When it comes to membership sites, retention is key. Keeping your existing members happy and active month after month is crucial and the key to a profitable membership site. Let’s discuss this important topic of membership sites: retention is key in greater detail…
Not only do these existing members keep paying their membership fees every month, but they also put even more profit in your pocket by taking advantage of your backend offers. That’s why you’ll want to check out these five ways to keep members active, satisfied, and paying their membership fees…
5 Ways To Keep Members Active Month After Month
1. Unlock Additional Content Strategically
The idea behind this strategy is to unlock content after a certain period of time has elapsed.
Hint: Your goal is to identify what month is the most common cancel point, and then unlock content that keeps members active AFTER that point.
For example, if you find that you have the highest churn rate right before people enter their fourth month of membership (i.e., they cancel after three months), then you’ll want to unlock bonuses and other content during month number four. These should be highly desirable, highly valuable bonuses that keep members engaged and looking forward to the next round of unlocked content and bonuses (which may happen every two months thereafter, as an example).
2. Use Quizzes, Exams, and Certificates
Another way to keep members active is to offer quizzes and/or exams after members have completed a course or other training, and then provide certificates that show they’ve completed the exam at a satisfactory level.
You can do this simply as a symbolic gesture to members, meaning the certificate doesn’t confer any direct benefit to the member. It works as a symbolic gesture, simply because people feel good about getting any sort of certificate that reflects their hard work (especially if you send a physical copy in the mail).
NOTE: Alternatively, you can create a more stringent program where your certification means something in the niche. This requires more legwork (to get others to recognize your certificate), but it’s also not necessary in order to keep your members engaged and active.
Here’s the next idea…
3. Offer Exclusive Information and Bonuses
For this strategy, you want to create highly valuable tools and resources that are ONLY available to people when they log into the membership site. In other words, these resources cannot be downloaded and used offsite.
• Access to a private group or forum.
• Web-based software and other tools (only accessible through your site).
• Streaming (non-downloadable) videos.
In short, provide something really valuable that’s only accessible to members, and you’ll have members sticking around for the long term!
4. Provide Live Interaction
Still another way to not only boost the value of your site but increase retention is by making yourself available to your members. Here are ways to do this:
• Create “office hours” each week where people can contact you with questions.
• Offer live webinars to field questions and/or teach a specific topic.
• Do group-coaching sessions.
• Interact on the membership forum or group.
Naturally, take into consideration the membership cost when you plan how to offer live interaction. E.G., you don’t want to offer one-on-one coaching with members if you’re only charging $20 per month. On the flip side, make sure you over deliver with everything you have available as a part of your business in order to build a community of raving fans.
5. Avoid Common Mistakes
In order to boost your retention rate, you’re going to want to avoid the most common mistakes that can sink your membership site. Take a look…
Mistake #1. Substituting Quantity for Quality Content
Sometimes membership marketers decide that the key to high retention is to inundate their members with content.
Sure, providing a lot of content is a good thing in general. But it needs to be AWESOME content. If you pile a heap of junk content on your members, they’re going to be canceling their memberships faster than you can say, “What on earth just happened?”
Point is, be sure EVERY piece of content in your membership site is valuable, desirable, and the highest quality. This means it should not only solve a problem, but it should also be presented in a professional manner (e.g., proofread and professionally designed).
Here’s the next mistake…
Mistake #2: Providing a Poor User Experience
When people log into their accounts, they should be logging into a membership site with a clean, professional design and intuitive layout and navigation. They should also have easy access to everything they’ve paid for, as well as to your help desk/customer service. All links and downloads should be in perfect working order.
Point is, if your site’s interface frustrates users or if they otherwise have poor user experience, they’re going to bail on you.
Note: If you don’t have the skills or time to create a good experience for your members, then outsource the site design and maintenance to a competent professional.
Mistake #3: Focusing on New Customers Instead of Existing Customers
A lot of beginning membership site owners have a “churn and burn” mentality. This means they focus almost entirely on getting new members to the point that they begin to neglect their existing members.
But here’s the thing when it comes to what I’m sharing with you here about membership sites: retention is key…
The easiest sale you’ll ever make is to sell another month in your membership or a backend offer to your existing customers. That’s why you’ll want to put all the above retention tactics to work to create satisfied, happy customers who’ll buy from you again and again! Getting to seven figures as an online entrepreneur will be a much faster and more streamlined process with membership sites; retention is key to this going smoothly for you.
EXAMPLE: As mentioned earlier, with the membership site here you not only get the massive monthly module, but Jimmy always gives members exclusive extras just about every month that are equal to the value they pay for the modules. (One example is a “Course Creation A To Z” package of 26 double-sided cheat sheets.) He also provides a huge bonus package at the conclusion of the 12-month membership as a “graduation” gift. This dramatically increases retention and keeps people active and paying until the completion of the series.
Your Turn! Membership Sites: Retention is Key and Allows You to Include Your Audience in an Exclusive Way
Now it’s time for you to plan out how you’re going to retain your members and keep them happy. Answer these questions:
• What sort of content and bonuses can you offer strategically? What month has the highest cancellation rate in your site? (Determine this so you can offer content to combat churn.) Are you doing keyword research to discover which terms and phrases are being searched for by your target audience?
• What sort of onsite tools and resources can you offer to keep members active?
• What types of exams and certificates could you offer?
• What type of live interaction could you offer?
• Review the mistake list mentioned near the end of this lesson. Are you making any of these mistakes? If so, how will you correct these problems?
Remember that when it comes to membership sites, retention is key to your great success. I use Wishlist Member to set up all of my membership sites, and recommend it highly for you as well, whether you are brand new or a seasoned online entrepreneur. Once you have the confidence to move forward, there will be no stopping your success!
I’m author, publisher, and entrepreneur Connie Ragen Green and would love to connect with you. If you are new to the world of online entrepreneurship please check out my comprehensive training on how to set up Funnels That Click and learn how to gain an unfair advantage when it comes to building a lucrative online business.