9 Solid Marketing Strategies to Increase Your Membership Signups

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Today’s businesses can attract customers in a multitude of ways. One strategy worth considering is a membership scheme, but drawing people into these presents its challenges.

However, with a little forethought (and a lot of hard work) the benefits to your business and brand awareness can be considerable. 

Read on for our holistic approach to getting more membership signups. 

1. Know your audience

If a business wants to increase participants in a membership or loyalty scheme, they need to ask who their members are. If you don’t feel you have a sense of your audience, you can learn about them in a few different ways.

You can speak to other departments (ask your ecommerce team “what is BOPIS” and use this to streamline communication). You might be able to glean some information from customer records as well. Alternatively, you can get it straight from the horse’s mouth.

If you’ve got an active social media following, ask people about what they’re interested in. You can also use surveys (with some kind of incentive) to get information and build a good customer relationship. If you’re feeling particularly bold, try contacting people who are really invested in your business and asking for their opinions.

2. Define what you’re offering

With this information to hand, your next task is to define your membership. It needs to offer some kind of benefit your baseline service doesn’t. Whether it’s in-depth written content, an exclusive product, or access to a specific event, identify what your audience wants and provide it. 

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You also need to think about the infrastructure surrounding your membership. Even if you’re just sending people news articles or videos, you must be able to process the payments you’ll be taking.

Essentially, this step is about defining your product and what makes it special as well as how it works. 

3. Tell people about your membership

Once you’re happy with your scheme, it’s time to start promoting it. While you might be reluctant to take such a salesy approach, genuine membership value should counteract that problem.

Think about where you promote your scheme. You want to have a prominent link on your site menu, and some kind of banner will also help draw attention to it. 

Social media is a goldmine for attracting members but focus only on the channels your potential customers use. In certain cases, you might want to switch from Facebook to a private community platform (if you’re able to overcome the fears surrounding this move and it’s the best choice for your business).

Don’t be afraid to utilize cloud call center software to get the word out there, and be sure to mention your membership scheme to any newsletter subscribers. It’s very possible that to people willing to sign up for a newsletter, a membership scheme will be similarly attractive.

4. Make it easy to become a member

Signing up for anything online means at least a little friction. To attract new members, you must minimize this during the signup process. 

Avoid having too many steps in the process, and make sure it’s optimized for mobile devices. You should also ensure you have appropriate payment options in place. Low-effort choices like Apple Pay are particularly useful.

Another consideration is how much information you’re collecting on members. You’ll need some, but collecting too much will slow down the signup process. Make sure you don’t become too intrusive with your data collection either; stick to only what you need to deliver membership benefits.

5. Offer some kind of bonus

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Another way to encourage signups is to provide an incentive. You might want to offer additional free months of membership if people sign up within a certain period. If you sell physical products, you could throw one of these in. If you’re retailing an app, you might want to give members access to features like augmented reality. 

You can also use memberships for other purposes, such as creating a community around an annual event. Whatever it is, make sure it’s something people want to receive.

Adding some kind of time limit to your promotion is a good way to spur signups. Shorter is better, as this helps generate a stronger sense of urgency.

6. Consider a partnership

A membership doesn’t have to include only the benefits you can offer. You could also partner with another organization if your target audiences have some overlap.

While this can be a direct signup reward, it can also take the form of a future members-only event or members-only discount codes during a peak shopping period. While it may take some time to find an appropriate partner, this is a strategy that offers big benefits for everyone involved.

Another approach you can take is to pursue a Google parallel trackingIf you’ve ever asked “what is parallel tracking google ads”, now is the ideal time to explore the concept.

7. Post user reviews

If you offer quality products and excellent content, a surefire way to win people over is with reviews. You can take a similar tack to signups and offer some kind of incentive for posting a review or testimonial about your membership scheme. 

While you want your membership to shine on its own merits, hearing from fellow customers will encourage trust among potential members. A significant number of people are more likely to buy something if they can read a review about it first.

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Businesses beginning with customer reviews should start small and build up. Identify some of your most engaged members and ask them to review your membership scheme. You can use a simple survey to encourage take-up. Even if you only get a short chunk of copy from each person, you can add these to key pages to create a significant impact. 

You can also use this strategy to troubleshoot problems such as shopping cart abandonment online. 

Where possible, try to pair these reviews with a photograph of the member. Adding a human face makes customer reviews much more valuable. 

8. Let everyone know what you offer

If bonuses and fresh reviews aren’t practical on a regular basis, try selling your membership on its own merits a little more. One way of doing this is discussing benefits and updates on public forums, ensuring non-members get a peek behind the curtain.

If you offer written content as part of your membership, for example, announce these members-only articles on your main social channels. You don’t need to do this all the time – once or twice a week is a good target – but it will entice people into considering membership. 

If you’re changing your membership in response to feedback – a good tactic to increase membership renewal rates – mention this as well.

Another way to draw people in is to assume a certain level of knowledge on the part of your customers. You might mention discussions you’ve had in members-only spaces, for instance. Even if people don’t know what you’re talking about, being included in this makes them feel special. 

By taking this approach, you can help make your membership more intriguing and increase the likelihood of signup.

9. Offer quality content

Of course, even if you do encourage people to sign up, the value of your membership is an ongoing concern. A great way to boost this is by offering a comprehensive range of content.

If you’re an online publication or a business conveying expertise, you’ll likely be doing this anyway. But even if you’re offering something else (like a product subscription) content can still be an excellent strategy. It enables you to share offers and other important news and discuss or explore topics your members find interesting.

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Today, there are lots of ways to create online content. Written content is an obvious choice, whether it’s in the form of a news story, how-to guide, or even an ebook, and is particularly flexible. If you have a complex question to answer, such as “what is voice analytics”, a written explanation is the way to go.

Video content (whether live or pre-recorded) is also very popular, as are visual materials like charts and photographs. If you’ve pursued audio video conferencing systems, you’ll know the benefits of this firsthand. You can also explore audio content such as podcasts or audiobooks.

While it’s worth exploring at least a couple of different content types, your choice of content should be shaped primarily by your target audience. If you’re serving content in a business context, written might be the way to go, whereas if you’re an athletics brand, a podcast might be more suitable.

In short

Memberships are an excellent way to keep people invested in what you do and meet broader customer service objectives on top of your virtual phone system if you have one. While they require significant investment from you, there are many ways to add value to them and ensure a healthy return.

In addition to a quality content offering and other useful benefits, you should create a sense of exclusivity and mystery around your membership. You can also form useful partnerships with other relevant businesses. 

Taking a multi-pronged approach to membership signups is the surest way of increasing them

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