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Effective Membership Renewal Letters: Guide & Samples

Effective Membership Renewal Letters: Guide & Samples

If you’re operating a membership program, renewals are essential when it comes to growing and maintaining your revenue. Even if your service is great, most members will need some encouragement or at least a reminder to renew. A membership renewal letter or email is instrumental in getting renewals. Keep reading for the top best practices, examples, and more.

What Is a Membership Renewal Letter?

A membership renewal letter is a letter or email you send to your current subscribers when their subscription term is ending. The goal is to prompt customers to renew their memberships and tell them how to renew.

Importance of a Membership Renewal Letter

A membership renewal letter is vital for any business with a membership-based model that doesn’t use automatic renewals. It can serve several purposes depending on how a customer feels about your service:

  • Reminding happy customers to renew their membership
  • Providing clear instructions on how to renew paired with a clear CTA button. 
  • Providing a reason to renew for customers who may be on the fence. For instance, a simple reminder of the benefits they receive works wonders. 

Customers are likely to forget to renew, so a renewal letter could be what prevents you from losing recurring business.

Membership Renewal Letter Formats

Membership renewal letters take one of two formats: a physical letter that is mailed or sent via email.

A physical letter is more formal and may be harder to overlook than an email in a member’s crowded inbox. However, email has a powerful advantage. Email allows members to take immediate action by simply clicking on the CTA button. The easier you make a task, the more likely people are to complete it. 

The great part is that you can do both! First, send an email. Then send an email a couple of weeks after as a reminder. 

8 Strategies to Write a Compelling Membership Renewal Letter

Some customers will already know whether they want to renew when your letter lands in their inbox, but others will need some convincing. Follow these tips to make your membership renewal letter more effective and increase your renewal revenue.

#1 Use a personalized greeting and opening

People pay more attention to emails and letters that appear more relevant to them, so personalize your renewal letter to make it stand out. Simply including the member’s name will help, and you can include other personalized notes in your opening too, such as, “We’ve loved having you as a member for these past three years” or “We hope you’ve enjoyed your first year of membership!”

#2 Highlight member benefits and value

Assume that every member reading your letter is trying to decide if they’ll continue their subscription. You need to tell them why to renew. Include a clear, exciting list of the benefits and value they get from their membership (don’t assume they know it all because they’re already a member).

#3 Create a sense of urgency

Your customers have a lot on their to-do lists, so if there’s no reason to renew their membership promptly, they may put it aside for later and forget about it entirely. Give them a reason to complete that quick task now, like a discounted renewal offer that expires on a certain date or a special perk they’ll get if they renew before a particular date.

#4 Address potential objections

Think about reasons your customers might not renew and offer solutions for those issues. For example: “Want to size down your bill? Check out our basic subscription option instead” or “We use top-of-the-line security and privacy practices so your data will always be safe with us.”

#5 Express gratitude

You appreciate your customers for their business, so let them know! Thank them for being members and let them know what you plan to do to show your appreciation for their continued membership, like an upcoming member appreciation event or a special sale for members only.

#6 Use storytelling and emotional appeal

Your customers are human beings, so connect with them on a person-to-person level to remind them of how much they love their membership. You could include some highlights from their membership so far, for example, like snapshots of some of the products they’ve bought. Or, you could paint a picture of their continued membership, like a vision of their future success because of your program.

#7 Showcase success stories and testimonials

There’s a concept in marketing called social proof, AKA peer pressure: when customers see that other people have enjoyed your products, they trust those people and are more likely to buy in too. Testimonials or stories of customers who have benefited from your program can go a long way in a membership renewal letter.

#8 Choose the right timing

We all respond to questions or choices differently based on our frame of mind when we see them. You can’t set your membership renewal emails to land when customers are in a good mood, but there are other timing tricks you can use. For example, send it within 24 hours of them making a purchase or otherwise taking advantage of their membership.

Key Elements of a Membership Renewal Email

What should you include in your membership renewal email? The structure doesn’t have to be overly complex, but there are ways to make each element more compelling.

Subject line

Did you know 47% of email recipients decide whether to open an email based only on the subject line? Make sure your renewal emails get noticed and opened by using an enticing and accurate subject line. Try these examples for instance:

  • Your membership benefits are ending! Renew here to keep them.
  • Time to renew! Save 20% just by renewing the subscription you already love.

Email layout

Once a customer opens your email, the body or layout of your membership renewal email will determine where their eyes fall on the page. Make your layout simple and easy to skim, guiding readers toward the purpose of the email: the renewal link.

CTA design

In a membership renewal email, the CTA (call to action) is a button or form to complete the membership renewal. Because this is the ultimate goal of the email, you want it to stand out. Surround it with enough white space for it to stand out rather than putting it too close to the text, make it a bold, eye-catching color, and make it clear what the button does. Our CTA design tips are all about pulling in their reader’s eyes and getting them to click.

Sample Membership Renewal Letters

Need a bit of inspiration to create your compelling, revenue-boosting membership renewal letter? We’ve got it! Check out these membership renewal letter samples to get your creativity flowing.

Nonprofit Membership Renewal Sample

FundraisingLetters.org is dedicated to helping nonprofit organizations grow their funding, and memberships are a core part of that mission. The organization crafted this outstanding template that is clear and shows you how to emphasize the benefits of membership:

nonprofit membership renewal letter

Storytelling Sample Letter

Remember our tip about taking a storytelling approach to remind members of what they’ve received from their membership so far? This excellent sample renewal letter from MemberClicks shows you how to harness that technique:

example of membership renewal letter

Membership Renewal Email Examples

Now that you have an idea of how a membership renewal letter should look on paper let’s talk about membership renewal emails. Emails tend to have shorter formats because you’re more focused on taking advantage of the interactive format and prompting customers to click on the CTA. Check out how these email templates work.

Simple and To-the-Point Renewal Email

If you want a simple design for your membership renewal email, we’ve got you covered. This email template is as clear as it gets: it has very little email copy and is primarily dedicated to the renewal button:

Liking this straightforward email? You can use this membership renewal email template today!

Value-Focused Membership Renewal Email Example

A simple email like the example above is great as a first renewal notice you’re sending to a customer. When a customer doesn’t respond to an email like that, though, it could mean they need some convincing to renew their membership. That’s when it could be better to use a longer renewal email template like this one, which puts more emphasis on showing the value of a subscription:

This template is one of Beefree’s membership renewal templates you can use and customize for your own program.

Get started with a membership renewal email template

Creating an effective membership renewal email doesn’t have to take days of labor. You can make your life easier (and take advantage of designs that have been created with best practices in mind) with Beefree’s expansive email template library and email editor. We aim to make it easier for you to enjoy the growth and opportunities that come from well-constructed email campaigns.

Editor’s Note: This post was updated on July 2023 to ensure accuracy and comprehensiveness.




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BEE Team