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Jessica Bryant Posted by Jessica Bryant on July 18, 2012

How to Boost Your Chamber of Commerce's Retention Rates

How to Boost Your Chamber of Commerce's Retention Rates

Are you doing everything you can to retain members?seattle-membership-organization-websites.jpg

It's far less expensive to retain existing customers than it is to acquire new ones, so don't neglect your current members for the sake of attracting new business. The success of any chamber of commerce depends on its retention rates.

Some claim that chambers of commerce are a dying breed because of falling retention rates, but that's not necessarily true. The information age has changed everything, however, so it is important that chambers provide their members with significant value while making it easier and more convenient for them to renew their memberships.

Allow 24/7 Online Renewals

Send out renewal reminders via email and then provide people with a link to a web page where they can renew their membership.

Engage Members

Chambers must have a strategy to engage their members. Use social media to connect with members and strengthen your relationships with them. Engagement translates into higher retention rates. Measure engagement levels by keeping track of the open rates of emails, social media mentions and interactions, and event attendance.

Get Feedback from Members

Get feedback from members on a regular basis by surveying them and finding out what they like, what they want to see from your chamber, etc. If you determine that some of your programs and services are no longer serving your members, do away with them, so you can ensure that your chamber's offerings align with members' needs.

Be Useful and Relevant

Members of your chamber are interested in advancing their careers and businesses. Handcraft news briefings for your members that help them stay abreast of current industry events and anticipate trends. Constantly sharing press releases and self-promotional pieces about your chamber will get you ignored, at best.

Offer Renewal Incentives

To create a sense of urgency and entice people to renew their memberships, provide them with a little something extra if they sign up, such as a free seminar, free ad space in a future publication or a free enhanced member listing.

Enclose Postage-Paid Envelopes in Mailings

Make it easy for members to renew their membership by enclosing postage-paid envelopes with all of their mailings. Doing so will decrease the incidences of people forgetting to send in their renewal forms because they didn't have any stamps on hand.

Offer Multiple-Year Memberships

Rather than requiring members to renew their memberships each year, offer two- and three-year memberships with a small discount to encourage people to sign up for multiple years at once. Multiple-year memberships give members an incentive to "lock in" rates for the next few years.

Develop a Member Retention Plan

Don't be reactive - be proactive! Rather than waiting till retention rates decline to take action, develop a member retention plan and implement it right away, so you can steadily increase your chamber's retention rates over time. Identify the needs of your chamber, set retention goals, develop strategies, and dedicate your chamber's time and resources to put the plan into action. Consider designing a series of interactions that you can implement over time to reach out to members and keep them engaged.

Increase Your Chamber of Commerce's Retention Rates with efelle

ChamberFusion is efelle's chamber of commerce website solution. Designed to boost member satisfaction and increase member retention rates, ChamberFusion boasts enhanced member profiles, 24/7 online registration and membership renewal, an email newsletter marketing system, and so much more. For more information or to set up a free consultation, give our chamber of commerce marketing specialists a call at 206.384.4909 or fill out our online contact form!

See Also:

5 Tips for Increasing Your Membership Organization's Renewal Rate

Why SEO is Critical to the Success of Your Chamber of Commerce Website