Recent MemberWise Digital Excellence surveys have listed the retention of members as a top-three priority for professional membership organisations.
With the lasting effects of the pandemic still an issue, we believe that member retention is firmly in the number one spot today. It’s more crucial than ever to maintaining revenue and is a critical factor in the sector’s recovery. Millertech has assembled a list of actionable strategies that will help your professional membership organisation navigate this challenge and drive member retention.
1. Improve the value of membership
Survey members on a regular basis to understand what they most value in your existing membership proposition. Identify gaps and develop new benefits that are relevant to your members’ current challenges. Online learning tools, qualifications, content publications and webinars are likely to be highly valued by members today.
2. Communicate your benefits
Ensure that your members are aware of every benefit that their subscription offers. Use your website and all your communication channels to help members take advantage of available benefits by tailoring messaging around the tangible outcomes to the individual. For example, discuss the increased salary potential that comes from achieving your qualifications. Or the career development opportunities presented by networking at conferences and events.
3. Simplify your renewal process
Remove any friction in renewing. Offer an auto-renewal option within your membership scheme to simplify the process and increase member retention. Make transactions simpler by saving direct debit and card payments to improve efficiency and reduce the demand on back-office team members.
If this is not possible due to technological or other limitations, be sure to remind members as their renewal date approaches. This can be done through various channels including email marketing, member portals, app notifications, letters or text messages. Remind them also of the benefits that they will retain by renewing. It could make the difference between them deciding to renew or cancel.
4. Use personalised, targeted campaigns
Help individual members to understand the value you provide by targeting campaigns that match their specific interests. Holding accurate member preference information within your CRM system is crucial in segmenting your data to achieve this. Campaigns need to be relevant and timely. They must also be focused around the specific industry content, webinars and CPD opportunities that will improve a particular member’s engagement with your organisation.
5. Increase member engagement and networking
A consistently implemented member engagement strategy is essential. Today we are all used to receiving personalised recommendations from organisations such as Amazon so any lesser approach with members won’t be effective. Engagement levels are also improved by providing a great online experience that serves up relevant content, qualifications, webinars and other benefits.
Networking is another important area for members looking towards future career development opportunities. The opportunity to engage with other like-minded members through the networking channels you provide can be a huge benefit.
6. Understand why members leave
Advanced metrics can help you to understand why members might choose not to renew. This analysis is vital to member retention. For example, when members join but do not go on to make any other purchases, are there synergies between this metric and the overall retention rate? If your current CRM can’t provide this type of invaluable insight, consider upgrading to a system that can.
7. Implement fully responsive channels
Member experience is vital to optimising your value proposition and the perception of your organisation. Members should be able to access personalised website content and manage their online membership account whenever and wherever they choose.
Your website should also work seamlessly on PCs, Macs, tablets and mobiles to enable your members to engage on every platform. Performance testing is also vital; particularly stress testing to be sure that your website can cope with peaks in demand such as student registrations and renewals. If you don’t already provide members with an app to access their personalised area, you should consider it.
8. Retain loyal advocates
Almost every organisation has a core group of loyal and passionate members. Building a long-term relationship here will helps them to act as advocates and improve the perception of your brand. These members need to be cherished and provided with all the information and tools they need to share your message through social media groups and forums.
9. Develop a retention culture throughout the business
All employees across your organisation need to be aware of the retention goals and of their own role in achieving them. Inefficient internal processes that occupy staff with non-value-added work can detract them from serving members. A fully featured CRM system that integrates with your website to reduce these inefficiencies will drive business process automation and allow them to serve your member better.
Millertech’s speciality membership management software is an excellent example of such a system. To discover the benefits it could deliver to your process efficiency and your member retention strategy, request a no-obligation walk-through with one of our technical experts.