Website member retention can be one of the trickiest parts of your business, if your website relies on a membership subscription – for example if you are a Gym or run an info marketing business that requires people to subscribe to access content – then retaining those paying customers, after you have already paid to acquired them, should be your priority.
Here are some top tips on website member retention:
Deliver on your promise! If you promised before subscription to deliver updates/content/prizes ‘X’ amount of times a week, then be sure to stick to it.
Leaving your members to feel short changed is the quickest and surest way to having them heard off into the distance never to return
Always deliver what you promised, on time, without excuses!
Listen to your paying members! Most websites have some sort of comments section, whether it be a blog, comments beneath content or even a Facebook or Google review page.
Make sure you pay attention to what your members are saying/talking about/asking for whether it be web design issues, quality content issues or website performance issues – act and fix as quickly as possible.
Give them numerous ways to contact you, include your phone number on every page, make them feel like their feedback is welcomed and importantly ACT on what your paying subscribers are saying/suggesting.
Survey your members – If your members aren’t complaining too much, but renewals are still dropping off, then it doesn’t mean there isn’t a problem just because they aren’t venting – use your initiative and act.
Send out a survey, let people know they can respond anonymously, even go as far as publishing the results, show your members your listen & value them and more importantly that you are ACTING upon their feedback.
Offer them the best deals – If you do have any deals, why not make some exclusive deals for members only?
Nothing is worse than a bank advertising for new accounts and giving the best rates to new members, why not give your best deals to those already loyal to you? Make them feel great and valued.
Turn them to raving fans – Why do all the hard work and spend the extra money trying to bring new members on board when a happy member who becomes a raving fan will do it for you, for free?
Reward them for referrals if necessary, but the cheapest and strongest way to bring in new paying members is from happy raving fans who spread the word about you, for you! You may need a referral marketing campaign in place to action this – But remember your existing happy clients can be your best sales people.
Constantly look to improve – Adding features to your website, giving bonus content, anything that makes your member feel great and valued.
By constantly tweaking the smaller things and making your members life easier, particularly around your website will pay off in the long term.
Give them a reason to constantly return.
Exclusive events – By offering your members exclusive events it gives them a chance to be part of the whole experience, to not just be another member, to feel special and like they are truly apart of something.
By running members only events it gives an opportunity for networking and to showcase to other members and potential members another benefit and reason to be a member of your exclusive group.
Make signing up and renewing as easy as possible – Why would you even make this difficult you may ask… but you would be surprised at how difficult some places are to sign up to.
During the early stages, you may not need to know someone’s fax number, work number or their pets name, get only what you need: name, email, address & card details. Make it as simple as possible for them to sign up and if you do need to collect further details, collect it once they have paid and have access to an account.
Renewals can be difficult and clunky to do online, online processors make it easy for you to auto-renew your members – but make it easy for them to stop and cancel at any time.
If you do need to ask for renewals, a few gentle email reminders with a link to renew or even a small message inside their members area that they can click to renew, anything to make it as unobtrusive as possible.
Retaining website members can be a tricky business, but it’s far cheaper than chasing new members and the compound effect of retained members plus new members each week/month can have a huge effect on your revenue and bottom line.
A lot of work is required to maintain members not from just the content side but from a technical point of view as well. It’s likely that your web agency will offer you some sort of monthly retainer or website maintenance deal to help you retain members and execute on the plans.
By following the above steps you are sure to improve your website member retention, you should make more money by retaining existing customers than chasing new customers – and if you do have raving fans then they will do the chasing of customers for you.