Onboarding new members, managing retention rates, monitoring social media comments, writing email newsletters…
Membership management involves a large number of tasks that can be hard to stay on top of – especially if you’re trying to grow your business at the same time.
To help you attract, sign up, and manage members, we’ve cherry-picked our most useful tips. These will guide you every step of the way when running a successful organisation.
Read on for advice about onboarding members, communication, content, collecting feedback, retention, business growth and much more.
#1 Make a fuss of new members
Go the extra mile to welcome new members and help them understand more about your organisation and their membership.
#2 Send new joiners an email + give them a call
A welcome email is the simplest form of greeting you can set up, and most online membership software packages will automate this for you, including LoveAdmin.
Follow up this email with a phone call to welcome them and ask if they have any questions.
#3 Create content exclusively for members
Engage members with exciting content, members-only offers and other benefits that are only accessible after joining. A members-only forum will enable newbies to connect with other members and learn more about your organisation.
#4 Welcome new members
Introduce new members to your organisation, tell them about member-only benefits and provide them with information applicable to their membership.
A welcome email is the simplest form of greeting you can set up, and most online membership software packages will automate this for you, including LoveAdmin. Follow up this email with a phone call to welcome them and ask if they have any questions.
#5 Exceed your new members’ expectations
Categorise your members into cohorts based on their profile, and develop tools and services that meet their needs; a sure-fire way to boost those enthusiastic referrals.
#6 Communicate throughout the year
Establishing and maintaining a dialogue with your members will build trust and get them used to hearing from you. Email is a great format to do this but don’t forget about SMS and Whatsapp too (all of these can be easily managed via LoveAdmin).
#7 Talk through preferred channels
Email is a common channel of communication. However, social media can be an incredibly powerful tool. Assess the demographics of your members and weigh up which channels will be most beneficial for you.
#8 Be honest in your marketing
When you present your marketing messages, it’s normal to talk about yourself in the best light possible. However, make sure you deliver on what you promise.
#9 Personalise where you can
Even when communicating to large numbers of people via email, you can still write in an engaging and personalised way. For example, set up your emails so each recipient is being addressed by their first name.
#10 Create lead magnets
Downloadable eBooks, podcasts, and engaging blog posts are ideal lead generators. Make them accessible in exchange for an email address and invite the reader to opt into your newsletter.
#11 Measure your impact
Don’t forget to measure the success of your content. Are members opening your emails? And if so, are they clicking on links? Do you get responses?
Decide what metrics are most important to your organisation then keep track of how you’re performing over time.
#12 Have a content strategy
By grouping your content and marketing efforts into each stage of the membership lifecycle, you’ll be able to identify opportunities and establish your content processes. Discover how to improve your member journey.
#13 Gather member feedback
Feedback helps you understand how your members feel about your organisation. It also gives you insights into how you can make improvements to common pain points, reduce membership cancellation rates, and increase renewals.
#14 Use social media polls
Use social media to get quick, informal feedback. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (via Stories) all have easy-to-use poll features open to everyone.
#15 Reach out to lost members
There’s great value in approaching your lost members and a strong possibility that they might change their minds. Ask them why they left, and make a tailored offer to entice them to rejoin. Get more tips by reading our article: How to re-engage lost members.
#16 Choose the right membership management software
Membership management software – like LoveAdmin – is designed to automate admin tasks. Instead of spending hours doing it manually every week, you can let the software take care of it all for you.
#17 Monitor feedback
Keep an eye on your organisation’s mentions, comments, and reviews on social media – you don’t want to leave anything unnoticed in the public eye, especially if someone isn’t happy.
#18 Send reminders before renewals
Typically, this cycle should be triggered by a date. Remind members what benefits they get from being a member and what they can look forward to if they continue their membership.
#19 Alternatively, make renewals automatic
One way to help boost retention rates is to make renewals automatic, requiring a positive ‘opt-out’ from members to finish their membership. This is a popular feature with LoveAdmin customers.
#20 Build a community
Getting your members to socialise and form a community is essential. For example, you could achieve this via a forum held on your website or a private Facebook group, like our LoveAdmin Communities.
#21 Provide extra services and events
Create regular competitions, events or celebrations that add to the community. See what events and services your members are looking for, then try to provide them.
#22 Offer more
Wherever possible, see if you can add value rather than discount costs. However, do bear in mind that sometimes a discount can be precisely what is needed.
#23 Involve the entire family
Organisations often forget that they can serve the whole family. Why not create a ‘Family Calendar’ with some fun opportunities for members and their families? Or you could offer a discount if other family members sign up.
#24 Measure member satisfaction
A good way to measure how satisfied your members are is to look at engagement across your different channels. Choose performance indicators that you think may indicate satisfaction levels, like email open rates, attendance, and account activity. For tips on how to monitor and improve members’ satisfaction with club software, click here.
#25 Introduce a referral scheme
Rewards programs for referrals are an effective way to harness word-of-mouth marketing. By offering an incentive to both parties, everyone benefits.
#26 Set a community challenge
Fitness challenges can encourage your community to feel competitive and motivated while working out. You could also set up ongoing challenges and one-off monthly challenges with prizes to help fuel the competition.
#27 Offer attractive benefits
Create valuable tools, templates, personalised tips, or even an app that gives your members access to exclusive content and perks. Benefits go a long way as they have a positive impact on membership retention rates.
#28 Look at your outgoings to reduce costs
Examine indirect costs or the things that you purchase for your organisation. A common unnecessary outgoing is a subscription service like a dedicated email marketing tool. A lot of people we speak to use Mailchimp and then something else to manage their admin. With an admin management platform like LoveAdmin, you can do everything in one secure place.
#29 Train your volunteers
Consider training volunteers to take on new jobs and tasks that could eliminate the need to bring in a whole new person.
#30 Utilise revenue-generating sessions
Concentrate on filling sessions with the highest profit margins and then replicating those. You want to minimise the time and resources you spend on the sessions with the lowest profit margins.
#31 Increase your prices annually
We know – price increases are scary. But it’s important to remember that it costs you more to run your club every year. So, if you don’t increase prices each year to match that cost, you’re losing money. For more advice on price increases, read our article: How to manage price increases at your organisation.
#32 Plan for the future
Every business should have a clear vision of the company’s future and a solid plan in place as to how to get there. Your standards, procedures and strategies should be clear before attempting to navigate any period of growth.
#33 Put pen to paper
Look at creating company guidelines, your vision for the business, your chain of command and your standards of quality. Though this does not need to be set in stone, these are the values you and your employees should live by to ensure consistency and high standards.
#34 Create an employee handbook
Ask employees / volunteers to help create manuals and guides for new starters. New starter reference material will give new team members a handy reference tool for questions that come up frequently.
#35 Invest your time wisely
Carve out time for important tasks, and if you’re too busy, see if you can free up some time by delegating them.
#36 Consider outsourcing
In some instances, you’ll have tasks that you don’t have time for, but you can’t get rid of. Although it requires financial compensation (often at a low cost), outsourcing can be proven invaluable in relation to time saved on arduous tasks.
#37 Remember your values
As your business grows, remember what your company stands for. After all, your values are what helped you succeed in the first place.
#38 Ask your team
Ask your team members for their input, thoughts and ideas whenever you can. They’re likely to have great ideas and insights that you may not have considered.
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