The new year is approaching- are you prepared to step into it with all of your new members by your association’s side?
According to this benchmark report from the IEEE Sections Congress, over 70% of attrition was made up of members with two years of membership or less. That percentage soars over any other membership after two years.
On top of that, renewal rates are suffering. According to a 2017 Membership Association Survey, one of the biggest roadblocks associations face are new member renewal rates. In fact, 49% of survey respondents stated their renewal rates did not change within the year. On top of that, 16% saw a decrease in renewal rates.
Last year, we wrapped up our year by sharing with you 4 unique, valuable tactics your association could use to retain your new members into 2018 (want to read it? Check it out here). And these ideas can still be used to help your association keep more of your new members
But for 2019, we thought we’d take it up one more notch- by giving your association 5 brand new renewal practices, tips, and tricks to try on for size. So, let’s take a look at how you can continue to attract new members to your association, and keep them around all the way into 2020 (and hopefully for years to come).
1. Have a strong onboarding plan
If you want to keep those new members around for a while, you need to start engaging them right at the very start- and what better way than with a strong member onboarding strategy.
Making sure your association provides a proper onboarding service can make or break the first impression your members have on you. The first few months with your association are a vital time for new members. They’re learning more about your association, the rules and regulations that come with being a member, and how they fit into the equation.
So, what should you do to ensure an onboarding plan that works for everyone?
There are a ton of do’s and don’ts for member onboarding that your members can follow, but here are just a few quick tips to consider bringing into your onboarding experience.
To start, you can provide new members with all information and materials they need to ease their way into their membership. You can also send them a warm welcome phone call, email, or letter in the mail. Warm welcomes are always the key to starting things off on the right foot.
Among other things, keeping in contact with new members can also aid your onboarding process. Making sure new members are on the same page and getting through the first few months without any complaints can save you less membership exits in the future.
2. Assess member loyalty often
Do you know how loyal your members are to your association? If you’re in the dark about new member loyalty- doing an assessment is a great way to get an idea of where they stand.
Why is loyalty so important? Long story short, a loyal customer can help keep your organization afloat in tougher times. Sumall’s infographic shows that businesses with 40% repeat customers generated almost 50% more revenue than businesses with 10% repeat customers.
So, it’s obvious you want to have a membership of returning members. But how can you keep tabs on your members to make sure they come back next year? By running an assessment, you can have a better idea of which members are a sure bet in sticking around, and which may need more attention from your association to reel them back in.
To do this, you can send out surveys and questionnaires to new members with questions your association hand selects. This way, you can get the answers to the questions you’ve had for a while.
3. Create a content “roadmap”
If your association has a hefty database of content, it might be difficult for new members to get started with it. In fact, they may feel too overwhelmed to even know where to start.
But with a content roadmap, you can give new members a direction to set out in when diving into your content library.
For those new members who need a bit of a push when it comes to getting started with the information you provide, you can draw out a plan for them to start. Your content roadmap can include a brief description of the content you make, including a few sentences on each piece of content.
You can then give them a few content pieces to start with. If your association has introductory guides, basic e-books, or beginner content pieces, these are great to start your new members on. Then, once they’ve finished with these pieces, you can guide them into more intermediate content, and then onto advanced content that they’ll enjoy.
A content roadmap can get even the most shy new member out of their shell and into your valuable content.
4. Allow members to renew 24/7
With technology constantly advancing, people are looking for ways to do what they want, when they want, and how they want it. And your renewal process should fit the demands of members looking for that instant satisfaction.
Your association needs to give members a way to renew their membership at their convenience. And with an online space that allows for 24/7 renewals, you can do just that.
Just like your association’s staff, members have busy schedules and want to manage their membership at their own pace. That being said, your association’s website should have a hub for members to check in on their status, change up any personal and profile information, and renew their membership at their convenience.
Allowing members a space to renew online at any time of the day can save them the stress of having to remember to renew around their schedule. It will also give your association an idea of which members are engaged, and which need a reminder to renew when the time comes.
5. Create an “upsell” and a “downsell”
Often times, members walk away from an association because they either don’t find further value in their membership, or they cannot afford the membership they currently have.
In order to combat this, your association can provide both a step up and a step down from the membership package it currently has, giving unsatisfied new members a chance to build up their membership or cut it back.
This is great for unsatisfied new members of any caliber. For those members who are looking for more from their association, they have the option to step up into a different membership tier- and have access to the perks and exclusive offers that go along with that.
And for those members who are trying to make ends meet, you can provide them with a discounted version of your membership. This way, they can still gain some of the perks that your association provides, but at a price they can afford.
If you thought last year’s tips were great, trying these 5 tips out in the new year can help your association keep its new members around for years to come.