Winning back your lapsed members starts by understanding why they left in the first place.
That’s right, if your association is struggling maintaining its membership rates, you probably want to know the exact reason why they left so you can work to fix it in the near future. Fighting off the regret of losing a good member is a lot harder than understanding what steps you can take to understand loss and fix things for the future.
If you want to have a better grip on member lapse and why it’s happening in your association, you’ve come to the right place. We’d like to show you a way to take hold of your member retention and be more mindful about why members lapse. With this exercise, you’ll be sure to have a better understanding of how to meet member needs.
Giving lapsed members space
The first step to understanding your lapsed members is actually one that allows you to take time away from them and give them their space.
Learning how to pause and reflect before going back in for more with lapsed members is an important part of the process. If you can’t give your lapsed members the space they need after they end things with your association, you may make them feel overwhelmed and smothered. Allowing things to cool off is all part of the process, so it’s time to learn how to leave some space between you and those members you’re trying to get back.
Set up a waiting period before reaching out to members who have lapsed in membership. The time you take to wait before messaging is entirely up to your association and may vary from organization to organization. However, you should have a decent understanding of what members need in terms of time and space (this is why having strong member communication is vital).
Allowing some time and space apart will help lapsed members reflect on the true value of what your association has to offer them, hopefully warming them up to the idea of coming back.
Study member data
A lot of your association’s questions about lapsed members can be answered by looking at the member data you’ve collected.
Collecting member data will help you have a better understanding of your members, not just on a surface level, but on a deeper level that can help you get a grip on why they join your association, why they stick around, and even why they may end up leaving.
Be sure to have a secure and organized way to collect your member data. If this means using a Membership Management Software, using free and easy online tools, or just using whatever you find best. There are a variety of ways to keep up with your member data, so be sure to choose a method that you find works for you.
With this collection of member data, you can start analyzing your data to find any patterns or missteps that may have led to member lapse. For example, if you notice a trend that led to a group of members pulling themselves from your association, you may want to find ways to fix this from happening in the future.
Paying attention to your member data can teach you a lot without much hunting, working, and mystery solving involved.
In time, start reaching out
And finally, when you’ve done your research and given members due time to reflect on their membership, you’re going to want to start reaching out to learn more.
When reaching out to lapsed members, you never want your messages to just be about winning them back. You want to show your compassion, understand and listen to their struggles, and show them that what they feel is valid and you’re willing to take care of it to prevent these frustrations from flaring up in the future.
Finding the best way to reach members is a great first step. Do your members prefer hearing from your association through a phone call? Or do they prefer a method that fits in better to their busy schedule, like an email and/or online message? Depending on who your lapsed members are, you can develop an outreach program to fit their needs.
It’s important to remember that personalization can go a long way. While members may have similar issues, they’re all different individuals and should be treated as such.
Once you’ve reached out, heard your lapsed members out, and taken in what they have to say, you can work on ensuring them that your association will work on presenting more value to them to win them back.
Having a better understanding on your lapsed members can give you a much more structured approach in winning them back. Consider focusing on your lapsed member comprehension today to save yourself the stress of worrying about retention rates.