Ask association members why they don’t renew and two in three will say lack of value for the price. Half of them also say lack of engagement or “I forgot”, which are another way of voting on your value with their feet.
Some organizations jump to discounting, slashing dues by up to 50% or more. This path is fraught with danger — the expensive kind. After all, something that has no value at $100 may have no value at $50, either. They end up sacrificing significant dues revenue with little to no growth to show for it.
Others have lowered dues for cost-sensitive membership segments, including students and young professionals. This can be a wise strategy to “fill the hopper” with future full-paying members. One large society that adopted this strategy increased young professional membership by 15% in one year.
The perceived value of membership trumps cost in most cases.
Even the greatest benefit is worthless if members do not know about or understand it. Some organizations have attempted to increase their perceived value by “bundling” benefits. This practice can make high-value opportunities for members more exciting and accessible. At the same time, it is a chance to weed out outdated benefits that only clutter your communications.
Many times, organizations do this with products and programs that already exist. There is often no need for extensive new product development. You can reframe the idea of “products” to include all the work the organization does on behalf of members. This creates opportunities to talk about how you serve members and why they should want to join you.
With the right insights, this approach can reap dramatic benefits. Some organizations have seen member engagement jump over 40%.
Could you already have the makings of an offer they can’t refuse, within your current dues structure? Our experience says you could. And it’s an opportunity membership organization should not pass up.