21 Membership Retention Strategies And Advice (With Checklist)

Membership Retention Strategies

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If people are joining your membership website with high hopes but leaving due to unmet expectations, it’s time to shake things up.

We’ve zeroed in on the core issue: members seek value and connection.

Today, we’re directly addressing the challenge of transforming fleeting interest into lasting commitment.

We’re providing a detailed roadmap to deepen engagement and ensure your community isn’t just a stopover but a destination.

Membership retention strategies included here include:

  • Personalizing experiences
  • Delivering continuous value
  • Building community

Read on to discover how to stop the cycle of member churn and create a thriving, expanding membership community.

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Click here to grab your Membership Retention Checklist!

How to Calculate Your Current Retention Rate

What is measured, improves.

Peter F. Drucker

Understanding the retention rate is essential to developing effective strategies to keep your community engaged and committed.

Here’s a straightforward way to calculate it:

  1. Start with the number of members at the end of a period (let’s call this E).
  2. Subtract the number of new members acquired during that period (N).
  3. Divide the result by the total number of members at the start of the period (S).
  4. Multiply by 100 to get the percentage.

The formula looks like this, according to Zendesk:

Calculate Your Current Retention Rate

This calculation gives you a clear picture of how well you’re retaining members, minus growth from new sign-ups.

A higher percentage indicates better retention, showing that members find value in your community and choose to stick around.

Understanding your retention rate is the first step towards improving it. It sets the stage for implementing the strategies we’ll dive into next.

What Qualifies as a Good Retention Rate for a Membership Website?

Defining a “good” retention rate for a membership website can vary depending on your industry, the nature of your community, and your specific goals.

However, there are benchmarks that can guide you in evaluating your own community’s performance.

A generally accepted good retention rate hovers above 75%, according to Mighty Networks.

This target serves as a solid baseline, indicating that the majority of your members find enough value in your community to stay beyond their initial subscription period.

It’s worth noting the concept of churn rate, which is the percentage of members who leave your community over a specific period.

A manageable churn rate is considered to be around 4% for a membership website, according to Recurly.

But a churn rate of anything between 5-7% is often acceptable.

Download Your Ultimate Membership Retention Checklist

Ready to transform your community into a thriving hub of engaged members?

We’ve got just the thing to help you get there!

Our comprehensive Membership Retention Checklist is your go-to resource for ensuring you keep your community vibrant and growing.

It’s packed with actionable tips, proven strategies, and insightful reminders to help you:

  • Personalize member experiences to increase engagement.
  • Implement targeted communication tactics to keep members informed and involved.
  • Monitor and analyze retention metrics for continuous improvement.
  • Build a community that encourages long-term membership.

Don’t let the potential of your membership site go untapped.

21 Membership Retention Strategies To Keep Members Engaged

Keeping members engaged and committed to your community isn’t just about offering a space to connect. It’s about making that space invaluable and irreplaceable in their daily lives.

With the right strategies, your membership site can become a bustling hub of activity and loyalty.

Using SureMembers can help a lot with that.

We’ll explore that more as we go along,

For now, let’s dive into actionable strategies that can elevate the membership experience.

1. Offer Substantive Value

At the heart of any membership site’s success is the value it provides. It’s not enough to have a good membership site idea. You need to follow through.

This value comes in many forms, including exclusive content, learning opportunities, and personalized experiences.

But how can you ensure that your site consistently offers this level of value?

Substantive value isn’t just about the volume of what you offer. It’s about the impact it has on your members’ lives or businesses.

For a membership website, this means content and resources that not only inform but also transform.

Think of it as the difference between merely reading an interesting article and applying the insights to achieve a personal or professional goal.

A great example of this idea in action would have to be MasterClass. This site has great member retention because it’s consistently adding to its value over time.

MasterClass

New courses are added all the time, and the quality is so high, people keep going back for more.

2. Keep Content On-Topic

When members join your site, they come with expectations tied to their specific interests.

Deviating from these core topics can lead to disengagement and diminish the perceived value of your community.

