How Anchors Help You Retain Members

Friday, May 6, 2016 | Jeff Davis

Anchors are an important tool in convincing YMCA members to continue to be YMCA members.

 

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And no I am not talking about the anchor for a ship.

We were talking with a YMCA executive recently about all the new tools we have built for adding new members and increasing revenue. He said "Great ideas. But I need ideas on how to decrease the churn of existing members."

Anchors are a psychological technique for establishing a value to a specific criteria. For example, when you set a price on a car you want to sell, you are setting an anchor. "I believe this car is worth $10,000."  Now, whenever you go to negotiate the price of the car, the buyer knows the value you have placed on it and $10,000 becomes the anchor price. 

The same thing happens when you are negotiating your salary for a new job. If you are asked what salary you are looking for, what ever dollar amount you throw out becomes the anchor for negotiations. (Assuming you are asking for an amount within the range available for the position.) If you say you want $40,000 and the range is $40,000 to $50,000, you are probably going to receive $40,000. But if you say you want $47,500, you have anchored your worth and are more likely to receive an amount closer to that figure.

 So how does this help a local YMCA? By using Member Surveys.

Member Surveys help to anchor the value the member receives from their membership.

Six months after joining your YMCA, a new member should receive an invitation to fill out a Member Survey. This is the time to remind them about all the features and benefits they have been enjoying as a new member of the YMCA. In the ySite, Member Surveys are built in the back office. Once completed, you are able to send each member a URL so they can fill out the survey, which is then stored in the back office for review. You can ask questions about anything, but we believe you should keep the number of questions at 10 or less. Make the survey easy to answer. "On a scale of 1 to 10..."

  • How would you rate the availibility of Zumba Classes? 
  • How would you rate the hours of the swimming pool access?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate the friendliness of the Child Care Staff?

Then 3 months later send them another survey - once again anchoring the benefits of being a YMCA member. 

I would suggest that you survey your membership 2 to 4 times per year. Every survey anchors the benefits of being a YMCA member, making it a little bit harder for a member to drop out. Assuming the scores are acceptable. If the scores are low, you and your team have some work to do. The worst thing you can do is survey your membership and fail to address the concerns raised in the survey.

"It doesn't do any good to sit up and take notice if all you do is keep on sitting." 

All of this starts with a premeditated campaign designed to anchor the value of a YMCA membership in the member's mind.

This is why the Member Survey is one of the tools in the Membership Machine.

And all of this is built in the back office using automated drip email marketing. Write the emails and surveys once, and they are automatically deployed over the course of the year, or years.

It is all a part of Thrive's new Membership Machine.

Do you want to learn more about how the Membership Machine can help you increase revenue at your YMCA?

Contact us today.

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