Today, we’re going to take a look at what to do when your focus is on retaining members.
- Retention is often more cost-effective and requires less effort, than acquiring NEW members.
- Retention is key to the consistency and stability of your organisation.
- Reducing churn helps you increase your customer lifetime value (CLV) – which is better for everyone when part of a business.
1. Don’t meet, exceed expectations
The number one factor in whether a member will renew their membership is if they feel you’ve gone above and beyond to meet their needs. For example, you may have provided them with the service they were expecting, but what steps did you take to deliver something that they weren’t expecting? Sometimes, delighting leads or customers means putting yourself in their shoes and understanding problems they need to overcome. One way you can do this is by bucketing your members into cohorts based on their profile, and developing tools and services that meet their needs; a sure-fire way to boost those enthusiastic referrals.
2. Be honest in your marketing
There is very little in life that’s more disappointing than feeling you’ve been duped or misled. So, if one of your members feels they have been, they won’t stay a member for long. When you present your marketing messages, it’s normal to present yourself in the best light possible; however, make sure you provide what you promised and aren’t just beating your chest – this will end poorly for both parties.
3. Ongoing communication throughout the year
Repeated, regular communication is essential. Establishing and maintaining a dialogue with your members, who will no doubt need ongoing support and advice, will build trust and get them used to hearing from you; email is a great format to do this. It can be automated, scheduled, sent to multiple groups and tracked – LoveAdmin has a great inbuilt tool for this by the way.
4. Communicate through preferred channels
Almost everyone uses email and this will likely be your main source of communication. However, communication through other channels is also necessary.
Depending on your membership profile, social media can be an incredibly powerful tool, so assess the demographic of your members and weigh up which communication tools will be most useful for you.
Be careful not to create dangerous precedents if you can’t back it up. For example, customer service over Twitter is a common pitfall, as some organiations don’t plan ahead for the tracking, or human element required to ensure service levels are maintained.
5. Add value through additional services & events
Adding value is a great way to exceed the expectations of your members. For instance, you might create regular competitions, events or celebrations that add to the community. Throughout the year you should listen to feedback and see what events and services your members are looking for, then try to provide it for them.
LoveAdmin has a new tool to manage events and award schemes – to learn more, click Get Started in the top right.
6. Build a community
Communication is key and getting your members to socialise and form a community is important. This might be via a forum held on your website or via a private Facebook group, for example. This is an important tactic as very few members will be inclined to a leave a community that they feel a valuable part of and that genuinely supports them.
7. Send multiple reminders in the lead up to renewal
When it comes to the practicality of renewal time, make sure you have a renewal cycle that begins well in advance.
Typically, this cycle should be triggered by a date: remind them what benefits they get from being a member, and what they can look forward to if they continue their membership.
LoveAdmin makes renewal cycles easy and all communications can be automated to go out on set dates.
8. Make renewals automatic
One certain way to help boost retention rates is to make renewals automatic, requiring a positive ‘opt-out’ from members if they want to finish their membership. LoveAdmin helps facilitate this by giving your organisation the ability to require members to pre-authorise future payments, so that each time payment is due the system will collect it automatically.
If you choose this approach, it is essential that you clearly communicate that this is how your membership is set up – transparency is key.
9. Additional offers
You may be able to offer additional services to encourage members to stay. Often, this is a better approach than offering a discount to members who are ‘sitting on the fence’.
Wherever possible, see if you can add value to your service rather than discounting the cost. However, do bear in mind that sometimes a discount can be exactly what is needed.
Talk to your members as individuals. Even when communicating en masse via email, you can still be sure their name is used automatically. LoveAdmin allows you to collect relevant information on your members and segment it in to smaller, more specialised categories that are more relevant.
Of course, there will still be members who decide to leave despite your best efforts – don’t neglect them, continue to communicate. Often, ongoing communications about your organisation are still of relevance and interest. You may even be able to find out their reason(s) for leaving and entice them back.
We hope you found this guide useful – if you need any more information on how we can help with the above, book a free, no-obligation consultation today by clicking here – we’d love to hear from you.
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