On-topic content can do the following:

  • Meet expectations: Directly aligns with why members joined, ensuring content remains relevant and valuable.
  • Define community: Clarifies your community’s focus, making it more attractive to like-minded individuals.
  • Boost engagement: Relevant content encourages active participation, keeping the community vibrant.
  • Allow for personalization: A focused approach allows for tailored experiences, enhancing member satisfaction.
Melyssa Griffin

Melyssa Griffin offers a great example of a membership site that stays on topic.

Her site is focused on helping people grow their businesses and members have access to her courses and resource library.

3. Build a Real Community

Building a real community goes beyond just gathering people under a common interest. It’s about creating a sense of belonging, support, and active participation.

This strategy is key for member retention.

People are more likely to stay engaged and renew their memberships if they feel connected to your community on a personal level.

Creating a real community also creates emotional ties between members and the community.

When members feel like they belong and are valued, they’re more invested in staying and contributing.

Genuine connections lead to more frequent and meaningful interactions, keeping your platform lively and engaging.

Communities also provide support networks where members can share advice, feedback, and encouragement, enhancing the overall value of the membership.

Here are some ways to add community features as a part of your retention plan:

  • Add forums, chat rooms, or social networking capabilities to encourage member interaction.
  • Recognize and celebrate member contributions to make them feel valued and encourage further participation. This could be through featuring member posts, hosting member-led webinars, or creating member spotlights.
  • Organize virtual meetups, Q&A sessions with industry experts, or interest-based groups within your community.
  • Invite members to contribute their own content, whether it’s blog posts, forum threads, or social media content.

Oak + Pine is a membership website that includes community features with great success.

oak and pine

It targets female entrepreneurs and encourages them to collaborate and take advantage of its support network.

4. Offer Multiple Membership Options

Offering multiple membership options caters to the varied preferences and financial capacities of members.

This flexibility not only enhances the appeal of your membership site but also significantly contributes to retention.

Here’s how and why offering a variety of membership plans can make a substantial difference:

  • Personalization: Offering varied membership levels lets people choose a plan that best fits their specific interests, usage patterns, and budget.
  • Increased accessibility: You can attract a wider audience if you provide varied plans with different prices. This way, more people with different financial needs can become members (and stay members).
  • Enhanced value perception: Multiple options make the value proposition at each level clear. This makes the decision to join or upgrade within your community more compelling.

You can add multiple membership plans in a number of ways. For instance, you can create tiers that offer increasing levels of access, content, or privileges.

A basic plan might include access to forums and some digital content, while premium plans could offer exclusive courses, live events, or one-on-one coaching sessions.

You could also consider allowing members to customize their plans by choosing addons or specific features that interest them.

This a la carte approach can increase satisfaction by ensuring members pay only for what they truly value.

Offering a free plan or trial period can attract potential members by giving them a taste of what your community offers.

This low-risk entry point can lead to more conversions to paid plans once they’ve experienced the value firsthand.

SureMembers

You can accomplish this easily by using SureMembers.

Here’s a quick rundown on how to set up membership plans using this plugin:

  1. Install and activate SureMembers: Start by downloading SureMembers and installing it on your WordPress site. Navigate to your WordPress admin dashboard, go to Plugins > Add New, and upload the SureMembers plugin. Activate the plugin​​ after installation.
  2. Activate your license: Click on SureMembers in the WordPress dashboard and enter your license key to activate your subscription​​.
  3. Create access groups: Access groups are membership levels. In the SureMembers dashboard, you can create multiple access groups by selecting Add New. Each group represents a different level of access or membership plan on your site​​.
  4. Restrict content: SureMembers allows you to restrict access to entire sections or specific pages, posts, or even parts of a page or post. For each access group, you’ll specify the content that is accessible exclusively to them​​.
  5. Drip feed content: For premium membership plans, you might want to gradually release content over time. Use the Add Drip Content button within an access group’s settings to schedule when specific pieces of content become available to members of that group​​.
  6. Set up unauthorized access rules: Define what happens when unauthorized users attempt to access restricted content. You can choose to redirect them to a sales page or display a custom message, encouraging them to join or upgrade their membership​​.
  7. Integrate with SureCart for payment processing: To monetize your membership plans, integrate SureMembers with SureCart. This combination allows you to set up subscription-based pricing, one-time payments, or payment plans for access groups.
  8. Configure checkout and payment options: Customize the checkout experience and payment options through SureCart. You’ll want to ensure that the checkout process is seamless for members, whether they’re making a one-time payment or subscribing to a recurring payment plan.

