The long-term success of an association depends not only on attracting new members but also on retaining existing ones. Loyal members are absolutely essential to your association’s health. They provide stability and predictable revenue, they possess significant knowledge and expertise that increase engagement, and they help you establish and maintain your reputation. In this article, we will explore the most effective member retention strategies.
1. Understand your members’ needs and expectations
To retain your members, it’s essential that your association offer programs, events and services that they need. Regularly assess the interests and expectations of your members through surveys and other feedback mechanisms. Use this information to tailor what you offer and, in the process, show your members that their opinions are heard and valued.
2. Make them an offer they can’t refuse
Ensure that the benefits of membership outweigh the cost, thus creating a strong incentive for members to renew. Offer tangible benefits that are available only to members, such as discounts, exclusive resources, specialized training and networking opportunities.
3. Build a strong community
Create a sense of belonging among your members by fostering a community atmosphere. Encourage networking and collaboration through events such as conferences and workshops as well as in online or in-person discussion forums. When members feel connected to others in the association, they are more likely to renew their membership.
4. Personalize your communications
Personalized communication shows members that they are appreciated as individuals, not just as part of a group. Use the member data you collect to send targeted messages about services and activities that match each member’s interests. Receiving personalized birthday or thank-you emails can also strengthen a member’s affinity with the association.
5. Simplify the renewal process
A simple renewal process increases the likelihood that members will renew their memberships. Offer an automatic renewal option, communicating the benefits and convenience to members. For those who prefer manual renewal, send automated reminders at various intervals ahead of the renewal date to avoid any interruption in membership. Ensure that the renewal portal is mobile-friendly and intuitive, and that the process does not require more than a few clicks.
6. Recognize and appreciate members
Members are more likely to stay with an association if they feel recognized and appreciated. Acknowledge and celebrate members’ achievements and contributions on your website and social media, in newsletters or at events. Consider giving awards or certificates or simply sending heartfelt thank-you messages.
7. Listen to and address negative feedback
The way you handle negative feedback can have a major impact on how your members perceive the association. Listen actively to dissatisfied members and take steps to remedy any issues. This will show members that you respect them and take their concerns seriously, and, in turn, will increase member engagement and satisfaction.
8. Involve members in decision-making
Involving members in decision-making is a great way to increase members’ sense of ownership and belonging while also leveraging their knowledge and expertise. Give members the opportunity to vote on important decisions, participate in town hall meetings, sit on member committees or provide feedback on key issues.
Member retention is a fundamental aspect of any association’s success. By consistently offering value, building a strong community and appreciating your members, you can create an environment where members are not only satisfied but enthusiastic about their association. Regularly assessing and adjusting your strategies will help ensure the long-term vitality of your association.
Increasing your association’s membership requires a strategic approach supported by digital tools. Here are some effective tools to boost your association’s membership:
1. A persuasive and appealing website
Make sure that your website is user-friendly and showcases what your association offers. Outline the benefits of joining your association and show clear calls to action that lead to your membership form. You can use a membership management solution such as Membri 365 to automate your membership form. If your association doesn’t already have a website, contact our team! We can help you build a simple website with a membership form, a member directory and an events calendar to help your association get started.
2. Dedicated landing pages
Create unique landing pages for each membership tier, so that you can customize the content and messaging to the unique needs and interests of each audience type and thus increase the likelihood of conversion. Having different landing pages also improves SEO and search visibility, making it easier for potential members to find you online.
3. Email marketing
Use an email marketing platform to send informative and engaging content to non-member mailing list subscribers. Personalize your emails and be sure to always end your messages by outlining the benefits of your association and including a call to action.
4. Social media
Social media platforms are a powerful tool for reaching a wider audience. Share interesting content, promote events, showcase members’ achievements and engage with current and potential members to help your community thrive.
5. Webinars and other events
Free webinars and networking events are great ways for potential members to learn about your association, build connections and experience the value you provide. They also increase your association’s visibility and lead to word-of-mouth marketing. Be sure to follow up with participants to thank them for their attendance and to promote membership.
