Ian Robinson / Tuesday, March 21, 2017 / Categories: Opinion, Solutions, Membership Tips to Retain Your New Members with Member Management Software As an organization within the club, association or hospitality industries, a significant source of income is your membership base. With spring just around the corner and new members signing up, it’s important that you do everything you can to make each of your new members feel welcome. According to the 2016 Membership Marketing Benchmarking report, lack of engagement with the organization is the number one reason members do not renew (2016, Membership General Incorporated). Research has shown that individuals become members for a few key reasons. First and foremost, the ability to network and communicate with like-minded individuals. Second, personal benefit such as the status or lifestyle offered attracts new members. Third, people want to feel like they’re part of a community. It is instrumental that you understand the factors that encourage individuals to join your membership base so that you can work towards improving retention. So, what are some methods that can help encourage stronger retention? Welcome E-Mails This is fairly obvious and easy to do, especially if you use a member management software tool. Many tools with member relationship management capabilities will include database marketing automation tools; these tools allow you to design and schedule e-mails to automatically send upon registration of a new member. Take advantage of automated welcome e-mails to personally welcome the new member and introduce them to some of the unique offerings, such as a member portal, that are available. In a previous article about online member management software, the importance of housing access to all your membership amenities through a single portal was noted. With that in mind, make sure that if you offer experiences such as golf, tennis, fine dining or social clubs, that they can all be booked through your member portal. Workflow – Welcome Phone Call In addition to your automated e-mail, make a point of having a staff member reach out and speak with the new member. The personal touch of something as simple as a phone call can make joining your club a positive new experience. If your database marketing tool has built-in process automation, setup a workflow that triggers upon the creation of a new member. In addition to the automated e-mail, setup a notification that auto-assigns to a staff member letting them know they need to make a personal phone call to welcome the new member. Ensure that your team has dedicated member relationship management staff that understand the importance of completing an outreach to new members. Within both the e-mail and phone call, you need to provide a valuable offer that encourages the new member to become part of the larger community. We’ve listed four great offers below… Have someone from the executive-level team invite the new member to an activity, such as 9 holes of golf or a round of tennis, followed by lunch. To get them acquainted with the member portal, allow them to book the activity through your online reservation system and add you as a guest. Alternatively, you can complete this step for them through your system. Invite the new member to join one of your club’s leagues. A league is a great opportunity to meet with other members and socialize. Most club management software systems provide built-in league management tools. Add the new member to the league roster and pair them with likeminded members. Ensure that they’re partner is not new as well, it’s instrumental that they are partnered with a long-time member so that they can have proper introductions. In line with the previous suggested offer, pair all new members with a “big brother” or “big sister” that will welcome them to the club. A big brother or sister can introduce the new member to others and show them the great amenities and services you offer. Invite them to a members-only luncheon. Not all your members will be active, to accommodate members that joined exclusively for the social-aspect of membership be sure to invite them to a private lunch. Conclusion With a strong understanding of why people become members, some strategies to automate the process of welcoming a new member, and some great offers to get members to feel wanted; you can ensure that you’re doing as much as possible to encourage the retention of new members. Spring’s just around the corner for those of us in colder climates, be sure to take advantage of the suggestions offered within this blog as soon as possible. If you have any great suggestions for offers or strategies, please do not hesitate to let us know in the comments below. For the 2016 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report, please visit: http://www.marketinggeneral.com/2016/06/22/2016-membership-marketing-benchmarking-report/ KaneffGolf Extends It's Club Management Software Footprint Should My Club Have A Public-Facing “Meet The Team” Page? Print 1550 Please login or register to post comments.