As an example of a live site offering multiple plans, Training Beta illustrates the concept well.

training beta

This site offers a wide range of plans to suit the individual needs of members – from rock climbing beginners to those looking to learn advanced skills.

5. Ask For (and Implement) Member Feedback

Gathering feedback from members is a great way to keep your community thriving, relevant, and deeply engaging.

Hearing from current members about what they like (or dislike) can help you develop retention plans for the long-haul.

These insights can be as simple as a quick poll on your latest webinar or as in-depth as a survey about your overall content strategy.

Embedding feedback forms on your site or dedicating a forum space for open discussions turns feedback gathering into an integral part of the community experience.

Reaching out directly to members can uncover insights that anonymous forms might not.

Once you’ve gathered feedback, the real magic begins.

Sort through what people have said to note patterns, ideas, and suggestions that resonate across your community. These are your signposts for what to tackle first.

You can see this concept in action at Salt Strong, a saltwater fishing club.

Salt Strong

The site leveraged OptinMonster to create fun and engaging quizzes for many of its pages.

Salt Strong quiz

Many were tongue-in-cheek, but served doubled-duty to build an email list and encourage membership signups.

6. Optimize Onboarding

Optimizing the onboarding process helps to set a positive tone for new members and encourages long-term engagement.

The onboarding experience can significantly influence a member’s decision to stay engaged with your community or to leave.

Thankfully, it’s easy when you use SureMembers.

As we’ve already established, the WordPress membership plugin makes it easy to start your own membership site.

To streamline onboarding with SureMembers, you can:

  • Create engaging access groups: Access groups allow you to categorize members based on the access level or membership plan they’ve chosen. Tailoring these groups ensures that new members receive content and privileges that align with their expectations from the start.
  • Personalize content delivery: SureMembers excels at drip-feeding content, which can be a key part of your onboarding strategy. This approach gradually introduces new members to your site’s offerings, keeping them engaged without overwhelming them. Schedule content releases over the initial weeks of membership to maintain interest and engagement.
  • Customize user roles and permissions: Tailoring user roles and permissions is a subtle yet powerful way to enhance the onboarding experience. SureMembers’ User Role Sync feature ensures members have the right access and privileges from day one.

The Kula has a super easy onboarding process worthy of mimicking.

the kula

Just click the Start Your Membership button on the homepage, pick your plan, pay, and you have access to a library of yoga content.

7. Use Personalization Everywhere

Adding personalization to every aspect of your membership site can significantly enhance member retention.

It can make each member feel recognized, valued, and understood.

But to be clear, this goes beyond addressing members by their first name in emails. Rather, it involves tailoring the entire membership experience to fit individual preferences, behaviors, and needs.

Here’s how to embed personalization throughout your site and member retention:

  • Start by gathering data on your members through surveys, feedback forms, and analytics as we previously discussed. This information should include their preferences, behaviors, interests, and engagement history.
  • Use the data to segment your audience into different groups based on shared characteristics or behaviors. This could include membership level, content preferences, or engagement patterns. Segmentation allows for more targeted and relevant communication and content delivery.
  • Use SureMembers to deliver content that’s tailored to each segment. You can also use dynamic content that changes based on the user’s profile or past behavior.
  • Use email marketing tools that integrate with WordPress to send personalized communications. This includes not just using the member’s name, but also tailoring the content of the emails based on their interests, membership level, or recent activities on your site.

An impressive example of this in action is used by Dr. Squatch.

The natural soap brand used Maverick to create AI-generated videos to thank customers via text and email post-purchase.

dr squatch

After recording a standard video and completing a voice AI-training process, personalized videos are then automatically generated by the service.

dr squatch and maverick

This happens each time a customer makes a purchase from Dr. Squatch. See the example video: https://themavericklab.com/videos/f461815e-21e6-4c37-ab7d-699176bf1ef9

8. Offer Real Incentives

Incentives can come in various forms, from tangible rewards to exclusive opportunities, and they serve as a way to acknowledge and appreciate members’ loyalty and participation.

