By: William Ferguson
With the hustle towards the holidays already in full swing, you’ve probably already started to feel the squeeze of too much to do and not enough time. Did you notice they’re already playing Christmas carols on the radio? Pretty soon, if not already, your local stores will have all the Christmas decorations out and you’ll begin to feel the pressure to decorate your house long before Thanksgiving is here. We’re on the mad slide to a brand new year and you know what that means (for a lot of us)? Membership renewals!
Hopefully, you’ve already started. This year, we are increasing our number of touchpoints with our renewing members to hopefully increase retention. To accomplish this, we are utilizing a combination of e-mail, mail, and phone calls. Our first round of invoices mailed out October 1st and featured full color envelopes and other colorful inserts to attract attention.
Here’s a suggested timeline for your renewal notices if you have a renewal date of December 31st or January 1st:
- 1st Touch Point – Mailed early October
- 2nd Touch Point – Emailed early November (avoiding the holiday!)
- 3rd Touch Point – Mailed early December (again, avoid the holiday)
- 4th Touch Point – Emailed early January (you could use a “theme” of “Did you forget about us in the hustle and bustle of the holiday? Renew today!)
- 5th Touch Point – February phone calls to all unpaid members (you can also use this opportunity to remind them of an important event coming up like license renewal or your annual conference)
- 6th Touch point – Mailed in March as a Final Reminder or even as a Drop Notice
Additionally, posting reminders on your social media channels is a great idea to help keep your association visible to your members during the renewal process. Video receives higher click-thru rates than text on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. You can make a quick, free video featuring reasons to renew or a reminder about renewing online at your website. A good tool that I’ve had success with using is Wideo. There are additional premium options, which can greatly enhance your video, for a small fee.
Finally, don’t forget your team in the office. Make sure you keep the staff updated on the renewal process and remind them of any specials or details that members may call about. Keep an eye on the processing of renewal invoices and make sure you defer the income for next year as needed.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget about checking returned mail and following up with members who have address changes. After you update your database, make sure to re-mail the invoice or send it via email to the member.