In a perfect world, your members would put their membership renewal date on their calendars. They would proactively renew several weeks before their actual renewal date so they would not miss a single day of membership.

But that’s just not reality.

The truth is that members need a reminder that it’s time to renew their membership. In fact, the Community Brands Member Loyalty Study found that 13 percent of lapsed members simply forgot to renew.

Make it easy for members to renew by sending a reminder email to your members at least one month before their membership is due to renew. But don’t stop there. Take it a step further by offering an option to automatically renew membership, with the membership fee charged to the member’s credit card. Setting up auto-renewal will save your staff time and will provide a predictable revenue stream.

Here are three best practices for offering auto-renewals to your members:

1. Make sure your association management software (AMS) supports auto-renewals
Your membership management software should allow you to set up an auto-renewal option. It also should allow you to set up corresponding automated emails that notify members when their membership has been renewed.

TECH TIP: YourMembership association management software not only supports auto-renewals, it also offers account updater. Approximately 30% of cards expire each year. If you have 1,000 members, that means 300 members credit cards expire each year. No one has time to call that many members. Explore YourMembership AMS

2. Create a plan
Decide when you will activate the auto-renewal option in your association management software. Let your members know the option is coming and when it will be available. When the option is tested and live, let members know the option is available. Continue to promote the option year-round.

Some ways to communicate this new offering with members include:

  • On your online member form
  • Via email communications, including your email newsletter
  • In your online community

3. Set up a page on your website
Create an “about auto-renewals” page on your website that includes the benefits of and frequently asked questions about auto-renewals. Be sure to link to the page from your communications about auto-renewals. Some things to include on the page:

  • How auto-renewal offers a convenient way to renew and ensures the member does not miss out on any benefits
  • When the member’s credit card will be charged
  • When and how the member will be notified that the membership has been renewed
  • How to update the auto-renewal to charge to a new card
  • How to cancel auto-renewal

4. Consider a monthly payment option
This makes membership affordable especially for those paying dues themselves. The difference between one-time payment of $600 and monthly payments of $50 can be the deciding factor to renew membership for many.

Don’t stop at auto-renewals
Auto-renewals are just one way to improve your renewal rate. Learn more ways to keep members around year after year. Read The Ultimate Guide to Membership Renewal 

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