7 Secrets on Increasing Member Retention from the Member Loyalty Study

When it comes to member retention, so much has changed in recent years—member expectations, communication methods, revenue streams, just to name a few. Still, one thing has stayed the same…

Member retention is key to association survival.

But what exactly do your members want? Why do some of them stay with you year after year while others drift away?

We’ve made it easy for you to find out.

We asked them.

A few weeks ago, Community Brands asked more than 1,000 association members in the U.S. these questions and then packaged it all into the Member Loyalty Study. From what keeps them active and what will send them running to how to communicate your association’s value to them and increase member engagement, the Study has answers that could make all the difference in understanding how to retain members and better nurture them up the loyalty spectrum.

Want to know why your members stay with you and how to better communicate to them? Check out the Member Loyalty Study.

Here are seven key findings from the study:

1. Members feel a lack of connection.

While overall retention metrics remain strong, with the majority of members (84 percent) feeling satisfied with their membership. However, far fewer (55 percent) feel a connection to their professional membership organization.

2. Code of Ethics and consistent updates on industry information are must-haves for retaining members.

Other top benefits are focused on intangibles, such as representing members’ interest, fueling growth and innovation, and raising awareness. Jobs, continuing education, and training opportunities are most important to Millennial and Gen X members.

3. Professional membership organizations struggle to communicate value.

The top reasons members decide not to renew are centered around dues becoming too costly and the organization providing little value. The least loyal members, those most likely to have lapsed in the last year, see less value in intangible benefits. This makes communicating your value more important than ever.

4. Amount of information members want varies by loyalty level.

Loyal members prefer detailed updates more than twice a month, while members less loyal to an organization prefer to just receive the big news monthly or even less frequently. Millennial and Gen X members are more likely to want more frequent communication.

5. Email reigns supreme with members.

Email is the top-performing channel, regardless of a member’s generation or level of commitment. Surveyed members cite email content as the easiest to consume, most likely to keep them engaged, and most powerful for telling the organization’s story.

6. There is no consistency in collecting and using information for personalization.

Seventy-four percent of surveyed members recall being asked for at least some type of personal information or preferences. However, there doesn’t appear to be consistency in terms of what organizations request, and whether they use the information effectively.

7. Nearly half of members feel their content is not personalized.

Forty-seven percent of surveyed members say the typical content they receive from their professional membership organization is not personalized. Common content offensives include sending content that is irrelevant, boring, or in an inconvenient format.

For a full breakdown of what member think about the value of their associations, download the full Member Loyalty Study.

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