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Top 6 Ways Marketing Automation Increases Membership Renewals

Paul Burke / Senior Account Executive, Aplusify

Marketing Technology


The verdict is in. Using marketing automation for membership renewal season is critical for associations who are looking to optimize their annual membership renewal campaign. While organizations in the past have relied on telemarketing, paper invoice, and email marketing efforts to reach their audience, the results have typically been disjointed. Without adequately implementing the right system into the tech stack, user experience suffers, and your campaign may be doomed to mediocrity.

Fortunately, finding a platform to aid your organization’s campaigns is easier now than ever. But, before you sign on the dotted line, we should discuss why marketing automation is a crucial proponent of driving membership renewals and six of the primary ways it helps members to make a payment by their renewal date.



Why your association needs marketing automation for membership renewal

Running a high-functioning renewal campaign consists of a lot of moving parts. While some organizations view it as simply another email marketing campaign – that’s insufficient for maximizing results. According to Campaign Monitor, the average office worker receives 121 emails per day. Even if you’re sure you’re not landing in spam or quarantine, that’s a lot of competition. Organizations can cut through the clutter and drive membership renewals by effectively using marketing automation.

Without further ado, let’s dive into each of the six ways marketing automation helps associations with membership renewal in greater detail, including relevant statistics and citations where available.



1. Personalization is key

Personalization is a critical component of your membership dues renewal campaigns. According to research from SocialMediaToday, personalized emails have a higher open rate (27%) than non-personalized emails (16%). By segmenting members based on their interests and preferences, associations can create highly targeted messages that resonate with members and improve their engagement.

Associations can use automation tools to track member behavior and create targeted campaigns based on their actions. For example, if a member attends a webinar on a particular topic, the association can send follow-up emails with related content and information on upcoming events. This personalized approach can make members feel valued and improve their likelihood of renewing.


2. Nurturing your members

Not all of your members engage with the association in the same way. Marketing automation can also help associations nurture members wherever they are to renew based on their activity and lead status. By tracking member behavior and lead status, associations can send targeted messages encouraging members to renew.

Research shows that targeted content can increase the likelihood of renewals, depending on the member’s engagement data. According to HubSpot, personalized CTAs (calls-to-action) perform 202% better than basic CTAs. By using marketing automation to create targeted CTAs and messaging, associations can increase the likelihood of renewals.

Your members are your customers. And customers have an expectation of content that is relevant to where they are in their journey. A well-constructed campaign will make progress in leading your members to take the desired action.



3. Align membership and marketing departments

Marketing automation can also help align member services and marketing departments. By working together, these departments can ensure that members receive consistent messages and are appropriately supported throughout the renewal process.

According to research from MarketingProfs, alignment between sales and marketing departments can increase revenue by 208%. By aligning member services and marketing departments, associations can improve member engagement and retention, leading to higher renewal rates.

Let’s consider a practical example. A member clicks a link in an email, their first touchpoint, and enters their account but doesn’t immediately renew. What should the next step be? Typically, they might wait weeks to receive the following email in the cadence. But, with an effectively constructed campaign, a task could be created for a service rep to follow up, answer any questions, and close the deal while they are still interested. This is a synergy where technology allows marketers to communicate with service reps through automation.



4. Prompts for abandoned membership renewals

Marketing automation can also help associations identify when members have abandoned the renewal process and provide appropriate prompts. By tracking member behavior, associations can send targeted messages encouraging members to complete the renewal process. Or, as we previously mentioned, with a trigger to notify the service center, a team member can reach out directly to aid in conversion.

According to research from Baymard Institute, the average online shopping cart abandonment rate is 69.57%. This number can be even higher when it comes to memberships, because they may be on organization billing. By using marketing automation to provide prompts, reminders, and well-timed outreach, associations can reduce the number of members who abandon the renewal process and increase overall renewal rates.



5. A multi-channel membership renewal campaign

Marketing automation allows associations to incorporate a seamless multi-channel approach to member engagement. By using automation tools, associations can create campaigns incorporating email, paid advertising, SMS, phone calls, contextual marketing, and more.

With email fatigue being a genuine concern among associations and unreliable open rate data from new privacy policies, finding different ways to engage members throughout the campaign is essential. By incorporating a multi-channel approach, associations can improve member engagement and retention, leading to higher renewal rates.


6. Provide ongoing value to members

Finally, marketing automation provides value to members throughout the year, not just during the renewal cycle. By providing personalized content and resources, associations can create a sense of loyalty and value among members, making it more likely that they will renew their membership.

According to research from Sidecar, associations that provide more personalized and relevant content to members see higher engagement rates and retention. By using marketing automation to provide value to members throughout the year, associations can improve member engagement and retention, leading to higher renewal rates. That means you save time and toil chasing down dues revenue in the last days before members lapse and focus more on a sticky membership that sells itself repeatedly.



So, how do you start automating your renewal campaigns?

If your organization doesn’t already have a system that allows you to automate your renewal campaign, the time is now to take the plunge. By finding an AMS like Fonteva, which utilizes powerful marketing tools like Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Pardot, you’ll have an integrated marketing experience at your fingertips that will help you improve renewals and, more importantly, deliver a high-quality member experience. A member experience can only be as good as the tools that help provide it!

But, how do you go from your current disconnected systems to a fully-integrated experience? By working with a company like Aplusify, you’ll be able to seamlessly implement and manage your Salesforce-based connected marketing experience with ease. Your implementation company should have a process to help you every step of the way, from discovering to going live. A modest investment in upgrading your tech stack with the right implementation partner can exponentially impact your ROI.

Now that you’ve learned the ways marketing automation can positively impact your renewal campaigns, it’s time to take concrete steps. Aplusify has created an essential guide for membership organizations, Increase Membership Renewals in 6 Steps. Download it today and get on the road to increasing your ROI.

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