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11 Quick Tips for Member Retention

Improving your member retention strategy will exhibit many benefits. You’ll experience less membership churn, increased engagement, and generate more revenue.

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For your association to see long term growth and success, you need to have a strong member retention strategy. It's easy to get caught up in signing new members, but without retaining those members for years to come, you can lose a significant amount of time and money.

Especially during a time of financial stress and uncertainty, you need to prove the value being a member holds and why they should continue to renew each year.

Here are some tips to start making improvements today.

1. Improve Your Onboarding Experience

First impressions are always important and you don't want to mess this one up. This is your members' first time experiencing how your association operates, so you need to make it count. If they have a bad experience, chances are they'll have a sour perception and won't want to renew. For a positive experience, host an onboarding webinar session and record it for them to use as a reference, send a "welcome" email kit that includes detailed instructions on how to set up accounts or anything else they'll need to get started.

2. Provide a "Roadmap" for Content & Resources

With all of the resources and content you provide, it can be extremely overwhelming for members to navigate through it all to find what they're looking for. Mitigate stress by creating a "roadmap" that helps them find and consume your content. guide them through the process by creating a starting point and mapping out the directions they could go in.

For example, you could have them start out with a blog about interviewing tips, and then guide them up to the online courses and certification you offer. Offering a helping hand always makes people feel more comfortable!

3. Regularly Survey Members

Surveying or polling your current member base is an easy and effective way to understand what your members are looking for in terms of content, resources and other member benefits you provide. You don't want to make assumptions about what your members want, or it could lead to a waste of time and money, and invaluable resources for your members they'll never use - resulting in canceled memberships. Send out your surveys at every milestone of membership: 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, etc. This will help keep things fresh!

4. Allow for Membership Pausing

Certain circumstances, like the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, might mean your members need to take a step back from their membership but don't necessarily want to cancel. Allowing the option to pause a membership creates a stress-free environment so members don't have to choose between canceling a membership or spending money during tight times.

5. Provide the Option to Switch Payment Plans

If you offer different tiers of membership, letting your members switch between each one also helps combat membership cancellation during financially stressful times. Although they won't have access to all the amazing benefits you offer, you can at least offer your support and the option to upgrade their membership once they are in a better position.

6. Send Out Customized Newsletters

The last thing members want are hundreds of emails flooding their inbox. Although it is an important way to communicate with members, it can become overwhelming and they’ll end up deleting your emails. To combat this issue, let members choose what they want to receive from you with personalized and customized newsletters. Whether it’s content specific to their interests or weekly updates, give your members the power to choose.

7. Utilize Member Testimonials for Reflection

Member testimonials aren’t just for prospective members to read how great your membership is. It’s also an important reminder for members thinking of cancelling their membership why they joined in the first place, or helps them realize they could be taking advantage of more opportunities you provide. It can be a powerful tool that creates reflection on the positive times and encounters they’ve had while being an active member that will make them want to stay.

8. Implement Automated Campaigns

Your members have a lot going on, so it can be easy for them to forget about events or even payments. Implementing automated campaigns for reminders is another easy way to keep them in the loop and stress-free. A simple email reminder about deadlines for registrations, upcoming payments or even if their credit card is about to expire, it helps members keep track of responsibilities and makes them feel accounted for.

9. Conduct Exit Surveys

Just as it is important to survey active members, it’s also important to survey members who have decided to cancel memberships. This gives you a lot of insight into why they left, what you need to improve upon, and how you can win their membership back at a later date - as long as you make those changes and improvements.

10. Personalize Communication with Members

Customization and personalization are important features to your members. They want to feel valued and noticed as an individual. Simple things like personalizing subject lines in emails goes a long way and reinforces a positive outlook on your association. You want your members to read your emails because they feel connected to it, not because they assume it was sent to every member.

11. Focus on Long Term Incentives

As your members funnel through the membership lifecycle, you want to continuously remind them the value being a member holds and incentivize them to keep renewing. While they may have joined in the beginning for the perks they received as a new member, you want to keep those trends going in order to retain them. Rewards and incentives strengthen their loyalty to your association because it makes them feel just as valued as the new members.

Improving your member retention strategy will exhibit many benefits. You’ll experience less membership churn, increased engagement, and generate more revenue. Putting your member experience first will allow you to increase your member base and ultimately grow your association to be #1 in the industry you serve.