The year is nearing an end and it’s time for membership renewals. If you’re like most people, this is what your renewal process looks like: , Grab last year’s notice, dust it offupdate a few things and away it goes. Sounds about right? Well, if it does, stop! Membership renewal is a key lifeline for any association, so treat it with the care it deserves. We’ve included 5 simple strategies for enhancing your renewal communications. Use them and watch your renewal rate go up.
Plan it Out!
Take a few minutes before you start your campaign and map it out. Get away from the idea that a renewal strategy is an email blast on the first of every month. Know your channels—email, postal mail, SMS—they all work! Make a schedule of when and how your notices are going out. Remember to set some metrics too, so you know what’s working and what isn’t.
Make it easy for members to announce their renewal to their online networks. The best way to do that is to develop a few ready-to-use graphics that members can download and post on their Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn profile saying they’ve renewed. These graphics will generally consist of your association’s logo with a simple phrase like “I renewed!” To ensure that members use these graphics, include a download link in your renewal confirmation email. Having members share their renewal news can not only boost other renewals, but new joins as well!
Leverage all your communications to members, not just membership-specific emails. Do you have a monthly newsletter you send out? If so, consider including a banner image to remind people not only to renew but also of the value they reap from their membership, whether it’s in the form of accessing important resources, networking with peers or other benefits. Start including these graphics well in advance to keep the renewal deadline front of mind, longer.
Who likes form letters? You’re more likely to get a renewal from someone who sees the reminder come through with a personalized salutation. Dear Joe—not Dear Member—is more personable and effective. It sounds like something too simple to count, but never underestimate the personal touch.
Make it Easy
Before you start your campaign, have a try at renewing yourself. Understand the pathways that you’re asking members to use to renew, and make the process as easy as possible. Know how many clicks members have to make before renewing. We live in a busy, fast-paced world, so if there are too many hoops to jump through, members are likely to put it off after a few clicks or—worse–give up altogether.
As you can see, optimizing membership renewals doesn’t have to be difficult. All it takes is some insight. It’s a shame for any association to lose members because of a lack of creativity or effort. Don’t be one of them. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and amp up those renewals!