Do 90% or more of your members renew before expiry? Is your member retention rate over 95%?
If you’re not there yet, here are 7 tips to increase your retention rate and speed up your renewal process.
Why Does it Matter?
Membership renewals can be fast and simple or they can take a lot of staff and volunteer resources. The longer it takes a member to renew, the more resources are required to follow up, and the chance they will not renew increases. If your renewal process is efficient and effective, it increases retention, it improves cash flow and it leaves your team more time to focus on delivering member value.
Tip #1: You Need a System
Make sure you have a documented process that your team follows religiously. Monitor the results and tweak to improve it. Your system should kick off at least 60 days before expiry and end 30-60 days after expiry. After that point, non-renewed members should be moved into a nurturing process to maintain contact.
- Be serious about cancelling membership shortly after expiry
- Experiment with subject lines, timing
- Build renewal messaging into your social media content
Tip #2: Set Targets
Set targets for member retention (e.g. 98%) and for renewal timing (e.g. 90% before expiry). Track your success against the targets and try new tweaks to increase your success rate.
Tip #3: Use Current Technology
Almost all association management systems (AMSs) provide for online payment and prescheduled reminders. Make it easy for members to renew. Online forms are time-consuming and off-putting.
Consider offering auto-renewal so the membership is renewed automatically by credit card.
Tip #4: Give Them a Reason to Renew
Your renewal communication has to be more than a request for payment. Make sure each communication is different than the previous one. The content should remind members of what your association did for them in the past year and what’s coming up for the new year.
- Build a series of 6-9 messages that are varied and escalating
- Include your Member Value Proposition (MVP)
- The last one should contain “Sorry to see you go” content
- Consider offering an incentive for early renewal
- Consider charging a reinstatement fee if membership is tied to a license or certification
Tip #5: Follow Up by Phone
For those members who have not renewed as expiry approaches, reach out to them by phone. If there’s a reason why they have not renewed, you need to know it. If it’s just an oversight, the personal touch helps to build a relationship. Take the opportunity to get their feedback.
If you have a very large membership it may be difficult to phone all expired members but reach out to as many as you can.
Use your volunteers in this process. Once your staff team has reached out by phone, if renewal has still not happened, ask members in the same area to reach out.
- Make it simple. Ensure the volunteers have speaking points for the phone call/voice mail and an email template to follow up.
Tip #6: Know Your Member Value Proposition
This is ground zero for member renewal. Why should they renew? Why should they care? Your MVP answers the question “What’s in it For Me?” from the member’s perspective. You need a clear, compelling statement that answers this question.
Resources for You
For more information on articulating your MVP, download the Member Value Proposition workbook.
Want Some Help with Your MVP? Ask us about the Member Value Toolbox.