Membership renewal is in full flow.  Over 1,000 members have registered with the new web site created to host our renewals.  Around 1,300 direct debits will be applied for tomorrow and over 300 renewals have been made by phone.  I don’t yet know how many members have renewed by cheque, but based on what’s happened in previous year, less than 25% of the membership still need to renew.

I am at Warners next week and will amongst other things review the renewal campaign to date.  As with every year there will be things to learn.  We already plan to change the invitation slightly and a second batch will be sent out late next week or early the week following – I’ll update Shed Notices when this happens.

The two most common reasons for invitations not arriving are:

  • The member has multiple email addresses and the invitation has been sent to a less frequently used address
  • Email is harvested from the server resident email box to the PC and the invitation has been trapped in the Spam filter on the server

There has been a small but frustrating instance of members joining instead of renewing.  Warners have refined the descriptions of the Joiner and Renewal subscription offers.  They read very differently: each has a concise description to differentiate them; the first lines contain either the words “new member” or “renewal”; and they’re on separate tabs in the system (though this isn’t a change).  Hopefully the opportunity for confusion should now be minimal.  I don’t know whether it’s possible to generate a warning if you try to subscribe to something you already have, but I’ll be talking to Warners about this next week.

Finally, may I remind those who haven’t yet renewed that renewal in person at the National Garden Railway Show on 7th April will not be an option.  I proposed this in May 2017 Bulletin and confirmed it the August issue, but it may by now have been forgotten.  There are various, straight forward means to renew membership in advance, so I ask those who haven’t yet done so to use one of the methods available and renew as soon as possible.

Alan Regan, Chairman and Membership Secretary