As membership director, it’s your responsibility to update the database, retain members and ensure member happiness. How can you accomplish every task efficiently? It can get pretty overwhelming.

One way to effectively manage both an updated data base and retain current members is through a re-engagement strategy. It’s likely you’ve got a handful of inactive member records. They still pay their dues but barely utilize their benefits. Even though you’re still receiving their financial support, after months of inactivity, a member won’t be inspired to renew. Now you’re chasing down lapsed members and begging for their return. And if they don’t return? You have the financial stress of replacing their membership with someone new.

So, what are some ways we can re-engage before they jump ship? Check out our 4 tactics below.

Member Engagement / Admin Outreach

Check a member’s record and see how engaged they are. Have the attended an event in the last 3 months? When’s the last time they logged in? Are they active on the discussion forum? If you see a pattern, reach out to the individual. First try email, then phone. No response? Send them a personal note. Each task takes less than 5 minutes and may nudge a member to re-engage (and renew).

Association Wide E-Blast

Think about your own communication strategy. How frequently are you communicating with your members? If they only hear from you for the quarterly newsletter or your annual event, you may not be reaching out enough. You don’t have to email them every week, but make a touch point every month. Keep them updated about association changes, share unique member stories or feature industry news.

Segment Your Association / A Place for Everyone

Members join your group because they want to feel like they’re part of something. They want to connect, share and grow. But it’s likely not everyone in your group has the same needs. Members can differ on profession, age, location, and interests. To serve each sector and help members feel like they belong, create groups within your association. Allow them to discuss with one another, share documents, and have a collaborative calendar.

Connect Before Renewal Time

Renewal season is drawing near and you’ve got a long list of unengaged members. How can you spark engagement before they miss their renewal payment? Spend time finding those inactive members and create a communication campaign specifically for them. An effective yet professional approach to re-engagement is a solid email workflow. Just as we mentioned in tip #2, email is a great way to stay in front of them without being too intrusive. Make sure this workflow is extremely targeted towards inactive members. Check out some of our ideas for the content:

  • Email workflow to…
    • invite them to an event with promo code
    • offer a discount on membership fees
    • share details about a group they could join
    • other compelling reasons to get involved

Even after all your efforts to re-engage, you’re still going to lose members. It’s inevitable in association work. Don’t take it personally. Members move on because they can’t afford your dues, have changed professions or are retired. Those are factors you cannot control.

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