If you run an association, you already know that your members are your number one priority. Associations provide a valuable space for members to come together, learn from each other, and network.
Good indicators of your association’s success are your member retention and member acquisition rates. These rates reflect how often existing members are renewing their membership and the frequency of new members joining.
It’s commonly known that member retention is more valuable than member acquisition. For starters, it’s more affordable to focus on keeping your current members than exhausting efforts to attract new ones. Additionally, high member retention rates reflect how dependable your association is. People want to join associations with large and stable memberships. This means that there are more members to meet and learn from.
An association with a consistent or growing member retention rate can in turn help accelerate your member acquisition rate. The more reliable your association membership is, the easier it is to expand. A loyal and dependable membership is the best foundation to build on and speaks highly about your association in general.
If you want to nurture your membership, take a look at how you’re currently spending your free time and review your member retention strategies. That’s why we put together this guide of common questions to consider when aiming to increase your retention rates. Focus on these questions:
With capable association management software and a fleshed-out member engagement strategy, your association can improve member relationships and ultimately raise member retention and acquisition rates. Let’s get started!
According to Qgiv, donor retention rates are one of the top priorities for nonprofits. This same mindset should be applied to associations. Just like how donors contribute gifts, members must pay dues. To encourage membership renewal, your association should offer experiences and create an environment that exceeds the value of those dues.
Take a look at your data and consider your members’ needs and how your association can meet them. Member retention depends on member satisfaction, which can affect your association in other positive ways than just easing the stress of managing your membership.
For instance, enhancing your member retention strategies can:
Member retention is an active and consistent effort. While a satisfied and fulfilled member is less likely to churn out, there are still a myriad of reasons why individuals might not renew. Whether those reasons are personal or financial, it’s imperative that you take the time to develop your member retention strategies year after year. This is usually done by pinpointing areas of high member engagement, which we’ll explain next.
Member engagement encompasses the entire relationship your association maintains with your members. This includes every email, member action, internal member interaction, and more. It’s important to remember that no two associations are alike, so the way associations track member engagement will differ as well.
According to this Fonteva guide, the best way to define what engagement means to your association is to see where your members are already active. How can you do this? Consider the experiences and opportunities your association already offers. Using a data-driven approach, determine how your members currently engage with them.
Many organizations benefit from tracking their data effectively, and your association can too. For example, a good place to start looking is your:
These are all helpful places to get a better sense of where your members are engaging the most. If there is high member engagement, you can confidently conclude that a member is happy.
When members actively engage, this shows that they enjoy your association and are putting in the extra effort to be a part of it. High member engagement is a key indicator of the value that outweighs membership dues.
To effectively track member engagement, it’s smart to invest in a software solution that can help you view engagement holistically and set specific key performance indicators and goals. Having a capable membership management tool by your side will help improve your engagement efforts and may highlight additional opportunities.
Once you determine where your members are already most active, you can work on developing those engagements and incorporating them into your member retention strategies. Further expand these areas of high member engagement and consider new ways that you can improve areas with lower engagement data.
Although each association’s membership and engagement are different, there are a couple of core strategies that can help any association’s member retention rates. Think about ways to improve by learning more about your members and investing in tools to help you leverage those engagements. Here are some options:
These strategies will help all associations enhance the member experience. More customized online engagements and stronger events will ultimately grow your association’s membership.
Member retention is critical for all associations. It speaks to how successful the association is and whether it’s worth joining. By considering where your members are already active, you can leverage that engagement to improve member relationships and your retention rates. Good luck!
Harbor Compliance does not provide tax, financial, or legal advice. Use of our services does not create an attorney-client relationship. Harbor Compliance is not acting as your attorney and does not review information you provide to us for legal accuracy or sufficiency.
Jake Fabbri is the Vice President of Marketing at Fonteva with over 18 years of experience working in marketing management. He has experience with lead generation, content marketing, marketing automation, and events.