It can be tempting to get caught up in the marketing and planning for attracting new members to an association. However, just as important is the need to focus on membership renewal rates.
The renewal process requires a bit more attention than just sending a renewal packet or an email with a payment link. By giving attention to certain parts of the renewal period, you will increase the likelihood members will re-join.
Here are a few ways to improve your membership organization renewal rates.
Make Renewal Convenient
Don’t make renewing membership a chore. Keeping the renewal process straightforward for members is key.
If your association still uses mail in forms, provide a pre-addressed envelope.
Better yet, have an online payment option. Using membership management software or an online payment system for payment is becoming increasingly more commonplace, and even expected.
Even with the convenience of online forms, be sure to keep them as short as possible. Don’t ask for any information you don’t need. Find out if your membership software can prepopulate fields for which you may already have the data from the previous year.
Keep the actual process as simple as possible.
Take the Pain out of Payment
Payment can be sore spot for renewing members. Perhaps their employer no longer supports association dues reimbursement. Or they don’t have the funds to pay a large annual fee in one big chunk.
Here are three ways to make payment a breeze:
- Automatic renewal – At the time of joining the association, request to keep the credit card information on file. Tell members upfront their membership will automatically renew unless they take steps to cancel their membership.
- Installments – For large dues, consider stretching the payment across multiple monthly installments.
- Offer a grace period – Sometimes life gets in the way and members miss the payment deadline. Don’t make it a hassle for them to re-join. Allow a grace period for keeping their standing within the organization.
Remind Member of the Ongoing Value
Most members can recall last month’s meeting – but what about the incredible speaker from 10 months ago?
Along with the renewal reminder, include a recap of some of the highlights of the past year. And of course, mention some of the exciting upcoming events.
Additionally, before the renewal period to be certain volunteers know how grateful you are for their service. Members who don’t feel appreciated are less likely to renew.
By reminding members about the benefits they receive, plus learning and networking opportunities, they will feel more confident in their decision to renew membership.
Streamlining the renewal process and clearly communicating what members gain from the organization will help with increasing your renewal rates.