Part One. Things to Consider
We all like to feel part of something bigger, be it a group, team or family. Membership should connect like-minded individuals where they can share ideas, connect and share best practice. It is why we have membership in organisations we can relate to – to belong, improve and grow.
In this new series of blogs, we will work through the steps of membership sign-ups and renewals to help make the process a little less daunting! So, grab a pen and let’s get started
Make a List. Brainstorm. Get Digging.
There are several things to consider before starting your sign-up and renewals activity. You need to know and listen to your members. If you don’t, then your sign-ups and renewals will fall flat; members will cancel or not bother renewing at all.
Information is King!
The best place to start is with your data. This will tell you everything you need to know about your members. By segmenting your data, you can drill down into your mailings and send out correspondence that is suited to the individual.
- Information is key. Use your data to get to know your members. You can split your data to discover who is a new sign-up, who hasn’t renewed, who may be interested in membership, and so on. Data can be information they have given you, what pages they looked at on your site and more. Never underestimate your data – it’s a treasure that keeps on giving.
- Spot trends. By looking at your current data set, you can measure sign-ups, renewals and lapsed members and what communication led to the response (or lack of!).
- Jump on social media to read comments on your sites – are they negative or positive? By having a scan over these, you can find the voice of your members. What they like about your membership scheme and what doesn’t work as well. You may even find ideas for your next renewal packs!
Using your data in the correct way allows you to show your members that you listen to them and care what they say, and you are giving them a one to one message rather than one size fits all.
The Bottomless Content Bag
Content is the packs your members receive, the written and visual communications across your sites, packs, office and emblazoned across your team t-shirt. It’s the t-shirt! It’s everywhere. It’s everything. It can be overwhelming! By segmenting your data, you can tailor the content to the recipient. Content can be generic or personalised.
- Written communications need careful consideration. These can make or break a sign-up or a renewal. Engaging copy that is to the point, with the right tone and not too wordy is the goal – people have become “speed readers” and will flit across long paragraphs, often, missing out the juicy details.
- Design offers endless possibilities to “wow” your members. You are no longer bound by a drab, white rectangle – fill those letterboxes with shapes and colour! If you are bored of looking at the same images, chances are your members might be feeling the same.
- Can the members connect with the benefits offered of having membership? Are the incentives relevant and useful? If sign-ups and renewals have dropped, the members are no longer engaged.
Step back and listen to what your members want. They will be very vocal if they are unhappy. Better still, ask them. Whilst data can provide a wealth of information, it can’t tell you how your members feel; not only is this good customer service, but it demonstrates you are going the extra mile to value their opinions.
Forward Planning and Release
Scheduling is best done backwards. By starting with the date your members’ packs need to land, work backwards to the start date of the project, remembering to factor in communication releases and any foreseeable delays or hiccups that could be a risk to the dispatch date.
You will need to consider the channels you will be using to release packs and communications. There are several mediums for you to get your membership offerings out there – mail, social media, digital downloads, TV and more! You can choose one or all to get started but always include channels your members use. One great thing about social media is that it can be automated enabling your message to be sent at once or staggered in stages – just remember to update the automation if the schedule slips!
Yes, it’s a lot to take in! With so many variable factors to consider, anything could go awry. Best get in touch with your friendly membership management team (wink, wink) on 01543 257257 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can help sort all of this for you.
However, if you are feeling hardcore, don’t miss our next blog instalment in this series where we will be diving into the hidden depths of data and how to make it work for you. *Flexes muscles!*