Retention Deficit Disorder and How to Cure It

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Are your membership numbers growing to meet your goals?

Does your membership attract as many new members as it should? Do you retain at least 70% of your new members for more than six months? Are your membership numbers growing to meet your goals?

You are suffering from Retention Deficit Disorder. I’ll explain the treatment in detail, but first let me tell you how I came to discover this disease and the treatment.

In 2000, I earned Chairman’s Preferred Status on U.S. Airways. I flew more than 100 flight segments that year. At the time, my daughter, Samantha, was 5 years old and my son, Robert William, was 1. I was out of town as much as I was home.

I knew I had to do make a change. I resolved to travel less. And in 2002, I earned no status with an airline. When I got that letter telling me I was no longer preferred … wow. I had made a huge shift.

But I had to give up a lot to make that happen. I stopped accepting clients that required travel and turned down speaking offers at conferences. Heck, I even increased my fee from $10,000.00 to $16,000.00 when a meeting got moved to a Saturday; the 60 percent premium was to discourage weekend meetings. (Evidently, what I delivered that day was worth it because I’m still on a monthly retainer with that client.)

But most importantly, I was able to be there for my children while they were growing up. And those morning drives to school, evening family dinners, and weekend activities are some of our best memories.

Because I wasn’t traveling and speaking, I had to become great at attracting members using the written word, direct mail, and just a little email at the time. This is when I first used gift with purchase offers to generate more new members. And I learned how to onboard new members so they wouldn’t quit. I had to get a lot better at what I could do from my office.

My daughter is now 23, is a graduate student in science education at Florida State University and living with her fiancé. My son is a sophomore at the University of Florida studying business. They’ve turned out great, and with them onto their own adventures, I’ve taken the opportunity to travel more.

I’ve been gone almost every week for this summer. I’ve had client engagements from Canada, Los Angeles, San Diego, Atlanta, Clearwater, Pensacola, Miami, Washington, D.C., Orlando, and New York City. Sometimes my wife has been able to join me, which makes the travel more enjoyable.

But the best part has been working with great clients like you. This year has been a blast.

After every consulting day, my wife always asks, “How did it go?”

“I’m the luckiest person alive.” has been my answer this summer. I get to work with the brightest, kindest, fastest implementing people on the planet.

I’ve got a strict filter on who I work with. You’ve got to be dedicated to delivering tremendous value to your members or I can’t take the time.

On one of these “dream days” I got to spend with a client onsite with his team, he asked me, “Robert, what is the real secret to membership retention? What must we deliver to maximize retention?”

I love this question because so many membership programs around the world suffer from Retention Deficit Disorder.

This answer is so important that I’ve dedicated this issue of Retention Report to explaining each detail. First, here’s the list I gave as an answer:

  • An actual benefit
  • Mission/core values
  • Vulnerable guru personality
  • Recognition for their growth
  • Connection with other members

If your recurring membership revenue isn’t growing as quickly as it should, you may suffer from Retention Deficit Disorder. Each of the next three weeks I’m about to share with you the secrets I’ve been using to help clients around the world treat and beat this terrible disease.

About Robert Skrob

The problem with subscription membership programs is that members quit, I fix that problem. For more than 20-years I have specialized in direct response marketing for member recruitment, retention and ascension in diverse subscription members environments including non-profit associations, for-profit publishers/coaching, subscriptions and SAAS companies. For an evaluation of your current churn rate and how I can improve it, contact me here. I discover there are often two or three quick wins you can implement within a week to lower churn immediately, let’s talk about your quick wins.
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