6 Best Retention Strategies for Membership Groups

Event Management News

June 5, 2024


6 Best Retention Strategies for Membership Groups

Professional associations, non-profits, and online interest-based groups all have one thing in common: the need to retain and renew their member base.

The soaring popularity of online communities—through digital platforms like Meta, Slack, Discord, and others—has led to an overall change in membership retention strategies

Plus, in an inflationary economic climate, how do you encourage membership renewals when people are cutting their spending? 

Personalizing the member experience, regularly engaging their member base, and sharing valuable content and resources are only a few of the ways top membership groups attract and keep their hard-earned members. 

In this article, we’ll explore 6 of the best membership retention strategies to use this year—and how event management technology is central to these efforts. Let’s dive in! 

What is Membership Retention, and Why Does It Matter?

Retention is everything for membership organizations and online groups. Not only does it keep your revenue steady year after year, but retention also contributes to a thriving, valuable community. 

But what is membership retention? It measures your ability to keep your existing members over time. 

Why does it matter so much? The stats say it all:

  • It costs 5x more to acquire a new member than to retain an existing one
  • Retaining 5% of your members can increase annual revenue by 15-25%

Consistently delivering value-adds, building a strong community, and personalizing the member journey are proven tactics. And, as more groups and associations go digital, an excellent user experience is essential to stay top-of-mind.

Ultimately, cultivating long-term loyalty creates stability and growth opportunities you can’t afford to miss. Membership retention allows you to maintain a solid foundation to keep building upon.

READ MORE: 3 Event Marketing Tips and Tricks for Associations

6 Proven Membership Retainment Strategies

Ready to level-up your member experience? Let’s explore 6 strategies for increasing membership retention this year. 

  1. Personalize the member experience 

One of the most effective strategies for improving member retention? Personalization. By delivering customized experiences, you deepen connections with your community over time.

It starts at onboarding. Successful groups provide tailored onboarding tracks based on member interests, goals, and characteristics. This helps new members see value from the start. 

For example, professional associations like the American Marketing Association deliver personalized learning plans based on their members’ indicated goals and interests. 

Personalization extends to ongoing communications, too. Use member data to:

  • Segment audiences
  • Customize emails, content recommendations, offers, and more

For instance, the National Geographic Society curates content picks customized to different member profiles. 

By making members feel understood and providing relevant experiences, you earn loyalty for the long-haul. Attention to the individual member journey is key.

  1. Regularly share valuable content and resources

Want to keep members sticking around? Give them content they can’t get anywhere else. Offering exclusive access to premium videos, articles, reports, and other resources is a winning retention strategy.

Consider offering members-only webinars and exclusive access to on-demand replays. Or hook members with discounts on enticing events like conferences, in-person training, and meet-ups. 

Up the ante by featuring influencers and industry experts as presenters. The National Writers Union, for instance, hosts monthly “craft talks” by successful authors exclusively for members.

These value-added content pieces give members what they’re looking for:

  • Continuous learning opportunities
  • Deep insights into their interests
  • Access to subject matter experts

When an organization consistently delivers high-quality, tailored content, members have no reason to leave! Exclusivity builds loyalty.

GET THE WHITEPAPER: How Event Technology Can Enable More Engagement
  1. Use event management technology to your advantage

Using the right technology is a game-changer for membership retention. An all-in-one platform puts powerful retention tools at your fingertips.

Take Attendease by Tripleseat for example. Our platform allows you to:

  • Engage members through interactive tools. Live polling, Q&A, and surveys help you to understand member needs and preferences. 
  • Gain insights from powerful event analytics. Track essential metrics like event attendance, content engagement, and more to make informed decisions about your membership base. 

We’re basically your command center for strategic retention. 

It’s true: the right event management software streamlines and optimizes every retention effort. From understanding your members better to refining how you deliver value over time—the impact is huge.

  1. Track crucial membership metrics

Data-driven decisions are necessary for effectively retaining your members. But first, you need to track the right key performance indicators (KPIs).

The most important KPIs to monitor? Retention rate and churn rate are critical windows into your membership health:

Retention Rate = # of Members Renewed / # of Members Eligible for Renewal
Churn Rate = # of Members Not Renewed / Total # of Members

Other important membership metrics include:

  • New member acquisition numbers
  • Event attendance and engagement rates
  • Content consumption metrics
  • Revenue from membership fees, events, etc.

Clear insight into your KPIs helps you identify issues, test improvements, and ensure your retention initiatives are making the intended impact. Be sure to consistently review and optimize based on the numbers for long-term success. 

  1. Reward member loyalty

Recognizing and rewarding your long-standing, loyal members is a powerful retention strategy. Offering special incentives and discounts shows your appreciation and gives them added value.

For example, the American Automobile Association (AAA) provides discounted rates on hotels, rental cars, and tourist attractions for members. Consumer Reports offers loyal subscribers savings on renewal fees after 5+ years.

In addition to monetary perks, you can reward loyal members in other meaningful ways:

The key is tapping into what your loyal members truly value. Personalized rewards reinforce their decision to stick with your organization year after year.

READ MORE: Using SEO to Increase Association Event Attendance: 3 Steps
  1. Regularly collect and implement member feedback

Consistently gathering feedback from your members is crucial for retention. You need to stay dialed into their evolving needs, interests and pain points.

The opportunities to collect member input are endless:

  • Post-event & post-webinar surveys
  • Quarterly “check-in” emails
  • Online community forums & discussions
  • Social media listening
  • Focus groups & interviews

Make it an ongoing process to review this voice-of-the-member data. Analyze it for trends and areas to improve the member experience.

When you proactively listen and adapt based on feedback, you show members you’re invested in their success. This level of engagement and responsiveness is what keeps them sticking around long-term.

Boost Member Retention with Powerful Event Management Technology

With seemingly endless ideas for how to drive retention, you’ll find the best results come from using event management technology to help you work smarter, not harder.  

Consider Attendease by Tripleseat your partner in boosting membership retention. 

Access the following with our robust tools: 

Contact us to explore how to create the best membership experience possible this year!

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