Back to Basics: Why Do Members Lapse? And What You Can Do About It

There are many reasons members lapse, but so often the answer is some version of, “I didn’t see the value of membership, or I didn’t use my membership.”

The organization’s internal response to this reasoning is usually something along the lines of, “But we sent you twenty emails telling you the value of membership and outlining your benefits.”

If this sounds like you or someone you know, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

Are you articulating the value of membership benefits or just listing features?

For example, do you simply tell members they have access to your job site, or do you tell them they can save time finding the most qualified candidates for open positions, or find an exceptional new career opportunity? Maybe they can even avoid the cost of using a recruiter by using your job site instead.

You want to ensure your members know what’s in it for them.

Do you reiterate the value of membership throughout the year?

If the only time you remind members of how to put their membership to work for them is when it’s time to renew, you’re doing it wrong.

Guide members to use their benefits throughout the year.

Take them on a virtual tour of how to use some of the most popular benefits. Designate some of your social media posts to making the most of a particular benefit. Offer incentives for members to engage more with your organization. Check in with at-risk members mid-way through the year to offer assistance and invite feedback.

Are you effectively using the analytics tools you have available?

Are you regularly reviewing your analytics to understand the behavior of your members? What tools are they using most frequently? Which resources are getting the cold shoulder? Who is logging into their member profiles most often, and what are their demographics and behaviors? Who isn’t logging in at all?

You have a wealth of information at your fingertips to harness into laser targeted messaging, and benefit development.

Are you presenting the value of membership through multiple channels AND in varying formats?

Simply communicating via email isn’t enough. Do you invite and encourage member engagement through multiple channels such as email, social media, mail, user groups, and telemarketing/texting?

No two people learn and digest information the same way. Varying the format of your content helps ensure your message is received. Incorporate infographics, video, text, and more.

The bottom line is that you need to communicate the value of membership in your organization early, often, and through several channels while making it easy on your members to engage.

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