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September 23, 2009  

When your company generates revenue from annual subscriptions or memberships, renewal rates are critical to your bottom line. To keep them high, Winston Bowden recommends email programs that use date-based triggers to send automatic renewal notices.

In an article at MarketingProfs, Bowden suggests your renewal campaign might include components such as these:

  • An initial reminder sent 30 days before a subscription or membership expires.
  • A second reminder sent a week ahead of time.
  • A third reminder sent on the expiration date.
  • A fourth reminder sent one week later.

Don't forget, though, to discontinue these reminders when a subscriber takes action. "If the recipient renews," Bowden reminds us, "it's important to remove that person from the series of triggers" so as not to be, well, just plain annoying.

According to Bowden, an email component might also cut the cost of the overall renewal campaign—as it did for the non-profit Visual Art Exchange (VAE) of North Carolina. "VAE sends printed mail packets only to those who have not renewed via the online subscription method," he notes, "achieving an 80% reduction in printing and postage expenses."


Triggered renewal messages are easy to set up and easy to manage, Bowden notes. But be sure it's also easy for recipients to take action: "Keep the process simple and make the sign-up options intuitive for your subscribers," he advises.

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