Member retention is likely in the back of your head at all times. But the problem is, there are a million other things going on in your head as well! Member engagement, event planning, the day-to-day logistics of running your association - the list goes on and on.
But let’s take a moment to refocus on member retention. What are a few things you can be doing throughout the year (not just at the end or beginning when renewal season rolls around) that can really help bump up member retention at your association? Here are a few ideas and best practices:
1. Record your members’ preferences
Make it a habit to survey your new members to get a better idea of their communication, availability, and topic preferences. (Note: You can - and should - record all of this in your association management system, so you always have something to refer back to.) The more you’re able to comply with your members’ personal preferences, the more likely they’ll be to engage with you long-term.
2. Show value-added in ALL communications
Whether you’re sending out emails or invoices, you should always aim to demonstrate the benefits that you regularly provide in exchange for membership.
A few communication channels that you should really capitalize on:
- Your newsletter or magazine - Dedicate a small portion of your newsletter and/or magazine to highlight (bullet point) your member benefits.
- Your event postcard - Event postcards can serve as a great reminder that you’re providing value through solid programming. Make sure to list dates, times, and course, the call-to-action (or registration URL).
- Your invoice - A great way to tie the benefits of membership back to annual dues is to visually display the value of a member’s investment on their renewal invoice. For example, how many discounts did they take advantage of? How many events did they attend?
3. Use reports
Data can be compelling, not just for you, but for your members. Is there any data you can pull to showcase member value? For example, if an online directory is a major member benefit, could you pull a report showcasing how much website traffic you’re driving through that directory listing? Numbers speak VOLUME.
4. Call your new members and/or send an email
This is a must, must, must. Even if you have to get volunteers involved to help with this initiative, take some time to call and/or email your new members, encouraging them to visit your website and access all of those members-only resources. This is a great opportunity to answer any questions they may have about your association (or logging in, etc.) as well.
5. Encourage profile accuracy
Remind your members how important it is to keep their information up-to-date. Updated profiles ensure continued communication with your association. This may mean including a note once a quarter in your association’s email newsletter, along with a link to login and update those member profiles. (The easier you make it for your members to update their information, the more likely they are to to actually do so.)
6. Periodically send promo items
Who doesn’t love some free swag?! If possible, send your members a few promo items imprinted with your association’s logo. Giving your members something nice to wear or put on their desks will keep your association top-of-mind.
7. Thank and recognize your members
As often as possible, thank and recognize your members - on your website, on social media, and in person. Milestones in their membership or certification completion are perfect opportunities for this.
Want more tips for boosting membership retention at your association? (For example, what to do in your members’ first few months or what types of renewal reminder emails to send your members?) Check out our free Member Retention Kit below!