Heights Platform 20 Strategies to Increase Customer Retention In Your Membership Site

20 Strategies to Increase Customer Retention In Your Membership Site

8 minute read

Are you a membership site owner struggling with retaining your customers in your program?

On average, the churn rate in membership sites is 6-7% annually, this means that an average membership site loses 6% of its members every year.

For the average membership site, retaining an existing customer is much cheaper and easier than acquiring a new one. This is why you should strive to retain your current customers and reduce turnover (churn) as much as possible.

Keep reading below to find out how you can increase customer retention on your membership site and reduce turnover.

Start With Onboarding

Membership onboarding means effectively welcoming and integrating new customers into your program effectively.

Members retention starts with the onboarding process: if a new customer who just signed up is confused about how to log into your site or find content, they may immediately leave and cancel their subscription.

Ask yourself what processes or automation you have in place when a new member subscribes to your membership.

Good onboarding practices include sending an automated welcome email with instructions on better navigating your site, personally welcoming new subscribers with a quick call or adding an explanatory video.

Personally Interact With Members

One-on-one interaction is crucial in building a relationship with your members and reducing churn rate.

By talking with your members directly, you will create a deeper connection with them and build a relationship based on trust. Depending on your availability, you could offer the option for your members to jump on a one-on-one call, welcome new members on a private call, make it a weekly or monthly event and so on...

Drip Feed Your Content

If you have a large amount of content in your membership site, you run the risk of overwhelming new members with the amount of training that is immediately available to them.

To avoid this, consider drip-feeding your content to them by sticking to a schedule. This will make sure that your members will receive the right amount of content every day and won't feel overwhelmed or confused.

Related article: What is Drip Content? How Drip-Feeding Online Courses Improves the Learning Experience

Create a Membership Calendar

If you decide to drip-feed your content or offer new content on a schedule, it can be helpful to build a calendar.

This is a great practice that can benefit both you and your members. You will be forced to plan your content while offering your members a sneak peek into what is coming next.

If members can see the content schedule for the upcoming weeks, they will be more motivated to keep logging into your site, as they might be excited about the planned lessons.

Integrate a Community Space

A community is a great tool to keep your members engaged and reduce turnover. In a community area, members interact with each other, connect with other people like them and learn together.

If done well, a community can make all the difference in how members view your membership site.

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Use the Right Software

To build a great membership site, you need a great platform that allows you to do so.

The right membership site platform should be easy to use, while allowing you to customize your site and conduct more complex actions. This way, you can focus on managing your members and producing great content for them.

Heights Platform also makes it super easy to create and run a membership site: you can set your monthly price, limit students' access, upload your content and structure your program the way you want.

Collect Feedback From Your Members

This is an extremely important step that you should do even if your churn rate is nonexistent.

Collecting feedback from your customers can help you to identify opportunities for improvement in your program and content.

To do this, send out a member survey to identify your customers' preferences, understand how well they interact with your program and if they have any complaints.

In addition to meeting their needs, asking for feedback will give your customers a sense of reassurance that their opinion is valued. Try sending out surveys every couple of months, especially to new members who have a fresh perspective on how they expected your membership to be.

Make it Easy For Your Members to Get in Touch

Being available to your customers is not enough if you do not offer a clear way for them to get in touch with you.

To eliminate any barrier, make sure to specify how your members can contact you in a visible place within your program or website.

It is also a good idea to clarify eventual boundaries you might want your customers to know. If you set clear expectations on when your members can or cannot reach you, you will avoid eventual disappointments along the way.

Reward Longer Subscriptions

Another easy way to incentivize members to stick around longer on your membership site to make it more convent for them to subscribe for a longer commitment.

Check out this article from our blog to learn how to price a membership site: How to Price Your Membership Site (With Pricing Calculator)

For instance, you could set a monthly and an annual subscription option where the annual one is cheaper, so members will be more incentivized to make this kind of commitment. Recognizing your best members with a small gesture of elevated statuses, for example getting a badge each year, they are a member.

Heights Platform automates this with its badges system, which brings us to the next tip:

Add Gamification

Gamification can improve the customers' experience on your membership site and promote learning.

There are many ways to add gamification to a membership site: reward members for their progress by assigning them special badges, giving out points for completing a lesson or module, setting up completion certificates for certain courses within your site, and more.

To automate the gamification process, you need an online course platform like Heights Platform, where you can automatically give out points, and badges and generate certificates to reward your members.

Help Your Members Get What They Want

Why do your customers subscribe to your membership site?

What are you promising them?

They might sign up to learn a new skill, achieve a goal, meet new people, make more money, feel better etc. Whatever you teach or offer through your membership site, you need to deliver if you want your customers to stick around for the long term.

