We know many membership organisations are facing a challenging time. As a result, they are shifting greater focus to member retention, to ensure existing members are engaged and finding value in the services they provide.
Using our knowledge from supporting a wide-range of membership organisations we explore ways you can use digital to maintain and increase member retention.
1. Create content that helps them solve a problem
Members are coming to you to help them solve a problem. Whether it is gaining additional knowledge or skills in their profession, to connecting with other like-minded individuals. You need to make certain the content you are creating solves those issues. In addition, is there content you can provide to new members specifically, that gives great value and builds goodwill with them from the start?
2. Optimise your website for a positive user experience
When members use your website, you want the experience to be as useful, enjoyable and frictionless as possible. To help achieve this, you need to optimise your website by having fast website load speed, easy navigation, linking content, appealing, and engaging website design, and accessible and relevant content. Look at our recent article ‘Essential steps to create a successful membership website’ which covers these areas in more detail.
3. Streamline your member onboarding process
When members are new, it is crucial they have the best start to their journey with you. This could mean ensuring the onboarding process is optimised across multiple devices, sending an immediate automated email with a welcome message and details of their account log in details, or streamlining the renewal process so it is easy and intuitive.
4. Make content easy to digest and in multiple formats
If members are faced with an overwhelming amount of content, they may not read or engage with it, leading to member retention issues. Therefore, break content down into manageable pieces and in different formats to appeal to the varying ways users like to consume content. For more information specifically on self-service website content and how to use it, view a recent article where we go into more detail on this.
5. Survey members to find out how you can better support them
The best way to understand how you can support your members better is to ask them! Carry out a simple online survey to gain a better understanding of how you can improve your service. This should be done regularly so you can see how the results are changing as you implement their feedback.
6. Use data insights to analyse how your member area can be optimised
If you provide a member’s area as part of your website, it is crucial to understand if this is supporting and engaging members. Use Google Analytics and HotJar (both free tools) to analyse and get insight into top performing pages, drop off pages, layout, navigation and design issues. These will lead you to see what improvements can be made.
7. Allow members to upgrade or downgrade their membership digitally
If members can switch between different membership options easily and online, this will provide much more flexibility and may stop some members from cancelling completely if they need to downgrade for a short time. Make this process as frictionless as possible and identical on multi devices.
8. Think multi-device when creating your membership website
Mobile browsing is becoming more popular, with 50.81% of global website traffic coming from a mobile device. Therefore, it is not a device you can ignore! You need to make sure your website is mobile optimised. This will ensure members, especially those from the Gen Z generation, accessing it from a mobile device have a good user experience, and that all content is easily accessible.
9. Allow members to share their successes within the community
This will greatly support member engagement as they will feel valued if they are able to share their successes on your website or social platforms. Plus, other members will be inspired by their stories and how your organisation has supported them. This will cultivate a more engaged and committed membership base.
10. Utilise email nurture programmes to keep members engaged
Email nurture programmes can be a great way to boost member engagement and retention, as you can deliver relevant and timely content directly to your users without them having to find it. Depending on the system you are using, you can get clever with it and personalise content to the needs of the individual member to really provide value. We shared a recent article on this that you may find useful.
11. Survey members who do cancel to capture vital information
Understanding why members cancel will be vital to your member retention strategy. Send members who cancel a short exit survey to identify any opportunities to improve your service offering.
You may also find our recent article ‘Digital member acquisition strategies for marketeers’ useful as although it focusses more on tactics to support member acquisition, it has some useful content that will support your member retention strategy.