The majority of membership managers understand their retention figures so comprehensively that they can quickly say whether targets are being met. A 75 per cent retention rate target is typically set, which has generally been achievable in the past; however, new research suggests that rates of retention are falling quite dramatically.
This year, just 65 per cent of respondents to a membership performance survey conducted each year said they were meeting their 75 per cent or higher target, compared with 73 per cent in 2016. These falling figures should not be overly worrying, however, as companies focusing solely on their retention figures should take this opportunity to look at the wider picture.
The importance of engagement
As explained in a Forbes article, engagement is key for every business. Engagement statistics and data can tell a company a lot about its members; therefore, companies should be taking more productive steps to scoring and thoroughly evaluating their engagement data. 41 per cent of companies saw an increase in engagement in 2016, compared with just 35 per cent this year, with this decline appearing to be linked to the increasing number of companies that do not have a strategic engagement plan.
Scoring engagement is a smart way to monitor membership interaction. As engaged members are more likely to recognise the value in renewing their membership, this data could be the key to improving overall retention rate levels.
Smart membership management systems, such as those provided by http://www.ofec.co.uk/Membership-Management-Systems.aspx, will help companies to thoroughly understand their membership and will highlight exactly where additional focus is needed. Each action will be assigned a specific number of points, with each point a member accrues through taking an actionable step – such as opening emails, participating in a webinar or responding to a survey – added together to reach an overall grade.
A company may, for example, end up with each of its members sorted into three different categories: highly, somewhat, and least engaged. Highly-engaged members will be most likely to renew, whereas somewhat and least-engaged members may need additional information or a personalised invitation.
A companies’ end goal should be to move its somewhat and least-engaged members into the highly-engaged category, with understanding more about the demographics and needs of these members key in creating a strategic plan to achieve these objectives.