16 October 2015
Boost your memberships with SMS messaging
Organisations that rely on membership are under pressure: fewer people are joining, many are leaving, and others are dissatisfied because what they are paying for is not living up to their expectations.
In order to preserve and build membership, these businesses need to adapt to meet the changing needs of members and introduce programs that attract and engage existing members and encourage new prospects to join.
How SMS is used for memberships
Dan Baker, Senior User Experience Consultant at Precedent, a specialist communications agency, told Pro Bono Australia that many membership organisations in Australia were struggling to accept that digital communications must be at the heart of everything they do.
Digital communications such as SMS or text messages offer significant benefits to membership-based organisations, allowing them to reach a database of contacts directly and on a scale that has never been witnessed before.
As a communication channel SMS is immediate, non-intrusive and interactive. Another benefit of SMS is that 90 percent of all SMS messages are opened and read within 90 seconds – so you know your message will make an impact.
Melanie Waddell, Membership Manager for the Melbourne Rebels (Rugby Union), said they use SMS as a channel of communication with members. “We’ve found we can have a communication out within 30 minutes and, as well as providing general information, we can link members through to video messages from the team or to a website for information. Members can reply back to us if they wish to, so we can get instant feedback.”
Companies that are harnessing the power of SMS to help engage their members, increase community engagement and improve customer service and business productivity. They see results quickly and experience a positive impact on their bottom line.
Matt Kumeroa from Beach House Fitness said that they send membership renewal reminders, open day information and discounts to encourage new members. “The first time we used SMS, 80 new members joined up! SMS is so quick and easy to use, we get replies within five minutes and everyone has a mobile so you know your messages will be read. It’s very, very effective.”
Other SMS applications for membership organisation
- Membership payment reminders: Improve membership retention and cash flow
- Membership renewal incentives: Encourage lapsed members to re-join with great incentives exclusively designed for them
- Keep members up to date regarding new services launched or changes that might impact them, such as opening hours
- Promote events and other activities to help your members feel part of the community
- Leverage your existing member base to market to new members, such as a friends and family offer
- Provide event reminders such as start times and parking information and prompt event feedback, with response rates to feedback requests via SMS being double that of email
These are just a few examples of the types of SMS applications companies have implemented in their business as part of their membership management program.
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