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6 min read

Member Retention

From member onboarding to engagement strategies to events, learn how to keep members coming back to your association and increase member retention.

Tags: Associations,Member Retention

Why Member Retention Matters

It’s easy to get wrapped up in attracting new members, but retention is the secret sauce. Member retention is vital to growth and sustainability as well as the success of your exciting new member acquisition campaigns. Because how valuable are new members if they stay for just one year?

Unfortunately that’s what many new association members do. They join, pay their dues, and drop their membership a year later. Studies show that for some associations, first-year members account for more than 70 percent of attrition. That’s a big hit to your growth.


24% of associations

do not have a tactical plan to increase engagement

renewal email

29% of associations

think members just forget to renew


31% of members

who leave their associations say it's because they don't feel engaged

Engaging Members is the Key

Associations can’t just convince new members to join. You also need to convince them to stay by getting them more and more engaged with your organization. Engaged members are happier and more satisfied with their membership, more likely to volunteer and contribute to your organization, and more likely to give you valuable feedback. (A thriving association ultimately attracts more new members too!)

We created our “Path to Renewal” series below to share strategies that will help you improve your member retention by guiding members up the engagement ladder so each member is excited to continue their membership when it’s time to renew. Let’s get started!

The Path to Renewal Series

Guide your members on a path to renewing their membership with these tips!

Member Onboarding

Membership renewal shouldn’t start with your 90-day expiration reminder – the path to renewal begins on day one.


Welcome bubble

Member Engagement

Make sure members know the value your association offers and the ways they can connect with you and other members.


person exploring member offerings on computer


Events connect attendees to your association and members to their peers – make sure you leverage them to full effect.


networking event

Mentoring & Volunteering

Mentoring and volunteering programs create feel-good opportunities for members to give back. They also represent key networking, career advancement, and member engagement pathways.


connection through volunteering

Ready to Send Out Your Member Renewal Campaign?

Higher Logic Thrive’s marketing automation tools can help you save time, personalize your messaging, and improve results. The platform even comes with pre-built renewal campaigns (as well as a collection of other Advanced Starter Kits) you can customize to fit your needs!


What Happens if Members Don't Renew?

Should you just give up and throw in the towel? While it’s true some members may never return, others can be enticed with the right messaging. Check out our Guide to Winning Back Lapsed Members to learn strategies and tactics for creating automated win-back campaigns that will compel former members to return.


Customer Success Stories

Higher Logic’s Marketing and Community products make it easy to personalize the member experience and improve member engagement. Explore what some of our customers have achieved!

AARC Won Back 800 Members with Marketing Automation

The American Association for Respiratory Care leveraged a personalized win-back campaign using Higher Logic’s marketing platform to recover $64k in dues.


ACHP Improved Efficiency and Member Engagement

The Alliance of Community Health Plans leverages Higher Logic Thrive to drive internal efficiencies, save staff time, and create a user-friendly member experience.


MTI Digitally Transformed with Online Community

The Metal Treating Institute updated its value proposition with a Higher Logic community and increased member retention and revenue.


People shaking hands

Higher Logic Thrive Makes Member Engagement Simple

Want to see how using Higher Logic tools can improve your member retention rate? We have almost two decades of experience working with associations to drive meaningful member engagement.