Renewal Incentives are Critical to Association Chapter Success Post 2020
Updated: Apr. 5, 2021 | Categories: Decreasing Membership
For most of 2020 and now into the beginning of 2021, association chapters have had to be extremely creative when it comes to engaging their members virtually, since, for the most part, they’ve been unable to hold in-person events. A year has passed, and for many of those chapters, it’s time to ask their association chapter members to renew.
You’re not alone, if, as a board member, you’re worried some of your members won’t renew easily. Will they think you’ve really done enough for them this past year to make another year of membership worthwhile?
Are your members ready to renew without question? In a normal year, sure. But this past year has been anything but normal. Providing a little something “extra” in exchange for renewing might be just what they need to take out their credit card or write a check.
Consider a membership renewal incentive program that takes suggestions from your membership, marketing and education committees. Brainstorm ideas that using the resources you have access to, to easily boost retention by providing incentives that show you value your renewing members.
Here are some membership renewal incentives that provide renewing members access to exclusive items and content new members won’t get.
Recordings to virtual meetings. Did you record some of your virtual meetings, like speakers and educational sessions? Make part or all of your recorded library available to those who renew by a certain date, so they can take advantage of the learnings, even if they weren’t able to attend. And if they did attend, recordings provide an opportunity to hear things they may have missed the first time. You can house content like this in a gated section on your website that’s just for renewing members.
Partner with a sister chapter to exchanges resources. Do you have a library of resources – educational materials, recordings, etc. – that would interest another chapter? Reach out to set up a reciprocal program; since this would be a web based initiative, it doesn’t matter where the chapter is located. Ask about a partnership or trade, something along the lines of “If an association member in Chapter A renews, they get access to Chapter B recordings, and vice versa.”
Vouchers for future meetings and continuing education. Most of your association chapter members will always need continuing education (CE) credits. These CE programs can be expensive and providing free access to live and pre-recorded CE courses can be a strong incentive. You can help members meet their CE requirements just by paying their membership dues.
When there are challenges that could prohibit one of your association chapter members from seeing the full value of their membership, consider adding some extras to their renewal that make it an easy decision. It’s still not too late to make up for 2020, which was a challenge for the majority of chapter associations. Utilize incentives to show you value existing members, engage them and provide them with some cost savings to help set your chapter, and those individual members, on the path for a strong 2021, regardless of what lies ahead.