Top Tips for Membership Renewal

by Ilya Frolov

We’ve got some insights into the things your organisation can do to keep members hooked. Get comfortable, grab a notepad and dig in…

The leaky bucket is one of our favourite subjects, for membership organisations the ability to hold on to existing members is a crucial part of day-to-day work. It’s no surprise then that a high membership renewal rate can be the secret to success when paired with intelligent acquisition efforts. But what can organisations do to keep members satisfied and coming back for more? 


Value is crucial

At Infinite Rewards we’re obsessed with value, and for good reason. For membership organisations, delivering tangible value for members should be central to everything you do. Of course it’s easier said than done, with real value invariably costing more. Awareness of your competition is one way to benchmark your organisation’s offering, could you do more while keeping your costs in line with your targets?

The secret is to measure your value. If you can put a figure alongside it, do so. If not, rank it alongside your competition or the industry standard. Is the value you offer directly related to your core business or organisational offering? Or do you provide value that transfers into other elements of your members’ life? Could doing this help you to differentiate from others in your field? It’ll certainly be a consideration for members when it comes to time for renewal.


Make it happen

Offering benefits to members is a simple way to attract people, but without those benefits actually being utilised by members, they have no value. It’s as much up to you as your members to ensure they access and enjoy their benefits. An unused membership will not be renewed. There are a variety of ways you can prompt members to take advantage of benefits, from marketing and informational communications to special offers and exclusives, you’ll have to be creative.

If you have the ability to measure use, remind those who haven’t taken advantage of benefits for a while. They might have forgotten about membership, or maybe they just needed prompting. Members will feel valued and, dependent on what you can do to reel them back in, could be more persuaded to use their membership. 


Do your homework

Successful membership recruitment is more than hit and hope. Renewals are no different. Find out what benefits your members are using and offer up more of the same. Reach out to them through the channels they prefer and make it easy for them to access the things they want. Increased uptake of benefits will be the first indicator of success, increased renewals will be the second.

So, how do you find out what members want? Well there are two ways – you can ask, or you can monitor. Simple questionnaires are a great way to get in-depth information on your members’ preferences and interests. Where surveys fail, you could try tracking. It doesn’t have to be too invasive, simple things such as keeping a record of the most popular benefits and how they relate to demographics in your audience will be enough to go on. Once you have that intel, use it!


Make renewals easy

Let your members know well ahead of time when renewals are approaching. You can do this via an inexpensive method such as SMS or email, but remember to research and use the member’s preferred form of contact. Informing members is only half the battle. You’ll also need to make it as easy as possible to extend memberships.

Web signups are a simple way to make membership renewals as painless as possible. Make sure it’s equally useful on a smartphone as on a laptop and try to present a few key elements on a single, secure page. Of course you’ll have to present all of the standard Ts & Cs and it’ll need to be passed by your legal department or advisor. If you’re using an SMS system, you’ll want to have a call centre option available for signup.


Budget smart

There’s a balance to be struck in all things, and in membership organisation budgets it’s paramount to strike a balance between acquisition and retention. While it may be true that it’s cheaper to keep an existing member than to acquire a new one, your growth depends on adding to a stable figure. Emphasise renewals over acquisitions in your budget, and if you get the balance right you’ll note that growth is the most likely result.

It’s a forgotten element in much of modern marketing, but referrals only result from happy customers. You’ll be surprised how many new members you can gain just by treating existing members well. Invest in delivering the best service possible to your members and they’ll do some of the leg work for you when it comes to securing the next generation of members.


Value long-standing customers

Do this quite literally. Put a figure alongside how much you would be willing to spend to keep each member. Once you know this, put that sum into marketing, offers and discounts to make renewal more attractive to your existing members. Money off a renewal doesn’t have to be the first attempt, but don’t forget about it as an option.

If money off memberships isn’t your style (for premium clubs or luxury brands it might not fit your narrative) you might try to tempt renewals by putting that value into benefits towards the end of the membership. It means when renewal dates arrive, the memory of something great will be fresh in the minds of your members.


There are lots of ways to tempt members to renew. Often it’s a matter of demonstrating value and removing the barriers to renewal. At Infinite Rewards, we make it possible for membership organisations to provide measurable value through easily redeemable offers and benefits. Find out more about our service here.