Getting the messaging right when it comes to renewals at your club can make the difference between a member returning for another year or lapsing.
Around 90 per cent of clubs have their renewals in January, February and March, making winter a crucial time for planning how your club will create a positive renewals process to ensure members want to re-join.
Many clubs send out one communication about renewals with an ask for money, and while it might be easy to simply drop an invoice into an inbox or letterbox, this annual mailshot is also an opportunity to ‘sell’ your club.
Planning now for positive communications around renewals will pay dividends.
As Gareth Brookes, RYA Club Development Officer Manager, explains: “We are asking clubs to think about the communications which you send out alongside your invoice for annual membership renewals to remind members why they would want to return.
“It’s an opportunity to raise awareness about what makes your club special and highlight its successes over the last year, alongside a mention of any activities you have coming up over the winter months and your plans for next season. Make the most it to give your members a whole host of reasons as to why they want to renew.”
9 top tips for positive messaging
Remember your members have busy lives and will not want to read a long letter which accompanies their invoice. There are easy ways, however, to get across a lot of information alongside your renewal ask and in the run up. Here are a few ideas for presentation and content:
Whether you include these ideas in one mailshot alongside your renewals or as part of a wider communications campaign, it’s good practice to use a variety of marketing methods to ensure you reach all of your members to encourage them to re-join.
While most communication is digital these days, channels like social media, e-news and your website may not inspire all of your members, so be prepared to also pick up the phone or post a letter. Snail mail still works, it is easy to personalise and it can make a difference.
Finally, if your members don’t renew, don’t give up: ask if you can stay in touch with club news and offers. Winning back a lapsed member is easier than recruiting a new one!