3 Reasons Why You May Be Losing Your Association Members and What You Can Do About It
Every year, members leave your organization – they change jobs or professions, go out of business, retire, or just leave because they found a better alternative. That makes adding and retaining members to your association a top priority and a never-ending project. Let’s look at some reasons why your members might be going out the back door, and how you must keep new ones coming in the front.
Your association benefits are unclear
While obvious to you, oftentimes, the benefits your organization offers aren’t clear to your potential and current members. Prospects need the benefits delivered in every interaction with your association, and members can easily forget why they joined, becoming despondent over time as well. Keeping your benefits front and center should be your rule of thumb.
What can you do?
Convey the benefits of being a part of your association clearly. Leave no chance for your audience to second-guess their decision of joining. Here’s what you can do:
- Make membership renewal and joining process simple and hassle-free.
- Invite prospects to take a sneak-peek into what your association offers by inviting them to an exclusive event.
- Showcase the real value your association provides on a continuous basis via small, regular, networking events through the year.
Your events don’t cater to your target audience
A challenge many associations face is attempting to appeal to everyone at once. There’s nothing worse for your association than gaining the wrong members that quickly churn and lead to high attrition rates.
What can you do?
Start with defining your target audience(s). Identify and research the different segments of your target market, for example, students, early career or mid-career executives and professionals in transition. Plan your events in line with what they would want. Here’s what can help you:
- Use data-driven insights from each event you host. You'll get better at knowing your members with each event.
- Know the type of content, the kind of speakers, and the preferred session formats that are resonating with the audience(s). Create your events accordingly.
- Take the help of post-event surveys to understand what is working and what is not. Giving members the ability to share their experiences will help you create a better one.
Engagement tactics have plateaued
Automatic renewals and/or free memberships may be a good tactic to retain members initially, but it might backfire when it comes to building a long-term member relationship. Members are most likely not to renew with an association because of lack of engagement.
What can you do?
Build your engagement strategy in sync with your audience's consumption behaviors and preferences. Here are some ideas:
- Engage members by supporting a cause such as a charity or a public campaign. As members help others as a group, they’ll start building relationships with each other.
- Use social media as a tool to start online conversations that concern your members.
- Bring members together in a contest that includes giveaways. Reward members who participate in a specified activity with coupons or gifts.
Attracting new members and engaging existing ones goes hand-in-hand for your association to thrive. Download this e-book if you’re looking for some member engagement strategies for a virtual world.
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