When a member joins your membership, they aren’t paying for a subscription. They’re paying for a solution.
So what makes your membership site the best solution for them? It’s simple. If you want your subscribers to stay give them results, support them, and make them feel like they belong. Anything else and they’ll head straight for the door.
I’m going to share with you 5 ways to turn your students into real fans who will not only stay but share your educational membership sites with their friends.
How To Create A Membership Website Your Students Won’t Want To Leave
1. Provide ongoing value
Members will stay with educational membership sites as long as they see the value. It’s your job to make it worth their while.
New resources, new courses, live calls, points system that give them access to new content—these are all things that will keep your audience around.
If the environment is stagnant and the content doesn’t change, why would they continue to pay month after month to receive the same lessons?
Don’t be stagnant! Continue to offer new resources and content for your membership site students.
You can’t provide just any type of content though. It needs to be content that helps them get the results they expect from joining your membership. Don’t think quantity, think quality.
I always encourage my clients to add their free content inside the membership as well because it’s added value to paying members and it gets your prospects inside, and from there it becomes easier to upgrade them to a paid product or program.
2. Welcome them with open arms: provide a tour for your platform
The onboarding process is really important. It’s that first impression that they get that will set the tone for the rest of their experience inside your membership platform.
Your onboarding process will set the tone for the rest of your membership experience.
Ideally, this is an onboarding email and video that shows them around your membership site, how the content is structured, where to start, how to consume your content, and where to go for help. It makes them feel welcome and gives them a sense of belonging. You can also invite them to your Facebook group if you have one and ask them to introduce themselves to provide even more connection.
A couple of days after they join, send them an automated follow-up email to find out how their experience is so far and ask if they need any help. This will remind them that there’s a real person behind the content they’re seeing.
Even if you have a Facebook group or forum, you should still have them in an automated email sequence that checks back with them regularly. Asking them if they have any questions, if they’re stuck and need help is a great way to keep them engaged in the membership content.
It doesn’t matter what theme or builder you’re using, whether it’s an Elementor membership site or you prefer the Divi or Bricks builder, this step can be achieved on any template.
3. Make learning fun and engaging through gamification
Gone are the days when you could whip up 3 videos, 3 pdfs, call it a membership site, and expect people to stick around.
If you want your content to be consumed, people to engage and get results, you need to make it easy and fun for them.
Of course your membership should be easy on the eye and functional for your user, but there are things you can do to make it feel more like play and less like work. You can try things like:
- Having bite-sized pieces of training with homework that gives them measurable results quickly
- Creating an objectives list and progress tracking to encourage them to consume your content. They want to see their score at 100%! (You can achieve that easily with AccessAlly Pro)
- Providing different kinds of media, because we all learn differently. Some of your students will be visual, and some will prefer to listen or read. Video, audio, pdfs, and transcripts are all medias that you should use to make it easier on your member to consume your content.
- Running quizzes: they are a great way to learn while having fun!
Make sure you’ve written measurable learning objectives to help students know where they’re headed.
4. Create the pain of disconnect
Of course, if they want to leave you need to make it easy for them to do so. It’s not about keeping them hostage 🙂 But that does not mean that you can’t offer them something that they only have access to while inside the membership.
That can be a tool, a software, a plugin, a live call or just being part of a community like a private Facebook group.
If you make that tool or service so good and hard to find anywhere else, they will want to stay for a lot longer as a member.
5. Ongoing support and community
This is probably your most important role as a membership owner. Nurturing your members is the key to keeping them loyal.
I hear this all the time. People purchase a course or sign up to a membership site, and when you ask them what they like best, the answer is often the community.
People want to do business with people, so it’s totally understandable that members want to connect with other members who have the same struggles/pains they do, so that they can support each other, cheer each other and celebrate successes together.
Building a solid community is hard work at the beginning. It requires commitment on your part to be consistent—especially at the start to get the group going.
To help our members engage, particularly at the beginning when they just joined and feel a bit shy, is to offer reviews of their work/assignments during office hours. This is a great way to encourage them to share where they’re at, their wins and their struggles with the group. They’ll realise they are not alone and that will motivate them to keep going.
Here are 2 common ways to create a community:
A Private Facebook Group
You can create a private Facebook group. That is the easiest way and the one that will probably get the most engagement, because the majority of your members are on Facebook daily.
You can set up a forum inside your membership site. You can achieve this with CommunityAlly, bbpress and BuddyPress, two WordPress plugins that work together to provide you with a forum platform and social platform for your members to interact.
This solution can be a bit tricky to set up (you may want to hire a developer), and the engagement will not be the same as in Facebook group. However, if you manage to set it up properly and get the members to come regularly to ask their questions and interact with each other, it can become a treasure chest of knowledge that members will want to visit again and again.
6. Run contests & challenges
This is a great way to motivate your members and to get some of them back on track.
If you can run periodic challenges or contests, you’ll get more engagement from your members, they’ll get better results and share it with their friends, which can give you more exposure. It’s a win for all!
These are only some of the things you can do to turn your membership into a true learning platform. Membership sites are a great way to leverage your expertise and impact more people while giving you more flexibility to work when you want. But when combined with the strategies and features that make it a true learning platform your audience will love to stay in, and then the sky is the limit.
Ready to build your membership?
About The Writer:
Nathalie Dorémieux is the co-founder of New Software marketing and WP Help Club. With over 20 years of experience as a software engineer and 10 years as an online entrepreneur, Nathalie has built a multiple 6 figure business building website and membership solutions for entrepreneurs big and small.
Together with her husband Olivier they specialize in building complete solutions for the online marketing world. They’ll also build your opt-ins, free video series delivery, full website or membership. They can design lead generation and sales funnels using the most popular list management systems.
If you want to learn more about membership you’ll find Nathalie and her tribe at The Membership Experiment, a free community of entrepreneurs who want to share their expertise through online learning.