6. Member referral program
People are more likely to join an association if someone they trust is a member, so why not harness your existing members’ connections to drive growth? Create a referral program where current members can recommend new members. Offer incentives to the referring member in the form of discounted membership fees, event tickets or other valuable rewards.
Use analytics tools to track the performance of your various marketing efforts. Identify what is working best and adjust your strategy on a regular basis for optimal results.
8. Campaign management
Campaign management tools allow you to streamline your campaigns and ensure consistency across channels. Use them to plan, execute, analyze and optimize your marketing and membership recruitment initiatives.
Remember that increasing membership requires ongoing effort and a combination of strategies. Assess the effectiveness of your approach regularly and make adjustments as needed.
Customer relationship management software is a powerful tool that can track engagement, personalize communications and offer tailored benefits to each member, making it indispensable for any association. Here’s how you can leverage CRM software for member retention:
1. Select the right CRM
Choosing the right CRM solution is an essential first step. Look for options that offer features such as member data centralization, engagement tracking, segmentation and personalization, data analysis and reporting. Be sure to choose a solution that can be scaled up as your association grows.
2. Collect and use data
CRM software allows you to collect and store valuable data about your members, such as their preferences, interests, membership history and engagement. Use this data to personalize communications, offer relevant benefits and anticipate members’ needs.
3. Segment your membership
Members are more engaged when they receive relevant content that resonates with them. Use a CRM solution to segment your membership into groups based on suitable criteria, and use this segmentation to send personalized, targeted communications.
4. Track engagement
Member engagement refers to the level of active involvement, interaction and participation that individuals have within an association. Tracking engagement is helpful for two reasons. First, it allows you to identify highly engaged members and recognize their contributions, thereby further increasing engagement. Secondly, it helps you identify members at risk of disengagement and to implement strategies to bring them back on board. Use CRM to track member engagement regularly and make adjustments as needed on an ongoing basis.
5. Offer benefits and rewards
When members receive special benefits such as discounts, exclusive content or invitations to member-only events, they feel valued and are more likely to renew their memberships. CRM software can be used to easily manage loyalty and rewards programs for members.
6. Automate retention processes
CRM automation helps with member retention in a variety of ways. Automated membership renewal reminders reduce the chances of members allowing their memberships to lapse, while automated birthday greetings and thank-you messages following events help members feel appreciated.
7. Generate reports and analyses
A good CRM solution will enable you to produce detailed reports on member retention and engagement. Use this data to assess the effectiveness of your retention strategies and identify areas for improvement.
In conclusion, a CRM solution can provide your association with the tools it needs to effectively manage member relationships, improve engagement and implement data-driven retention strategies. By leveraging the capabilities of a CRM system, your association can maximize member retention rates and thus ensure long-term growth and success.
Membri 365 is an innovative, customizable and scalable membership management solution that can help associations with many aspects of their operations, including member retention. Membri 365’s automation features are able to take care of 10 to 12 hours of administrative work per week, eliminating the need for a part-time employee and reducing your overall workload.
With Membri 365, your members can manage their memberships themselves via an online portal. Here’s just some of what they can do using the member portal:
View and modify account information
View billing history
View account invoice history
Access and print PDF invoices
In Membri 365, you can create a customized dashboard where you can see how your association is performing in real time with just a few clicks. Here’s just some of what you can do using our dashboards:
Track sales and memberships
View accounts payable and receivable
Generate charts and reports
Monitor event registration
Visualize your key performance indicators (KPIs)
Automating administrative tasks in Membri 365 can help your association maximize member retention. Talk to our team about how Membri 365 can help you! Here are some of Membri 365’s features:
To learn more about our Membri 365 membership management solution, read our white paper, CRM: AN ESSENTIAL TOOL FOR ORGANIZATIONS.
Vendere Group offers a full suite of CRM products and services powered by Microsoft Dynamics 365. Membri 365, our CRM solution, allows you to monitor your association’s progress more easily and efficiently, while also better understanding and growing your membership.
Contact us to find out what we can do for your association.