For many associations member retention drives are right around the corner. This is especially true if your membership cycle is by calendar year. But should that concentrated effort be reduced to a once a year initiative? Doesn’t member retention start the moment a member pays their dues?
In our recent Thought Leadership webinar 5 Ways to Ratchet Your Retention Rates through the Roof, Mary Byers, CAE, author of Race for Relevance: 5 Radical Changes for Associations and Road to Relevance: 5 Strategies for Competitive Associations, presented some excellent ideas on how to come up with a successful retention program, including useful tips and a couple of interesting case studies.
Mary and I met again for Episode 17 of Ask the Thought Leader. We were able to take a deeper look at some of the questions asked during the webinar. You can view the episode below.
After watching ATTL and the webinar, I came across four additional ideas to help you with that 365 day-a-year effort:
Walk this way
Try doing business with your organization. It is important to have a real understanding of how easy it is to join or renew from your “customer’s” perspective. The idea is to go through your membership process the same as anyone would and gain an understanding of what that experience is like. You should come away with solid information that will help you in your retention efforts.
Here is a simple but effective tip. Make sure your association’s branding is used consistently across all of your marketing/membership materials. You don’t want to confuse the “buyer”. Apple absolutely kills this. Their attention to detail makes it virtually impossible to not know when it’s Apple.
Know your market share
What is your market penetration? What percentage of the potential professionals you market to are current members, or prospective members? If you don’t know who you’re going after it’s hard to come up with a program that will succeed.
One app to rule them all
Consider providing a universal membership application. It cuts down on potential waste, and the possibility of confusing a prospect by sending them, or they accessing the wrong application when they are ready to join. Rule of thumb: keep it simple.
The technology available today through solution like YM’s Membership Software can increase the efficiency of an association’s member retention program. However, in the long run the amount of planning and work you put into your retention efforts will determine the pay off. Statistics show that it is seven to nine times more expensive to get a new member than retain one. That brings us to what should be the first tenant of any organization’s strategy for growing membership – keep the ones your already have.
And while I have you here, I want to invite you to attend our Thought Leadership Webinar on July 22nd, 5 Essential Must Haves for Your Association’s eLearning Efforts. Tina Turner, VP for Client Strategy and Product Development for YM Learning, will share five essential things you must have in place to make an LMS implementation a successful one. She will guide you through the pitfalls and help you clear the path you that you can successfully enhance your organization’s eLearning initiatives. I hope you can attend.