Skip to main content
Member Software

Guide to Automating Membership Renewals

Andrea Amorosi March 18, 2024
Table of Contents
7 min read

Associations face challenges when it comes to juggling membership acquisition programs, retention plans and staff efficiency. The struggle is where to place limited resources and how to ensure association growth.

The simple answer for associations is to create an automated membership renewal program that improves staff efficiency and enables leaders to focus resources on attracting new members. This also helps to simplify and streamline daily association operations, and allows association employees to put more resources into creating the best member experience possible.

With automated membership software, you can automate previously manual processes and make your staff more efficient. Here is how you can implement automated processes for membership in your association.

Key Takeaways

  • Associations struggle to balance membership retention, acquisition and staff efficiency.
  • Membership retention is critical to an association’s long-term success.
  • Membership engagement greatly impacts retention.
  • Technology offers associations the ability to automate membership renewals and increase efficiencies.
  • Increased efficiencies offer more resources for staff to focus on membership acquisition and experience.
  • Auto-renewal programs offer benefits to members and association employees.

Why Automating Membership Renewals Helps Your Association

Membership retention is a key part of an association’s stability and growth. Automating membership renewal offers a simple way for associations to make a big impact on the membership program.

Auto-renewal helps target a large proportion of association members who simply forget to renew and who would renew with a reminder. It also helps to free up resources that allow association staff to focus on other important programs, like membership acquisition.

Auto-renewal is as easy as allowing members to automatically continue their membership by having the regular fee charged to a personal or business credit card. Membership management software offers associations this functionality, and uses automated emails to notify members when their membership is being renewed. The technology allows members to update their account if they do not wish to renew by canceling any scheduled payments. 

Improve Member Retention

Membership retention is critical to the growth of associations, providing a solid foundation that can be expanded through a healthy membership acquisition program. An association with a steady and expanding membership base will experience greater member engagement, satisfaction and loyalty.

That is why it is so important for associations to develop and invest in retention and engagement efforts for existing members. Automated systems can help with retention and engagement.

A successful membership retention program starts with attractive association benefits, personalized membership experiences and a culture that acknowledges and appreciates members. Associations can do this through:

  • Regular member communication
  • Effective onboarding that matches member interests with association programs
  • Easy access to association training and resources
  • Enhanced member engagement through more personalized and relevant experiences

Enhance Membership Engagement

Associations must actively engage members through regular communication, social media and events that make them feel connected and valued by the organization. This can be done through webinars, training programs and workshops that are hosted by the association. Such engagement helps to keep the association’s membership informed on topics that are most important to them. But perhaps more importantly, it creates a greater sense of value that the association is offering members.

There are numerous ways through a variety of channels that associations can boost member engagement, including email, social media, website communications, and scheduled training and networking events. But the key to an effective engagement program is not in the methods or channels used. It is by focusing on ways to personalize the member engagement experience so that the association delivers what members need, acknowledges their preferences and recognizes their interests. This can be done with the help of an automated system that can help survey members to identify what works and what doesn’t when it comes to the membership experience. 

An automated system also offers methods of creating a personalized member experience, including:

  • Referencing members by their name in association communications.
  • Dividing members in ways that allow more targeted information based on needs and preferences.
  • Delivering association content that addresses the individual interests of members.

Show Your Commitment to Your Members

While engagement and communication with members is vital for associations, a clear strategy ensures that such activities are meaningful and respectful to members. Your communication may be among hundreds received by a member each day.

A robust email personalization program can help target association members more effectively and efficiently, reducing the number of broad or general interest communications and targeting that member’s needs and interests. This ensures greater open and click-through rates for your emails.

An automated membership software program can help transition your organization into personalized emails, which will pay off later with improved member engagement and retention. These programs can produce emails referencing members by name, offer various email templates that create a different, yet professional look and help manage membership lists under various interests or other criteria.

