Our session on renewals really made me think about how the whole renewal effort should really be a constant process that should start almost as soon as the member joins. On my first day as the Director of Membership for a Trade Association several years ago, I received an earful from a member who had just received a renewal notice and told me “it really burns me up that the only time I hear from you is when you want my money.” After that I started a “12 Touch” program to ensure that every member heard from us at least once a month throughout the calendar year with some sort of program or benefit related information.

But you know what I didn’t do? I didn’t put in place metrics to track it, which would have given me the data I needed to generate customized follow up. Had I done that, I would have been able to segment my larger pool of renewers into whatever categories I wanted, and then leverage our integrated email system to create customized renewal campaigns.

Twelve touches are great. Twelve touches that differ based on number of years as a member, combined with event attendance data, engagement metrics, areas of interest and industry subset would have been even better. All those groupings could have had their own workflows and messages designed to convey Association-value based on unique metrics.

If that sounds like something more like marketing than renewal, you’re right. The truth is that any time we are communicating on the value of the association we’re marketing, even if that is happening as part of a more mundane process. As we discussed during the webinar, renewals are a golden opportunity for messaging, communicating and marketing. With a little advance work and planning, maybe that first day phone call is a “thanks for all you’re doing” instead of a need to defend the value proposition.

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