To do this effectively, you need to understand what motivates members.

For instance, if your community is centered around professional development, offering exclusive networking opportunities or access to industry experts could be appealing.

You could also provide access to premium content not available to non-paying members. This could include in-depth articles, video tutorials, or eBooks.

Or, you could acknowledge active members with public recognition, such as member spotlights in newsletters or on your website.

Access to exclusive events can also be a big draw.

Host webinars, workshops, or meet-ups that are only available to members. This could also include online Q&A sessions with experts or influential figures in your industry.

The Key to Pictures Academy offers a great value and incentive for signing up. The Photography 201 course offered is a masterclass loaded with interactive video lessons and access to a Facebook group.

key to pictures

While the course is priced at $197, they offer payment plans and even have a scholarship contest each year.

9. Balance Your Email Campaigns

Too much communication can overwhelm members, leading to email fatigue. Too little can make your community feel neglected and out of the loop.

Here’s how to strike the right balance:

  • Start by offering members control over communication preferences. Allow them to opt into the types of emails they’re interested in, whether that’s newsletters, event notifications, or content updates.
  • Establish a regular schedule for your email communications, whether that’s a weekly newsletter or monthly updates.
  • Keep an eye on open rates, click-through rates, and unsubscribe rates. These metrics can give you valuable insights into how well your emails are being received.
  • Every email should provide clear value. Whether it’s exclusive content, a special offer, or important updates, ensure that what you’re sending has a purpose.
  • Regularly clean your email list to remove inactive subscribers or those who have consistently not engaged with your communications.

10. Continually Add New Content

Continually adding new content is essential for keeping your membership site dynamic, valuable, and engaging.

Fresh content gives members a reason to keep coming back and reinforces the value of your community.

For communities with a public-facing element, fresh content can improve search engine rankings, attracting new members to boost membership.

And of course, new content can introduce members to new ideas, skills, and perspectives.

Creating new content is kind of generic advice, which isn’t our style.

Here are some specific ways to add new content to your membership site:

  • Develop a content calendar to plan and schedule regular content. This ensures a consistent flow of new material and helps manage the content creation process.
  • Incorporate a variety of content types, such as articles, videos, podcasts, and interactive webinars.
  • Encourage members to contribute content. User-generated content (UGC) can provide diverse perspectives and give members a sense of ownership over the community.
  • Invite experts or guest contributors to create content. This can introduce new topics and insights, adding depth to your content offerings.
  • Use tools to automate parts of your content creation and distribution process. Additionally, consider delegating content creation tasks to team members or hiring freelancers to maintain a steady content pipeline.

While it’s important to continually add new content, it’s equally important to ensure the pace and volume are manageable. Quality should always take precedence over quantity.

One membership site that’s always offering new content is Copyblogger.

Copyblogger

They regularly add content to their Academy, which offers nine courses and one-on-one training for $67 per quarter.

11. Add Exit Interviews to Gather Constant Feedback

When people decide to cancel their membership, having them take part in an exit interview can be super helpful.

What they say can guide improvements, enhance member retention, and even inform the development of new features or content.

Good exit interviews can help you to gain direct insights into why members are leaving and can highlight areas of your community or service that need improvement.

Over time, these interviews can help you to spot patterns in exit reasons and can help you prioritize which issues to address first to reduce churn.

The exit interview process can also be an opportunity to address members’ concerns directly, potentially re-engaging them before they leave.

These interviews can be conducted in several ways including:

  • Automated surveys
  • Personal outreach
  • Anonymous comments

What you ask will vary depending on your membership site and its focus and approach.

A few options might be, “Why did you decide to cancel your membership?” or “What could we have done differently to improve your experience?”

You could ask for specific suggestions, too, like “Are there any features or services you wish were offered?”

Canva has a quick survey when you try to cancel a subscription plan.

canva

It’s just one question but it gives Canva a sense of why members are leaving so they can improve retention.

12. Offer Multiple Communication Channels

Offering multiple communication channels can be an important part of retention planning.

This approach acknowledges different preferences and needs, ensuring that every member can interact with your community in a way that suits them best.

