Keeping this in mind, I would encourage marketing directors who are responsible for growing membership or subscriptions, to monitor the participation levels of their "members" (for our purposes in this post, I will use the word members, but please note this includes subscriber programs found at most performing arts organizations around the country). I am in the process of building a participation matrix that gives quarterly reports on the participation levels of members. That way, I will know, especially with our important donors and members, how active they are with our organization. Usually a member's participation level is a steady predictor on whether or not the member values their membership, and subsequently decides to renew. If I notice at the end of the first and second quarters that a certain portion of our membership isn't participating, that will give me enough time to find ways to engage that segmentation before they are asked to make the decision to renew their membership for the following year.
I would also suggest sending a participation report at the end of the year to each member along with a renewal solicitation. Something along the lines of --
Did you realize during the 2006-07:
- 30% of your employees participated in member's only listservs
- your organization saved $1,400 by using your membership discount through bookstore purchases and convention registrations.
- you attended 7 performances at the magnificent PLUG THE NAME IN HERE theatre, which received 5 critics picks and 3 RANDOM Awards during the year.
- you enjoyed an evening with acclaimed artistic director SOMEBODY FANTASTIC and the cast of AMAZING PRODUCTION #5.