For many associations, dues renewal season is right around the corner. And with that often comes stress, concern, panic, and a plethora of other emotions.
But don’t let those get to you too much. Your members WILL renew. Just take a deep breath and consider these reminders:
Reminder #1: The more complicated your renewal process, the less likely members are to complete it.
We say this a lot, but that’s because it’s so so SO important. This can make the difference between someone renewing and not renewing - and the last thing you want is to lose a member simply because your renewal process is too complicated.
That said, make it easy on your members by allowing for one-click renewals via email, your website, and of course, member profiles. And if you’re using an association management system (AMS), take advantage of form field pre-population, which will make it even easier for your members to complete/submit information.
Reminder #2: Members don’t pay dues for a variety of reasons, but sometimes it’s just because they’re plain busy. So before your deny them their benefits altogether, consider offering a grace period of some sort.
You know how busy you are...well your members are JUST as busy. So if they don’t renew right away, cut them a little slack. Provide them with a grace period where they’ll still receive member benefits along with more reminders to renew.
How long should your association’s grace period be? Well according to Marketing General Incorporated’s 2016 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report, the most common grace period for associations is two to three months. During that time, you’ll want to send several email reminders encouraging your members to renew. Note: If you’re using an AMS, you can automate this whole process. Plus, with an AMS, you can even create customized messages for your graced members and display them on their individual profiles. That way, when your graced members login, they’ll be reminded that they need to renew.
Reminder #3: Even if a member lapses, you can still engage with them - and you should.
Ok, so let’s say a member doesn’t renew, even after you’ve offered them a grace period. Well at this point, they’ve officially lapsed. But don’t cut all ties/modes of communication with that member. Stay in touch and encourage them to rejoin.
You may want to send them information about your upcoming events, your organization’s newsletter, promotional content re-emphasizing member benefits, and/or a special discount to rejoin. You never know what that final trigger will be!
Want more tips for boosting membership renewals? Check out our free guide, Best Practices for Membership Renewals, below!