Getting Them Back: Reacquiring Lapsed Members

by Ilya Frolov

Everybody loves a good comeback story, and there is nothing like regaining members when they’ve let their membership expire. In this blog we’ll look at possible strategies you may be taking to reacquire lapsed members, and what you can do to further encourage membership renewals.

It’s not uncommon for members to fail to renew their membership. Often, all it takes is a simple reminder in the form of an email or letter to notify them that they need to renew their membership and regain their custom. On other occasions, members may need some incentives before they decide to return. But even through these efforts, some members may still fail to renew their membership, leaving you with questions about ensuring the renewal of current memberships, and reacquiring.

Why do members leave?

There are numerous reasons why members may choose not to renew their membership with your organisation. They could be experiencing a change in their personal life or they may feel dissatisfied with the services they have been receiving from you. 

That doesn’t mean that there is no potential for them to return. You may have continued to communicate with members who have not renewed for a short time after their membership expires, but the secret lies in the length of time you remain in contact with them.

How can you win them back?

It’s all about memorability

It’s been proven that even when a member decides that their relationship with your organisation is no longer beneficial to them, they are still more likely to return to your membership scheme over a new organisation.

Members prefer a service they know, and it becomes a matter of demonstrating that they can rely on you as they did before. So by staying in contact with them for a substantial period after their membership expires, you maintain headspace and vastly increase the likelihood of them coming back.

Investigate at the source

Initially you need to determine why a member has chosen to let their membership expire. By communicating with them to find out if there was anything you could have changed in your service, you can resolve the issue for both them and other members

Keep in contact

If they’re happy to continue staying in touch, find out how the member would prefer to be contacted. Use these methods to keep them in the loop about all the things that are valuable to your membership—events, member success, offers and rewards are all encouraging elements to draw them back to your organisation.

You need to ensure that they are happy for you to stay in contact, or else you run the risk of pushing them further away. If they say no, make sure that they are unsubscribed from your mailing list.

Examine their actions

Typically, most members will have similar behavioural patterns that can help you predict member behaviour in a more general sense. After some time you’ll be able to tell when you are close to reacquiring a member, either from the acceptance of an event invitation or the click-through rate of the emails you may send. Soon enough you’ll be able to gauge those who are most likely to return and you can place an appropriate focus on those members.

At Infinite Rewards we put an emphasis on membership incentivisation. By using our services, your lapsed members have more reasons to renew their relationship with you. Find out more about us here.