Increase Member Retention Rates

This week on the Latest Buzz blog we take knowledge from Association professionals to offer you tips and tricks on how to increase member retention. Sometimes switching things up and trying new tactics is all it takes to increase member retention by 20%.

In recent articles, Association Success blog post, and Wanna Retain Members? Pick Up The Phone, Matt Mantione, senior director of membership at the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME), and Raegan Johnson a contributor to Associations Now, share some tips on how to increase member retention rates.

Pick up the Phone

Calling up individual members to have a conversation at this critical point in their membership journey would be more engaging than sending a reminder email and hoping they followed up.

Keep in mind that some employees may be reluctant to pick up the phone because it feels too sales-y. But Mantione recommends guiding your team to rethink their approach to calls. “Callers were not trying to sell, but understand, not talk, but listen,” he writes.

Matt goes on to describe how he started the conversation and the question he asked;

“When we picked up the phone to call non-renewed members, I wanted to find out what was motivating them and offer to help. After introductions and telling them that we were sorry they weren’t renewing their membership, the net promoter score question was used: how likely are you to recommend the association to a friend or colleague? Then went on to ask where the association fell short, to identify motivations upfront. The most common answer came down to value.”

Make a question list to make the calls more structured so you are asking the same question to each non-renewing member. This will help you gather consistent information so you know where the biggest issues lie, and why those members do not renew.

Non-Participation Report

This report can be a perfect starting point when trying to figure out who to call first as less committed members can be at a high risk for dropping their membership.

Using the Non-Participation report can be vital in catching members who are thinking about dropping their membership, and re-engaging them.

Switching Things Up

Matt says it’s important to mix things up. Have you always done things in one specific way? Has it always worked? If you think your ways could be slightly improved there is no time like the present!

Step out of your comfort zone, reach out to your network and ask your peers questions. Working with a consultant can provide a fresh perspective and to help you create a strategy and supporting tactics unique to your members but informed by the consultant’s diverse bank of experience. Within your association and in the wider industry, take chances to create partnerships with staff and volunteers across departments. You are not the only one trying to solve this problem.

Look for support from those who have been through failure and learned from it.

Most members want to remain a part of your association, and with a little extra effort, you can give them a reason to stay.

Survey Those Who Don’t Participate

Survey those who do not participate to see why they don’t come out. Use this information to improve your events and offer the benefits that these members want! Ensure your organization remains vibrant and that your membership is sought after. Sometimes it’s a small change that can bring in more memberships or sell more event tickets, and what’s better than getting opinions right from your members themselves?!


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