Dornubari Vizor September 16, 2020

12+ Strategies to Improve Member Retention & Double Your Revenue

Would you like to keep as many members as possible and incentivize them to stay loyal to your product or service? You’re not the only one. Member retention is among the top priorities for all business owners

Not only is member retention vital for brand loyalty, but it can also help you reduce member acquisition costs. Everyone knows it’s important, but many are struggling to actually deploy effective membership marketing and membership retention strategies.

The good news is that you’ve come to the right place — we are here to tell you all you need to know about member retention. Here are some crucial points that you can learn more about in this blog:

  • What member retention is and why it is so important
  • How to retain members
  • How to keep people engaged online
  • The most successful membership retention strategies to apply
  • How is membership retention calculated? 
  • What makes a good membership program

What Is Member Retention?

Member retention is a crucial step in ensuring the success of your business operation. If you want to achieve superb results, you will need to offer enough to make your members, i.e. customers or product users want to stick around. So, member retention could be described as a process of keeping your customers by providing them ongoing value and building brand loyalty.

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Why Is Member Retention Important?

Long-term members are a necessity if you want to ensure recurring revenue. For a start, you should know that it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one

So, instead of spending time and money on attracting new members, you should put in some effort to nurture and retain the members you already have. 

When you manage to retain members, it means that they’re satisfied with your product or services. As a result, you will see an increase in revenue, get positive reviews and generate more referrals for your business.

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How Do You Retain Members?

Now that we’ve answered the big question of why membership retention is important, it’s time to move on to the actual process behind it. So, you’re probably wondering, how do you retain members? 

This might seem a bit overwhelming at first, but with the entire process broken down in a couple of simple steps, member retention can be smooth sailing. Here are some crucial things to do to nurture your existing members.

Show the Members They Can Learn From You

If you want your members to stay loyal to you, you need to give them something worth sticking around. Why would they stay with you if they can find another place where they can learn more, right? Avoid this scenario by delivering high-quality and relevant content that teaches your members something.

You’re not sure what form of content is best for your business? You might want to consider creating online courses. Online courses are an excellent way to kill two birds with one stone — engage your existing members and attract new ones.  

Introduce Tiered Membership Levels

Naturally, you want to have as many paying members as possible and monetize your membership website. However, don’t forget that the membership fee might become too expensive for some customers at any point. 

To avoid losing those members for good, you should make your membership affordable. To be more precise, you should consider including a tiered membership level that they can afford

Of course, they won’t have access to the same content, but the limited membership should still offer them some exclusive resources. As the name itself suggests, access to exclusive content should be just limited, not out of reach altogether.

Include Special Offers

Another option is to create special offers. People love it when they feel special and appreciated, so you should treat them that way to keep them around. For instance, you can offer a discount for a specific product or service, or even an entire category of products or services.

Allow Your Members to Pause Their Membership

In some cases, people might want to take a short break without canceling their membership. Think of a customer who’s just going through some financial hardship and wants to cut costs for a month or two. 

If they’re not provided with the option to pause their membership, they may end up leaving altogether. And once they’re gone, they are highly unlikely to come back.

To prevent this from happening, you should consider introducing the possibility to pause membership for a certain period of time. That way, you don’t have to worry about losing a precious member. When they’re back on their feet, they can be the part of your community again and continue to receive exclusive content seamlessly.  

How Do You Keep People Engaged Online?

The question of community engagement is always a big one when it comes to member retention. Keeping people engaged is the key to making them stuck around for a long time, so you must be wondering, how do you keep people engaged online? 

Don’t worry — we are here to explain how to set up and manage an engaged customer base. All with the aim to ensure long-term member retention and the success of your business. 

Getting off on the right foot with your members is the first thing to think about. Once you have them on board, it’s time to put in some effort into delivering the best possible content that will keep them engaged. 

When you do that, don’t forget to ask for feedback and improve as you go on. And if it happens that you lose a member or two (or much more), there’s no need to panic yet — that’s what win-back emails are there for. Now, let’s look at these strategies in more detail.

Welcome Your Members

You want to keep people engaged right from the start and be happy about signing up? Welcome them. Yes, it’s that simple. A single welcome email sent to all new members can help you ensure member retention in the long run.

