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Solutions for Lagging Membership

by | Jun 29, 2011 | Industry News & Trends

Many economic gurus are suggesting individuals give up their memberships as a way of saving money. You can’t argue that eliminating a dues payment would save your members some money but what will it cost them to give it up? What value are they losing?

Member Education. When times are tough, ensure your skills and knowledge set are as up-to-date as the industry is is essential. What are you doing for your members to help with continued education or skills acquisition?

Camaraderie. In this economy your members don’t want to be alone with their fears and uncertainties. They are looking for a guiding force. If you don’t step in there and help them to feel better, someone else will. And who knows better about what they are going through than you? Let them know you understand.

Utilize your organization’s membership management software to survey your members about how you can better serve their needs and interests. You can also blog about the specific difficulties (or successes) that your industry is facing. Feel free to set up user groups that address people’s concerns but keep your messages positive.

Pay-It-Forward: passing your savings on. Money is on all of our minds. That’s the reason some members are considering terminating memberships. Offering discount incentives may be a way of retaining members and cultivating new ones. You can even set up a trial membership/dues schedule to entice potential joiners.’s member management software allows you to process discounts for anything from dues to events. Have several events/seminars during a year? Consider offering a discount card for purchase much the same way retailers do. Your members pay $X for this card and receive discounts on everything throughout the year.

With membership management software, you could even pass along a savings opportunity to discount dues to those who pay online (since the system can be set up to take cards without staff handling, you could give an administration-free discount).

Career Development. Your members are concerned about their jobs. It’s a stress that they can shoulder together as an online member community but why not use this time to ramp up your career/job mentoring feature on your membership site?

Make sure your organization’s online member community software is designed to allow your members to post resumes and job listings. Why not take it a step further and encourage those who have made successful connections (networking or job links) to post about them? Create an optimistic oasis for members to escape the frightening world out there. You can even set up a function that allows you to charge employers who post jobs on your site.

These are only a few ways to help combat membership attrition during tough times, but rest assured the tide will change. Make certain your organization’s online community and membership solutions are in place to capitalize at the start of the economic upturn.


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