VIEWS: 10 PAGES: 15 POSTED ON: 9/2/2011
What is a Retention Rate? And How can we Impact It? 1 CAMMP 2011 THE REALLY HOT DESERT Let’s Play a Game ( Yes, there are prizes) 2 2010 Retention Rates 90% 85% 80% 75% 70% 65% 60% 55% 50% Questions Which line represents the best retention rate over the year? Which institution would you like to be? Do these lines represent 3 separate schools? The game continues (more prizes too)…… 3 Retention Rates 72.00% 71.00% 70.00% 69.00% 68.00% 67.00% 66.00% 65.00% 64.00% 63.00% 1 2 3 4 Which school would you rather be? The same data can be changed to show different things…. These columns represent the same time period using different methods to calculate the same thing What if you introduce level of effort into the equation? Why Try to Compare Retention Rates? 4 Board of Directors, Executive Directors request comparisons Search of “retention rate” on listserv archives returned over 100 results since April 2011 April listserv query lots of answers, lots of differences June detail listserv survey, even more differences But don’t fully understand the subtle differences Can misrepresent our respective performances Easy to compare numbers (also very dangerous) It is far more costly to acquire than retain (5:1) Most obvious reason – few of us are very creative, so we have to steal ideas The April Inquiry 5 Needed to know, “is my retention rate above or below other schools?” April Inquiry Results 6 Institution Retention Rate Notes Iowa State 76.15% last year 70% Uconn 69.00% hoping to increase to 75% University of Iowa 78.00% Sam Houston State University 74.28% Michigan State University 72.45% last year 59.70% Colorado State University 68.00% many renew online and no way to track them - rate could Washington State University 72.00% easily be over 80% last year 80.4%, active retention rate 88.8% (includes 3-yr University of Arkansas 84.30% and life members), last year 86.02% Ohio State 71.90% number obtained is only paid memberships only University of Virginia 72.44% only has 5000 annual members, 67000 total number obtained is annual member; student member rate is University of Missouri 74.60% 38.9% University of Wisconsin 80.60% previously mid to upper 70s University of Arizona 73.00% University of Central Arkansas 75.00% University of Pittsburgh 75.00% Purdue 79.00% Ended FY'10 at 77% University of Buffalo 62.00% Average 74% Does this mean that the average national retention rate is 74%? Well, based on the 17 replies we received, it would appear so… But did you count life member conversions and what about.. Deceased members? How is your grace period considered? First Inquiry Results 7 Sooo glad we don’t have a membership I’m not even program! calculating retention! Toga!!! The Results - Outcomes 8 Calculated monthly, (63%) some quarterly (6%), some annually (25%) Retention calculations produced 9 variations on 16 responses # of records that have membership status (denominator - inactive memberships) / # of records with membership status from the beginning of the fiscal year. I figure this quarterly, but always figure from the beginning of the fiscal year, so it's a running total from the beginning of that fiscal year. Annual and life memberships are counted. Gift memberships are removed. Student memberships are not included in this count. This is somewhat hard to explain, so please let me know if you have questions A/B), B is the cohort of people who started the fiscal year with an Annual membership, A is the subset of B who bought another membership Nope. My computer guy set it up for me. He's on vacation. Don’t calculate it (25%) Life members are NOT included in most calculations (88%) But, 75% of us include annual members that upgrade to life members as retained No similarities on grace period either The April Inquiry - Conclusions 9 Needed to know, “is my retention rate above or below other schools?” Just asking, “what’s your retention rate?” might not be an apples-to-apples comparison Maybe We Better Look Closer 10 Survey sent to the list serv asking some more pointed questions Sent to the entire listserv, only 18 responses You better complete my survey! The June Inquiry 11 Trying to determine if there was a way to compare retention rates across institutions The Results - Outcomes 12 Retention rates are down 3.5% compared to Calendar 2010 But is that change real or comparable? Renewal communication method evaluation Direct Mail -100% Email – 94% Phone Solicitations – 35% Renewal communication effectiveness evaluation Direct Mail – 82% Email - 12% Phone – 6% The June Inquiry - Conclusions 13 We need a way to let CAMMP members compare like schools retention rates It Would Be Great if We Had a Way to Compare! 14 Key Factors for comparison Number of renewal notices? Relative to expiration date, when does the billing cycle begin? What communication channels are being used? Length of grace period? Are life members included in your retention number? Propose keeping an available file containing the following information: Institution name How far in advance do you begin billing expiring members? Number of renewal notices Communication channels utilized Grace period length Are life members included in the retention rate? 12 month average 12 month high and low Reporting period (i.e., Jun-10 – Jul-11) Now We Can Compare, But How Do We Improve It? 15 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZp2NM1U9t0 Process Improvements Use email at the front end of the billing cycle Replace the third direct mail with a phone call Alter renewal form to look fore like an “invoice” as opposed to an “ask” Risky Propositions Free gift with early renewal Ideas that are out of this world…..
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