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Questions to Add to Member Application

4 Questions to Consider Adding to Your Online Member Application

Having a soon-to-be member fill out a member application on your organization’s website is exciting. More interest! More growth!

But in addition to it being an exciting process, it’s also a great opportunity for your organization to gather information that can help with engagement and retention, as well as future recruitment efforts...as long as you ask the right questions.

In fact, here are four questions you may want to consider adding to your online member application moving forward:  

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Making Membership Renewal More Effective (Plus 7 Tactics to Try)

Posted by Colleen Bottorff

making membership renewal more effective

Knowing how to effectively manage your membership renewal timing can be a bit of a game.

When do start talking renewal?

How often do you reach out?

How do you reach out? (As in, what communication channels.)

It’s a bit of trial and error. Effectiveness can even differ from member to member! But, according to Marketing General Incorporated’s 2018 Membership Marketing Benchmark Report, there are a few statistics that we think point to an approach to hone your renewal process in on:

1. “Associations with a renewal rate of less than 80% are significantly more likely to wait until the 3 month mark to begin [their renewal efforts] (50% vs. 36%).

2. “Associations with an 80% or higher renewal rate are significantly more likely to offer a grace period (88% vs. 79%)."

3. “Associations with 80% or higher renewal rates are significantly more likely to offer installment renewal payment plans (47% vs. 23%).”

So what does that all boil down to?

To me, it means your association will likely see higher renewal rates with a combination of these three things: Starting your renewal efforts sooner rather than later, being understanding by offering a grace period, and accommodating member finances with payment plans.

The report also included a list of the top marketing channels for renewals, and three stood out by a far margin: email marketing, direct mail, and staff phone calls. How can you use these channels to your advantage? Here are a few things to try in each channel:

Renewal email tactics
  • Attach a personalized report showing what benefits they used over the last year. You might also include what they didn’t, but could if they renew!
  • Point links to testimonials, event photos, a list of members who you’ve helped earn industry certifications - anything that’ll showcase the value your long-time members have found in their membership.
  • Embed a chart with dues payment plan options. (Consider saving this one for when you’re a little closer to their renewal date.)
Renewal direct mail tactics
  • Send them some association-branded swag and a cute note. Make sure the swag is something fun and practical that they won’t immediately toss, like a calendar and a note that says “We’re here for you 365 days a year!”
  • Does your association do any kind of mailed newsletter, magazine, or notice? Keep non-renewing members on your mailing list through (or even slightly beyond) your grace period. It’ll serve as a consistent reminder of what they’re missing!
Renewal conversation tactics
  • Ask your president, executive director, and other prominent staff members to reach out directly and chat about their membership. (Provide them with talking points and the member’s engagement report!)
  • Reach out from a place of education and service: Ask them point blank what you can do to help and what benefits would make their membership more valuable. You may find that they have a need they didn’t know you could fulfill!

Really, your renewal efforts would benefit from some consistency and automation. We put together a Membership Retention Kit that’ll help you do just that, complete with tips, timelines, and templates! Download the free kit and see how you can use it to form a process that works for YOUR membership.

Membership Retention Kit  Best practices (and communication templates) to get your members to stay Download this guide

Topics: Small Staff Chatter, member retention

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