How to Increase Member Retention with an Email Onboarding Sequence

While it’s a cumbersome task to attract new members, finding ways to retain members is an ongoing challenge that associations must master. Well-planned email communication can help improve the experience of onboarding members and increase member retention.

The first impression with a new member is important. You need to be present right from the moment they come on board with you. This will show your members that the association will offer value for the membership they just purchased. This is where an email sequence will help you devise a new member’s onboarding plan.

According to the MGI report, 62 percent of the associations execute tactical plans to increase their members’ engagement. Let us find out how the email sequence can help increase member retention.

Types of Emails to Increase Member Retention

While you may be sending a variety of emails to your members regularly, here are four emails that must be a part of every association’s member retention strategy and onboarding process.

#1: A Welcome Email

Never forget to welcome new members to your association. This email must go out to every member joining your association within a few minutes of them clicking on the submit button on the online membership application.

This email should sound genuine and must be courteous and friendly in tone. Apart from a warm, welcoming message, it should suggest the first steps to the members and what they can expect from your association.

Try to remind them of the value they will receive in return for becoming a member of your association. You can make suggestions or extend assistance in order to make it easy for new members to mix in the crowd and start participating.

You do not have to write a new email every time. Simply create a welcome email template according to membership’s persona and benefits and execute them accordingly.

For example, you are offering two different memberships, such as basic and VIP. You can create two welcome email templates for each membership mentioning their benefits and what members can expect. Every time a new member joins any of the membership, all you need is to personalize it by adding the member’s name, and you are good to go.

You can also use this as a way to get to know your new members. For this, you can ask the following questions.

  • What was their primary reason for joining?
  • Do they have any particular goals?
  • What are their interests in your association’s industry?
  • What are their professional or career challenges?
  • What types of events are they interested in?

In the end, you must always provide an email address or a phone number for the new members to call. This shows how proactive, approachable and member-centric your association is.

#2: Email Reminders

You have to be proactive throughout your members’ journey with your association. 

It is your responsibility to track each member’s payment schedule and their membership renewal dates. As membership payment or renewal date approaches, you should send out a reminder email to the respective members.

Do not make the classic mistake of relying on members’ initial interest in your upcoming events. You must send out regular reminders about upcoming conferences, webinars and events according to each member’s interest. 

You can also send out reminder emails to the new and existing members to join online forums for engagement opportunities. Do this right, and you will most likely increase member retention.

#3: The Segmentation Email

Member feedback is vital to know how your members perceive your services and how you can improve. You can use emails to send out a survey to get information on your members and to better understand member experiences. But remember that you will have to categorize these emails based on your association’s different services and domains.

This segmentation will allow you to send better emails in the future. Let us take the events and conferences niche within your association. You can create a survey email specific to this particular segment and ask the clients what types of events and upcoming they would like to see in the future.

Other examples include members from a particular niche wanting to receive specific blogs in the future or ask for time zones to send time in the correct format.

#4: Walkthrough

This email category can be a single email or a series of emails, depending on the depth and size of your association and its services. You can create walkthrough emails to educate members about different sections of your website, association, forum, social media profiles, and assets.

Think of it as a tutorial for the members to familiarize themselves with the “what is” and “how to” of your association. It would be best to include videos explaining things with a voice-over or subtitles, as people love to consume information through visual content these days.

The Takeaway

Regardless of the services your association offers, you must use the above-mentioned email sequence to increase member retention. You can tweak these as per your nature of services and proceed accordingly.

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