Thursday Buzz: Control Your Membership Retention

Membership retention is tricky and often out of your control. But a few key benefits can help. Also: Why marketing automation could be hurting you.

Any membership-based organization has to contend with retention. Do non-renewing members simply not value your organization enough to pay for it? Or does your organization have a blind spot when it comes to providing enough benefits to them?

As a blog post from the Canadian Society of Association Executives (CSAE) points out, there are plenty of membership attrition factors that are out of your organization’s control. Perhaps a member leaves the field or retires. Or an organizational member is struggling with a tight budget and can no longer afford your dues.

Despite these issues, there’s a lot your association can do to retain members. When thinking about members who are leaving because of financial concerns, consider extending a little generosity. “Provide a year’s free membership to see if they can come out the other end in good shape and pick up a paid membership the following year,” writes CSAE’s Manager of Content Steven Trustrum.

CSAE also recommends several benefits that your organization can employ to help retain members. Everyone likes recognition, so keep members feeling appreciated. “It could be as relatively simple as a mention in your organization’s newsletter of something significant a member has achieved, or as organized and official as a system of annual honors and awards,” writes Trustrum.

Manual Marketing

Marketing automation tools and processes help with efficiency and keeping costs down, but they may be hurting your marketing efforts.

For instance, if you automate your email newsletters in a “set it and forget it” manner, you may be unaware that you’re sending too many. “This is the fastest way to get mailing list members to hit the unsubscribe button, so make sure you’re only sending out emails with value,” writes Jaime Nacach in a Business 2 Community post.

Email automation can also hurt your customer service efforts. If you’re not routinely checking emails that members send to you, they may assume you don’t care. “If your automation processes aren’t notifying you of issues, customers will start to assume they’re sending messages into the void and you aren’t interested in actually helping,” Nacach says.

Make your planning efforts worthwhile. Blue Avocado provides recommendations for creating a better strategic plan.

Instagram recently introduced new features. Buffer shares ways you can employ them in your marketing.

It may be time to re-evaluate your email program. Association Analytics wants you to answer these key questions about your email-marketing performance.


Raegan Johnson

By Raegan Johnson

Raegan Johnson is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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