Membership Retention is the New Black
An increasing number of associations are asking for our help with membership retention and engagement. Marketing General’s Membership Marketing Benchmark Survey confirms that while membership acquisition is up, retention numbers are soft…not improving.
So, the health of our membership program has been dependent upon bringing in the new member and not retaining the existing. That’s just not a sustainable strategy.
To further clarify the situation, the survey says the #1 reason members are not renewing is that the company is not engaged. We “own” this one folks.
Too many of our organizations have a retention plan like this:
1. Get the new member app
2. Ring the bell
3. Send a welcome letter
4. Add new member to the e-newsletter list
5. E-mail blast the hell out of ’em
6. Drop the invoice in month 9.
Hey folks, I’m trying the best I can to bring people on board here…can’t you do a bit more to keep them?
Here are some recommendations:
1. Make at least 10 contacts about engagement and reinforcing value.
2. Conduct a launch meeting with the new member to designate participation, areas of responsibility, and key issues.
3. Blend direct calls, contacts from other members, and an issue survey or two to keep pulling the prospect to you.
4. Track your communication and outreach to identify a lack of engagement. Fix it by month 6.
5. Send a list of accomplishments and a summary of the activities the company has been involved in.
Then, renew this company and do the math on how important it is to keep a $25,000 member for 10 years. It’s worth the time.