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How to Win Back Your Members Using These 3 Marketing Tactics

Member marketing doesn’t have to be all smoke and mirrors. There are simple, low-cost ways to reach lapsed and disengaged members and appeal to their needs as an association.

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You work hard to acquire your association’s members, so you want to make sure you can win them back when need be. Reeling your members back to your association in times of hardship or disinterest is vital to the health of your membership. After all, it does cost five times more to attract a new customer than it does to retain a current one. And if your association wants to stay on budget while also keeping its members happy, winning back members is a necessary step. And if you’re looking for a fireproof way to get your members attention and prove to them the value of your association, you may want to take a look at the way you market.

Marketing is a constantly shifting world. With new, cutting-edge trends and tactics turning up every day, there are a variety of routes your association can take in order to keep your members interested and engaged. In order to keep your association’s member marketing strategy up to date with new marketing trends, we’ve put together a simple “how-to” on winning back lapsed and unengaged members. Sit back, relax, and learn more about the perfect win-back marketing tactics to incorporate into your organization.

Why win back is important

So, why is win back so important? While we discussed the price difference between a new and current association member, there are many other reasons why winning back your members should be at the top of your association’s priority list. To start, current members already know the in’s and out’s of your association. They’ve spent time with your staff, had their fair share of member experiences, and navigated their way through your association’s website and/or member site. With current members, your association doesn’t have to spend the time acclimating them to the way that your member benefits and program works- they’ve been with you for the long haul to know everything about your association.

Similarly, you have the knowledge that your current members are intrigued by your association. Whether your members are engaged or not, there was a point in their experience with your organization where they felt highly interested and found value in what you provided to them. If you have the ability to reignite that spark that you know exists in them, you’re set to keep these members around for a while longer. Member data is another advantage you have on pre-existing members. When acquiring new members, you have little to no data on who these individuals are. But with current members, you’ve already assessed who they are, what their interests and preferences entail, and therefore have developed an engagement strategy around that data. While acquiring new members is an exciting and valuable process, retaining your membership saves your association much more time and frustration in the long run. Now that we’ve discussed the necessity of a win-back strategy, let’s talk about some marketing tricks you can use to pull out all of the stops with lapsed and disengaged members.

Promote your changes

Why have your members become disinterested in your association? It could be due to a lack of change. If members see a problem or negative trait in your association, it may be enough to drive them out of the door. Small problems can begin to build up if members stick around for a long enough time, so you need to do your best to address member complaints head on- and spread the word about these new changes and features when possible.

Let your lapsed and unenthused members know what new changes and updates they can expect to see from your association by publishing a newsletter, blog post, or any other form of communication you find works best. A newsletter highlighting expected updates and addressing past problems can show members that you’re working hard to bring them the things they’ve been asking for. You can even go as far to reach out to members who have filed complaints with your association and address them personally. Members want to know your association’s staff is doing its part to actively listen to their concerns. By reaching out directly, you’re not only showing them you care about their needs, you’re also showing them that real change has been made to make their experience better. Creating marketing messages highlighting active change is a great way to reel members back to an exciting, new future with your association.

Market discounts

If members are looking to walk out of the door, your association has to find a clever way to keep them from taking the first step. By offering discounts or exclusive offers, you could pique members’ interest enough to change their mind completely. Using your marketing resources and knowledge, come up with a killer marketing campaign and attach an enticing discount to it. If you aren’t sure what discount would be interesting to your members, there are a number of ways to find out more. To start, you can use your member database to dig up any information on preferences and interests that you have. Your member data can hold a lot of insightful pieces of information- so don’t be afraid to use it. You can also survey members on what they’d like to see in terms of incentives and offers from your association. Getting answers directly from members is a much more straightforward way to be sure the discounts you create are valuable.

Once you know what members are looking for, you can start to create a marketing campaign around the discount/offer you choose. You can create social posts spreading the word, work in a marketing email into your email schedule, and even create ad campaigns advertising your discount in places you know members will see it. Creating discounts could be the incentive members need to give your association another shot.

Create conversation

Another marketing strategy and all around engagement opportunity we want to highlight is the simple art of good conversation. The importance of two-way communication between your association’s staff and members is no surprise. Your members want to feel like their comments are being heard, and thus responded to reasonably.

By sending out emails and making time for phone calls to lapsed members, your association is opening the door to healthy and two-sided communication opportunities that will make members feel appreciated and heard. You can learn more about individuals, get to know their frustrations with your association, and work towards a better overall relationship. One on one dialogue will show your more about your members while also giving you opportunities to market your association’s benefits on a much more personal and upfront level.

Getting that individual time with members will help them feel a closer bond to your association, hopefully giving them more security and trust that you’ll be able to provide the resources they’re in search of for years to come. Member marketing doesn’t have to be all smoke and mirrors. There are simple, low-cost ways to reach lapsed and disengaged members and appeal to their needs as an association. Consider using our tips to get your association on its way to a healthier relationship with its members.