When’s the last time you took a look at your renewal reminder campaigns? If you’re like most membership managers, you’ve been using more-or-less the same campaign and content for years.
Renewal reminder campaigns can be one of the most impactful channels you use to capture renewals. Making even a few small strategic changes to the way you capture renewals by email can result in major impacts on your organization’s renewal rate, which is why Member365 has put together a few best practices that membership managers can use to boost the renewals they enjoy through reminder campaigns!
1. Segment your Lists
Segmenting email lists is one of the most-repeated tips to boost campaign effectiveness for good reason. By separating your audience into groups based on shared criteria, you boost your ability to engineer email content to resonate with the needs, wants, and expectations of readers. When messaging resonates, readers feel understood, and are far more likely to convert than readers sent one-size-fits-all messaging.
Segmenting email lists isn’t difficult. Even dividing a list into just two groups can create a significant boost to the impact of your email campaigns. During renewal season a mere 2% boost to reminder email conversion rates can mean the difference of thousands of dollars on your organization’s bottom line. Segmenting your renewal email list can be done in minutes, and can easily result in far more than a 2% boost. With the cost of segmentation so low, and the potential benefits so high, splitting your lists into audience segments is a no-brainer for membership managers crafting reminder campaigns for renewal season.
2. Send Reminders Early and Often
The more renewals you capture before renewal season, the less you’ll have to worry about as year-end approaches.
Automating a renewal campaign send reminder emails far in advance of a members renewal date shouldn’t be difficult to do. Your membership management software platform ought to allow you to trigger renewal messages based on individual member’s renewal dates.
Many members are more than willing to renew early. Building an automated email campaign that allows them to let them do so without any work required from you. With them out of the way as year-end approaches, you’re better able to focus your effort on the members that need more encouragement.
Sending multiple emails, and tracking users’ engagement with them, also helps you form an impression of which users are likely to churn. Users that consistently open your emails, but don’t make it all the way to a successful renewal, are likely to eventually renew. Users that ignore your messaging, on the other hand, can be identified as needing dedicated focus and effort.
3. Leverage Promo’s and FOMO
Offering limited-time discounts and promotions is a proven way to capture renewals. Used strategically, offering limited time discounts can offer your organization a convenient way to capture renewals, and invaluable insights into the renewal motivations of your membership.
Between a member and their successful renewal are stumbling blocks. Sometimes they’re big, and sometimes they’re small. The only way you can find out what they are is to test.
For example, consider including an early-bird promo code in early renewal reminder emails. Leverage the ‘Fear of Missing Out’ by ensuring to let them know that the offer is available for a limited time. Importantly, gauge your membership’s response to the offer.
If you see a spike in renewals during the offer period, this can be an exciting indication that your membership is engaged and ready to renew, but price-sensitive. As a members renewal date approaches, you can find out exactly how price sensitive by tapering your discount and, as before, measuring response. If your members continue to respond proportionately to discounts, you can confidently conclude that price is a major component of their renewal decision. Once the response is no longer proportionate (say 10% off created a spike, but 5% did not), you can be confident that you’ve zero’d-in on the optimal price your membership will pay for their renewal.
4. Streamline the Process
Once users open your renewal reminder, and then click your renewal CTA, they’ve still got a ways to go until they’ve successfully completed their renewal.
The longer and more difficult your renewal process, the fewer members you can expect to successfully complete it.
This is why it’s so critical to take advantage of tools that can help shorten the distance between opening a renewal reminder email and successfully completing a renewal. Like abandoning an online purchase during the billing/payment process, members will abandon long renewal forms and complex payment processes.
Your membership management software ought to optimize the renewal process by automatically filling any and all available form-fields for a member after they click ‘renew’ in your email. If your payment gateway supports it, storing and auto-filling payment information is another fantastic way to reduce inconvenience and friction on a member’s path to successful renewal.
5. Forget Due-Dates
Renewal dates are for members. They should be ignored by membership managers.
Just because a member has missed the due-date doesn’t mean they can’t renew. Renewing membership in your organization is one item on an ever growing list of who-knows-how-many to-do items on your member’s mind. A good portion of member-driven organizations have renewal dates that coincide with the busy holiday season, making it even easier easy to forget the need to renew.
Once renewal season is over, your membership management software ought to automatically build a list of members who have missed their renewal date. Use this list and build a late-renewal email campaign utilizing all the techniques above to capture these memberships and give members every opportunity to stay.
6. Offer Automated Recurring Billing Opt-in
Automated Recurring Billing (ARB) is a fantastic way to add convenience to your member’s renewal experience, and a proven tactic to sustainably boost your organization’s renewal rates.
When members go to renew, encourage them to opt-in to ARB as a way to avoid having to manually renew year after year. Opting in should automatically disclude them from future renewal campaigns, and annually charge their credit-card for membership dues until they withdraw consent.
Every member that opts-in to ARB is a member that your team no longer has to worry about chasing for renewal. The more that opt in, the better you can target those members who require convincing in order to renew.
Rethink Renewal Reminders
Renewal reminder campaigns are a powerful way to capture renewals. As renewal season comes into full swing, take a look at your reminder campaigns, and try out the tactics above. You might be surprised to find that even a minor effort, like segmenting your reminder lists, can create a much bigger impact than you’d expect!