Improve Your Renewals? It’s Time to Get Engaged
I recently made a presentation called Engagement is More Than Asking for Money: Adventures in Developing a 12-Month Member Engagement Program to a prestigious local ASAE affiliate. The premise and message were simple: combine engagement and renewal communications to increase your overall rate of renewal. Here are a few pointers we covered. Question Your Value PropositionAt the core of any successful membership marketing program is a constant reassessment and improvement of your value proposition. By value proposition here, we mean the actual value you deliver to your members. The best value propositions evoke passion from your member base. This is hardly a mathematical reminder, but the formula is:
Rn = v(m)
Maximum success in renewals is roughly equivalent to increasing the delivery of overall value as defined by the members themselves. More than any time in our history, members are demanding more and looking for a greater return on their dues. Deploy Binary Member Communications to Engage Members want to be acknowledged. That is why wherever possible try to design all communications with members to flow two ways by asking for clicks of feedback. Then make sure your request isn’t always monetary. Use your communiqué to ask an opinion. Once members have replied, provide immediate information back to them on the results of your poll, either in a live tally of votes or by supplying the results in the next contact.
Ask for yes/no support of a cause, favorite location for a regional meeting, how many meetings a year, whether webinars or local meetings are better, update their information, even ask for a favorite color. Just get them engaged. The best channels for binary communications are word of mouth, email, personal calls, your website, social media, and yes, even direct mail when designed with a QR code, special link, or even a faxback form. Most of all, make it easy and acknowledge their contribution. Combine Custom Messages with Monthly Updates Finally, we recommend that you design your renewal sequence as you would typically do. You now touch them five times starting 120 days before lapse, and three times afterwards. This sequence is then applied to all annually renewing members.
Use custom messaging to overlay those renewals. For example, the announcement of the annual conference first appears in April. All April renewal notices, no matter which stage of renewal the individual members occupy, also feature the lavish announcement of the annual convention. Following up on this pointer, each month or every x weeks, depending upon your program, you will be sending out a targeted binary engagement communications piece (in the example above, asking if recipients plan to attend the convention) and thus adding a custom component to the standard renewal component.
In those circumstances when individual members have not yet entered the renewal sequence, provide a link to an “early renewal” special offer to catch the most passionate and loyal of your members. The Results and More An annual review of the programs MGI designed for one particular client shows a 6% increase in overall renewals by adopting many of the concepts we have covered here. We believe there are many un-mined opportunities in these concepts that have the potential to improve overall membership renewal and enhance member engagement. For specific examples of their program and how they set schedules please click here.
For more information about improving your renewal and engagement programs, contact Harold Maurer at Harold@MarketingGeneral.com or call him at 703.706.0391.
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