Each year, the Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report is released by Marketing General Incorporated.
We like to review this document to see how the ACBL stacks up against other individual membership organizations and how we might be able to adapt our strategies to improve.
In the report’s Words of Wisdom section, one participant said: “Recruitment and member acquisition is only the first step in the process… the lion’s share of energy should be spent on members after they register/join.”
In looking at our overall retention numbers, the ACBL stacks up pretty well. At 64%, the average renewal rate for new members is relatively low for an individual membership organization. The ACBL exceeds that national average, with a 71% first-year member retention rate. But we are still trying to do better.
One of the top reasons given by the report for lapsed membership is a lack of engagement with the organization. This year the ACBL made some changes to our membership engagement strategy to improve our relationship with first-year members.
Make a better first impression. They say you only get one chance, right? We repackaged the welcome letter new members receive so that it reflects the fun and inviting environment we are. From the beginning, we want new members to feel excited about the bridge community. When a new player visits your club or class for the first time, what do you do to make the right first impression?
Start a conversation. For the first twelve months, new members will receive a monthly email guiding them along their membership journey. From creating their MyACBL accounts and accessing learning resources to their first club visit and tournament appearance – we’re there to encourage new members to make the most of their bridge experience. Do you regularly communicate with your players and students to keep them engaged?
Become a valuable resource. In order for players to look forward to hearing from us every month, we need to provide content they desire. Of new members who joined just last month, 47% said they joined to improve their game. This explains why the email’s most clicked link was to Learn To Play Bridge so they could practice Stayman. What can you do to be an educational resource to bridge players in your community?
We need your feedback. Click on each of the three questions in the blog post above to give us your comments and suggestions in the new Forum.