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Member retention is the cornerstone of every medical association since it takes more effort to attract a new member. Therefore, if your retention rate is below 75%, you have a severe problem. While marketing can save the day by attracting potential members, you need to ensure that your association has a plan for membership development. If you want to increase your retention rates, you must engage members by providing value and giving them a reason to be part of your association.

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Reasons for High Turnover

While turnovers are inevitable in any medical association, losing many members is a red flag. It shows that there is something wrong with your association that is putting off members. Membership decline occurs for multiple reasons, including: 

  • Lack of engagement: If you do not have a tactical plan to engage your members, most of them will not renew their membership. While there are multiple methods to engage your members, you need to make sure your message is relevant. Blasting them with content may not solve your predicament, but providing value will make a difference.
  • Inability to justify membership costs: You can run a successful marketing campaign and attract new members. Whether they will renew their membership for another year depends on the value they get. While you may be providing value through networking and other benefits, the members should perceive what you offer as valuable. 
  • Economic hardships: During tough economic times, members may not renew subscription due to budget cuts. However, you can solve this by providing value and dropping membership will be out of the question.
  • Members who are leaving the field or profession: You may also lose members who are dropping out of their careers to pursue other jobs.

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The reasons for high turnover all come down to one major cause, which is members failing to find value in your association. While these can ruffle the feathers of the association management, you can remedy the situation with an effective win-back membership development campaign.

Steps to set up your Association Membership Development Plan

Fortunately, an excellent win-back campaign can bring back members who left and recruit new members. If you want to increase membership, you must employ a variety of marketing tools instead of focusing on a singular approach. Here are steps to follow in your membership development campaign to attract and retain members:

Conduct Research

You cannot solve a problem without knowledge of the underlying cause. Therefore, you should investigate the reasons behind the membership decline. The reasons could be any of the issues discussed above. While you may be unable to solve some of the problems, it will give you insights on what to address during your campaign.

You can send follow-up emails or text messages requesting feedback on reasons for leaving and suggestions on how you can improve your membership experience. Surveys can also do the trick. Besides, they will get more responses since it saves a member the time of having to compose an email. Making phone calls can also give you insights on how to improve your association experience. When you have the reasons, you can work on a strategy to win them back.

Formulate a Membership Development Strategy

When formulating a strategy, you can address a single problem or segment the members lost and deal with their issues separately. It would be best to create a marketing campaign aimed at attracting new members, retaining the existing, and winning back the lost. You should develop new ideas for your association and find creative ways to show members that the association management is doing everything to shore up deficiencies. Once you have a message and goals for your campaign, it is time to implement.


If you want your membership development campaign to gain traction, you should employ both traditional and digital marketing channels. Run social media adverts to gain the attention of prospective members. Social media pages are also useful in member engagement through competitions and meaningful discussions. If your target audience responds better to personal contact, then use phone calls and personalised emails.

Follow-Up on Members

Once the new members have subscribed to your association, it is your job to ensure that they get value. If you do not fulfil your promises in the membership development campaign message, you may have to work harder to win them back next time.

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Attracting and retaining association members is not a walk in the park. While marketing campaigns can help you, it is vital to create an environment that encourages members to stay due to the value they get. You cannot secure member retention with a single approach. Though, if you build a healthier relationship with members and provide substance, you will diminish members’ lapse significantly. Get in touch with our association management team at Congrex Switzerland for tailormade membership solutions.


Congrex Switzerland is an internationally operating agency delivering customised solutions. This encompasses the overall organisation of conferences and meetings, including the management of hotel rooms and the strategic consultancy. Annually Congrex Switzerland organises approximately 45 events with over 73’000 delegates. Amongst our clients are international associations, governmental organisations and corporations.

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