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Posted by Ashley Autry on Aug 13, 2019 9:09:28 AM

In simplest terms, successfully managing (and growing) any membership organization boils down to two key objectives. 

Member acquisition. And member retention.

While many membership professionals focus their growth strategies on luring new members into the fold, the bigger and more urgent challenge that most organizations face today is churn – i.e., the unhappy outflow of members who for whatever reason decide their needs have not been adequately met.

For example, more than 20% of members say they have canceled their membership or let it lapse in the last year. And when asked their reason for ending membership, 32% said it was too costly, 19% said it had too little value, 16% forgot to renew, 13% can get same benefits elsewhere, and 12% said there was a decline in benefits.

So what can you do about member churn? Focus heavily on member engagement.

Simply put, member engagement is the ongoing interaction between a member and organization in exchange for meaningful value.

In previous blog posts, we’ve also defined it as “…building relationships with your members, adding value to their lives and capturing their attention just often enough to remind them of the role you play in it so there’s never a doubt.”

For example, 58% of alumni organizations report a lack of engagement as the primary reason members don’t renew.

Member engagement is something many organizations continually contemplate, but rarely take the time to define. A key component mentioned in the definition above is that in order to achieve meaningful engagement, interaction must be frequent. Sending emails one or two times a year won’t cut it.

The other essential piece of information the definition points out, is that there must be value involved in the transaction that is of personal relevance to members. Offering them something like a logoed bottle opener or a campus bookstore discount is unlikely to be enough to cross that perceived value "tipping point."

Member engagement is affirmed, reaffirmed and/or damaged with every interaction, including reading a tweet or Facebook post, a “Like” on Instagram, looking at an email, utilizing member benefits, etc.

Each of these interactions should be connecting the organization with the member’s needs and preferences. Create those relevant messages with frequency, and that’s how member engagement is built.

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Posted by Ashley Autry on Aug 1, 2019 10:49:21 AM

With summer winding down, back-to-school season is in full swing. Many parents have started the annual, costly ritual of shopping for another school year.

Posted by Ashley Autry on Jul 11, 2019 11:38:50 AM

It seems these days everyone has a loyalty program – coffee shops, restaurants, airlines, education associations, hotels, retailers, etc.

And if you’re not currently rewarding your loyal customers and members for their stellar engagement and dedication to your brand or organization, then it's probably time to get moving.

Why? Because 70% of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand with a good loyalty program, 77% say loyalty programs make them more likely to stay with brands, and 63% say they modify their spending habits to maximize loyalty benefits.

Not only are a lot of businesses, brands and organizations offering loyalty programs, member benefits and discount programs, but a lot of consumers and members are actively participating in them, too.

We're talking 43% of 18-24 year olds, 57% of 25-34 year olds, 66% of 35-44 year olds, 71% of 55-64 year olds and 65% of 65+ years who currently participate in at least one loyalty program.

So, we thought it’d be a good idea to once again delve into our 2018 and 2019 loyalty stats pages to gain some insight on what people really want out of their loyalty program(s).

After all, if a loyalty program is going to effectively do its job – creating higher engagement and long-term loyalty among users – then it has to offer relevant value. So let’s find out what members think is and isn’t valuable when it comes to loyalty programs – at least according to the data.

We’ve ranked these loyalty attributes on a scale of “Heck Yes” → “Nice to Have” → “No Thanks.

Posted by Ashley Autry on Jul 1, 2019 9:18:47 AM

Access is often used by subscription services as a way for them to bring extra value to their product and customers. Discounts offered on or with these subscription-based services are more relevant than ever before as their popularity continues to increase. And we’re predicting this trend will only continue to pick up steam as it’s already grown by more than 100% a year over the past five years.

But what do we mean by “subscription services” exactly?

A subscription service involves paying a certain amount of money in regular intervals to receive a product or service –  everything from magazine subscriptions (i.e. People), to TV and music streaming (i.e. HBO NOW & Apple Music) and subscription boxes (i.e. Birchbox).

15% of online shoppers have signed up for one or more subscriptions and the average amount of subscriptions an active subscriber holds is two, but nearly 35% have three or more.

And as popular as these services are becoming, they are just as popularly being canceled (known in the industry as "churn"). Overall, 40% of e-commerce subscribers have canceled their subscriptions, with more than one-third canceling in less than three months and over half canceling within six.

The subscription service game is a hard one to play. With high churn rates, consumers are looking for some kind of added value that makes them stay - a big part of the reason so many of them start working with Access. So what is it that influences consumers to 1) sign up for a subscription service, 2) cancel it, or 3) become a long-term customer? These stats offer some insight:

Why do people say they sign up for subscription services?

  • It was recommended by someone (68%)
  • They wanted to try something new (66%)
  • It came with a financial incentive (65%)
  • They specifically needed the product (37%)
  • They liked the subscription model (34%)
  • It had the flexibility to cancel (30%)

Reasons given for cancelling subscriptions:

  • Insufficient value for the money (78%)
  • Dissatisfied with product/experience (77%)
  • Preference to buy when needed (69%)
  • Lack of flexibility (45%)
  • Found better subscription (30%)

Factors that positively influence retention among subscribers

  • Personalized experience (78%)
  • Convenience (56%)
  • Value for the money (54%)
  • Tailored experience (49%)
  • Surprise and delight (38%)
  • Sense of community (24%)

Because of the current trendiness when it comes to subscription services and the fairly saturated market for them right now, we thought it’d be interesting to highlight 10 subscription service picks that we think are doing it right and bringing value to the customer.

Posted by Ashley Autry on May 21, 2019 8:03:33 AM

I have a confession to make.

I’m 31 years old (almost 32 actually) and I LOVE Disney more now than I did as a kid.

In fact, here’s a little list of all my Disney favorites:

Favorite Disney Character - Snow White

Favorite Disney Movie - The Parent Trap (Hayley Mills version)

Favorite Disney Channel Show – Lizzie McGuire

Favorite Disney Ride - Space Mountain (with Splash Mountain as a close 2nd)

Favorite Disney Park Food - Chocolate-covered Mickey Mouse ice cream bar

Favorite Disney Memory - On a family trip to Disney World, we did a character breakfast and my little brother had to be taken out of the room because he was terrified of Jafar.

Favorite Disney Apparel - An oversized Mickey sweatshirt I’ve had since elementary school that is still my favorite thing to wear to bed.

I’m sure there are a lot of Disney fanatics out there who can relate and have lists of their own Disney obsessions.

Well, for all you Disney lovers out there, we at Access have some BIG news around upcoming summer attractions and exclusive magical savings to the happiest place on earth.

Posted by Ashley Autry on May 2, 2019 10:33:36 AM

The term “generation” refers to a group of people born around the same time that share similar experiences and other commonalities.

Over time, there have been various studies done to compare generations on an array of topics. And we are about to add a little comparison of our own to that list.

Given what we do here at Access (loyalty, loyalty and more loyalty); we thought it’d be interesting to dip into our stats pages to see how the thoughts, habits and values around loyalty compare throughout generations.

Before diving in, let’s start with a brief profile on each of the generations we’ll be comparing.