An Offer They Can’t Refuse?


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 just another way of voting on your value with their feet.

How can you make membership an offer they can’t refuse?

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. More than one organization has announced aggressive dues reductions only to have their members remain utterly indifferent, thereby sacrificing significant dues revenue with little to no growth to show for it.

On the other hand, some organizations have thoughtfully and prudently reduced dues for key segments who are especially cost-sensitive, like students and young professionals. This can be a solid strategy to “fill the hopper” with future full-paying members. One large professional society that adopted this strategy increased their young professional membership by 15% in one year.

Perception is reality, and the perceived value of membership trumps cost in most cases. Benefits members do not know about or understand are not valuable, no matter how awesome they actually are. Some organizations have elevated their value proposition by repackaging or “bundling” benefits to better showcase their best offers. Done well, this makes high-value opportunities for members more visible, exciting, and easy to use. At the same time, it is a chance to weed out outdated benefits that only clutter your communications.

Many times, this can be done quite well with products and programs that already exist, with no need for extensive new product development. Expanding your thinking about “products” to include all the work the organization does on behalf of members (that most members do not know about) creates often dramatic opportunities to talk about how you serve members and why they should want to join you. With the right insights and good thinking around what combinations will be most compelling, this approach can be dramatic in its results. 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.

To learn more about how other organizations have transformed their member offer and how we can help, visit us at Sequence Consulting.

Do you need some new thinking for your most complicated problems? Contact Sequence today.

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