While you can take any approach you’d like, most membership sites opt to include a combination of the following:

  • Email: You can send newsletters, personalized outreach, and official communications via email as a part of memberships.
  • Social media: Platforms like X, Facebook, and LinkedIn can help you reach members where they’re already spending their time. These platforms are great for informal updates, sharing content, and community building.
  • Forums: A dedicated forum on your website provides a space for in-depth discussions, support queries, and member interactions. It’s a centralized place for knowledge sharing and community support.
  • Live chat: Implementing live chat on your website can offer real-time support and engagement, making members feel immediately heard and assisted.
  • Webinars and live streams: These platforms offer a way to engage with your community in real-time, providing value through educational content, Q&As, and more.
  • Feedback surveys and polls: Tools like SurveyMonkey can help gather feedback from members, allowing you to gather insights on various aspects of your community.
  • Messaging apps: Platforms like Slack, Discord, or WhatsApp can offer more immediate, informal channels for communication and collaboration.

Big Picture Skiing is a great example of a site that includes multiple communication and community options.

big picture skiing

Beyond its extensive video library and free resources, memberships also provide access to an exclusive community forum.

13. Make the Membership Portal Accessible

Making your membership portal accessible is a must to create an inclusive and welcoming community.

Ensuring accessibility means that all members, including those with disabilities, can comfortably interact with your website.

You can ensure the accessibility of your membership portal by:

  • Following Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG): These guidelines provide a set of recommendations for making web content more accessible to people with disabilities. Aim for at least WCAG 2.1 Level AA compliance.
  • Text alternatives: Provide text alternatives for non-text content, such as images and videos.
  • Use proper content structure: Use headings, lists, and other structural elements to organize content logically. This helps screen readers and other assistive technologies navigate your content more effectively.
  • Include keyboard navigation: Ensure all content and navigation can be accessed using just a keyboard.
  • Use contrast ratios: Use sufficient contrast ratios for text and background colors to ensure readability for users with low vision.
  • Resizable text: Ensure that text can be resized up to 200% without loss of content or functionality, allowing users with visual impairments to read comfortably.
  • Readable fonts: Choose fonts that are easy to read and avoid using small font sizes. Sans-serif fonts are generally more accessible.
  • Use automated tests: Use automated accessibility testing tools like Axe, Lighthouse or WAVE to identify and fix common accessibility issues.
  • Conduct user testing: Conduct user testing with individuals who have disabilities to get direct feedback on the accessibility of your portal. This can provide insights that automated tools might miss.
wave

14. Create a Schedule and Stick to It

Creating a consistent schedule and sticking to it is fundamental for maintaining a thriving membership site.

A predictable schedule ensures that members know when to expect new content, events, or updates, which can significantly enhance engagement and satisfaction.

A reliable schedule carries many benefits including

  • Members look forward to regular updates or events, which can increase engagement and retention.
  • Consistency in your content delivery demonstrates reliability, building trust with your community.
  • A set schedule helps you plan your content strategy more effectively, ensuring a balanced mix of offerings.

Here’s how to establish and adhere to a content schedule effectively:

  • Content audit: Start by assessing what types of content you currently offer and identify what performs best.
  • Create a content calendar: Develop a content calendar that outlines what content will be released and when. Tools like Google Calendar, Trello, or specialized content calendar plugins like Editorial Calendar help organize and visualize your content strategy.
  • Diversify your offerings: Plan for a mix of content types and topics to keep your schedule dynamic and engaging. Consider incorporating special events, guest speakers, or member spotlights to add variety.
  • Allocate resources: Ensure you have the necessary resources (time, team members, budget) to produce the scheduled content. It’s better to commit to a manageable schedule that you can stick to rather than an ambitious one that’s unsustainable.
  • Promote upcoming content: Use your available channels (email, social media, forums) to tease upcoming content according to your schedule. This builds anticipation and keeps members informed.
editorial calendar

15. Add Gamification

Adding gamification elements to your membership site is a fantastic way to boost engagement, encourage participation, and create a fun and competitive atmosphere.

Gamification leverages the innate human desire for competition, achievement, and status and can be incredibly effective.

