Each year, every fishing club faces the sizeable task of getting their existing members to renew their membership.
Typically, the renewals process goes something like this: the club sends out a renewal form to all members in the post. When the member finds time, they’ll fill in the renewal form and go on their annual hunt for their chequebook. Next, they’ll need to find a passport photo or go and buy another one. When the member has gathered all of these bits and pieces, they’ll finally put them in an envelope with another self-addressed envelope and send them back to their club via post.
Once they’ve done all that, it becomes a waiting game whilst the club’s Membership Secretary busily processes hundreds of envelopes that come through their door. Eventually – and if all goes to plan – the member will receive confirmation of their new seasons’ membership in the post.
At best, this renewal process will take a good week. At worst, forms can get lost, members forget to insert the right information, their handwriting is difficult to read, cheques aren’t signed and the back-and-forth to correct the mistakes can take weeks. Multiply this by hundreds of members and you can see why there are not too many volunteers putting their hand up for the Membership Secretary role!
How easy would it be if your members could renew their club membership in just a few clicks?
The solution is to use fishing club management software to set up online renewals. This means members can access their details online on a computer or through their smartphone, update their details and pay for their next year of membership in a matter of minutes.
Here are three reasons why you should introduce online renewals at your fishing club.
1. It’s fast, easy and secure.
As we mentioned, the typical renewals process for fishing clubs is lengthy and outdated. With the rise in mobile banking, there’s an increasing expectation for cashless payments.
Renewing a membership online provides your members with instant confirmation and peace of mind that their payment has been received by your club. No more filling out forms, cheques and trips to the post office!
By getting away from accepting cheques, you can reduce mistakes; there’s always the risk of values being written wrong, your member may have forgotten to sign the cheque etc. With Clubmate, you can make your online renewals process foolproof so that a member can only select the membership they are allowed, and only pay the amount they are due.
What’s more, once they’ve renewed their membership, they can get fishing straight away.
In the age of the COVID-19 pandemic, we all need to play our part in keeping person-to-person contact at a minimum, and it’s difficult to collect cash payments whilst maintaining social distancing. That’s why getting your members to pay online allows you to reduce the amount of physical cash and paperwork you’re collecting, therefore keeping your members (and yourself!) safe.
2. It saves you time.
One bonus of getting your members to renew online is that it leaves them to do all the work. Empowering your members to take control of their memberships means that you won’t need to worry about chasing payments, organising names and contact details in a spreadsheet and manually updating it with who has renewed and who hasn’t. A good club management system will allow you to see all of these stats at the click of a button.
By taking your management system online, you can capture email addresses automatically. Storing email addresses makes it easier to deliver key information to your members electronically, meaning you’ll no longer need to spend money on printing newsletters, reminders and paying for postage costs. Yes, there may be a few that don’t have an email address, but you’ll be dealing with a few exceptions rather than the majority.
Taking renewals online means that you’re no longer restricted by your own time or your outlet’s opening hours. Your members will be able to renew their membership at any time, from anywhere. If you use Clubmate, you’ll be able to go one step further and send out an automated email reminder when their membership is due for renewal.
Your members can enter their contact details, payment details, upload a digital photo and any other information themselves online through their member area. That means your volunteers won’t need to waste any more time trying to decipher difficult handwriting on paper forms or making photo cards by hand, meaning they can spend their time on more important things such as growing the club and going fishing!
3. It drives revenue.
With Clubmate, members can renew their membership in minutes without even getting up from the sofa! The easier you can make it for a member to renew, the more likely they are to do it. As an added bonus, you’ll get paid faster too.
We’ve already talked about how accepting online renewals can save you time, but what’s really powerful is the fact that you can spend that saved time growing your membership base. You can read here about how one of our customers increased their revenue by 25% as a result of using Clubmate, which they then reinvested into a new stocking program for 2021.
Did you know that 67% of customers prefer self-service over speaking to a club representative? (source) By making things simple and giving your members the power to renew their membership themselves, you’re improving their overall experience. A positive, stress-free renewals process means that you’re more likely to retain them for years to come.
With that being said, some of your members will still prefer to renew the old fashioned way – and that’s fine! Clubmate allows you to manage traditional paper-based methods alongside your online memberships. Then, you can slowly encourage more and more members to renew online and do the work for you.
In summary, your fishing club can massively benefit by getting your members to renew online. Remember, the goal is to empower your members to take control of their memberships. It’s fast, secure and it allows you to reinvest the money made or saved back into your club, which means that everybody wins.
If you’re interested in how Clubmate can help your club benefit from online renewals, reach out to us today!