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Three Tips For Improving New Member Retention

We place considerable emphasis on attracting new members. The other half of the membership equation is member retention. Retaining existing members is just as important, if not more so than attracting new members.  

It’s common knowledge – supported by industry research - that first-year members pose the most significant flight risk. When you are trying to increase your chamber’s overall retention rate, it is vital to focus on engaging this segment of your membership.


Every member has a reason they joined. You learn that reason when you make the sale.  That places you in the position to know what resources they need to help solve their problems. 

If you don’t know the reason, ask. Make a note in your database of why they joined and what membership resources are most likely to help solve their problems. Use that information to customize your suggestions and communications to serve their needs.


Don’t let members sit passively on the sidelines. When they don’t engage, they lose interest. Once they lose interest, it is challenging to regain their attention. These are the members that drop and quickly move on to something else.

To keep members engaged, do what you can to help them get involved. A sustained and consistent effort is required on your part, particularly during the first year of membership. From the onset, encourage members to take advantage of the resources that they were interested in when they joined.


When a new member does not become meaningfully involved in at least one resource, his/her chances of dropping after the first-year increase dramatically. You cannot afford to delay your efforts to get them engaged. If more than six months pass between the date of joining and their involvement, they will likely never get engaged and merely let their membership lapse.

Regular, personalized communication in the first year is critical to demonstrate the value of your chamber’s resources and to reinforce how engagement benefits members.

We encourage you to try these techniques at your chamber and let us know how it goes. Remember, we’re easy to talk to, and we want to help.

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