You could create challenges or missions for members to complete, which could range from learning tasks to community participation.

For instance, you might challenge members to complete a series of educational modules or contribute a certain number of helpful forum posts.

Another option is to introduce a rewards system to recognize achievements. This could involve points, badges, or levels that members earn by completing tasks.

These rewards can be showcased on member profiles or leaderboards.

Speaking of, adding a leaderboard doubles down on the competitive factor. Leaderboards can rank members based on points earned, challenges completed, or other metrics.

Other gamification tactics include:

  • Interactive polls and quizzes related to your theme or content.
  • Simple games relevant to your community’s interests.
  • Progress tracking for courses, challenges, or overall engagement. Visual progress indicators are always a big win.
Pianu

Pianu offers gamification options with built-in challenges that unlock perks and achievements once completed.

16. Create a Resource Library and Add to It Regularly

A well-maintained resource library can serve as a central hub for your members to access valuable information, tools, and content that support their goals and interests.

A part of having a resource library is the byproduct of creating content consistently over time. After a while, you will amass a ton of content – hence the library.

But to kick off your efforts, you can do the following:

  1. Start by identifying the main topics or categories that are relevant to members. These should align with the overall theme of your site and the interests of your community.
  2. Populate your library with high-quality content. This can include articles, ebooks, tutorials, video courses, templates, or toolkits.
  3. Structure your library in a way that makes it easy for members to find what they’re looking for. Use clear categorization, tagging, and search functionalities to facilitate easy navigation.
  4. Commit to regularly updating your library with new resources. Plan a schedule for adding new content and stick to it.
  5. Whenever new resources are added, make sure to highlight them. This can be done through your site’s news section, email newsletters, or dedicated announcements within your community forums.
AdjusterTV+

AdjusterTV+ provides a great example of a resource library that’s continually updated. It’s robust and really drives home the value of a membership.

17. Offer Referral Bonuses

Another thing you can do to boost membership retention is to offer referral bonuses.

This is a great way to leverage your current members to grow your community.

This approach not only incentivizes members to promote your membership site but also brings in new members who are likely to be genuinely interested in what you offer.

Why does this tactic work so well?

  • Mutual benefits: A well-structured referral program benefits both the referrer and the new member, creating a win-win situation that encourages participation.
  • Trust-based marketing: Referrals come with an inherent trust factor. Members are more likely to take action based on a recommendation than traditional marketing.
  • Cost-effective growth: Referral bonuses can be a cost-effective way to acquire new members, as rewards are only paid out upon successful referrals.

You can set up a program like this relatively easily.

Here’s how we’d go about it:

  1. Define the rewards: Decide what the referral bonus will be. This could be a discount on future subscription fees, a month of free membership, exclusive content, or even physical merchandise.
  2. Create a simple referral process: The referral process should be as easy as possible. Provide a unique referral link that they can share with friends and family. WordPress affiliate plugins can automate this process, tracking referrals and attributing rewards appropriately.
  3. Promote your referral program: Make sure members are aware of the referral program and its benefits. Highlight the program in your newsletters, on your website, and during onboarding for new members.
  4. Acknowledge and thank members: Always thank members for their referrals. Acknowledging their efforts helps to build a positive relationship and encourages ongoing participation.

The meal plan membership, Factor offers a robust referral plan. Members can give away free boxes of meals to friends or invite people to sign up using your unique referral link.

Factor

If someone signs up using your link, they get $150 off their boxes and you get $40.

18. Partner With Other Services To Provide Perks

Another thing you can do is to partner with other services to provide additional perks to members. This is yet another way to enhance the value of your offering.

This enriches the member experience. It positions your community as a valuable hub for resources and benefits that extend beyond what you can provide alone.

You can see these sorts of partnerships pretty much everywhere.

For instance, many educational content sites and YouTube channels offer discounted or free access to online courses in related fields.

Skillshare is an often promoted offer by anyone who offers instructional content. Take the YouTube channel, echoisweird, as an example.

echoisweird

She discusses using Procreate software to create art and then promotes other courses she’s personally taken on Skillshare so others can learn too.

Partnerships may also take the form of product discounts, or access to specialized tools at a discounted rate.

