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Using SMS for membership renewal campaigns

Author's avatar By Expert commentator 02 May, 2014
Essential Essential topic

Increase membership with SMS reminders

If you’re a Membership Manager, in any sector, you have the same goals – to recruit, retain and grow your membership.

When it comes to membership marketing; you’re probably always looking for different ways to reach out to new people, remind members to renew as well as developing the relationships you have with your current members.Have you thought about using SMS?

Using SMS within the customer cycle of your membership marketing strategy

  • 1. Recruit

In membership, as with any business, it is important to recruit new customers in order to grow and develop as a company. Contact prospective customers with a low-cost SMS campaign, with a 98% open rate it’s the perfect platform to make sure your message gets read.

  • 2. Retain

Once your members are on board you need to keep them up to date with exciting content to remind them why they signed up and to ensure they stick with you. An SMS campaign is not only cost-effective but it’s immediate too.

  • 3. Remind

How will members know their membership is about to expire? Communicating this with them is key to ensure retention rates are maintained. Automatically send an SMS reminder to members with their renewal date. Include a link in the message taking them straight to the renewal page and track click-through rates with real-time reporting.

  •  4. Renew

Make sure it’s easy for customers to renew their membership and give them a good reason why they should. With almost 100% read rate, you can ensure your offer gets seen.

  • 5. Reward

Once your members have signed up, you need to stay on their radar to ensure they see value in being a member. A simple text to update members on the latest benefits and offers is not only cost-effective for you but adds great value to the customers.

So why should you choose SMS over email or direct mail?

  • It’s delivered straight to your recipient’s pockets, most people have their phone within arm’s reach 24/7 so you can ensure your message will fall into the right hands.
  • It will get read. SMS have a 98% open rate so we can guarantee your message will be seen.
  • SMS is simple and quick to digest, ensuring customers get all the information they need on-the-go.
  • It’s cost-effective. For just a few pence per message, you can communicate to all your members instantly, even with the smallest budget.
  • Customers love it. As phones continue to get smarter, SMS is holding its own as one of the most popular features and is not showing any signs of changing anytime soon.

Campaign example from 4Networking 

When it comes to renewing memberships, it can be costly and time consuming to send constant reminders out to your members. This case study shows how 4Networking’s switch to SMS reminders enabled them to cut down their admin time and see a growth in memberships.

4Networking's objectives

To increase membership renewals and to offer improved customer service in a fraction of the time.

4Networking's Plan

4Networking is the UK’s only joined-up business networking organisation, running 5000+ meetings across the UK every year and a membership base of many thousands. With a range of different membership options available and a stream of membership renewals coming in every day, communicating with members about their membership renewal is a complex task.

The central support team are busy running the HQ, chatting with customers and supporting the regional 4N teams; so they were looking for a way they could improve communication with customers, increase membership renewals whilst also saving time and money.


Office Manager Di Timberlake decided to trial an account with FireText; 'I needed a solution that was not only cost-effective, but also user friendly for both myself and our members. It’s vital our messages get seen, as emails often get missed and memberships can drop off.'

Di wanted to keep the process simple so opted to send a message out every Monday morning to any members whose membership was due to expire that week. With the instant nature of SMS and high open rates, Di knew that her message would be seen.

The text message is simple and friendly and contains all the vital information for the member to renew; including a clear call to action.

SMS Marketing campaign:

  • Message

'Your 4Networking membership is up for renewal within a few days. We'd love you to stay with us. You qualify for our £44 monthly membership! Call us on 0845 123 4444 to renew your membership today, or visit us online at'


  • Results

The message takes just a couple of minutes to send out each week and instant delivery reporting shows when the message has been seen.

The 4N phone is always busy on a Monday after the message is sent out and membership renewals have grown.

Di says, 'The SMS service has become a valuable part of our renewal programme. It ensures that everyone receives a timely reminder without tying up valuable staff time and our members find it a useful prompt to take action. My only regret is that I didn’t start using it sooner!'

Why not try SMS to help you achieve your membership goals?

Author's avatar

By Expert commentator

This is a post we've invited from a digital marketing specialist who has agreed to share their expertise, opinions and case studies. Their details are given at the end of the article.

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