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Membership Attrition Strategies

Discussion in 'TLCA- Discussion Forum' started by Chef, Jul 28, 2005.

  1. Chef

    Chef

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    Howdy Folks!
    Every month TLCA gains about 200 new members. Every month, about the same number of people let their membership lapse!!!! Yoiks! This has been very hard to work thru. We're kinda stuck on ideas. We send last issue reminders in your last issue. We send envelopes to put your renewal in your 5ht issue. In the past, wehave called lapsed members to remind them to renew with some success...you can imagine the depth of the call list! It's a big chore.
    At our Board of Directors meeting tonight:
    Matt Farr from Rising Sun suggested we broaden our renewal reminders to more closely approximate what the bigger circulation magazines do: Multiple reminders!
    As funds seem to not be a problem right now, and attrition definately is, perhaps we should broaden our reminder strategies to include:
    Issue 4 renewal envelope
    Issue 5 renewal envelope
    Issue 6 LAST ISSUE insert
    Membership Lapsed followup letter
    6 months followup letter

    Addtionally it was suggested by Jacki, our Administrator, that we change our phone call strategy to calling as members lapse, rather than after they lapse. This will perhaps require more volunteers than just the IR's to make calls that fall within their region.

    Thoughts on how we can do better?

    chef
     
  2. cruiseroutfit

    cruiseroutfit Supporting Vendor Moderator

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    We (the U4WDA) deal with the exact same problem (albeit on a smaller scale). I am excited to see what you guys find out... :D And if any of our solutions help... I will pass them on :D

    Keep up the good work Chef!
     
  3. Brentbba

    Brentbba Former Golfer SILVER Star

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    How about an email blast along the same time frame as the magazine renewal reminders. Most if not all of us are semi-computer literate. I don't remember if you collect email addresses with membership info tho.

    Keep up the great work folks!
     
  4. cruiseroutfit

    cruiseroutfit Supporting Vendor Moderator

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    Sidenote... What type of software does the TLCA use to manage its membership?
     
  5. Chef

    Chef

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    We're working towards that right now. We get your email addy if you sign up online, we don't so often on paper applications.



     
  6. Chef

    Chef

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    I'm not sure, but I'll try to find out ferya...


     
  7. Wayneraintree

    Wayneraintree

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    How about adding an incentive to renewing on-time... say a % off membership or T-shirt, stickers, etc.? It could be communicated in the "before you expire" love notes in TT, email, etc. "if you renew by your expiry date, receive a free TLCA bobblehead of one of the BOD memebers : )

    Incentives can be wonderful inspiration if affordable.
     
  8. wngrog

    wngrog SILVER Star

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    Wayne, will you pose for the bobblehead?
     
  9. Wayneraintree

    Wayneraintree

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    I would not mind to make one of my likeness but people would start hording them and next thing you know, TLCA bobbleheads are being sold on ebay and collectors are fighting over them.. imagine bobblehead fever if the entire BOD was made! One could collect them all and trade ;)
     
  10. trainrech

    trainrech

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    I'd like the action figures instead - like Reno 911.
     
  11. Romer

    Romer fatherofdaughterofromer Moderator

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    I think if you made a web site feature available to only paid up members, that might help. This is in addition to the past issues of TT. Some folks have had reapir manuals on-line. Is that a feature TLCA could add is Service manuals, etc. or something similar. A lot of us already have FSM's just thinking about ways to keep membership up. Give them something the like and get use to that is no longer available when they aren't paid up. TT does that for a lot of us.
     
  12. woody

    woody unhelpful spotter Staff Member Admin

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    good idea, 'cept for one problem....many folks will join once, save the necessary files, and never have a reason to rejoin (if access to online manuals was their reason for joining in the first place...)

    the key is to have interesting content that people not only see as a benefit, but which changes frequently enough to warrant continued membership. Posting Toyota Trails online (even partial info) satisfies much of this since it changes every couple months, and access to much of the historical information would vanish once your membership was gone (plus, bonus for new members to review past info and not re-ask questions on the one-cent fix ;) )

    There are ways to control file downloads...I haven't researched them much tho, but I suspect the possibility is there...the next issue would be permission from the original copyright holder to contain them exclusively under TLCA and to make their access a benefit of membership....probably more legal wrangling than it's worth....
     
  13. mobi-arc

    mobi-arc

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    What about auto-debit the credit card on file at the time of expiration. It's very simply: for those who want to place subscription on a credit card, provide the ability for the customer to have TLCA auto-debit annually until instructed otherwise. This insures a painless renewal process for all involved.

    Scott
    San Diego
     
  14. wngrog

    wngrog SILVER Star

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    I am researching this. I think it is a great option....
     
  15. dd113

    dd113

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    One thing we need to do ASAP is to set up Paypal as a payment option with an auto debit option. ie: $25 for normal sign up, $20 if you do auto debit. Same sort of deal with CCs as mentioned above.

    I really think the solution is to offer members so much good stuff they will be happy to rejoin or continue their membership. From our perspective TLCA does a lot. That is beacuse we are in the middle of it. To the guy in Butt, Iowa maybe he does not feel like he is getting enough out of it to make it a priority to keep membership current. I dont know how we can offer more but the idea is out there; we just gotta find it.

