Membership Renewal Guide

Incentives & Discounts?

Common practice:

  • Our Membership Renewal Survey found that only 18% of respondents offered incentives to encourage prompt renewal.  However, the same18% were actively considering this tactic.
  • The Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report found that:
    • 22% of their respondents were offering early renewal discounts
    • 46% offered installment payment options
    • 32% offered multi-year renewals
    • 22% offered early renewal discounts

Should you offer incentives or discounts?

While our Membership Renewal Survey respondents had not yet tried offering incentives or discounts, the larger organizations involved in the MGI Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report certainly had.  Their report noted that “Associations that offer an early renewal discount were more likely to see an increase in renewal rates over the past year.” In addition, the MGI report notes that “those associations with renewal rates at 80% or higher are significantly more likely to provide an installment renewal plan, with monthly or quarterly payment options.”

What about a Contest? Here’s an idea for a contest that I saw on a professional association’s website.  The full contest promo piece appeared in the "Members Only" section of their website and when it was live (ahead of their annual membership date), it counted down to the organization’s annual renewal deadline.


But before you build incentives and/or discounts into your renewal strategy, what about:

  • Testing?  In her ASAE article, Monica Williams also suggests you: “Test offers. Package tests keep the series fresh, whereas offer tests open up a world of possibilities. It doesn't have to be complicated. Early on in the series, while you're creaming the crop, try a long-term offer with a modest discount for a two-year commitment, with a fall-back offer of your standard one-year renewal. We've incorporated a membership upgrade into our series that encourages members to join one of our professional segments and get a modest discount on their membership. They can simply renew at the regular renewal rate.”
  • Administration? Can offers be integrated into your automated renewal procedures? For example, in Wild Apricot’s Membership Management software, you can add additional member levels and/or offer discount coupons for early renewal.

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How To Manage Membership Renewals by Wild Apricot is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Based on a work at

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