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One of the biggest challenges that membership organisations face is how to sustain and increase membership retention. The reason this is so challenging for many organisations is because members, no matter how loyal, are becoming more fickle. This is because of the forever increasing growth within the digital world. There is so much information it is getting harder to distinguish what is valuable and what is not. As a membership organisation, you should provide your members with the most valuable information to keep them loyal and to gain even more loyal members. 

1. Segment your members.

Personalisation is one of the best ways to sustain and increase your retention rate. Members love personalisation because it makes them feel more involved and a part of something bigger. However, 75% of membership organisations still struggle to create a more personalised membership experience. An easy way to implement personalisation across your organisation is to segment your members. This way you can tailor information, events and promotions towards different groups within your organisation rather than your organisation as a whole. For instance, you could segment your members based on their locations and then notify them when there are upcoming events in that area. By providing information to your members that is relevant to them makes them see value in their membership and makes them less likely to leave.

increase membership retention segment your audience

2. Provide value.

Reiterating some of our above argument adding value to the membership experience is a great way to retain loyal members and entice new ones. Over 70% of members expect membership organisations to deliver a value driven experience. There are many ways a membership organisation can provide value to their members. You could do this by sharing special partner promotions for members only, provide a competitive membership fee, or even set-up a referral system. However always remember that providing value isn’t just about monetary values. Offer you members exclusive access to educational resources, content that solves specific problems and member-only events online and offline.

increase membership retention adding value

3. Create a digital community.

Creating an engaging membership experience is important when trying to increase retention. Members always want to feel like they are an important part of your organisation- and rightly so! A great way to involve members is to create a flourishing and engaging online community, not just through your website but across the whole web. Actively ask your members questions across a range of channels such as social media, email marketing and through your own membership portals. Answer their questions in return too. By frequently engaging and interacting with your members you are building trust and credibility whilst also becoming a reputable organisation.

increase membership retention build online community

4. Use multi-layer renewals.

One of the main reasons why membership organisations lose members is because of their membership renewal process. Don’t give your members a reason not to renew. A great way to do this is to create a multi-layer renewal system. Don’t just leave your members to go through the renewal process themselves. Send them a reminder or two through emails, community messages, membership portals or even phone calls (if it’s appropriate). Also, when sending out reminders, add in what membership exclusives they have taken advantage of throughout their membership, you could also add in future membership exclusives they may be interested in. This will remind them what value they have received through their membership in the past and what they could miss out on in the future if they decide not to renew.

increase membership retention multi-layer renewals

5. Optimise UX and UI.

User experience and user interface are important parts of any online presence especially when your business revolves around users and members like membership organisations do. Creating a streamlined user experience and user interface is imperative when encouraging engagement. When done correctly the user experience and user interface work seamlessly together aiding members throughout their journey and stopping them from becoming frustrated and lost. Make sure that your navigation is simple, yet informative- giving your members easy access to what they need. Additionally, try to learn how your members behave to further improve your user experience and interface.

increase membership retention ux and ui

If you want to learn more about how to increase membership retention and experiences please check out some of our research references below:

A quick guide to member retention.

Member retention for associations.

Harnessing the web to drive membership value and growth by MemberWise.

Although how to increase membership retention can seem quite daunting at first the smallest improvement can actually help you progress further than you think. By improving your membership retention rate by just 10% every quarter you could increase the lifetime size of your membership base by 200%! That’s a huge difference. So by just implementing a few of our membership retention tips you could increase your lifetime membership massively.

As always if you’d like to know more about how we can help you and your membership organisation please do not hesitate to get in touch and we’ll see what we can do to lend you a helping hand.

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