Welcome emails are a great way to show your members that you care about them and that you’re happy you have them on board. They are also useful for providing new members with more details about the services you offer so they can feel more comfortable from the start. 

Here are a couple of essential points to keep in mind when writing welcome emails:

  • Send a personalized message
  • Include the benefits they have as your community members
  • Provide links to resources you believe can be helpful for new members
  • Mention what happens next (if there’s an upcoming event, invite them, or at least include the date of the next newsletter)

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Deliver Interactive Content

Did you know that 81% of marketers say that interactive content is the safest “tool” to keep community members engaged? So, if you, too, want to keep your members engaged enough to want to stick around, you need to include different types of interactive content that will draw and keep their attention. Here are some of the most common types of interactive content to consider:

  • Live chats
  • Webinars
  • Polls and surveys
  • Quizzes

You may choose one of these depending on what suits you best, or combine several if you find it convenient. Diversity is important if you don’t want people to get bored, so feel free to experiment with interactive content as long as it stays in line with your business tone.

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Ask for Feedback

Listening to what your customers have to say about their experience with the service provided is of tremendous importance. All you need to know about what to do next and how to improve your business operation lies in your members’ feedback. Instead of coming to these conclusions by yourself, ask your customers for feedback and implement it as soon as possible. 

When members see that you acknowledge their opinions and suggestions, they are more likely to stick around. Not just because you’ve changed the things they thought that should be changed, but because you showed you value them. 

Members’ feedback can also help you learn what you’re doing right. For instance, if you see that many customers enjoy your webinars or any other activity for that matter, you should keep “investing” time and effort into that particular activity and retain those members who enjoy it.

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Don’t Underestimate the Power of Win-Back Emails

Should you notice that some of your members are no longer active, don’t wait with your arms crossed. Win-back emails can work wonders when it comes to member retention.

You shouldn’t just let a single customer go. Remind them of all the benefits of staying loyal to you instead. Or design a special benefit to win them back.

You should also remind your members of just how much their contribution means to you and your business. 

For instance, Patty Foley, a former membership chair of Friends of Lucy Robbins Wells Library, managed to keep their retention rate at 90% by sending an appreciation letter to “lapsers.”

You can also use win-back emails to ask your customers why they left. Simply showing that you care about their experience and that you’re willing to change can retain members. The answers they give you can help you retain other members, too, even those that are still active. 

For instance, lapsed members may tell you that they weren’t engaged enough, that they expected to receive more value, or they may find the membership too expensive. Whatever they tell you, make sure you use it to your advantage.

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How Is Membership Retention Calculated?

When it comes to membership retention calculation, this formula can help you get the big picture:

((ME-MN)/MS) x 100

Here’s what each of these abbreviations means:

  • ME stands for members at the end of a set time period
  • MN are new members acquired during that time period
  • MS stands for all the members at the start of the given period

As you can see, there has to be a time period in this equation. So, your number one job will be to determine what time period you’re going to analyze

Do you want to calculate the membership retention for the last year? Two years? Or just six months? It’s up to you. It’s just crucial to be consistent and look at the same period for all the variables. 

When you set the time period, it’s time for the figures. First, you need to learn how many members there were at the end of your specified time period (ME). 

Next, you need the number of all the members acquired during that same time (MN) so that you can calculate the difference between these two (ME-MN). 

Finally, you need the number of members at the start of the period to divide the solution you got in the previous step. 

When you’re done with all three variables, you just need to multiply the number you got by 100 to get a result in the form of a percentage. As you might have guessed, the higher the final number, the better the result. 

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How Do You Increase Membership Retention?

When you apply the previous formula and you get a result you’re not satisfied with, it’s time to think about increasing membership retention. But how can you do that? 

For noticeable improvement as fast as possible, you want to employ the best membership retention strategies out there.

You should also get down to building your own membership website, one that you can control and where you can own your community. That’s where GroupApp can save the day. 

Don’t neglect membership marketing and different membership marketing strategies that can prove to be useful in this situation. 

Let’s learn more about all these steps to take.

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Best Membership Retention Strategies

There are quite a few membership retention strategies that you can apply, but not all of them are going to be equally effective. Depending on the type of your business and your community, you may lean more towards one or another. 