Here are a few benefits of using partnerships as a part of your member retention plan:

  • Collaborating with complementary services can offer your members unique benefits, discounts, or access to products and services that directly add value to their membership.
  • Such partnerships allow for cross-promotion. They can help you reach new potential members within the partner’s audience.

Here’s a quick action plan for developing a partner relationship with another company:

  1. Look for businesses that align with your community’s interests and values. These could range from online tools and platforms to physical products that your members would find beneficial.
  2. When approaching potential partners, outline how the partnership can benefit both parties. This might involve shared marketing efforts, revenue sharing, or exclusive offers for each other’s audiences.
  3. Once a partnership is established, communicate the new perks to your members. Highlight how these benefits add value to memberships and how they can take advantage of them.
  4. Keep track of how members respond to new perks. Their feedback can guide future partnership decisions and help you refine them to better match your community’s needs.

Taking a slightly different approach is Codeable, which has a sizable partner directory listed on its website.

codeable

These partners consist of hosting, plugin developers, and page builders that have partnered with Codeable as a recommended advanced development partner.

19. Collaborate With Others

You can also keep members on board by collaborating with other sites.

Doing so can expand your membership site’s reach, introduce fresh perspectives, and add value to your community.

Think of things like guest blogging, conducting expert interviews (or being interviewed), co-hosting webinars or workshops, and putting together joint research projects or reports.

This approach boosts the strengths and audiences of both parties.

Reaching out to other sites and working with them can:

  • Increase exposure: Guest posts and content collaborations introduce your community to a broader audience, potentially attracting new members.
  • Enhance content diversity: Collaborations bring in new voices and expertise, enriching your site with diverse perspectives.
  • Provide SEO benefits: Sharing content between sites can improve search engine optimization (SEO) through backlinking, helping both sites rank better in search results.

If you pursue this member retention strategy, you can approach it as follows:

  1. Look for sites with audiences that overlap or complement your own community’s interests. These sites should share a similar level of professionalism and commitment to quality.
  2. When contacting potential partners, present a clear, mutually beneficial proposal. Explain how the collaboration could benefit both parties and suggest a few ideas for guest posts or content exchanges.
  3. Discuss and agree on the terms of the collaboration, including content guidelines, timelines, and any promotional efforts that each party will undertake.
  4. Ensure that any content created for the collaboration is informative, engaging, and in line with the host site’s style and expectations. High-quality content is more likely to resonate with readers and encourage them to explore your site further.
  5. Once the content is published, both parties should promote it through their respective channels. Think social media, newsletters, and website announcements.

SkillJet offers a great example of a membership site that uses collaboration to keep content varied and engaging.

skilljet

It features courses from many different instructors, each bringing their own audience to help expand reach.

Recommended Reading: Best Membership Website Examples

20. Make Sure Membership Provides the Benefits You Promise

Ensuring your membership site delivers on the benefits it promises is fundamental to maintaining trust, satisfaction, and retention.

Overpromising and under delivering can lead to disappointment and churn. Negative word-of-mouth could harm your site’s reputation.

Here are key strategies to ensure your membership provides the promised benefits:

  • Periodically review membership benefits to ensure they align with what’s advertised. This includes access to content, community features, exclusive deals, or any other perks promised at the time of sign-up.
  • Be transparent about what members can expect from their subscription. Avoid ambiguous language that could lead to misunderstandings about the scope or nature of the benefits.
  • If changes to membership benefits are necessary, communicate these changes clearly in advance. Providing the rationale for these changes can help maintain trust.
  • Keep an eye on competitors and industry standards to ensure your membership benefits remain competitive and relevant. This may involve adding new features, content, or perks.

Dunbar Academy illustrates this principle well. The dog training membership site offers access to all of its dog training courses for $20/month.

Dunbar Academy

They also offer single courses to purchase for a one-time fee. Pricing and expectations are established upfront so members always know where they stand.

21. Use Automation to Its Fullest Extent

Leaning into automation can revolutionize the way you manage your membership site.

Automation can handle repetitive tasks, ensuring that your focus remains on creating value and growing your community.

