Make sure you get your membership model right

When you are looking at your membership model, make sure you investigate a range of suppliers. Off the shelf options can be very cost effective but limited on specific requirements you may have and that’s a trade off you need to consider with a bespoke solution.

I would recommend if you are looking for creating something for the first time, work with a specialist membership consultant to ensure that you pick the right solution.

Research is very important on delivering member benefit. I always say to organisations, can your members get that service on the web easily how can you niche that benefit. So for example a tailor-made insurance product specific for a trade association could be what I call the “killer” benefit and the lead driver for recruitment. This is far better than saying we offer discounted insurance products

One of the most important things to do when you launch a membership programme is that you run a small group of members on a test pilot to see how they engage with your content and benefits as well as soliciting their views and comments to act as references. So take this on board and change appropriately. People join membership not always for the same reasons, so its important that you capture this on application and during the membership year you ensure that you are delivering relevant value against that. An example might be if the membership team of a gym don’t engage with the members, about how they are doing with their programme or put on stimuli to keep them engaged, then they are more likely to leave.

If you look back at two organisations offering something similar at the time Blockbuster and Netflix, Blockbuster made most of its money by charging late payment fees. Netflix of course didn’t have the cost of the retail locations but by comparison Netflix offered membership instead of charging rental. This made late fees unnecessary. Netflix is one of the most successful memberships with over 150 million members now while Blockbuster sadly went bust. The reason I mention this is that you should never lose sight of your members pain points and always be thinking of maximising member value particularly if you have a competitor at play.

If you want to find a list of membership platforms and partner companies, please contact me here.

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