While everything your organization does matters, not everything matters for renewal. Another insight from the research is that any engagement is good, but some engagement efforts excel at keeping members. How do you know which is which? Your data should tell you.
Look at the activities you track and see which correlate with renewal. You will likely find that a small number of offerings explain a sizable portion of your retention. These are the engagements you want to promote and track as leading indicators of member retention.
In most cases, recurring engagements will be the “stickiest” of all: subscriptions, recertifications, and annual plans. Offerings like this deliver continuous value for as long as the member renews. It is also true that member-to-member experiences, especially those that repeat like most meetings, are also powerful drivers for renewal. Other people are one of the best reasons to belong to an association and keep belonging.
Finally, digging a little deeper will show you that if one engagement is good, more than one is fantastic. Research suggests that members with three or more high-value engagements are often 100 percent likely to renew, suggesting that you should not stop trying after the first engagement. A cardinal rule of all marketing is that your best prospect is the customer who just bought from you.
It is only a slight exaggeration to say that by the time you send your renewal notices, it is already too late to make a difference. Most of the renewal decisions were determined in the first few months of membership. Of course, associations should always focus on delivering high member value, but research suggests that a concerted focus on new member engagement may be your best move for member retention.