Attrition is bound to happen among associations and organizations. Everything from business influences to social and perception change can affect attrition. The key, however, is to know when to change or implement a strategy to combat attrition. During down cycles, what is your association or organization doing on its own to fight against a downward trend? The answers to these questions may end up being the lifeblood you need in keeping members, reducing attrition, and attracting new members.
1. Communicate a Value Proposition Clearly
Simply sending out a newsletter is no longer enough. In doing so, you’re promoting your organization or association, but you’re not clearly demonstrating why your organization or association is worth being a part of. For you, yes, you get it, but for members … well, they may not get it. As a result, ensure that any content that you put out, whether it be a newsletter, social media content, or anything in between, clearly defines value to current and potential members. Remember, your goal is not just to attract new professionals, but also to retain the members you currently have.
2. Highlight Member Benefits
Another way to articulate what your association or organization has to offer is to highlight member benefits through various mediums. This should be done on every level of your marketing plan. From brochures handed out at trade shows to your organization’s or association’s website, you will need to highlight the benefits of becoming a member. This can be done by showing, through testimonials, what other members have already gotten out of joining, or it could be done by discussing upcoming plans for membership, such as conferences, seminars, etc. Don’t bite of more than you can chew, however … always make sure to be able to deliver on your association’s or organization’s offers.
3. Renewal is a Big Deal
If you prefer members to pay for and sign onto contractual obligations to your association or organization, you’ll need to pay special attention to the dates through which each member must make a decision as to whether or not to renew. During this time, marketing comes into play in a big way. For upcoming renewal memberships, consider completing a timeline of each members time with the association or organization. Show how he or she has grown, the contacts he or she has made. Use data given by the member to display why your association or organization is the right way to go.
4. Advocate for Members
In the end, your ultimate goal is to advocate for members. This will provide current members with a state of peace while reassuring potential members that you are on their sides. Once you come up with a marketing plan, never falter from it as this will give the signal that you don’t care and won’t stick to a plan. Your members deserve better than this, and your association or organization will benefit from it more in the long-term anyway.