Membership Renewal Starts on Day 1
When is the right time to start approaching your members about renewing their membership? Do you start 30 days prior to their membership expiring? What about 60 days? Do you go back even further than that? The truth is, renewal started the moment that the member chooses to join your organization. Every email, social post, direct mail piece, blog post, and website update is a chance for you to illustrate the value of your organization.
This was the focus of one of the wonderful sessions that I had the opportunity to attend while at ASAE Annual 2016 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The session centered on membership and how to utilize different strategies and philosophies to boost your membership renewals. It was interesting to hear the many approaches that different organizations take to retain members. From the great conversation in this session, here are a few of the key tips that were shared:
- First and foremost, you need to have a strong understanding of your membership. Do not simply focus on who they are but what do they value? Why did they join and what are their needs? Conducting a readership or needs assessment with your membership is a great way to find out what they value most.
- Align your content with the goals of your members. What were their goals when they joined your organization, and what are their goals now? Understand what topics are trending with your audience and tailor your messaging around their interests. In addition, use language that resonates with your audience. If they refer to your membership directory as something like “The Big Book,” use that terminology when asking them to renew.
- Utilize multiple touch points when soliciting membership renewals. While we would like to think everyone is immersed in the digital world, it is not always the case. Many people rely on phone calls or direct mail pieces for important messages such as a membership renewal. Mixing your messages across multiple channels maximizes your reach and increases your chances at getting that renewal. Also, be sure to create a marketing calendar that clearly displays all of the touch points so that you can correlate results to a specific event or mailing.
- Periodically conduct a data audit to ensure internal data is clean and accurate. Use major life events, such as a graduation, as a prompt to confirm their information by congratulating them and showing an interest in their achievements. Not only can this provide new ways to collect data on your membership, it can help enhance the relationship that the member has with your organization.
A lot goes in to maintaining long term memberships. Membership renewal is not something you should focus on once a year. Set yourself up for success by establishing strong nurture opportunities throughout the year. Nurturing the relationship from day one gives you the best chance of enhancing their connection with your organization so that when it comes time to renew, the decision to stay is that much easier.
Ready to start your membership renewals off right? Check out our ebook “How to Create Effective Automated Campaigns,” for tips on welcome, nurture and renewal campaigns to keep your members happily engaged.