How to Increase Engagement within your Membership Site
A big part of growing a membership is making sure your members are actually engaged in your site, taking part of your content, and feeling like they’re getting the value they’re paying for.
Member retention is critical to the long term success of your membership site.
Getting someone to join is great but it’s just the start.
Before you have time to celebrate, you really need to figure out how you’re going to get members to stay at the end of month one, month two and so on.
1. Perfect the New Member Experience
What happens in the first few minutes, hours, days and weeks after a member joins your site is crucial for determining how engaged they’re going to be.
Think about the steps you want new members to take.
What should they be doing and concentrating on first?
How can you get them integrated in your community using the different resources, tools and materials you’ve created for them?
One way of doing this is adding a ‘get started’ page that gives members any key info they need and advises them with the first five or six steps you want them to take in order to get off to the right start.
You could go on further and provide a tour of your membership.
This could be a walkthrough video or an interactive tour where you take them step by step, screen through screen, to the most important things they need to know when they first join.
2. Give Members a Quick Win, Early
During those first few days see if you can find ways to deliver a quick win.
Solve a small but significant problem that’s common amongst your audience to give members confidence in your ability to help and make them want to really jump into your membership and get engaged.
Everyone likes an unexpected gift, bonus content, or personalized welcome video of some sort.
Create something that adds a little bit of extra special attention for that person to grab their attention and motivate them to participate.
3. Deliver Ongoing Value
It’s important for member engagement that you’re delivering ongoing value.
If you’re billing people on a recurring basis, then you need to deliver value on a recurring basis.
People don’t join your membership to stand still.
They join to have their problems solved and reach their goals.
Everything you do with your site should be in pursuit of that.
Do you plan on regularly adding new content? Ensure that you have a calendar or schedule that shows what’s coming up and displays the future value of the membership.
4. Encourage Participation in your Community
Community plays a huge part in improving engagement, so try to find ways to make an integral part of the member experience.
Use things like progress tracking, member logs, and accountability sections to help them to encourage deeper participation and deeper engagement.
This is a strategy where you’re encouraging members to interact with your community platform as much as possible.
You can increase engagement and reduce churn because it gives people skin in the game.
If people are journaling about their progress and being accountable to each other they will come together.
When people are forming real relationships in your membership, engagement goes through the roof.
Encourage discussions and questions about your membership content within the community itself.
So rather than having people contact you via your support email, create a dedicated forum for your content and take the discussion there.
5. Form Weekly Habits
Something that’s really ramped up engagement for us is sending a weekly email round up of the most popular or interesting discussions taking place in the community.
By doing this, what we’re not only making sure people see some of the best content, but also giving people a check-in date.
Our members know that every Saturday morning they are going to get their email, so they can put aside some time to engage even if they’ve been busy all week.
If you’re not doing weekly reminders, consider creating content that’s exclusively delivered within your community.
This can be a great way of ramping up the online engagement.
When you bring in guest experts for your membership, you can actually conduct a Q&A session in the community where members can only ask questions by posting in your forum.
This is really about building those habits and getting people into the routine of checking into your community.
6. Reward Desired Member Behaviour
Try to identify the behaviours you want your members to exhibit.
How often do you want them logging in? How many courses do you expect them to complete?
Identify ideal member behaviours and find ways to recognize, reward, and reinforce them.
You can do this by monitoring participation with systems like Intercom.
Or maybe even adding gamification to your membership site; using systems like Badge OS, Credly or Mycred to give badges or points to members for task completion and achievements to take that member experience and their engagement to another level.
Encourage your members to share their wins, achievements, and progress.
Give them a shout out personally during your member course or weekly emails.
People love personal acknowledgement.
By making sure your members are engaging with your membership site in the way you want them to, you are helping people establish habits that will help them learn from your content and get hooked on your membership.
All this stuff prolongs their membership and encourages them to become a positive part of your membership month after month, year after year.
Ultimately, that’s what success is all about when you are running a membership website.