The new year is here and that means food, family, and, if you're following a calendar-year contract, member renewals. While holiday breaks and transition periods are often a great time to tie up any loose ends within your organization (thank you, extra time off!), people tend to have extra busy schedules during this time.
As a leader of an organization, it’s very possible that you’ve seen a drop in member retention and engagement rates during this time of year.
So the question is how do you retain members and keep them engaged during a period of transition, whether it be the new year or end of a quarter?
We’ve talked to a bunch of group leaders who’ve successfully battled the member retention issue. How did they do it? By focusing on many of the same best practices they focus on during the rest of the year: showing members the value of being part of the group and keeping them interested. That was made a whole lot easier by using memberplanet, and we’ve compiled their tips and best practices below.
Here are four ways to ensure your members remain loyal 'til their dying day.
1. Make it easy to stay a member
We go shopping online, look up cooking recipes, and even date online. It just makes sense to simplify membership by making it easily accessible online as well. If you aren’t doing this already, offer online dues payments with automatic or early membership renewal. Think of it this way: Every time you send your members looking for their checkbooks to mail in a payment, you’re creating a hurdle (and it’s an especially bigger one during a time of transition). Renewing membership should be as easy as a click of a button, and automatic online renewals means members don’t have to think twice about making a commitment to your organization. Providing them with mobile access is even better. (We have a custom mobile app for that!)
2. Offer incentives
The holidays present the perfect time to introduce an opportunity to give free gifts, whether it’s branded swag, an extra raffle ticket for a gift card giveaway, or discounted rates for membership renewals. We love free stuff, and your members are the same way. Your incentives can vary, but showing your members how much you appreciate their involvement is essential. Consider membership length and added value for members who have been with your organization for a certain amount of time.
3. Round up the troops
Everyone loves a good gettogether — it's a great way to show appreciation to members. Make it fun, invite family members, and encourage people to branch out and meet people they've never spoken to before. Bottom line: Show them the love. Sending out invites and allowing your members to RSVP online is one of the easiest ways to get them to come. Want to send out a quick reminder before the par-tay? Our built-in Broadcast feature allows admins to draft a message once and send it to their group via email and text message simultaneously. Extra pro tip: After the event, update your event page with photos and videos, and share it with attendees so they won’t have to hunt for pics.
4. Re-engage your members with a philanthropic cause
Giving back to the community is a great way to re-engage your members, because the entire year is ripe with occasions for giving back. It's also a great bonding experience to do so as an organization. Giving makes people feel good, so facilitate the process. Hold an annual charity drive, or get all your members together for a charity experience. Doing little things like this will show your members that you care about the bigger picture and are willing to put in the work to make the world a better place.
5. Communicate your group’s impact to your members
Whatever good you end up doing, inform your members through multiple channels (email, text, social media). Send thank you emails to your members for participating, and share your post campaign results. For example, if you reached your fundraising goal for a holiday toy drive for an animal shelter, let your group know, and send them pics of the furry friends the toys went to. Effective communication, in turn, will drive home the message that your members are significant in making an impact.
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