Why you should start the membership renewal process early

Renewe membershipContrary to what you might think, the two most common reasons people don’t renew their club membership isn’t because they’re unhappy or have found a better offer elsewhere. They are:

  1. They think they’re still a member, or
  2. They simply ‘forget’.

Which is precisely why you should start ‘reminding’ them to renew well before their club membership is due.

If you’re still sending them a club newsletter, or club communications, chances are they think they’re still a member, and it won’t occur to them to check.

And even if you have sent an electronic reminder, there’s a high possibility that it will get lost in a crowded inbox.

So make sure you set up a renewal touchpoint schedule

Don’t be embarrassed to ask more than once, and don’t rely on email for all of the touchpoints (think of that crowded inbox again). Be prepared that it might take a number of attempts to get the result you’re looking for.

A good schedule to follow is:

First touchpoint – 2 months before club membership expires

Send them an email or letter reminding them that their membership is coming up for renewal soon. Remind them of all the great member benefits they receive, and how much their membership is valued. Consider offering an incentive if they renew before a certain date – either a discount off their membership fees, money off in your café or vouchers.

Second touchpoint – a month before club membership expires

Send them a reminder of the date their membership comes to an end. If you haven’t offered an incentive before, now’s the time. If you have a members-only events, key matches or other areas of interest coming up in the new membership season, be sure to let them know about it.

Third touchpoint – as the membership is due to expire

Make a personal phone call to thank the member for their club membership, and ask if they’re happy to renew again this year. If not, why not? This can give you valuable insights into any issues that need addressing, and that might be affecting other members. If you see them in person at the club, even better.

If they still don’t renew, make sure you include them in your promotional campaigns.

Just because they haven’t renewed this year doesn’t mean they won’t again. Stay in touch, but don’t bombard them with information or sales messages. Make sure you keep them up-to-date with any improvements or changes happening at the club, and after 6-12 months, try them with an incentive again.