36 Useful Membership Site Statistics You Should Know in 2020

Are you looking for awesome membership site statistics? You’re in luck! Because we’ve combed the internet to find insights about membership businesses. 

It’s easy to start a membership site with an awesome membership plugin like MemberPress. You’d create one with even more confidence if you had a handy list of membership statistics to show you what’s happening in the membership economy today. 

In this post, we’ve compiled statistics based on three common and popular types of memberships:

  • Learning Management Systems
  • Association Memberships
  • Subscription Sites

There are several types of membership websites used across the internet. It’s very likely that you’re a small business or an individual looking for ways to make recurring income, and not a large corporate entity. 

Which is why we’re looking at statistics around learning, associations, and subscription sites that anyone can create. 

The insights here can help you focus on the right marketing strategies for your business and what to expect in your industry’s future. 

Ready to dive in? Let’s go.

Learning Management Systems

People and businesses use Learning Management Systems (LMS) to create and host their educational content. It’s essential to use the right platform so that you can offer features that support learning. 

You need plugins that enable course progress tracking, quizzes, deadlines, assignment submissions and a lot more. There are a large number of LMS vendors in operation today and choosing the right one will be challenging. 

For those who use WordPress, here’s a comparison of LMS plugins to help you choose one that’s right for you. 

Let’s start by looking at the market for LMS platforms. 

  • According to Markets and Markets, the LMS market size is expected to grow to USD 22.4 billion by 2023.
  • North America accounts for the largest market size using LMS platforms.
  • The highest source of revenue is projected to come from North America, followed by Europe. These markets use LMS systems the most due to the high adoption rate of technology and the availability of internet infrastructure. (Research and Markets)
  • There are an estimated 1000 LMS vendors today. (Finance Online)
  • The industries using LMS platforms can be broken down as follows: Education (21%), Technology (12%), Manufacturing (9%), and Governmental Bodies(2%). (iSpring Solutions)
  • 41.7% of the Fortune 500 companies use educational technology to train employees during formal training periods. (eLearning Industry)
  • Today, Over half (55%) of all LMS installations are deployed on the cloud while 45% are on-premise. (iSpring Solutions)
  • 89% of LMS users access online courses using a desktop. 76% of users access courses on a laptop, 25% through a tablet, and 19% via a smartphone.
  • Half of LMS buyers spend less than USD $5,000 on system implementation. 1% of LMS implementations cost above USD $50,000.
  • More than 50% of LMS buyers implement their platforms within 6 months. 24% of buyers need up to a year, while the remaining take more than a year to get their LMS platforms running. 
  • The top reason for dissatisfaction with an LMS platform is poor user experience (88%), followed by poor admin interface (74%)

Association Memberships

Associations memberships are typically smaller organizations that serve the interest of a profession or a trade. Associations are also related to charity and philanthropic works. 

These bodies often recruit and support individual member organizations (IMO), trade groups, or a combination of the two. 

Associations are built to develop and share knowledge, best practices, and to help their members network. They also support their members and advocate for their interests. This type of organization does not cater to general consumers; their needs are unique and each association may have its own unique culture – based on the industry they’re in. 

Let’s look at some helpful insights that will help improve marketing an association and boosting recruitment. 

  • Why do people join associations? 57% say it’s to network with their peers. 26% of people want to learn about their industry’s best practices, and 25% want to access specialized information. (Marketing General)
  • Associations that recruit both individuals and trade bodies have the highest median growth of 14%. Associations recruiting only individuals had 12% growth, and those that took in trade bodies had a growth of 10%. 
  • The largest generational group in associations is the Baby Boomer generation (36%). Generation X forms the next highest group at 29%. Millennials typically constitute 20% and Generation Z – 6%.
  • The overall recruitment channels that get the most new members are word of mouth (69%), email (62%), and meetings(34%).
  • Within digital recruitment channels, Facebook paid advertising is the most effective, generating 68% of new recruits. 51% comes from SEO efforts, and 46% from remarketing. 
  • What are the most used social media platforms for associations? 93% say Facebook, 82% prefer Twitter , and LinkedIn comes in third at 72%.
  • 79% of organizations use Facebook as a way to attract new members. Twitter comes second with 35% of organizations recruiting their members on the microblogging platform. 34% of associations are actively recruiting on LinkedIn. (Wild Apricot)
  • What’s the most impactful social media platform for recruitment? Associations say that it’s Facebook, while Twitter and other platforms have a lower impact. 
  • 38% of associations that experience an increase in member renewal rates offer automatic annual renewal with a credit card. 
  • 25% of associations say that creating targeted communication boosted member engagement. 16% attribute higher member engagement to using deliberate engagement strategies and an increased focus on members. 13% of associations started, cancelled, or modified events to find that member engagement grew. (Association TRENDS)
  • Higher member renewal rates are related to how well members recognize an association’s value proposition. 23% of organizations claim that higher renewal rates came from clearly identified value propositions, as opposed to associations where the value was unclear. 
  • 42% of associations state that having members understand their value proposition clearly leads to increased net membership. In comparison, associations where the value proposition was vague had lower net membership rates. 
  • 71% of associations use paid advertising including boosting social media posts, Google ads, and others.
  • 55% of associations allow their staff to work from home on a regular basis. 34% don’t and 11% say that it’s on a case-by-case basis. 
  • 76% of associations don’t offer benefits or affinity programs to create returning members. 

Subscription Memberships

Subscription-based businesses are growing in number. It’s the primary way that businesses and individuals can make a recurring income online. 

Let’s jump right in and look at some important subscription model statistics. They’ll provide the most relevant insights you need to understand why the subscription economy is going to become the norm in the future. 

  • By 2022, 53% of all software revenue will be generated from subscription models. (Digitalist)
  • By this year (2020), all new entrants and 80% of existing vendors will use subscription models. (Gartner)
  • Key challenges for business: 63% of media publishers say that converting audiences into paying subscribers is a significant issue. 42% of media businesses say that developing products that people are willing to pay for is a major hurdle. (Digiday)
  • The average small business spends more than USD $15,500 every month on SaaS products. (Blissfully)
  • Small businesses use an average of 20 plus paid SaaS subscriptions.
  • Of 504 senior business leaders representing retail, finance and other industries, 70% believe that subscriptions models hold the key to growth. (Global Banking and Finance)
  • 53% of surveyed senior finance executives say that 40% of their organization’s revenues are sold via a subscription model. (CFO )
  • 23% of C-level executives and board members are incorporating subscription and membership models as part of their future strategies. 17% of responding businesses will launch new or additional recurring revenue businesses in the near future. 
  • 82% of businesses are adopting subscription models because it enables them to become lead disruptors. (Citi Bank)
  • 76% of businesses claim that a subscription-based model helps create customer retention and long-term relationships with customers.


There you go. Hopefully, you’ve gained insights into the state of the membership economy by looking at three different types of memberships. 

The industry you’re in and the purpose of your membership site will dictate the kind of business decisions you make. As always, understanding your audience should be the first step to creating a successful membership business. 

If you’re interested in more business statistics, here’s a helpful list of digital marketing statistics that’s sure to get you thinking. 

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About Blair Williams

Blair is the creator of MemberPress. He is an experienced Software Developer who has created large scale web apps for scores of businesses. He now focuses on WordPress and Ruby development -- in particular the WordPress plugins he has created: MemberPress, Pretty Links, and Affiliate Royale. You can read his blog by visiting BlairWilliams.com.


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