Run Weekly Events

A good idea to keep your members engaged and make them come back to your membership every week is to host weekly events.

These kinds of events can be anything you want, from group calls to Q&A sessions, live interviews, online workshops, webinars, training and so on…

Organizing events is also a great way to attract new members to your program!

Offer Exclusive Perks and Benefits

If you manage to collect a large number of customers in your membership, brands will want to partner with you to promote their products and services to your community.

These brands can generate a discount code for you and your members so that you can promote it as a perk for members to join and stay in your membership!

From a coffee shop discount to a deal on software products, offering these perks can be a great incentive for members to stick around.

Celebrate Members' Achievements Publicly

People love to feel appreciated.

Another idea to strengthen your relationship with your customers and keep them inside your membership is publicly celebrate their achievements and milestones.

If you have a community space integrated inside your membership, you could post shout-out messages to congratulate students who complete a certain module or lesson, celebrate their achievements and make them feel appreciated in the community.

The achievements you celebrate don’t have to be huge milestones, they can be as small as completing a hard lesson, joining the membership for the first time, or being a member for a year or more (for example).

Collect Social Proof With Case Studies

You might think that case studies, reviews and testimonials are only used to attract new customers.

This kind of social proof can also be a great way to motivate existing customers and incentivize them to keep logging into your membership.

Among all the social proof content, case studies are the best format for existing customers, as you show how other members like them achieved success by following the teachings you provided.

To do this, identify a few successful members and ask for their permission to share their stories with your audience.

Related article: 7 Quick Tips to Collect Reviews Easily and Increase Social Proof in Your Online Course

Organize In-Person Meetups

What better way to connect with your members and build a relationship than meeting them in person?

If you have the possibility, organizing in-person meetups can help you keep members engaged and active in your community and membership, while reducing churn.

More importantly, you offer the opportunity for members to interact with each other and even build new friendships.

Vet New Members

It might be that the reason why members tend to leave your program more than average is that they are simply not the right people for your content.

This is mainly a problem with free membership sites and communities where people do not have to pay to access the content.

This can happen if you do not have a clear idea of who your target audience is, or your marketing and sales pages do not provide all the information a potential customer needs before enrolling in your membership.

Other than fixing these two issues, you could try vetting new members who want to join your membership. A simple entry form can work wonders both to add exclusivity to your site and to spot people who are not fitted to join your membership.

Bring In External Guests

If you are the only one running your membership, over time, it can get hard to entertain your members and motivate them.

An external guest appearance can spark new interest in disengaged members, while keeping your active members excited.

If you organize weekly events, an idea could be to bring in an external guest one time to run a workshop, teach a new skill or share their experience.

Hire a Virtual Assistant

As your membership site grows, you will be busier and busier with running the site and providing support to your members.

The busier you get, the worst the level of service will be, as it will take you longer to get back to your customers and answer their questions.

This can be a valid reason for a customer to leave your membership and interrupt their subscription. So how can you avoid this kind of situation?

Hiring a virtual assistant can help you take care of support requests, and those more repetitive tasks, so you can focus on doing what you love: running the membership and generating content for your audience.

Check out this article to learn more about hiring a virtual assistant: Should You Hire a Virtual Assistant to Help You Build an Online Course?

Re-Engage Inactive Members

Even if you do everything right, you will always have people who become inactive for whatever reason.

While you can do nothing about that, you can try to re-engage them and bring them back to your membership.

Assuming you still have their contact information and they didn’t unsubscribe to your mailing list, try contacting them again to spark new interest, maybe by showing them all the cool stuff you have planned for the future, or reminding them of the benefits of joining your membership.

Related article: 7 Steps to Revive Your Online Community and Increase Engagement

What to Do When a Customer Leaves Your Membership

A customer unsubscribing from your membership can still be an opportunity for you to learn what went wrong and how you can improve.

It is a good idea to collect feedback from customers who are leaving by sending them a survey or even conducting a one-on-one exit interview.

This will allow you to understand the reasons why people are not renewing their membership and allow you to ultimately fix these problems.

Plus, even if that member is leaving, they will feel important and valued, and who knows? They might reconsider their decision!

Depending on why they are leaving, on the exit interview, you could ask them if they prefer to pause their subscription for a few months and automatically renew it later.


If you are a membership site owner, members retention should be your top priority.

Hopefully, the tips provided in this article will help you lower your churn rate and keep your members engaged over time!

Many of the ways described here require a strong membership platform where you can host your content, structure it the way you want, engage with your members and build a community.

All of this and much more is possible with Heights Platform, all-in-one online course creation and membership software. Start your free account today!

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