The mean growth in membership was 2.2% Mena growth of 9.2% for growing associations Mean decline of -6.6% for declining associations Mean change in renewal rates Increasing: + 3% Same: +.7% Declining: -1.9%
Associations showing an increase in membership overall and an increase in renewals over the past year are significantly more likely to use an association blog and a private association social network, compared to associations showing no change or declines in membership and renewals.
One-quarter of respondents indicate that the top reason they joined was to network with others in the field (25%). This represents a continued trend upward, suggesting that networking events and opportunities are becoming increasingly more important for members. This is specifically evident for smaller associations, those with fewer than 5,000 paid members.
Associations reporting a membership strategy with a priority on new member acquisition had an average total membership growth of 4% over the past year. Associations reporting a membership strategy with a priority on retention had an average total membership growth of 1% over the past year. Associations reporting a membership strategy with an equal priority on both acquisition and retention showed an average total membership growth of 2% over the past year.
A significantly higher percentage of larger associations (5,000 or more members) consider direct mail to be the most effective recruitment channel, compared to smaller associations. Small associations (up to 1,000 members) are significantly more likely to rate personal sales calls as the most effective recruitment channel.
Associations with 80% renewal or higher are significantly more likely to include a volunteer or staff welcome phone call as part of their onboarding methods (34% vs. 24%), while those with less than 80% renewal rates are significantly more likely to use membership cards/certificates (57% vs. 47%) and/or new-member gifts (15% vs. 9%).
The mean renewal rate for all respondents was 79.4%. Individual: 77.5% Trade: 83.8% Both: 75.6%
It has been my observation that the demand for membership renewals is fairly inelastic of price. In other words, a percentage increase in dues rates generally does not translate into an equal or greater percentage drop in renewals rates. The demand for the membership holds. At least up to a point. Some data from our recent Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report supports this premise. For example, 82% of organizations that raised dues by between 1% and 10% reported renewal rates of 70% or better after the increase. Similarly, 83% of organizations that raised dues by between 11% and 20% also report renewal rates of 70% or better after the increase. However, this pattern falls apart with dues increases over 21%. In this case, only 68% of organizations that raised dues by more than 21% reported renewal rates of 70% or better.
Organizations with 10 or more renewal contacts are slightly more likely to have renewal rates over 80% (11% to 9%). Organizations with nine or fewer renewal contacts are slightly more likely to have renewal rates less than 80% (87% to 84%).
Associations with renewal rates below 80% are significantly more likely to begin renewal efforts at three months prior to membership expiration (39% vs. 29%). Associations with renewal rates at 80% or higher are more likely to begin renewal efforts from “immediately after welcoming a member” to the six months prior to expiration (24% to 19%).
Associations with an increase in membership over the past five years are significantly more likely than associations with five year declines in membership to report that they do not stop contact for renewals (25% vs. 16%).
Use of the following renewal channels correlate with “increased” renewal rates this past year: Email Telemarketing Chapter Phone Calls
More than half of associations with renewal rates over 80% offer an installment renewal payment option, compared to associations with less than 80% renewal (54% vs. 35%), a statistically significant difference.
Associations with declines in overall membership over the past year, and the past five years, and decreasing renewal rates this year are significantly more inclined to indicate that the top reason for MEMBERS DO NOT RENEW is due to a perceived lack of value. Associations with increasing renewals are significantly more apt to report that members do not renew because it is too expensive (15% vs.11%) or the employer will not pay (19% to 11%).
Surprisingly, 11% of associations do not contact lapsed members. This finding continues an upward trend for the percentage of associations that do not reach out to lapsed members.
Membership marketing benchmarking report tony rossell
Membership MarketingBenchmarking Report
What are the Trends inAssociation Membership? 2011 MGI Annual Membership Benchmarking Report • Third Year Produced by MGI • Over 650 Participating Associations • Up Front Disclaimer • What not Why • Correlation not Prediction •Get a Free Copy of the Full Report at: www.marketinggeneral.com
Research Goals1. Gain an understanding of the membership marketing practices of associations2. Define what practices they believe are most effective3. Understand through cross tabulation with new member, renewal and growth numbers what practices correlate with better outcomes4. Page numbers in this presentation correspond to the printed report (download the report at www.marketinggeneral.com).
Research Methodology1. 5,719 requests to participate2. 11.3% response rate with 650 participating associations (one response per association)3. Margin of error + / - 3.8% with a 95% confidence level(See page 8)