If we had to guess, we’d probably say that you would prefer members pay their dues online, rather than mailing in their payment. And that makes sense! Online dues renewal is a win for everyone: It’s quick and convenient for the member, and it makes for a more streamlined renewal process for you.
But we’d also guess that you have a number of members who still insist on sending their dues payment in the old fashioned way. And while you’ll always have some who resist change, we have a few tips for encouraging members to adopt online membership renewals:
1. Communicate the benefits
It’s not a complicated concept, but you should spend time putting together some messaging on why a member would want to pay their dues online. That way you’ll have a few well-thought-out tidbits to share with members when it comes up in conversation and to use on your website. Or, take it a step further and use that messaging for an email campaign! Reminders are key when asking members to adopt something new - plus, you can send them a direct link to the payment portal over email.
Tip: Always, always, always include a note about PCI-compliance and security in your messaging so members know their financial data is safe.
2. Make the payment portal easy to find on your website
Now you don’t want to be obnoxious about it, but make sure any links or dues payment calls-to-action stand out - especially on your homepage. It doesn’t have to be front and center, but it should be attention grabbing so members find it quickly. And, anything payment related should DEFINITELY be the first thing a member’s eye is drawn to when they log into their members-only portal.
3. Give clear instructions and make it easy
Any steps should be kept clear and concise - and the form itself should be, too. Don’t overcomplicate it and give the member a reason to abandon the page. Even better, if your system allows for auto-filled fields or saved credit card information, enable those features (or let the member know that they can) to make it an even smoother process!
4. Track - and adjust - your efforts
Whether your goal is to move all members to online renewal or you simply want to encourage it, you need to know what’s working and what isn’t. Track email engagement and do little tests with how links to the payment portal appear on your website (color, location, etc.) so you can make adjustments as needed. You might even keep a running list of members who are not renewing online so you can see how your efforts are making an overall impact.
5. Think “mobile-friendly”
Again, you want to make it as easy as possible for a member to make their payment once they’ve made it to the form. Given the fact that most online traffic comes from mobile devices these days, chances are they’ll land on that page through a smartphone or tablet at some point. To really make an impact on online membership renewal (not to mention, overall website engagement) make mobile responsiveness a priority.
6. Share your goals
Now, we’re not suggesting that you get into the nitty gritty as far as revenue with your members, but there’s something to be said for showing them the kind of impact they’re making. You could even make it a fun contest between groups of members, or promise a treat at your next meeting if at least 95% of members pay the previous month’s dues online. (Or something like that.)
7. Give an incentive
When all else fails, is there an incentive you can offer to members who just don’t want to budge? Or perhaps a 5% discount you could offer to any member who renews online. Whatever the incentive, there’s no harm in offering one as long as it makes sense financially for your organization!
It all comes down to what’s the best, most convenient thing for your members. And most of the time, that’s the online membership renewal option. And communicating the benefits, while making it easily accessible, is key.
But, that’s not the only thing that should be easily accessible to members. The page a member lands on after logging into their members-only portal should immediately give them access to the tools they’re looking for. Download our free guide, 10 Elements Your Member Landing Page Needs, to find out how you can make it a one-stop shop for your members!