Reduce Costs

A key benefit associations receive through an automated membership renewal program is reduced costs. The automated systems create efficiencies within the association, including:

  • Reduced reliance on paperwork to manage memberships.
  • Decreased staff time to manage memberships.
  • Automated membership data updates. 

Staff time and association resources previously spent on these tasks can be shifted into other, more important tasks for the organization. An automation system performs the association’s most relevant membership tasks through one platform, including communications, engagement and renewals.

Conduct Analysis to Improve Your Association

Associations must have the ability to track and measure the success of their member retention strategies as they evolve. It’s important to continue, and potentially expand, successful efforts, just as it is important to stop doing what doesn’t work. Marketing automation helps associations conduct this analysis to effectively execute marketing and engagement initiatives that lead to more streamlined, customized and targeted experiences for members. 

Automated systems use metrics like open rates, click-through rates and renewal percentages to guide more effective resource allocation in the most successful member retention efforts for your association. Marketing automation tools use personalization techniques, data-driven insights and more efficient processes to help do this.

Click through to learn about MemberClicks’ membership management software tools, MC Trade and MC Professional.

Overall Convenient for Both the Customer and the Employee

Automated membership renewal offers your association a modern approach that is quite similar to auto-renewal programs consumers already have adopted, like automatically paying for a streaming service. This same convenience is available for associations to offer their members. 

This auto-renewal option benefits your association and members by:

  • Providing uninterrupted association services to members without requiring them to take action, respond to renewal messages, remember their renewal date or submit paying manually. 
  • Reducing the association’s number of non-renewals and the number of direct contacts staff must make to solicit renewal,, including crafting and sending messages, and calling members. 
  • Increasing staff efficiency through streamlining of the renewal process, giving them time to focus on other association needs, such as improving the membership experience.
  • Stabilizing your association’s revenue stream through reduced non-renewals and increased focus on acquisition by staff. 

Automate Member Communications

With better member communication playing such a crucial role in member retention, associations must find ways to automate member communications. Such streamlined communications with an emphasis on personalizing the member experience will help increase member satisfaction and retention rates.

Associations can better manage communications with members by:

  • Automating email campaigns and follow-up messages to existing and new members, and to prospects. 
  • Dividing members into distinct groups and lists based on their interests, role, level of membership or other criteria.
  • Tracking activities by members and their engagement in events, websites and other programs.
  • Improving communication through analysis of metrics and offering more personalized and relevant member engagement.

Associations must develop personalized communications that tailor messages, content and resources to meet the individual needs of members. This will improve engagement and make the members feel valued. Personalization is a key component of successful marketing automation efforts. By tailoring communications, content, and offers to individual member needs and preferences, associations can make members feel valued and engaged.

Create a Central Database of Information

Another advantage of an integrated AMS platform is that it can be used easily with an association’s other tech components and software. This centralizes your membership information into a single database, making it more powerful and relevant to your association. 

This central database helps:

  • Develop smart segmentation for more personalized communications.
  • Produce helpful insights from member demographics, behaviors and interests to improve engagement.
  • Track email campaigns in real time and assess open and click rates of landing pages.
  • Identify high-value content and poorly performing messaging.
  • Monitor website activity of members to help personalize their experience.

Start Automating Your Membership Management With MemberClicks All-In-One Solution

Automated membership management can help keep members engaged through personalization and can keep an association valuable to members through analysis and monitoring of activities that identify areas of improvement. These automated systems also help create efficiency and cost savings for associations.

To learn more about how this single platform can transform your association, contact MemberClicks to learn about our all-in-one solution that will help grow your organization. Schedule a demonstration now to learn more about how MemberClicks can deliver value to your members, increase efficiencies in your staff and boost revenue for your association.

Free Member Retention Guide

Ready to retain members and keep them coming back forever and ever? This guide will teach you everything you need to know about member retention. We cover all the basics, like the first steps to member retention and how to map out your member journey. From there, we dive a bit deeper into retention tips.