Are you gearing up for membership renewals soon? Here are a few common best practices for planning and implementing a successful membership renewal campaign:

  1. Time it right. Your members are busy, so you’ll need to remind them more than once that they’re up for renewal. A successful campaign reaches out to members at least three times:
    •  Pre-expiry: Inform your members that their membership expiry date is coming soon and encourage them to renew as soon as possible to avoid missing out on all the benefits of their membership.
    • On the date: Make sure they have an email in their inbox first thing in the morning with concrete examples of what they will be missing when they don’t renew today.
    • Post-expiry: A final friendly reminder, to double check that they haven’t forgotten and to point out again the member benefits.
  2. Emphasize your unique selling proposition (USP). In today’s economic environment, it is very likely that your members are looking at their budgets to see what and where they can cut. Unfortunately, membership to your association could be on the ‘to-cut’ list. You can avoid this by proving to them that membership to your association is not only valuable but also essential! The USP answers the question why members should remain with your association and not another one.
  3. Focus on results, achievements and goals. In your membership renewal communications, make sure to list the accomplishments of the association over the past year. Try to answer the question, “What did you do with my membership fee?” Use examples, data and testimonials. Looking at the future, you should also focus on the plans for the coming year, why these projects are necessary and important and why the commitment of the membership to realize these objectives is essential.
  4. Integrate your campaign. You can and should use all the tools at your disposal. Approach your members via different channels and use technology. There are several cross media marketing strategies that can drive membership retention in sophisticated directions. A cross media campaign integrates several media channels (direct mail, email, web, print and social media) offering recipients several ways of renewing.
  5. Add value all year long. The renewal process is not a short term effort: make sure to touch base with your members throughout the year through online surveys, taking stock at meetings, informal focus groups, etc. This way, the association can tailor its services to the needs of the members while the members feel engaged. This will increase your chances for a long-term commitment.

Have you seen any particularly successful renewal campaigns? What strategies have you implemented to get your members to renew?

Jackie Beaulieu
Executive Vice President, Kellen Company