Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Membership Renewals: A Couple of Quick Tips

Posted by Princess Eva Angelica at 1:09 PM
Here are a couple of quick thoughts you might want to try to improve your membership renewal rates.

1. Frequency – How many touches do you have in your membership renewal program and how do you know how many you should have? Here is the rule of thumb; you should continue to spend money on renewal or reinstatement efforts until it costs less money to bring in a new member. Based on this formula, I know one membership organization that now has a 40 touch renewal program that includes mail, phone calls, and email.

2. Offers – Many membership organizations are finding that renewal payments are getting later and later from members. This is costly because more renewal efforts are sent out and it hurts cash flow. Here is how one group has moved up payments. They have included a product voucher offer in their early renewal notices. If a member renews early, a voucher or coupon is sent to the member that they can redeem toward the purchase of a product or service from the organization. Offering the voucher has lifted early renewals, but a low redemption rate has cost the association very little. And any member who makes an additional purchase from an association has a much higher likelihood of renewing in the subsequent year.

3. Channels – In some social media that I monitor, I hear the question posed, “should I move my renewal efforts from mail to email?” I think that the answer should not be “either/or”, but it should be “and”. In our 2010 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report, we highlighted that 88% of associations now use email in their renewal program compared to 83% in 2009. Associations using direct mail for renewals dropped from 91% to 85%. But based on these high percentages, it looks like most groups use both of these channels. What seemed to most positively impact renewals was adding additional communication channels. For example, staff renewal phone calls, fax, and peer member contacts were positive indicators for renewals with the groups that used these channels.

Feel free to add any additional tips that you might have to the comments section below.

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