There are some key areas where automation can be used most effectively, including:

  • Member onboarding: Automate the process with personalized emails, access to starter resources, and introductions to the community. This ensures a smooth and engaging start for every new member.
  • Subscription management: Use automation for subscription renewals, payment processing, and reminders for expiring memberships. This reduces manual oversight and improves the accuracy of your subscription management.
  • Content drip feeds: Schedule content releases over time automatically. This keeps members engaged with a steady stream of new content.
  • Engagement triggers: Set up automated emails or notifications triggered by specific member actions, like completing a course, achieving a milestone, or lapsing in engagement. These can encourage continued participation or re-engage inactive members.
  • Feedback collection: Automate feedback collection at various points in the member journey.

If you’re looking for a tool that can manage a wide range of automation tasks on your membership site, SureMembers is a great option.

It simplifies numerous aspects of running a membership platform on WordPress, streamlining operations from content protection to member management and engagement.

SureMembers offers a suite of features designed to enhance the functionality and ease of managing a membership site.

One of the standout aspects is its ability to handle payment processing seamlessly with SureCart integration, allowing for straightforward membership subscriptions and renewals.

surecart

The plugin shines with its content protection capabilities, enabling you to restrict access to premium content.

Whether it’s locking entire posts and pages or just specific sections, SureMembers ensures that only entitled members can access your site’s most valuable resources.

This is complemented by the drip content feature, which allows for the scheduled release of content, keeping members engaged over time​​.

Automation is taken a step further with SureTriggers integration. It enables you to set up automated actions based on specific triggers, such as new member sign ups or purchases.

suretriggers

SureMembers is also known for its modern and intuitive interface, making site management a breeze for owners.

Its flexibility is evident in the extensive customization options available, from member login forms to the checkout process, aligning with your branding and enhancing the overall user experience​​.

Of course, if you need more complex email management, services and plugins like Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign, or ConvertKit will work nicely.

mailchimp

These tools offer powerful automation features for email marketing, subscriber segmentation, and engagement tracking.

If you wish to automate course delivery, tools like LearnDash or LifterLMS allow for automated content delivery, quizzes, and progress tracking for educational membership sites.

Should you decide to use automation as a part of your overall member retention strategy, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Use member data to personalize automated communications. Personalization can significantly increase engagement and member satisfaction.
  • Regularly review the performance of automated processes. Look for opportunities to refine automation strategies based on feedback and engagement metrics.
  • While automation can handle many tasks, ensure there’s still a personal touch to your community. Occasional personal outreach can make members feel valued and appreciated.

Why Retention Is Important

Focusing on retention is key for any membership site’s sustainability and is something you simply can’t neglect.

Member retention is important because it offers:

  • Cost-efficient growth: It’s cheaper to keep existing members than to acquire new ones. Even a small boost in retention rates can significantly increase profits.
  • Community vitality: High retention rates point to a strong, engaged community. It can enhance the overall member experience and attract new subscribers through positive word-of-mouth.
  • Valuable feedback: Long-term members provide insightful feedback, guiding improvements and innovations within your community.
  • Stable revenue: A solid base of renewing members ensures predictable revenue, allowing for better planning and reinvestment in the community.
  • Reputation boost: A thriving community with high retention rates enhances your site’s reputation, drawing in new members organically.

According to research conducted by Bain & Company, a 5% increase in membership retention rate can lead to a 25% – 95% boost in revenue!

Elevate Your Community With Membership Website Retention Strategies

From ensuring promised benefits are delivered, embracing automation, to consistently refreshing content, every retention strategy contributes to a vibrant, engaged community.

Tackling these strategies head-on is made simpler with SureMembers, your go-to tool for effortless membership site management.

It provides the essentials for enhancing member experiences. From smooth onboarding processes to content management, all designed to boost retention effectively.

Remember, a thriving community is the heart of your success.

With SureMembers by your side, you’re well-equipped to nurture a space where members feel continuously valued and connected.

Explore SureMembers today and step into a future where your community doesn’t just grow – it flourishes.

Don’t forget to grab our downloadable checklist. It’s a great resource to help you implement effective membership retention strategies.

Packed with actionable advice to boost your retention rates and ensure your membership site continues to grow and thrive, you won’t want to miss it.

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