Acquisition + Retention = Net Membership Growth.
Retention is often the secondary strategy to the ultimate equation in growing your membership. Daily sales and marketing efforts are typically focused on acquiring new members, but scalable traction in growing your business is impossible when you lose as many members as you gain in any given month.
It’s essential that you have a retention strategy — you attracted them, but how do you retain them? Imagine the impact on your business if we spent as much time focused on increasing each member’s lifetime value as we do strategizing on how to get new ones.
Here are some of the ways in which we at Club One retain our best members.
Knowledge is power.
Start with knowing what motivated each member to join your club. What is their goal? What are their interests? How do they prefer to be communicated with? Gathering motivational triggers helps set each member on a path to success and communicates in a more relevant and personalized manner — both of which are critical to retention.
Track behavioral trends.
There are certain red flags that indicate when members are at risk. Track usage and spending patterns, and when patterns change, intervene immediately with a personal phone call, e-mail or offer to get them re-engaged.
Create communities and build connection.
Members stay members when they feel connected to the club community. Introduce like-minded members to other members and key staff through clubs, causes and events (i.e. “Mommies and Mochas,” running clubs, “Lose to Win”). Creating clubs within your club helps members feel like they are a part of something bigger — this is where they belong.
Acknowledge and reward loyalty.
Take the time to acknowledge your members and let them know you care. Check in with each member every three months to learn how satisfied they are with their results — send thank you notes, personally congratulate members for their achievements and implement a loyalty program that rewards healthy behavior.
Give them tools to spread the word.
Happy members are your best and most cost effective sales force. Know who they are (regularly survey via e-mail) and make it easy for them to do what they’re already inclined to do — refer. Be sure to give advocate members opportunities to share their experience virally through guest pass offers and direct them to write online reviews.
By Kari Bedgood, Director of Marketing & PR, Club One