5 Sure-Fire Member Retention Strategies for Your Organization

If you have member acquisition and member retention on the brain, you’ve come to the right place.

It’s common for association executives to worry about member turnover because, let’s face it, no organization wants to lose even one of its hard-earned members.

The top reasons associations believe their members don’t renew include:

  • Little to no engagement
  • Lack of value from the association
  • Their employer has stopped paying their dues
  • Members have left the industry
  • Members simply forgot to renew their membership
  • Members weren’t seeing an ROI from their membership

It is typically 7 to 10 times cheaper to retain a member than it is to acquire a new one. So, if you want to grab these individuals before they go and hold on to the valued members of your organization, use these five sure-fire member retention strategies.

Member Retention Strategy #1: Remind association members about the member benefits that your organization offers.

Your members have their own unique reasons for joining your organization. Your goal should be to consistently remind them about the numerous benefits that they receive as long-term members.

The best way to clearly advertise the many benefits they receive from being an association member is by continually posting and promoting member benefits in these locations:

  • Your association website
  • Your organization’s email newsletter
  • Your association’s social media channels
  • Your association member landing pages
  • Your renewal invoices

Member Retention Strategy #2: Open and encourage two-way channels of communication between members and your association.

Your association members want to feel that they can provide your association with feedback and that their feedback is valued and appreciated. When you open a two-way communication channel between association representatives and members, your members will feel validated.

The beauty of this sort of member engagement is that when your association acts on new initiatives that they’ve suggested, they’ll feel like they are genuinely part of your association.

When members feel comfortable bringing issues to your attention or making suggestions, you will have better luck retaining them. Make it clear on your membership site, across your social media channels, and in your email newsletters that you are open to any and all feedback, good or bad!

Member Retention Strategy #3: Utilize meaningful email campaigns.

Member engagement through email, especially in the form of email newsletters, should be a critical component of any organization’s membership retention strategy. Email newsletters offer cost-effective member engagement that can be personalized to provide increased engagement and high open rates.

Digital marketers across varying industries already recognize email as one of the most cost-effective channels for flexibility in existing member engagement and preservation of loyalty.

Unfortunately, many associations overemphasize member acquisition while overlooking member retention. That puts their existing member relationships at significant risk because, the truth is, member acquisition opportunities are not infinite.

Member Retention Strategy #4: Deliver personalized email content to each of your association members.

Speaking of making your email campaigns meaningful, marketers have long recognized the importance of personalizing a customer’s experience. The same is true of the experience you give to your valued association members.

You’ve probably already been using surveys and demographics to reach association members and serve up slightly different versions of the same experience based on that research. However, your association now has the power to begin offering genuinely personalized content to each of your members through the use of customized and highly-targeted email newsletter campaigns.

At rasa.io, for example, we provide associations and organizations with the tools that they need to deliver customer-curated newsletters to each individual on their email contact list.

Let’s face it, the more personalized you can get, the better your results will be. If your goal is membership retention, nothing will be more effective than delivering an impactful newsletter that your members will appreciate.

When you treat the contacts on your association’s email list as if they are individuals rather than part of a group, you will see your metrics rise, and your membership retention rates will increase as well.

Member Retention Strategy #5: Utilize your association’s membership committee.

Chances are, you have an entire task force whose sole purpose is to engage association members. If you don’t, you should create one.

Your membership committee is a great resource to tap into for focusing on membership retention. One way to do this is to get folks from your association’s membership committee to personally reach out to members to check in regularly, perhaps semi-annually or quarterly.

You can also have your membership committee create a standard questionnaire that they can use when checking in. It can include questions like:

  • What association event did the member last attend?
  • What does the member like most about being part of the organization?
  • What constructive feedback does the member have to offer leadership?
  • Does the member have an interest in becoming a member of one of your association’s committees?

Member Retention Strategies are Vital for Long-Term Success

Engagement is the key to all of the membership retention strategies outlined in this article. If your association does not have clear member retention strategies in place, rooted in solid member engagement, you risk losing existing members over time.

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