When to start the renewal process for your members

If you rely on your members for revenue, publicity and support, it goes without saying that finding and retaining members is a crucial part of business. However, as @socialhubsite says, “One of the largest struggles facing many associations is membership renewals. In fact, it falls just under new member recruitment in most situations.”

The membership renewal process is key to retaining your existing members. Get it right, and the majority of people will remain in your membership programme, giving you a solid customer base and a loyal following.

Timing is everything

Once a membership has lapsed, customers are much less likely to reapply to join your scheme. Ideally, you want to ensure your members renew their subscriptions well before the deadline. This will give them continuous coverage and increase the chances they’ll sign up for another year or two.

Begin reminding your members of the need to renew a few months before their subscription is up. A recent study has revealed that associations that begin the renewal reminder process three months in advance have an 80% rate of actual renewals. Send another reminder about a month before and then another a week or two prior to the deadline. Most people will only take action when their membership is nearing its expiry date. However by reminding them regularly in the run up to this date, you can ensure they’re prepared and ready to take action when the time comes.

Don’t give up

If your members don’t take action before their subscription expires, don’t be too disheartened. In many cases this will simply be down to forgetfulness – or a lack of time. Keep reminding them about their membership even after it’s expired, though make sure your contact isn’t too regular otherwise they may find your mail outs irritating rather than informative.

Be personal   

Though timing is a very important factor in the renewal process, the way you approach your members when it’s time to pay their subscription, or re-apply for the scheme, is also crucial. The people in your membership programme have a strong enough interest in your products and services to have signed up in the first place. It’s safe to assume they’ll be open to contact from your company. When you do send out your renewal letter, make it personal. Address your members using their first names and try to remind them about all the benefits they’ve gained from being part of the scheme.

For more ideas on boosting the impact of your membership scheme, or to learn about creating membership cards and other printed products, explore our site – or contact a member of our team.