By Jorge Lazaro Diaz
You worked hard to build the sales funnel that courted, impressed, educated, encouraged, and nurtured your prospect into joining your membership program. Prospects see the value you offer, and they’ve agreed to your price. They are now your paying members.
Now comes a bigger challenge. How do you keep them:
- Progressing through your content,
- Learning, and
- Highly satisfied?
The approach you used to attract these members and sell them are different from the approach you’ll use to keep them. The former is about attracting and showing the benefits and value. The later is about delivering the value and keeping the member actively moving through your content.
You cannot afford to fail here. If you do, it’s unlikely your members will stick around and they definitely won’t be recommending you to their friends.
Let’s review the dilemma your members face after signing up:
- They are busy. They decided to join your membership because at one point they saw the value. Now they’re looking at their priorities, and this important-but-maybe not-so-urgent task is competing with their daily grind, crises of the day, and emergencies.
- They are now comparing the excitement they felt when they bought into your program with the reality that this is going to take some real work.
- They likely did their research and compared you to others. Your competitors are still bombarding your members. Your members could be dealing with buyer’s remorse, and that plays into your relationship with them.
So what must you do to not only keep them but also delight them so that they’ll stay and engage?
Must do #1: Make a strong first impression
From the very start, you must deliver a first impression that captivates your members. It’s a given that the first login experience must be positive. This means building a membership website with content that looks professional and is easy to use.
Many membership sites mistakenly present a ton of content right from the start. Your members feel like they’re walking into a state fair with lights flashing from every direction competing for their attention.
Many sites I’ve reviewed forget to include a “Getting Started” or course overview. Nothing explains how to best to use the site, where to begin, and sets the expectations.
When faced with scenarios like this, members get antsy, confused, or overwhelmed. None of these mental states are good, and they can lead to issues keeping them as happy members.
Now keep in mind that you’re in a good position when members first arrive. You’ve impressed them enough to get them to make the purchase. Now you have to convince them that your approach for delivering your content is just as good.
I recommend using video. It can make a big difference. These don’t have to be “Hollywood.” You can have your company owner or spokesperson presenting into a webcam or a mobile phone camera. You can combine that with a screen capture video if required to explain.
The goal is to:
- Thank members for joining,
- Explain to them you understand how they feel now that they are encountering the content for the very first time, and
- Assure them you and your team are here to get them through it.
Something as simple as this can go a long way towards helping them overcome the concern brewing in the back of their minds.
Must do #2: Keep them connected and engaged
More and more we see and build sites that have a forum component to them. This is where members connect with each other and share their experiences. They support and advise each other with support. (The upside to this is you can offload a part of your support work to your tribe).
Using Wordpress tools like BBPress or Muut, adding a forum is straightforward. Another option is to set up a private Facebook group. I personally have been in programs where they tribe of fellow members was as valuable, if not more valuable, than the course itself. If you as the membership site owner make that environment available, you get the credit for it and reap the benefits of that additional stickiness.
Must do #3: Give them goals to achieve
Some of your members will be self-motivated. They’ve set their own goals. Many others would benefit from help in this area. One tactic I’ve seen work well is to set up a leaderboard. Members can see how their progress compares to others in the program.
You can get elaborate if you like, but you can also use something simple like scoring people on the number of lessons completed in a given month. At the beginning of each month, you reset everyone’s score to zero. Then you give members a point or two for completing a lesson in the given month. You can be creative and built in other ways to get points. Then you publish a list prominently on your site that recognizes your top performers.
I’m not typically very competitive, but I’ve found myself wanting to one up other members in a program for no other reason than so my name show up on the board. I’ve surprised myself at how easily I have fallen for this as a motivator. It sets up an artificial goal for me to achieve outside of the course content itself, and it has gotten me to do things I wouldn’t have otherwise done.
Remember your members are alone at their computer or device consuming content. It’s a lonely experience. Taking an approach like adds a community aspect to it. That’s a big difference for many people and one that will improve upon the experience.
Jorge Lazaro Diaz (founder of Larry Jacob Internet Marketing) and his team specialize in building what they call Incredibly Powerful Membership Websites for Infusionsoft users. Through his program, Defining Infusionsoft Success, Jorge and his guests work to empower entrepreneurs with valuable resources for transforming their businesses. Join Jorge’s newsletter to receive weekly tips for growing your business.