Friday, July 10, 2009

Never give up on Membership Renewals

Posted by Princess Eva Angelica at 8:28 AM
Winston Churchill said, “Never, never, never give up.” And it would appear that as it relates to membership renewals, he may be correct.

In our Membership Marketing Benchmarking Survey, we asked “when does your organization finish renewal efforts” by months from expiration. We then cross tabulated this against their reported membership renewal rates.

The data appears to indicate that organizations that stop their renewal process earlier are more likely to have membership renewal rates under 80 percent. However, those that continue in their efforts to renew members are more likely to have membership renewal rates over 80 percent.

In fact, those who say that they “don’t stop contact” are 83% more likely to be in this higher renewal grouping than those who stop contact earlier.
But wait there is more.

Using the same cross tabulation, this trend also appears to be true when we asked in the survey how long a member is “graced” with the continuance of membership benefits after expiration. Organizations with longer grace periods tended to report renewal rates of over 80 percent. In fact, groups that grace member benefits three or more months are nearly three times more likely to have renewal rates over 80% (9% compared to 26.5%).

Client research that I have read independent of this study often suggests that one of the most common reasons for a member to lapse is that he forgot or did not get around to renewing. So it does not surprise me that those who keep working at restoring the relationship with a member end up keeping more members. Members tend to leave an organization for reasons of omission not commission.

So if you have members in your database who have not renewed, keep a perspective that they have not renewed “yet” and try to reconnect with them. Never give up.


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