Angling For Better Retention?
10 Tips To Help Keep Members For Longer
A fishing club is just like any other kind of club… it’s nothing without its members!
Not only do they form the sense of community and kinship that make your club such a pleasure to run, it’s their membership fees that keep your operation up and running at peak efficiency. It’s never pleasant to lose members especially if there is something your club could have done about it. From speaking with clubs up and down the country, we’ve calculated that the average member retention rates appear to hover around 74%. So… what can you do to claw back that other 26%?
In most cases, boosting retention doesn’t require grand, sweeping operational changes. Nor does it involve costly overheads. It’s simply a matter of good practice. Here are 10 tips to help ensure that your fishing club optimises its retention.
Say Thank you
It’s a tiny little thing… that makes a big difference to your members. Members like to feel appreciated. They like to know that their input & involvement is welcome. Just saying thank you in your email newsletter, your social media posts and (most importantly) in person takes just a few seconds… But those two magic words can mean a great deal for your retention.
Keep in touch
Never underestimate the power of communication. In the digital age, you have more means than ever through which to inform your members of what’s going on in your club… Don’t just assume that they’ll read the website. Drop them emails, texts or updates on your Facebook group regularly.
Always be asking
Member surveys are a great way of gauging what your members like about your club and what they feel you could do to improve. Even if members are leaving, exit surveys can be a great way of finding out what you can do to make sure that no more members slip through the proverbial net.
Encourage (and reward) loyalty
Who’s your longest serving member. Do you know? Do they know? Even if you have their loyalty now, you can’t afford to take it for granted. Have you thought about offering rewards to your most loyal members? Or incentivising the wearing of branded clothing on your premises? A free t-shirt represents a fairly negligible overhead, but it can be a great retention-boosting tool!
Let them be a part of your club by volunteering
Volunteers are a vital part of many clubs’ operations. The more opportunities you have to allow people to volunteer, the easier your operations become and the more involved with your club members feel. Offer regular opportunities for volunteers and make sure that they are well communicated to all members.
Your members are more than just wallets on legs. They’re human beings who enrich your club even as they facilitate its operations. They’re kind, they’re loyal, they’re funny and they’re often bursting with stories… Not all of them are even about their legendary catches!
Hold regular social events, both fishing and non-fishing related. The more members feel like part of a community, the more inclined they’ll feel to stay.
Make staying as easy as possible
Members don’t want to feel like they’re running an obstacle course when they want to renew their membership. If it’s more convenient for them to join a rival club than to stay, you may find yourself with a problem.
But be sure to remind them when their renewal is due!
Members don’t want it to be an effort to stay with you… but they don’t want you taking their money unawares either. Make sure your members know when their membership is up for renewal well in advance so that they can make an informed choice to stay. A great way to do this is through automating membership renewal reminders.
Invest in your online presence
The internet is the great leveller. You can make even a new club look as slick and professional as a club that’s been running for years. The more professional your website looks, the more trust they have in your club’s brand. Be sure to update your website regularly with new content like blog posts, videos, competitions etc. This will give your members an excuse to keep coming back to your website and give your Search Engine Optimisation a nice boost, too!
Nurture your online community
A fishing club is all about community. Your members should come to you not only to fish but to exchange tips on technique and equipment or just to simply chat amongst themselves. Social media groups and member forums are a great way of keeping the conversation going even when your members have gone home for the day.
This will keep them engaged with your club and make your club a bigger part of their lives… And that can only be good for retention.
Keep these 10 tips in mind and you’ll never need to cut bait because members have begun to drift away from you.