5 Ways to Retain Members on a Membership Site

Running a membership site is a challenge. A lot of time and effort goes into signing up and attracting new members. Retaining members who have already signed up is a task that is often overlooked. There are a few key things a site owner can do to help keep members they’ve already worked hard to attract to their site. A little bit of effort can go a long way in keeping site members happy, content, and paying customers!

1. Make the best content and website possible. I know, I know, your first reaction to this is “duh!” Yes, this is as obvious as it gets. Don’t worry, I’ll make up for it later. Even though this is obvious it is always good to be reminded. Creating the best content or service you can is the best way to keep your members happy and continuous customers. Focus on quality not quantity. It is tempting to rush and create as much as you can. Resist that temptation and focus on quality. Eventually the content will fill in and you will have a great site that will sell itself. The point here is if the value of your site is high enough you shouldn’t have to worry about retention. No one will want to leave.

2. Reward members. Use discounts or special content to reward your members for their loyalty. Reward your oldest members. Reward your members on their birthdays and membership anniversaries. The rewards don’t have to be big, but getting something for nothing or just being recognized makes people feel special and builds loyalty.

3. Check the competition and see what they are doing. Doing ‘more’ and ‘better’ than your competitors is the general school of thought here. I’m gonna change things up a bit and say, do something different. Find a unique way to differentiate your site from your competitors. This makes you unique and can set you apart when all things may look equal to a potential customer. Identify your competitors weaknesses and make those your strengths. Pointing this out to potential customers makes marketing easier.

4. World Class Customer Support. Always be kind. Go out of your way to be nice. Members will be grumpy when they have to contact support. Most contact to your support will be about something negative, when something has gone wrong. You can’t please everyone all the time, but you should still try. Go out of your way to be helpful even if it becomes clear you are going to lose the customer. Good word of mouth is priceless. Losing a customer doesn’t necessarily have to equal bad word of mouth. “Karma,” or “reaping what you sow” is a powerful force in the universe. Whether you believe in something like this or not can you really afford to leave it up to chance? It’s almost impossible to quantify this and there are no analytics to track it. It’s plain old common sense and treating others how you would want to be treated. I’m sure you yourself have had to interact with some kind of customer support recently. Think back on that experience and how it could have been better. Make sure your site is giving the best support experience possible. When a member reaches out to support and the problem is resolved quickly, it leaves them with a good feeling. That good feeling will be what the customer remembers when it is time to make a decision to stick around or not.

5. Survey your members. Don’t just gather data about how you’re doing from your support experience. Give your loyal members a chance to give feedback. Survey your membership no more than twice a year. The percentage of people you send the survey to that actually give you feedback may be small but it can be a valuable tool to glean info on how you’re doing. If there is something going on that you have overlooked or haven’t thought of it might come out in a survey. Make the survey anonymous. Don’t ask for only negative feedback. Ask them what their favorite feature or content is. Ask what features or content they would like to see added. You can use a survey service like PollDaddy or even a form plugin like Formidable Pro.

6. Experiment with drip and expiring content. (Consider this a bonus tip to make up for #1 being so obvious.) With these features, available in MemberPress, you control when your members have access to content. For example, by giving the member access to videos one step at a time, they can’t see the videos that haven’t dripped to them yet. You an also set expirations for when content is no longer available. Use of these features can keep your members engaged with your content and less likely to consume everything at once and leave. MemberPress also has a full suite of dynamic reporting tools that will give you a handle on how your memberships and digital products are performing. You can slice the data by week, month, year, product and more. All of this data at your fingertips means that you’ll always know where you’re doing well and what needs improvement on your site.

I hope we have given you some ideas that you can implement to keep your membership site vibrant and retain your members!

About K.G. Carter

Kevin is an author, artist and blogger. He survived a 20+ year career in software development and technical management while working for Fortune 500 companies Microsoft, Adobe and Novell and subsequently several small startups. Kevin now spends his time writing and creating. You can find his artwork on Etsy at The Indigo Comma and his writing on the Amazon Bookstore and the Apple iBooks Store. Kevin blogs at Clariticity.


  1. I will immediately seize your rss as I can’t in finding your email subscription link or
    e-newsletter service. Do you have any? Please permit
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    • K.G. Carter says:

      So sorry! We didn’t have the right formatting turned on for this post. There is an email signup box on the right side of the page. If you go back to the blog post you can now sign up for our email newsletter. Thanks for reading!