So your latest marketing campaign worked and you’ve got a slew of new members joining your organization — congrats! The question now is, do you have a strategy to keep them?
It’s easy to focus so much attention on attracting new members that organization’s often overlook mapping out a clear strategy for getting them to stay. Here are 3 tried and true ways to increase value for your members, and in turn, increase retention:
- Create a formal membership retention plan
What is a membership retention plan, you might ask? Simple! It’s a monthly plan of tactical engagement actions you’re actively completing to boost membership renewals! While a membership retention plan will look different for every association, regardless of what tactics you have in place, a good membership retention plan should span an entire membership year. Here’s a guide to get started on creating your membership retention plan.
- Emphasize (and reemphasize) your association’s value
Value is at the heart of membership retention. It’s the single biggest reason people renew — or they don’t. That said, because your members are busy, sometimes it’s easy for them to forget the value your organization provides (particularly if they’re not engaged on a regular basis).
Your job? To REMIND them of that value. Consider including a “Here’s what we’ve done for you lately” section in your association’s marketing pieces — on your website, in your e-newsletter, etc. If you mail out invoices when renewal season rolls around (or even if you send them electronically), be sure to include that message WITH your invoices. Even if it’s just five or six bullet points, let your members know what you’ve done on their behalf in the past few months. Chances are, if they’re on the brink of not renewing, this may persuade them otherwise (as it highlights a few of the many things they’ll lose if they don’t renew their membership).
- Create and utilize member testimonials
Member testimonials are powerful, and if you don’t currently have any, we highly recommend going after some. Reach out to the people or organizations who’ve been members of your association for years — they’re the ones that are going to have the most compelling stories to tell.
Then, once you have those testimonials, use them! Don’t just put them on your organization’s website — place the most compelling one on your association’s homepage, where all members and potential members will see it. (Note: This works best when the testimonial is in video form.)
Another idea: Include those testimonials (on a flyer or one-page handout) with your dues renewal invoices. If someone is considering letting their membership lapse, seeing how much value other people are getting out of your association may convince them otherwise.
Want even more ways to increase member retention? Check out our free Membership Retention Kit! Here you’ll find ideas and checklists for each stage of a member’s journey to renewal, communication best practices, and email and letter templates to help automate some of those recurring tasks.