Membership Management – Top 10 Retention Tactics

membership management

We’ve talked in a previous article about the issue of acquisition Vs. retention and your need to decide which area to focus on based on what stage your organisation is at. So today we’re going to take a look at what to do when your focus is on retaining members.

We’ve already established that retention is almost always more cost effective and requires less effort than acquisition. And just as importantly retention is also key to the consistency and stability of your membership management. That being the case, let’s take a look at 10 things you can do to keep your retention rate high.

10 Ways to Keep Your Retention Rate High

1. Meet or exceed expectations

The number one factor in whether a member will renew their membership is whether they feel you’ve met their expectations. ie. have you provided them with the service they were expecting? Sometimes you may even exceed their expectations and often the ensuing delight leads not only to retaining that member but to new members coming from enthusiastic referrals.

2. Be honest in your marketing

This again speaks to meeting your members expectations. There is very little in life that’s more disappointing than feeling you’ve been duped or misled. And a disappointed member will not stay a member for long. When you present your marketing messages it’s normal to present yourself in the best light possible but make sure you provide what you promise and aren’t just misleading people.

3. Ongoing communication throughout the year

Repeated, regular communication is absolutely essential. Your members will need ongoing support and advice of various kinds. Email is a great format to do this. It can be automated and scheduled, sent to many people, tracked and most importantly it is a direct line of communication between you and your members.

4. Communicate through preferred channels

Almost everyone uses email and this will likely be your main communication tool. However, sometimes communication through other channels will be necessary. Depending on your membership demographic there may be a majority for one thing or another and in this modern age, social media has certainly become a major player. But do be sure to assess your membership demographic and decide what are the most relevant channels to your members.

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 feel. Throughout the year you should listen to feedback and see if there is a consensus on what your members would really like.

6. Build community

Get your members talking to one another and helping each other. This might be via your own forum at your website or via a private Facebook group. Very few members will be inclined to a leave a community that they feel a valuable part of and that is genuinely supporting them.

7. Send multiple reminders in 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 and take them through a journey of reminding them what benefits they get from being a member and what they can look forward to if they continue. PaySubsOnline’s membership management software makes renewal cycles easy and all communications can be automated to go out on set dates.

8. Make renewal 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. PaySubsOnline.com helps facilitate this by giving your organisation the ability to require members to pre-authorise future payments so each time payment is due, the system will collect it automatically.  If you choose this approach it is essential to make sure you are clear that this is how your membership is set up and you will still need to put them in an renewal cycle to be sure they are aware of what’s happening.

9. Additional offers

You may be able to offer additional services to encourage members to continue. 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, but do bear in mind that at times a discount may be just what’s needed.

10. Personalise

Talk to your members as individuals. Even with mass mailing via email you can still be sure their name is used automatically. If you’re using membership software to manage and collect relevant information on your members, you’ll be able to segment them into smaller, more specialised categories and talk with more relevance to them.

Ultimately, meeting or exceeding the expectations of your members will be the most effective way you have of retaining your members. Be sure you know what they are expecting by asking questions throughout the year and make sure you provide what you say you’ll provide.

And for those members who decide to leave, do continue to communicate with them, often ongoing communications about your organisation are still of relevance and interest. You may be able to find out their reasons for leaving and woo them back.

To understand more about PaySubsOnline.com’s software can help with retention rates, and to discover more useful membership management features, why not take a free trial and see it in action?

 

Generating and Nurturing Leads With Membership Software

membership software

In this modern age almost every organisation has a website to show what they do. It’s become a ‘must-have’ resource where interested people can delve deeper into understanding your organisation; from services and costs, to ethos and new events. Even if a potential lead has found out about you through offline means and word of mouth, they’re highly likely to take time getting to know you via your website.

Monitoring Member Satisfaction with Club Software

club software

In a previous post we discussed the importance of understanding member acquisition and retention. Some of that discussion revolved around the idea that it’s easier (and potentially less costly) to retain a satisfied member than it is to retain a dis-satisfied member. That being understood, we’re sure you’ll also see why it’s vital to satisfy a member over the entire course of their membership and not just make an attempt at satisfying them at the point of renewal (which can often appear as a cynical attempt to continue taking their money rather than to provide them with the service they’re looking for).

