Are you wanting to Increase your Membership Renewal Rates but not sure where to begin?

lynne Newbury- Business Services Manager at Member Evolution

Member retention is a crucial aspect of any association and improving retention rates is on everyone’s to do list. The reason is simple with statistics and industry findings indicating that on average a business loses 50% of their customers every five years. This can also cost an organisation up to 7-10 times more than retaining existing members.

Not only are retention techniques important but new member recruitment is also vitally crucial.

Content is Key

The content in your renewal reminder emails needs to be engaging as you want to spur your members to renew after receiving the email. You need to outline to your members their membership value – this can be new or core value added benefits or fee subscription increase or decrease.
Other important aspects to consider include: 

  • Email design template: is the template professional?
  • Up to date content: this can include upcoming events, news articles, resources and more
  • Spelling and grammar: make sure the all is checked and correct
  • Linking: Have you directed members to where they can renew their membership?


It’s a good idea to check with your organisation in regards to the membership fees and tax, as union fees and subscriptions to professional associations are eligible to claim a deduction for. If your members are able to claim part or all of their membership this will reduce the real cost of membership. This also benefits your organisation as you don’t need to reduce fees or provide discounts.

Payment Methods

Make sure your online payment method can cater to the needs of your members. Membership management systems allow for direct debit, credit card payments as well as pay on invoice. Depending on your membership structure you may also take payment instalments.

Top Tip: The latest Association Management Software allows for automatic recurring renewal payment options.   

Take Advantage of your FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are a great place to direct members to if they have common questions. Ensure your staff have clearly communicated the answers and you can link key query points from within the renewal reminder emails. Through using your FAQs effectively you will reduce manual queries, saving your staff time where they can focus on other important aspects of the business.

Raising Membership Fees   

If your association does decide to raise the membership fees make sure you give your members plenty of warning in terms of press releases. This way it won’t come as such a surprise to your members and they will be more prepared for the changes. Simply reiterate the benefits and the value members will be receiving from the membership.


It is important to segment your members and sponsors through providing a more personalised message. This will bring you closer to your members or sponsors. You could think about the following segmentation methods:

  • Locations
  • Membership types
  • Roles
  • Length of membership

Make sure your renewal emails are in first person as it is much more engaging. Also take the time to thank your members for their continued support.

Tip: An easy way to segment groups is through using tokens. Tokens are set up within the membership system designed to grab the appropriate information from the database eg name, expiry date, due date and membership type.

Choosing Appropriate Renewal Length 

Make sure you don’t bombard your members with reminder renewal emails, but it’s equally important to give them enough warning so they don’t forget. It depends on each organisation how you wish to perform renewal reminder emails, but a standard email timeframe process might include:

  • 30 days and 7 days prior to expiry reminder notice
  • Day of expiry
  • 7 and 30 days overdue payment
  • 90 Grace period

Keep in mind an increase in retention of 5% can increase organisation profits up to 25-75%!