Using Push Notifications to Drive Membership Renewals

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Email marketing messaging has long been the backbone of marketing strategy for businesses and nonprofits alike. But today, is this the most effective way to build loyalty and retain customers and members? Increasingly, the world is turning to a different method to communicate with their constituents: push notifications.

The Rise of Push Notifications

A push notification is a special type of message that pops up on a user’s mobile device. You’ve probably already engaged and benefited from push notification across a wide range of mobile app on your phone!

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Push notifications have been on the rise for the past several years, and consumers are becoming increasingly receptive to them. In fact, according to a study by over 70% of mobile users feel that push notifications are useful.

Several notable businesses have had huge success utilizing push notifications to transform their loyalty programs to align with current consumer preferences. Sephora is one good example of this. Sephora sends out push notifications to remind users of items they have browsed but not bought, as well as messages about events or special offers in nearby stores.

Because consumers are so overloaded with email spam, push notifications could be the next big way of interacting with customers. While it might seem that everyone is tied to their email inbox, the majority of people (around 39%) only check their email 1-3 times per day. What’s more, standard email open rates hover anywhere between 20-25%.

That’s why push notifications are a game-changer. Push notification open rates are between range between 47-80%, which is 2x to 4x higher than e-mail. And, according to another study, they also have a click rate that is 7x times higher than e-mail!

Adding to that, according to stats by Accenture, 50% of users opt into push and find relevant push messages useful. That means that they are one of the best channels to communicate with customers and offer them the personalized messaging they desire.

Anyone who works in museums or nonprofit membership departments should pay close attention to these stats. If you use digital membership cards, it’s possible to send your members push notifications directly to their mobile device. This could be the key to driving membership retention.

Most Direct Form of Customer Communication

First of all, push notifications are a direct form of communication with a high open rate, where you can be sure your member receives your communication at the optimal time.

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When you’re approaching the anniversary of a member’s joining date, it’s time to prompt them with a renewal reminder. According to Blackbaud, one of the lead producers in nonprofit software, timing is everything here. You don’t want to notify members too far in advance, but you also don’t want them to find out their membership has already lapsed. With email campaigns and direct mail, it can be difficult to manage timing precisely. Additionally, with email open-rates around 20%, it’s hard to be sure whether your members read your emails at all!

That’s where push notifications come in handy. Push notifications allow you to have more control over when your members receive and engage with their renewal reminders. Rather than sending reminder emails that can easily be mistaken as spam, your members will receive personalized, optimally-timed notifications directly to their mobile device. You can send multiple, spaced out push notifications as you approach the anniversary of their renewal.

Push notifications can also be combined with more formal email reminders and snail mail, making sure you’ve covered all your bases when it comes to driving renewals.

Offer Relevant Updates to Build Loyalty

Renewal reminders can be coupled with other customized push notifications, which can build loyalty by offering members the personalization they desire. This is important, considering that 77% of consumers have chosen, recommended, or paid more for a brand that provides a personalized service or experience

Do you have an a new temporary exhibit on display at your museum? That’s a great opportunity to remind your members to come pay you a visit. You can also send them seasonal reminders, notify them of members’ events, and their other benefits.

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Possibly notifications might be:

  • Half price tickets at our summer film series!!

  • Traveling this summer? Make the most of reciprocal admissions admissions at your destination!

  • Don’t miss out on our fall gala!

  • Holiday shopping? Enjoy a 15% discount on all museum gift shop merchandise!

By regularly sending out push notifications to your members, you’ll be able to build even greater loyalty. That means that when renewal time comes around, your members will already by primed on all the benefits membership offers and be that much more likely to renew.


Push notifications are an indispensable tool for any museum to build loyalty and retain members. If you offer digital membership cards, they offer more than just a modern convenience for your members. Digital membership cards also help drive member retention and deepen engagement with your members.


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