Effra Digital - long wave

Membership organisations – top tips for 2021

As we get started on 2021, we’re sure many membership organisations are unsure about what the next 12 months hold for them. Lots of questions are being asked such as: will members renew as usual in light of potential economic hardships? Can zoom events be a decent substitute for meeting in person and what can we do to support our members during these difficult times.

Below we outline 4 things that we think membership organisations should be doing this year to ensure 2021 is a good year for your organisation, despite the pandemic.

  1. Audit and Improve your Online payments
    Most membership organisations we work with are now taking online payments for memberships, renewals and event bookings. If you’re not already then this is simply a must have. If you are already taking online payments, then perhaps it’s time to review the options your users have to ensure maximum convenience. We’d recommend at least a couple of these and if not all three:
    1. PayPal – widely used and convenient if the customer has an account.
    2. Stripe – a great alternative to PayPal and we are starting to see this as a preferred option, it allows payment directly on the page and doesn’t require the user to have an account.
    3. GoCardless – great for taking direct debits for membership subscriptions.
  2. Automate your renewal process
    Renewals are a critical part of a successful membership organisation; they can also be time consuming. We’d recommend taking a look at your renewal process and automating as much as possible. That allows you to focus your energies on attracting new members. As a minimum, renewal reminders should be emailed automatically, members should be automatically notified when their membership has expired, and renewal payments should be quick and easy for the user.
  3. Deliver Online Meetings and Events
    A number of organisations we work with are having huge success with online meetings and events, these can be simple, quick and cheap to set up for regular meetings or can be more sophisticated and elaborate with the option to charge for attendance for larger events. As participants don’t have to travel, or even leave their living rooms these events have the ability to widen your reach across the globe and there are no issues with room capacity.
  4. Keep in touch with your members
    Now, more than ever its important to keep in touch with your membership, many will be facing hardship and isolation, and all will welcome news, information and support from organisations they are involved with. If you are producing content, then find a way to share this with your members by email or social media and if you can reach out to vulnerable members in some way then please do so. We’ve enjoyed supporting our clients in finding new ways to stay connected with their members from WhatsApp groups to Book Clubs.