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Renewal is Critical

It is a rare association executive who is not concerned with membership renewal. If you're in that unusual group who is not interested in renewal, you can skip this section and concentrate on the many other benefits of YTheyJoin. But chances are that your budget, your opportunity for promotion, and your very tenure are dependent upon member renewal. 

Ironically, it is the first-year member who is the key. If you can get them to renew once, they are likely to renew several times but if you lose them you have probably lost them for good. Unfortunately, very little is known about first-year members because they have not built up a track record, and tools such as data mining are of no value. Your initial communication creates a lasting, and sometimes fatal, impression. You need to know what motivates these members and this is where YTheyJoin comes in. But first, let's address the value of first-year members.

The Incredible Value of First-Year Members

Unless you are familiar with the concept of life-time value, you have underestimated the importance of first-year renewal. Here's an example. Assume that your dues are $85 a year, probably a conservative estimate. Extensive research on renewal indicates that on average a new member is likely to renew their membership three years. In this example, if the new member fails to renew you have not just lost $85, you have lost $255. If the association has 10,000 members and a renewal rate of 92%, then there are 800 non-renewing members. When you multiply 800 by $255 each that's a grand total of $204,000 that is lost. Now you're not going to keep all of them but YTheyJoin target marketing can help you keep a good proportion of the members who might not renew, maybe a third of them. In this example, if you can keep a third of the 800 members who drop, you pick up $67,830. (266 members times $255 each) We are not including the other monies that members spend with your association plus the money you save by not having to get them back. So even a relatively small association with a good retention rate saves a considerable sum just  by communicating more effectively with first-year members. 

A Special Strategy for First-Year Members

YTheyJoin has a first-year program that codes new members. The YTheyJoin form that members complete is included with the membership application or welcome-aboard packet and is designed to get new members coded as quickly as possible. These are the members with the least ties to your association and you want to build loyalty as soon as possible. Membership applications are cold-looking and impersonal and can be greatly improved by including a from that asks about their needs and what they expect from the association. Many forms come back saying "Thanks for asking!"

As soon as the new member is assigned the 3-digit marketing code by YTheyJoin, you can start using the target-marketing strategy which includes the following steps.


Welcome-aboard letters that emphasize their particular needs. For example, a Relevant Participant would receive a letter that highlights upcoming meetings and speakers.


During the year they would receive information about services that meet their particular needs. For example, a Shaper would be offered a chance to serve on a committee or provide help at a conference. An Altruistic could be offered a chance to participate in a community project. A Cognoscenti could be offered a chance to join a speaker's bureau or write an article.


At the end of the first year, renewal letters would emphasize their particular needs and how you met them and will continue to meet them. If they do not renew after the first letter, the second letter could include a targeted incentive such as a discount coupon for a book or CD for Cognoscenti.

Your goal is a simple one - to hear the members say "thanks for asking about my needs, I'm going to renew!"



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