Measuring Retention Rates to Guide Your Membership Marketing Strategy

By: Tony Rossell

Do you know your association's membership equilibrium? What about your renewal rate? By measuring a few key data points in your recruitment and retention numbers, you can better understand your performance in these efforts and guide your membership strategy.

Based on our calorie intake and the calories we burn through activity and exercise, we are all headed toward body weight equilibrium. In the same way, your association's membership is headed in a direction driven by your retention rate and new-member input.

For example, an organization that adds 4,000 new members a year and maintains a retention rate of 90 percent will have a membership equilibrium of 40,000 members (the simple equation to find this is 4,000 ÷ .10 = 40,000). On the other hand, an organization adding the same number of new members per year but with a 75 percent retention rate will have a membership equilibrium of 16,000 members (4,000 ÷ .25 = 16,000).

That's why measuring and knowing your organization's retention rates are so important. They can literally predict the future of your organization.

When measuring retention rates, there are two levels that organizations should consider tracking: macro retention rates and micro retention rates....