    I think most people want to stay members but this is a hobby and normal life s*** gets the priority; not mailing in a new membership app.
     
  16. Chef

    Chef

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    "Butte Montana"

    Dude, you never showed at my house? We were all in tears missing you and whatnot. My wife even insisted on washing the sheets in the guest bedroom-though I did tell her you didn't rate that sort of thing...

    She really wanted to hang with SuperSam.
     
  17. cruiseroutfit

    cruiseroutfit Supporting Vendor Moderator

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    Any word? I guess I could get off my lazy kick and call Jackie :D
     
  18. dmc

    dmc

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    is attrition bad? (long)

    My own guess is that the multi-year renewal will help mitigate some of the member loss but won't cure it. I've been thinking about this and not sure there is an easy answer.

    Mr. Williams can attest that my 'activation' or 'renewal' strategy is not the best in the world. In our little club I've tried to give as many people as possible 'ownership' of Wasatch Cruisers. Obviously this is harder to do in a organization the size of the TLCA. I realize that increased numbers is a worthy goal but at the same time is it necessary? Wouldn't we, the TLCA, be just as well served by more active loyal members than those who pay for one year then never return? Perhaps that is a topic for another discussion.

    I think the greatest way to minimize attrition is by increasing the benefits of membership. Technology has been a double edged sword. We can have this virtual discussion on the TLCA in the same forum that potentially hurts the TLCA. What does the TLCA offer, aside from Trails, to its members that they can't find online? For those of us lucky enough to live close to a sanctioned event we greatly benefit from the TLCA. But what percentage of members participate in those events? or can do so without a major commitment?

    I like what Romer and Woody have to say about having password protected info online. However i'm not sure that's enough. The sense of community is what I get from the TLCA and I still feel it is somewhat absent from the internet thing. I still have contacts from my days on the LCML that I keep in touch with but it's recongnizing old faces and renewing friendships at Cruise Moab every year that I look forward to. Are there ways to increase that sense of community? Absolutely. Will it affect the number of TLCA members? I doubt it. If raw numbers are the goal than by all means let's utilize the funds available for email blasts, mailing and phone campaigns. If keeping and increasing membership for the benefit of the TLCA members I think it needs to be based more on value and community.

    I was looking through some of my old TT last night doing some research for a potential Trails article and I found an interesting issue. I want to say it was May/June of 1999. The entire issue was member profiles. I love the ROTW on MUD. You can learn as much about the person as you do about their rig. Now I realize this isn't feasible with the current size of the TLCA. However how about a follow up to the club spotlights? Maybe the Chapter reports could include any dramatic changes that have happened since the Spotlight? They could include a reference to the original Trails article. The TLCA.org archive could hyperlink the two. Perhaps the chapter report could be a bio of the club's officers to start and then move through the membership in successive issues? Of course I hate this idea since I don't like writing about myself but I would like to get to know members of other club's better.

    So again what does the TLCA offer that justifies membership. $25 is a great deal in my mind. But for other it may be better spent on half a tank of gas. Mud has almost 8k members. True many of them (me included) spend more time lurking than posting. What can we offer to them that would bring more value than they are already getting? Okay I'm starting a new thread.
    dmc
     
  19. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey Moderator

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    For me it's the ease of the process. When I first upped with the TLCA, it was paper check in the mail only. A couple years later you could write in your CC number, but it was still through the mail. I know it sounds incredibly lazy, but finding the checkbook, filling out the form, finding an envelope, finding a stamp, remembering to mail it, etc., is a pain in the butt.

    I know not everyone is online payment savvy, but I think easy payment options of Paypal, online CC, etc. are great suggestions. I'm all for the auto-deduct too, I'd just suggest a 7 day warning so that someone who's got their cash budgeted down to the penny doesn't get overdrawn from TLCA dues they forgot about.
     
  20. pismojim

    pismojim the Dude abides...

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    I suggest more events.

    All types, all around the country, all around the year. Big ones, little ones, hard core, easy, social, whatever. Get people together and get them involved.

    Events are face to face meetings with cruiserheads. It's fun and relationships are built. It's real. The online forums, email lists, snazzy websites will never be enough to hold or build the membership.

    Renewing by mail, online, multi-year are not as effective as a face to face passing of the cash. How about a renewal booth at every event? A capabilty to accept checks, credit cards or cash, on the spot? Heck, I've given TRT2 money just so he'd leave me alone. :D

    I believe the chapters with their events, meetings and activities keep the association going. I don't have the data, but I suspect there is more attrition with individual members than club members. Encourage more clubs and more club events.

    One of my objectives with Surf N Turf is building TLCA membeship. The way I see it being non-sanctioned with no registration means anybody can come. You don't need your TLCA membership current either. That means it's a perfect recruiting ground for new and lapsing members. I made copies of membership applications, put them on a board and people picked up about a dozen. Who knows if they joined, but I bet they would have gave money on the spot if someone was there to collect it. Plus, it would be easy to collect money from renewing members too. Especially, with a small perk or some incentive.

    Hope that helps, I really want to see membership pass that 4,000 level.