There has been much written on how to attract new members to your membership site. But how about retaining them? We've covered how to reduce membership site's churn, but what about encouraging members to renew their membership? This is a crucial aspect to master if you want your site to become truly successful. So how can this be achieved?
In this article, we're going to look at a variety of ways to promote membership renewal. We'll discuss the type of content you should be adding to your site and the events and community feel you need to try and create. We will also consider how to use email, discounts, and automatic reminders to your advantage.
Post Valuable Content on Your Membership Site
One of the most important ways to ensure members renew their memberships is to post high-value content on your site. Useful content should be published regularly and always be of high quality. This will keep members engaged and stop them becoming bored with your website.
A great way to cater to all your users' needs is to present content in a variety of different formats. Podcasts, webinars, and videos are all exciting ways to publish your content and will help give you an edge over your competitors.
Carry Out Regular Surveys
Carrying out regular surveys is crucial to ensuring recurring membership. Surveys will help you to understand what your existing members want.
When members join your site, it may well be to learn about a specific topic. Once they have mastered that subject then they will leave. A survey will help you to grasp what they want to learn about next, so you can continue to produce relevant content that holds the interest of your members.
Create a Community
A strong membership site often has an active community of members. It is your job to create this community and keep it engaged and happy. Once people feel they are part of a like-minded, vibrant community, they will be less inclined to leave.
Forums are a great way to encourage your members to interact with each other. Sharing ideas, discussing topics, and offering solutions to problems will all help a group to bond. To set up a community like this, use a free plugin like bbPress to create forums. You could also try BuddyPress and add social networking features to your WordPress website. These forums and community areas can then be put inside protected areas so they are only accessible to your members.
Events are something for members to look forward to and can help give your site the edge it needs to get users to renew their memberships. Monthly live webinars, live chats, or live interviews with guests are all interesting ways to draw a crowd and create a buzz around your membership site.
Running an annual event for members only is another option. A conference, where members get to meet up in person will give your users an emotional connection to your site and the people on it. This will make it much harder for them to leave.
Partner Up With Others in Your Field
Partner up with others in your field to add extra value to your content. Get experts to write guest posts, speak in a podcast or webinar, or take part in a monthly event you are running. Another option is to team up with other websites and negotiate discounts on their products for your members. All these extras will give your customers more reasons to renew their membership with you.
Run a Drip Email Campaign
For members on yearly plans, a drip or timed email campaign is a crucial way to encourage them to renew their membership. Start a month before their membership expires with a series of emails. You should remind them that their membership is expiring and that they need to re-sign.
However, you should also resell your site to them, highlighting what your site offers, the benefits of being a member, and why they need to stay with you. By dripping this information to them at pre-defined intervals, customers will be reminded of the importance of your site and why they need to re-sign before their membership expires.
Offer a Discount to Those That Renew
Offering a reward or discount to those that renew before their membership expires is a good incentive for many to re-sign. MemberPress allows you to generate coupons, making it easy to offer a discount off membership renewal fees. By adding a ‘sweetener’, customers will feel like they're getting a good deal and will be happy to continue their membership.
If you aren’t keen to offer a discounted price on membership, then consider giving a reward to those that resign. This could be in the form of a download, a physical product, or access to a gated area. It's important that your members feel like valued customers, so whatever you offer, make sure it is high quality and relevant to your members.
Make Renewing Memberships Easy
A simple but important point to remember is to make it as easy as possible for members to renew their subscriptions. In each email that you send, include a link that will take your member straight to the renewal page. The more straightforward the process the more likely you will get people renewing.
Set Up Automatic Reminders
Occasionally a member's credit card, or method of payment, expires. This will result in you losing them as a member, sometimes without the customer even realizing.
Luckily, MemberPress has got this covered. MemberPress has a reminder feature that will automatically send out an email telling customers that their card is about to expire. By giving them this warning in advance, customers can easily update their card information before their card expires, helping to ensure a seamless membership renewal when the time comes.
It is extremely important that you have a defined approach for encouraging members to renew their subscriptions. Although not all of the ideas mentioned in this article will suit your site, there is no one stand out option. Try out different combinations of strategies to see what works well together, and what your audience reacts to.
Ultimately, if your members love your site then they will want to renew their membership with you. So make sure your membership site offers an experience that they can’t get enough of!
Do you have any top tips to encourage members to renew their membership? Please share in the comments below.