As a membership site owner, you’ll have to wear a lot of hats to ensure your project is a success. Yes, there are many tasks you can outsource or delegate, but in the beginning at least, you might be responsible for most aspects of keeping your membership site running smoothly.
In addition to building the membership site and creating its content, you’ll also be responsible for promoting and marketing your project. Not only that, but you’ll also need to keep your existing members happy. After all, it’s often said that it's easier to keep an existing member than find a new one.
In this article, we’ll share some tips on how to manage subscriptions on your membership site. By being proactive, you can increase the chances of keeping your most important asset – your paying users – happy and signed up for as long as possible.
Ready? Let’s get started…
Keep Providing Value
One of the best ways to manage your subscriptions and keep your members signed up for longer is to continually provide value to your users.
Launching a content-packed membership site is just the beginning. To attract new members and keep your existing users happy, you’ll need to publish new content on a regular basis. Keeping existing content up to date should be a priority too, ensuring your site continues to provide value to your paying members long after they've signed up.
One way to take some of the burden off of providing your members with a steady stream of new content is to drip the release of your content. Powerful membership plugins, like MemberPress, make it easy to schedule and time the release of content, so that your members gradually get access to your material, rather than having access to it all from day one.
Of course, you’ll still need to produce new content, but dripping the release of protected content gives you the ability to create new content in batches.
Stay in Touch with Your Members
Some users might sign up for your membership program but then stop coming back to your site once their initial enthusiasm has worn off. When it comes time for those members to review their outgoings, your membership site, that they haven’t logged in to for a few months, will be the first subscription to be canceled.
Instead of waiting until it’s too late, why not create an email newsletter for your membership site. You can then encourage all members to sign up. Once they’re on your list, you can email them with regular updates to keep them engaged with your content. You can also use social media in this way, and create profiles on popular platforms like Facebook and Twitter, to keep your members in the loop.
Members who use your site regularly, and get a lot of value from your content, will find it harder to cancel their subscription than those who haven’t logged in for months.
Ensure Your Website is Running Smoothly
As your membership site becomes more popular, the extra users accessing your content could cause your website to slow down. Also, the design of your site might've been compatible with all the latest browser versions when you launched your membership program, but now things have moved on and that’s no longer the case.
Due to the constantly changing online environment, and the growing demands on your website, you should definitely be keeping an eye on the performance of your membership site.
Slow loading times, confusing user interfaces, downtime, and outdated design practices can quickly put off even your most loyal members. Thankfully, there’s lots you can do to check and monitor the performance of your website. If you notice any problems, then upgrading to a better web host or switching WordPress themes could provide a solution.
Provide Responsive User Support
Your membership website might have the best content, but if that content isn’t easy to find, or your choice of membership software isn’t straightforward to use, you could be failing to manage the subscriptions on your site.
As well as choosing a membership site platform that’s easy to use, you also need to support your users in order to keep them happy, engaged, and signed up for longer.
Part of this involves creating helpful documentation that explains how to use your membership site and its content. Creating an FAQ or online knowledgebase for your membership site is a good place to start. Another requirement is having a responsive help desk that your members can turn to when they run into a problem.
You don’t have to go as far as setting up a telephone hotline that’s staffed 24/7. Just having a dedicated email address that’s regularly checked can be enough for some membership sites. However, there are some great tools out there for implementing a help desk system, so be sure to check them out.
Reward Your Existing Members
As well as maintaining your membership site subscriptions by feeding your existing members with new content on a regular basis, you should also think of other ways to reward your users.
One option could be creating a subgroup of members that consists of users who’ve been subscribed for a set length of time. These members could be rewarded with group calls, mastermind sessions, early access to new content, or free upgrades. You could even try and secure discounts for your members at relevant stores or events.
Setting up an affiliate program for your membership site, that only your current subscribers can join, is another way to reward your loyal users. Once signed up, your members would earn a commission for each new user they send to your website.
Focus on Membership Site Security
Another aspect of successfully managing subscriptions on your membership site is keeping your website and its data secure, especially the user data. As the responsibilities for running your own membership site are greater than just maintaining a regular website, this is an area you need to pay extra attention to.
If you’re using WordPress, then there are some excellent security plugins out there that can make your website less prone to data breaches and unwanted attention. Installing a (free) SSL certificate is another way to improve the security of your website with very little effort.
If your website does get hacked it could cause lots of problems for your members — especially if you’re processing payments through your site — making it easier for your users to decide to cancel their subscriptions. Therefore, you should do all you can to keep your site safe and secure.
Plan for Administrative Issues
Administrative oversight can be another issue that affects your ability to successfully manage subscriptions on your membership site. One example of this is an expiration of the payment method used by a member for their subscription. If they fail to update their payment details in your system, their subscription could inadvertently come to an end the next time you try to charge their expired card.
Thankfully, some membership plugins, including MemberPress, have the ability to automatically send out card expiry notifications to users. When used, this feature can give your members plenty of time to update their payment details and avoid involuntarily ending their subscription. There are also tools that can help with this, including Churn Buster and its add-on for MemberPress.
You should now have some more ideas covering how to manage subscriptions on your membership site.
As your members are the lifeblood of your membership site, it’s vital that you do all you can to manage your active subscriptions and keep them running long after the honeymoon period has ended.
Thankfully, as we’ve just seen, there is lots you can do to prevent your members from leaving, including regularly adding new content, keeping in touch with your members, ensuring your website is running smoothly, and rewarding your existing users.
How will you manage subscriptions on your membership site? Please let us know in the comments below.