Tip #1 – Engage!
If renewal time is the first time throughout the year you’re checking in with your members, you’ve just become the relative no one talks to because he only asks for money. Have an on-boarding and ongoing engagement plan in place, check in with your members at various points throughout the year, and increase your efforts with your at-risk member groups.
Members who engage even one additional time with an association throughout the course of the year are significantly more likely to renew.
Tip #2 – Personalize your renewal communication to the user’s experience.
Know what your members did that year and remind them. Include the points of engagement someone had with your organization to demonstrate value. If you’re a trade association, let the primary contact know how many of their colleagues are using the membership and how.
Tip #3 – Ask early and often!
We’ve grown accustomed to the look of shock we see when we tell clients that we recommend at least 5-8 touch points within a renewal series, and that we recommend starting somewhere around the 90-day pre-expire mark. But both our industry research and our decades of results support the frequency and timing.
Tip #4 – Use multiple channels.
Most of our renewal campaigns use a combination of email, mail, and Facebook advertising. Why? Because as much as we’d love renewing a membership to be the absolute top of someone’s priority list, it generally isn’t. It’s easy to open an email, file it away in your “to-do later” (aka: where email go to die) folder and forget about it. But when later that week you see a Facebook ad reminding you that it’s time to renew, or a real letter comes through your mailbox, it’s harder to ignore and you’re more likely to get it done and check it off your to-do list.
Tip #5 – Expand your reach.
If you’re a trade organization only reaching out to the primary contact you have on file, but not getting a response, expand your campaign to additional contacts. The person once responsible for membership may have left the organization, changed roles, or may not be the heaviest user of the membership.
Renewing a member is almost always more cost effective than having to re-acquire that same member. It’s worth it to spend some time auditing your renewal series.