With the end of the year comes renewal time for many member-based organizations. Even though renewal time is an annual occurrence, it can sneak up on you! Is your membership software in tip-top shape, ready to process all of those renewals and everything that comes along with it?

Whether your organization is heading into its busiest time of the year now, or you know you’ll need some advice for when that time comes, here are a few things you should do each year to prep for renewal time in your membership management software, whether you’re using Atlas or Oasis:

1. Ask for updated contact info

Having all of the correct email addresses and phone numbers for all of the members is important in general, but it’s key to having a successful renewal period. Before you start (or at least, toward the beginning of) your renewal process, make sure to contact members in a few different spots – email, direct mail, at meetings – with reminders to update their personal contact information. If that means directing them to their members-only portal – all the better! Perhaps they’ll go ahead and make their dues payment while they’re in there, too. (Fingers crossed!)

2. Review your automated emails

Take a moment to review your dues reminder email templates – and even post-payment thank you’s – for clarity and accuracy. Yes, the whole point of setting up these emails in the first place is to cut down on the amount of work you have to do around renewal time. But taking an hour to go over what you wrote a year ago is never a bad idea.

As you review, keep these three things in mind:

  • See if there’s room to liven up the copy (getting the same thing year after year would be monotonous)
  • Make sure all of the details and dates are all still correct
  • Add any additional notices, reminders, or promotions that are currently relevant

3. Make a push for automatically recurring billing

Since you’re already going to be having a financial conversation with your members, now is a good time to remind members of the benefits of automatic dues payments. Think about it: if you make a concerted effort each year to push more members to set up their recurring payments, eventually the majority of them will be on it and renewal time will be even easier!

That messaging could come into play in those email templates, or separately in your newsletter, at meetings, one-on-one phone calls, etc. The point is, this is one thing within your membership management software that will only become more helpful as more members adopt it.

Don’t have a formal renewal process set up? We’re here to help! Download our Membership Retention Kit, which is chock full of tips, sample timelines, and email templates: