Retention is not recruitment and recruitment is not retention. Easy enough, yes? However, it is far too common to see membership departments trying to focus on both. How do you prioritize when both items are equally important? A passive retention strategy is time heavy, typically, at the same time that new member recruitment is at its best – Q4.
Q4 is the best time for both retention and recruitment
If your association follows a calendar year cycle, this is the time you want to be sending out your invoices. Sending out invoices is the very least we do for a good retention program. At the same time, Q4 is one of the best times for membership recruitment, particularly those of larger dues amounts, as it is budgeting season. If you want a chance to get that larger member in, those conversations should be going on before and into Q4, getting the amount into the prospect’s budget for the following year.
Divide and Conquer
Outsourcing new membership recruitment is a great way to have someone else focus on the new members, so the association can focus on good retention and a great retention program. Great retention programs extend past Q4 and include multiple communication touchpoints, leadership meetings with association CEOs and heads of public policy, and extending reach within the member company to ensure the longevity of membership.
Strong membership recruitment can take up a majority of a membership director’s time, including traveling to prospects and running successful marketing campaigns. We have seen time and time again that by providing outsourced membership recruitment, our association partners can focus their energy on developing a strong onboarding and robust retention program. By focusing on retention, you develop long-term growth of the association and deeper engagement with current members.