According to the 2017 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report, the top reason members do not renew their membership is due to 'lack of engagement with the organization'. While this may seem obvious, the solution may not be as clear.
The disparities come into play when you analyze the current state of membership organizations. Thirty-nine percent of organizational membership is comprised of Baby Boomers (born 1946 -1964). While 'association-sponsored social networking websites (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn)' ranked at the top recruitment tool in this day and age. What does that indicate?
It's time to shift the generational composition of membership organizations, quickly. Millennials (born 1980 - 1995) are more engaged on social media websites than in their inbox yet the top renewal tactics are still email and postal mail.
If you're going to recruit through mobile channels, it only makes sense to engage on mobile channels.
How Mobile Engagement can Boost Renewal ROI
1. Retention is a Reminder Game
The majority of members who allow their membership to lapse is simply because they forgot to renew - so the game is to remind them in as many places as economically possible. Email has long been a front runner in this effort but organizations now report that digital advertising campaigns on social media sites showed significant success compared to total dollars spent. Consider at least five reminder touch points throughout your renewal sequence to stay top of mind.
2. Diversify Your Communication Channels
Snail mail and phone calls can be a costly renewal tactic, especially when your newer members are more digitally engaged. To cut cost and boost your return on investment, consider segmenting your communication based on the generation. Set up an A/B test to removing paper renewals from your younger generations. If you discover that digital channels like email and social media reminders are just as effective, you've just saved your organization a lot of renewal expense.
3. Don't underestimate the Power of a Push
As mentioned in the 5 Mobile Trends Your Association Must Try in 2018 guide, forty-three percent of smartphone users often agree to receive push notifications from the apps they use. Push notifications is one of the most powerful tools in your mobile app toolbox. Use push notifications to enrich your members' engagement throughout their membership term. You could send a welcome notification with the key things to know about their membership once they join. Throughout their membership term, you could notify them of big wins for the industry or top speakers at your events - proving your value well before renewal time. Once your members are used to periodically hearing from you via the mobile app, reminding them to renew is simply a complimentary touch point to other efforts.
4. Make Renewing Easy
Another barrier to renewal success is the frustration of members trying to remember their passwords to access their accounts. With approximately 137 login and passwords floating around members' subconscious, the easiest password to remember is the one your don't have to remember. Consider implementing custom code into your emails and mobile apps that allow uniquely identified members to skip the login stage and go directly to their one-click renewal button in their profile. It's safe, effective and your members will thank you by renewing on time.
Utilizing your mobile app beyond your conference and events can make a big impact on your membership engagement, especially as Millennials begin to join your growing membership. Be sure to meet them where they are and cut your expense while you're at it.