As an association professional, you put your heart and soul into recruiting new members – and for good reason. Memberships are the lifeblood of your organization. So when a member decides not to renew, it can be heartbreaking for your association and, not to mention, a bit of a setback.
If your organization is struggling with membership renewals, let us help. Here are three quick tips for boosting membership renewal rates:
1. Start early
We really can’t emphasize this point enough. When it comes to membership renewals, you MUST start early. According to Marketing General Incorporated’s (MGI) 2015 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report, associations that start their renewal efforts three or more months prior to expiration are significantly more likely to have an 80 percent or higher renewal rate. So don’t wait! Start sending those reminder emails out ASAP!
2. Make your renewal process easy
The more complicated your renewal process, the less likely members are to complete it. Make it easy on your members by allowing for one-click renewals via email, your website, or member profiles. And if you have an association management system, you can even pre-populate online renewal fields with information from the year before, making it even easier for your members to complete all of the forms they need.
Tip: When it comes to online renewals, forms are typically better than applications. Forms are easy to fill out and don’t typically capture unnecessary information, as applications often do. Remember, the easier the process, the more likely members are to renew.
3. Offer a grace period
Members don’t pay dues for a variety of reasons, but sometimes it’s because they’re just plain busy. So before you deny them their benefits altogether, consider offering a grace period of some sort. According to MGI’s Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report, the most common grace period for associations is two to three months. This time frame is a fairly good balance between trying to bring back lapsed members and ensuring paying members aren’t being short-changed.
Now in order for grace periods to be effective, it’s important to remain in contact with your graced members. Consider sending out automated, personalized emails reminding your members that they need to renew. Or better yet, try creating customized messages for your graced members and displaying them on their profiles and throughout their online communities. That way, whenever users interact with your site, they’ll be reminded that they need to renew.
Want more tips for boosting your organization’s membership renewal rates? Check out our free Membership Renewal Guide below!