Part of impacting retention in a meaningful way means paying attention to how each member prefers to interact with your organization. Arming yourself with this information means you’ll be able to have relevant conversations around renewal time.
Now, for those of you who have thousands of members, that may sound pretty daunting. Luckily, your membership management software - whether it’s Atlas or Oasis - has some tools to make it easier! Check it out:
Understanding how each member engages with your benefits, your staff, and other members is the first step. With this information, you can pretty easily tell who your happy members are. (And what may turn an unhappy member into a happy member!) A few ways to accomplish this:
Communications records: Keeping a detailed record of your interactions with each member will allow you to easily refer back to conversations that were had months ago. We’re all busy, but this functionality means always being able to make a member feel important and heard! It also means being able to see what benefits they may have talked about with a staff member in the past, but haven’t used yet. (And wouldn’t that be an interesting renewal conversation starter?)
Affiliation codes/saved searches: Similarly, being able to sort through member profiles based on different attributes will make your communications toward them much more relevant. Why is this important to retention? You want your members to know you have their best interests in mind when it comes to what they’ll get out of membership. Being able to talk to them throughout the year about the things that are actually important to them will make all the difference!
Reporting: Did you know your software can also actually track an individual member’s activity with your association? You should be in the habit of pulling this report shortly before each member’s renewal date - and be prepared to have a conversation about both the benefits they’ve used, and the ones they haven’t. You may help a member uncover something they didn’t know existed that will push them to renew right away. (Plus, it’ll be a reminder of everything they’ve experienced in the past year or so.)
Making the actual act of paying dues as easy as possible for members means they’re more likely to follow through. But in order to do that, you have to know who’s taking advantage of those features and who isn’t! Some things we recommend looking into:
Automatic dues payments: How many of your members are set up for automatic dues payments? Find out who isn’t, and have a conversation! You should aim to have most (if not all) of your members set up for automatic payments, but they have to know the option exists in order to do so. What’s more is, you may find out why they’re hesitant to use it in the first place.
Members-only portal history: How often do your members log into their members-only portal to review their own financial history and activity? Do they know that they can? Being able to view their own information not only builds trust and transparency, but it also allows them to see everything they’ve gotten out of their membership. Again, the members-only portal and how to access it should be communicated often. (For more than the financial perks - they could be missing out on cool benefits there, too!)
Arming yourself with knowledge about your members will make retention a whole lot easier for those individual conversations. But don’t forget about the capabilities you have for mass and automatic communications! For more best practices (and communications templates), check out our free Membership Retention Kit.