Member Retention Strategies

by George N. Root III

In order to grow your organization, you not only need a steady stream of new members, but you also need plans in place to retain your existing members. New members that are gained through special promotions and special introductory rates will need an incentive to stay with your organization, while existing members want to feel as though there is a reason to stay a member. Whether you run a health club or a credit union, your member retention strategies can be very similar.

Avoid Incentives

If you are looking for a quick increase in membership, incentives may be the way to go. But when membership renewal time rolls around, it can be difficult to get these new members to sign on for the full price. Even if the service you offer cannot be found anywhere else, it is possible that people would rather do without it than sign up at full price. That is why it is a good idea to avoid incentives on membership prices when running membership campaigns. Offer prizes or special gifts as incentives to people who sign up, but make the membership full price to help insure that you retain a high percentage of those members when renewal time rolls around.

Long Term Deals

Membership should have its privileges, and one of the privileges of long-term membership should be a lower price. The benefits here are twofold. First, your organization gets a member for an extended period of time. Second, the member gets to enjoy their privileges for a lower price because they signed on for a long-term deal. You may want to add other long-term deal exclusives such as preferred parking, if applicable, or special discounts.

Investment

We have discussed the membership price as the means for retaining members, but if you create the feeling of an investment with people, then they are more likely to want to stay in your organization to retain their investment. Offer points for people who stay in your group and allow those points to be redeemed for prizes or special discounts. The only way to get these membership points is to remain a member, so it becomes an investment for the person who is paying those membership dues.

About the Author

George N. Root III began writing professionally in 1985. His publishing credits include a weekly column in the "Lockport Union Sun and Journal" along with the "Spectrum," the "Niagara Falls Gazette," "Tonawanda News," "Watertown Daily News" and the "Buffalo News." Root has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the State University of New York, Buffalo.

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