7 Ways to Increase Member Retention for Membership Sites

Keeping your members happy and subscribed for as long as possible is your key task as a membership site owner. A high retention rate means you are able to deliver value to your members, keeping them engaged, and justifying their membership.

But how to increase member retention rate in the way you like it and members enjoy as well? The top three things in general would be:

  • Keep your members inspired and engaged.
  • Promote personal touch.
  • Help them earn or achieve other desired outcomes.
  • Make it easy to navigate your membership platform.

So, how does this translate into real results? Up to you, but now we’ve got a toolbox full of actionable tips to get you started and find ideas that can be applied to you.

Simplify and improve your member onboarding process

improve your member onboarding process

The onboarding process is all about creating the first impression – your members should fall in love with how you meet them and walk them through the journey!

How do you do that to increase member retention?

Key elements of the smooth sign-up process: minimum information, social login buttons, a progress bar, and valuable follow-up emails.

What’s more, in the dashboard of your membership solution, highlight essential features and guide users towards valuable content or functionalities. To further simplify onboarding, we highly recommend providing your members with tooltips and on-screen guidance, similarly to how WooCommerce does it (if you are familiar with WordPress).

You might also think of AI technology that can help boost engagement or even solve some day-to-day tasks of member onboarding.

Your members should also always have an easy way to reach out to you to ask questions or connect if they are faced with troubles of some sort.

Understand how to re-shape your member’s journey

re-shape your member’s journey

You should understand what your member’s journey looks like – understand how they perceive it, what difficulties they might have, what are the most enjoyable moments, etc. Probably have your beta members who can give you feedback on the exact steps of your membership experience. So here are our suggestions to increase member retention with a better member’s journey:

  • Get serious about community mapping – understand and bend the journey of your members.
  • Identify areas for improvement in our membership program and brainstorm solutions.
  • Maximize areas where your membership program is most engaging.

Delight your members with valuable bonus content

valuable bonus content

Your members pay for the value you provide to them. But why not give them more?

Provide bonus membership content for specific conditions, for example, for completing a certain number of actions, host challenges that require members to complete specific tasks, or encourage members to create content like posts or images to win a bonus pack.

The key idea here is to bring more genuine value over time, beyond just the regular content members paid for; make sure you can make your members feel privileged, with the bonus content available exclusively for them.

Get face-to-face with your members

face-to-face with your members

Personal connection is a big reason why people joined your membership in the first place. Don’t lose this touch, promote it, and continue showing your members that you can help them transform as personalities. 

Live streaming, workshops, or even face-to-face in reality? Your loyal members want this! Regular meetings with members, virtually or in real life, helps them keep the initial connection with your members, inspire them, and keep them engaged. 

  • Host workshops or conferences related to your membership theme.
  • If your membership has a large geographical spread, consider regional meet-ups.
  • Offer member-exclusive events.
  • Host online events with a live chat feature or Q&A session.
  • Feature member success stories or interviews.
  • Encourage discussions within your online forums to increase member retention rate.

Run an attractive referral program

Run referral program

To motivate your members to stay with you, sometimes you need to offer something beyond just valuable content! Offer them a way to earn, to win, to gain something valuable. A referral program can be a wonderful opportunity to retain your members.

For example, here is what can work:

  1. Referral rewards (implement a referral program where members earn rewards (discounts, bonus content, exclusive access) for referring new members.
  2. Contests and challenges (host events that can inspire members to participate in to win exciting prizes).
  3. Loyalty programs (develop a loyalty program for consistent engagement).

Choose a very intuitive and user-friendly digital platform

Choose a user-friendly digital platform

How do your members interact with your content? Have you chosen an online platform that is easy to navigate, learn, create, exchange ideas, etc.?

Be ready to switch the platform if you or your customers find it difficult to navigate it. In addition, be very attentive when choosing a platform:

  • Your member’s experience pretty much depends on the membership software you use. Is it easy to integrate gamification elements?
  • Is it easy to get started with the platform without a learning curve?
  • Is it a flexible way to drip content and deliver it to your members?
  • How well and diverse is the notification system?
  • Is it compatible across both Android and iOS systems?

Providing a modern and handy environment to learn and interact with people is the best way to look professional in the eyes of your customers.

Build a community where members can meet each other

Build a community

Make it not just between you and them – let members meet with each other! When members feel like they belong to something bigger and can interact with like-minded individuals within your membership topic, their loyalty deepens.

  1. Let customers create and customize their profile page, pretty much like in social networks.
  2. Have a dedicated space for discussions with thought-provoking questions, polls, or challenges.
  3. Consider a mentor program where experienced members can guide newcomers.

Let’s Conclude

Where to start improving your membership site and increasing its retention rate? While tons of tips and recommendations can be very helpful, we recommend starting with the fundamentals and essentials, such as:

  • Review and improve your onboarding process, think of whether you need to switch the membership software you use.
  • Provide regular personal connection to your members to help them feel transformed through interaction with you.
  • Provide valuable bonus membership content and help them earn extra by using your membership.
  • Invite influencers and experts to make your membership more attractive.
  • Run member spotlights to celebrate individuals within your membership community.

Related resources:

Brain Denim

Brian Denim

Meet Brian, a WordPress expert with a decade of experience in web development and a passion for technical writing, watching movies, and camping.

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