How to segment your membership

There are many different ways you can segment your membership. What you decide to call the levels will be driven by whether this is an organisational or an individual membership. The advantages of segmenting your membership is that this will help you deliver benefits that are relevant to your different audiences. A student member will have different needs to a large corporate for example.

Sometimes when you present membership benefits you can put the levels at the top of a diagram showing a desired option to encourage others to select this type. It can also be a great way to create an aspirational tier, for example and Accredited member might only be possible if you have met certain criteria, the same could be said for Silver, Gold and Platinum. You can also use a term to describe those that benefit from your audience but largely provide services eg affiliate or supplier member. One of the best categories I created at the BPMA, British Promotional Merchandise Association was a 10 and 25 year membership.

This was largely seen as recognising those members that had been loyal to us for that many years. We then created a logo that used the association symbol and the 10 and 25 in the middle. Members were so proud to use it and it was a great way of building the brand name wider. You can also develop a patron member which largely could be seen as an ambassadorial category and linked to a special range of benefits and kept to an exclusive group. Long service members could also be referred to as fellows.

There are a number of different ways you can segment your members. Here are just a few ideas for you to consider

  • Standard and Premium
  • Trial, Full, Honorary, Life member, Patron, Fellow
  • Basic, Intermediary, Advanced
  • Using colours – eg Yellow, Red and Blue
  • Silver, Gold and Platinum, VIP
  • Band 1, Band 2, Band 3, Band 4 (could also be Level)
  • Employee numbers 1-10, 11-20, 21-50, 51-100, 101+
  • Turnover linked eg examples up to £500k, £500k-£1m, £1-5m, £5m+
  • Associate, Affiliate, Accredited, Chartered
  • Small Business, Corporate, Special groups
  • Student, Professional, Professor
  • Distributor, Agent, Supplier, Partner
  • Fellow, Founder, 10 year, 25 year

If you would like to find out more about running or improving your membership programme, please email me gordon@gordonglenister.com

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