For those who use a calendar-based membership term, December and January can be the scariest months of the year. A few years ago, a Chamber CEO called me in February and she said in a panic-stricken voice, “25% of our members did not renew! How can that be when just several months ago members gave us a 95% satisfaction rate?”
High satisfaction rates don’t guarantee renewals or long term loyalty to an association. Satisfaction has more to do with the “rear view mirror” than it does with the “windshield” or the future. No one gets too far driving while using past success indicators. Although most associations employ a fiscal year based membership based on the join date, similar panic attacks can still occur. What can you do to ensure higher renewal rates in 2012?
The first 5 of these tips are ways you can increase renewal rates by changing the process or payment options. The other 5 require more commitment to focus on proactive, long term retention strategies. Consider using all or some of these tips to increase member renewal outcomes:
- Allow 24/7 online renewals—Send out renewal reminders via e-mail with a link for members to renew online through a secured shopping cart. Allow members to update their profile and their preferences.
- Offer renewal incentives—Some members are enticed with getting something extra by acting with a sense of urgency. Offer a free seminar or webinar, small ad in a future publication, or an enhanced listing on the web site if renewals occur before a stated deadline.
- Enclose postage paid envelopes—Make it easy for members who want to mail in their renewals by providing an easy way to do so. You’d be surprised what stays on someone’s desk top because there are no stamps readily available!Click here to continue reading.