What is a conversion rate?

The conversion rate is the number of conversions to new members divided by the total number of visitors.

• A conversion rate is just a number but it can help you to drive meaningful changes in your club meetings, visitor follow-up, set goals for the VP Membership and impact your member retention rates.

Why is a conversion rate important?
It is an efficiency metric! If you can convert 80% of your guests to members then you are doing a much better job than is you convert 30% of your guests to members.

How can you use this?
Start by tracking the number of guests for a one month period of time.
How many became members?
How long did it take for them to become members? (Right away, after their 2nd club visit, after their third visit?)

What if you are not happy with your conversions?
Define the issue first!
a. Not enough members come to the meeting – Attraction issue
Open houses, awareness building, Executive/HR support (Corporate Clubs)

b. Lots of members but they never come back – Engagement issue
Complete a Moments of Truth session to help uncover gaps

Suggestions to improve conversions:
• Do you have a greeter role?
• Are guests invited to introduce themselves or participate in Table Topics
• What happens to your guests during the meeting break?
• Guest Packages?
• Do you invite them back?
• Are they emailed or phoned after the meeting?
• Do you know their goals so you can refer back to them during your follow-up?

Issue defined?
Now you can work with your team to come up with a plan! A good Toastmasters plan is not complete without timelines, targets, accountabilities and happy celebrations once the goal is met!

How to use the Conversion Rate for planning purposes:
• Where are you right now?
• Where do you want to be? Growth goal or flat line retention? (Hint: our goal is growth!)
• Keep in mind we have a 30% churn rate in Toastmasters! A churn rate is the number who do not renew. What is your rate? Are you better or worse than average? Sometimes factors beyond your control can be a challenge especially in a closed corporate club going through layoffs! Remember a churn rate is just a number. What is important is what the number is telling you and what you are prepared to do about it!
The numbers in action!!!!

Example A:
Super Duper Toastmasters Club
Members as of June 30: 50
Churn rate at renewal: 40%
Number of members to be replaced based on churn rate of 40%: 50 members x 40% churn rate = 20
Conversion rate: 70% Wow that is high!

How many guests does Super Duper Toastmasters Club need?
The math: (20x100)/70 = 28 guests are needed

Example B:
High Achiever Toastmasters Club
Members as of June 30: 35
New Member Growth Goal for the year: + 15 new members or 50 members by year end
Churn rate at renewal: 30%
Number of members to be replaced based on churn rate of 30%: 35 members x 30% churn rate = 11
Conversion rate: 60%

How many guests does High Achiever Toastmasters Club need?
They need 11 to replace those who do not renew + 15 new members to meet their club goal. They are not called High Achievers Toastmasters Club for nothing!!!! They need 26 new members!
The math: (26x100)/60 = 44 guests are needed

Now you have calculated how many new members you will need!
• Should you start now or wait until June 1st?
• Should you aim for higher than what the math suggests? (Yes! “Averages” are not the same as an “actual” so we suggest you bump up the number of needed guests!)
• Should you work to reduce the number of members who don’t renew? How can you engage members? (Always a good strategy!)
• How many open houses can you schedule? Are they on your planning calendar?
• Does it make sense to schedule Open Houses with Toastmaster Membership drives? (Yes! There are club incentives tied to Smedley Award, Talk Up Toastmasters and Beat the Clock!)
• How many “bring a friend” nights can you schedule?
• Are you leveraging Meet-up, local media? For corporate clubs are you able to use bulletin boards, company intranet sites, company onboarding or performance management initiatives?

Knowing your conversion rate is a handy planning tool! Have fun planning but have even more fun doing! Good luck!

Leona Wilson
Club Quality Chair
District 86


Toastmasters International Values:  Respect • Integrity • Service • Excellence
Our Principles:  Lead By Example • Work / Play as a Team 

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