use the information and insights you gain along the way to improve and better serve your members. You’ll enjoy all the benefits that come with strong loyalty and a longer membership lifespan
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