Driving Renewals with Questions

Dues and Conferences: the two primary drivers of revenue in a member based organization. We’ve been punched in the gut with conferences this year. But, we can still fight for renewals. Here’s how you can do it better.

If you’re reading this, you’re aware that PropFuel engages your members in a unique way by asking a question which drives them to an action. For instance: Why did you join? Based on their answer, the platform presents them with content focused on their answer.

This has proven to be a huge win when it comes to renewals. Most associations have a string of highly invisible renewal emails. For some reason, members respond to a question even when they’re deleting emails.

But, our focus on renewals is less about the questions and more about the process, although the questions certainly do play a role.We look at renewals in 4 stages:

  1. soon to renew
  2. grace period
  3. lapsed
  4. dormant

We have one campaign (a series of questions and automated actions) that covers 1-3 and then another campaign for dormant members. What we’ve found is that there are certain kinds of questions to ask based on where in the journey your member lies. And there’s no magic in the question, but sometimes the simplicity of starting a dialog and making it super easy actually drives them to engage in a way that a “reminder to renew” email doesn’t. So we work with the association to accompany their existing methods of capturing renewals with our campaign. Questions might include:

  • What do you find most valuable as a member of the association? This is multiple choice (answerable in the email) with an open ended option to give feedback, and an action that shows their expiration date and prompts them to renew.
  • What is preventing you from renewing your membership with the association? Again, multiple choice (answerable in the email) with an open ended option to give feedback, and an action that depends on how they answered the question. If the said they can’t pay online, it offers a downloadable renewal form. Or alerts a staff member to send them an invoice. Or helps them over the hurdle that’s preventing them from renewing.
  • Did you know your membership lapsed? Yes/No – No leads to another question: Why not? Which then helps them renew based on how they answer. (It’s incredible how much people respond to these emails that have ignored all the other prompts.)

Questions that go out to Dormant members might ask why they left. Or it might remind them of the value prop in question form. The goal is to catch a few on the hook and bring them back.

One of our clients had approximately 5000 lapsed members from the previous year. After one of these campaigns, we got 651 of them to renew. These are people that ignored 9 emails over the course of the past few months reminding them to renew.

Another client with approximately 3000 dormant members (members that have been expired for over a year) sent a campaign out which resulted in 136 renewals. And these are members they never expected to hear from again.

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