Welcome to October’s edition of Wednesday Roundup! Last month we discussed ways to save you time using your AMS. If you missed it, check out part 1 here. This month we’re digging into membership retention. Specifically, reasons why your numbers are declining and strategize to increase them.
Acquiring new members is an important responsibility for admins, but what may be even more important is membership retention. High retention rates translate to happy members. And happy members are more likely to share your mission, simplifying your own efforts.
How To Improve Member Retention with 4 Easy Steps
Recruit The Right Person
The first step to improving retention rates starts before you even acquire that member. “If you recruit the right member from the start, nurture and meet their expectation, retaining them is simple,” says Nelly Flumo of Tally Management Group. Don’t recruit an unfit candidate just to fulfill numbers – it will hurt you in the long run.
A new member has officially signed up – hooray! Now the real work begins. Welcome this new recruit with a unique, thoughtful orientation experience. This could include a member portal tour, a face to face meet and greet, mentorship and a new member packet. Don’t assume they’ll take action – give them the tools and incentive to do so. The earlier you can get them involved in your group, the better your chances are that they’ll stick around. “This orientation could also be used to get existing members re-engaged and help them renew their enthusiasm,” (Flumo).
New Member Survey
After a month of membership, check in on your new members with a new member survey. Keep it short and simple. Ask them to rate their experience on a scale and share both a positive and negative (if any) experience. A survey not only shows that you care but also gives you a chance to connect with members who have had a bad experience.
If you can spare the extra cost, send all first-year renewing members a special thank you gift. It doesn’t have to be much – a gift card, free event ticket or a handwritten note is all that’s needed to make that member feel special. This gesture could make or break a member’s decision to renew.
Retaining your members doesn’t have to be a huge, time-consuming task. Just be intentional about who you recruit, their initial membership experience and their feedback.