Managing Membership Applications and Renewals with Club Software

Club Software

It goes without say that running your club efficiently and effectively will save you both time and money. But to do so you’ll need to consider ditching your old club software and instead adopting an integrated/end-to-end subscription management system. Because to effectively manage your membership you’ll need something that takes a new lead from initial interest through to signing up, payment, service provision and, when the time comes, renewal.

Exploring the Subscription Management Conundrum: Member Retention or Member Acquisition?

Subscription Management

If you’re running a membership based organisation we’re certain that at some point you’ll be asking the important question of where to focus your time and resources when it comes to member acquisition and retention. Your focus will be different at different stages in your development but in a nutshell, for ongoing growth, you’ll almost always need the number of members who leave your organisation to be less than the number of new arrivals.

In the beginning stages of growth (starting from zero) you’ll need to focus almost entirely on acquisition and getting new members signed up, which can be costly and time consuming, but for obvious reasons is essential. However, as you start to get people through your door there will come a point where you can shift your focus to retaining the members you’ve acquired. In this post we will have a brief look at subscription management for both acquisition and retention, and how to decide which is more important for your given circumstances.

In essence making the decision of which to focus on will require you to have some clear answers to certain questions. Let’s cover the key questions now.

Avoid Member Record Errors With Online Club Management Software

Club management

Do you find keeping your membership records up-to date a challenge? Traditional club management software, such as spreadsheets and desktop databases, can provide way too much scope for errors and mis-entries. Missing info, spelling mistakes and outdated records are just some of the frustrations faced from trying to manage member information manually.

In this post we will explore how moving to an all-round online system to manage your membership records can help improve not only member records, but communications and club finances as well.

Membership Management – The Importance of Creating Content

Membership Management

When it comes to creating a presence online, content is king. While you can have a flashy website, fully branded with your logo and colours, it is the content you publish there that will drive people to visit your website and engage with you further.

Creating interesting, insightful, funny and informative content will help foster loyalty from your existing members and help nurture future prospects into exploring your offerings further. In this post we will look at why you need content, the types of content you should adopt and how to leverage it to help meet your membership management objectives.

Membership Management Tips: Attracting Younger Members

membership management

How much focus are you giving to younger members? Has your organisation included recruiting and engaging with younger people in their membership management plans? While it is easy to say ‘but we are open to all’, when it comes to recruiting new members and engaging existing ones, there is definitely not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. Especially when it comes to those younger than 30.

In this post we will explore the reasons why you need to adopt a different approach when it comes to marketing to younger members. And why Generation Y are integral to the future success of your organisation.

PaySubsOnline.com Membership Software – Product Update November / December 2014

Membership software - product update

After the madness of the early autumn months, the relative calm of November and December allowed us to focus on some new enhancements to the our  membership software.  Here’s what we’ve been up to . . .

Cancelling Pre-authorisation 

As we know, members can pre-authorise the system to collect money from them when payment becomes due.  This is typical for rolling renewals and members opting to pay by instalments.  In the case of instalments, it’s useful for the administrator to have the ability to cancel the pre-authorisation agreements that were in place for the previous membership year so you can ‘start a fresh’ when you come round to requesting membership fees for the new membership year. We’ve now added that option in several places:

In the payment reports where you can filter on members that have pre-authorised, select them and cancel their pre-authorisation using the option on the tool bar:

Membership software - cancelling PA from payment reports

 

From within the members record (at the bottom above payment history):

Membership software - cancelling PA from members record

 

And from within the Members section where you can cancel pre-authorisation for an entire group/category or the entire master membership list without having to pre-select the members first:

Membership software - cancelling PA from members section

 

Cancelling pre-authorisation agreements works for both PayPal and Gocardless.

Online Club Management: Are You Making The Most Of Your Club Website?

Online Club Management

How’s your club website looking these days? Are you still running the free site you threw-up several years ago? Have you even looked at it lately? While it seems you have-to-have a website for your club these days, are you really making the most of it?

In today’s post we will look at the value of having a club website and how it can help your club management, as well as aid member recruitment, communications and retention.