But whichever of the following you choose, you won’t regret your decision. These are some of the top membership retention strategies to consider and combine for superb results:

  • Include a Loyalty Program. As previously mentioned, people love it when they feel appreciated. That’s why a loyalty program for all your loyal community members is always a good idea. 

For instance, you can set some milestones (for being a member for six months, one year, two years, etc.) and give members gifts when they reach each milestone. If you can’t afford to give presents, it can be a recognition of any other kind, such as badges. 

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  • Plan onboarding carefully. You know what they say — you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. So, you need to make sure that you leave a good one right from the start. 

For instance, it would be a good idea to include a short tutorial showing your new members how to use your membership site. Another thing all new members will want to see is a list of useful resources. Make sure you also include an overview of all the resources you have to offer at the moment. Finally, don’t forget to let them know where they can contact you (leave your email or social media account for instance).

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Rely on GroupApp to Build a Membership Website

The safest way to keep people engaged and nurture your relationship with them, and, ultimately, monetize your community is to own it. That’s why GroupApp offers you a chance to build a membership site where you can fully control your community. Building closer relationships with your members will allow for better member retention. 

Are you worried about how much a membership website costs? Worry no more — just because you’re on a tight budget and you can’t afford an expensive platform, it doesn’t mean that you can’t get a chance to build your membership site. With GroupApp, you can get everything you need free of charge

GroupApp also offers an easy-to-use online course builder, so you’ll be able to deliver all the valuable content you want. Not only that — you can also use GroupApp to sell your online courses and make money off the knowledge you share.

What Is Membership Marketing?

Membership marketing refers to how you present your membership website to prospective members, how you engage them and win them over, and how you eventually renew members

No matter how much effort you put into building your perfect membership site, without self-promotion, you won’t be able to attract enough members to actually form a solid community base. So, membership marketing is a must. 

The best part about membership marketing is that it should allow you to promote your membership site to your target audience. When you focus on the people who could really like what you have to offer and want to sign up, you increase the chances of growing your ideal membership community much faster.

How Can Membership Marketing Strategies Help You Increase Member Retention?

In addition to reaching new members, you can also use membership marketing strategies to address existing customers and increase member retention. This is another opportunity to kill two birds with one stone — you can engage your existing members through membership marketing strategies while they do some marketing for you

Here’s a simple example — start a referral program. Your existing members will promote your membership site and the products you offer, and you will reward them for each new member they manage to bring. How convenient, isn’t it? 

Among other useful membership marketing strategies is contest or promotion. For instance, you can ask your existing members to promote you on social media by sharing a certain photo. They would be competing with each other, and you’d reward the winner — the person who brings the most new members. 

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What Makes A Good Membership Program?

If you want new members to join your membership program and existing members to stick around, you need a good program, right? So, what makes a good membership program? Here are a couple of crucial conditions a membership program should meet to be considered desirable:

  • Focus on the benefits of commitment. Why else would anyone join your program if it wasn’t for the benefits of being a loyal member, right? No matter your business, focusing on customers and what there is for them to gain should be your top priority. 
  • Give the members a chance to save a few bucks. Yes, they agreed to pay a certain membership fee to join your program. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t include some kind of a special deal from time to time to allow your loyal members to save some cash. For instance, you can offer a free service or class, or reduce the cost significantly. 
  • You keep your program spam-free. If they decided to pay for your program, people don’t want spammers to spoil their experience whenever they check out the comment section. Make sure you set a clear membership program policy and let only registered users leave comments.

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Final Word

As you can see, member retention can bring so many benefits to your business that it’s worth all the effort and time put into it. Plus, even if it seems too complicated and challenging at first, you now know that the retention process can be handled seamlessly when you follow all the previously listed steps

For a start, you need to engage your community members properly. When you have an engaged customer base, it will be a lot easier to retain those customers over time. Show the members that you care with a warm welcome and special offers. Be ready to go the extra mile to deliver high-quality, valuable and interactive content. And no matter how satisfied you are with it, give your members a chance to give their opinions, too, and then implement their feedback.  

You also now know how membership retention is calculated and what the best membership retention strategies are, so you can begin to apply that knowledge to your business. When you feel ready to build your own membership community, GroupApp is here for you.


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