The membership business model used to be utilized only by business entities like spas, gyms, or other sports club. Professional associations and some non-profit groups also follow this model but not primarily to earn profits. Today, this model has been adopted by enterprises ranging from cafes to grocery stores and from eCommerce platforms to transport services. For many companies, membership fees are the main lifeline of the business.
That is why it is critical to run successful membership campaigns to keep existing members happy and to add new ones. If you’re heading your company’s membership campaign drive for the first time, you can find the following discussion useful.
The Membership Business Model
You open a bank account, and the bank takes a few hundred dollars or several thousand dollars from you. You will never see the entirety of those amounts again unless you withdraw it all and close the account. The bank holds on to your money, and every few months, it earns interest. Meanwhile, the bank “plays” with your money together with those of other depositors by putting it in investment portfolios to grow it for your benefit, but mainly for the bank’s benefit.
The membership model is somewhat similar. Members pay a fee that, in most cases, are non-refundable. In return, they get access to services, facilities, and other perks. One of the main benefits for companies is clear: a steady cashflow. If you keep the number of members at a certain level, you immediately know how your cash inflow would be. It also reduces your marketing and other business costs. Once they become a member, there’s no need to do marketing. The service you would want to run for one member would be the same for another member unless you offer different kinds of membership.
The Membership Campaign
Is there a need for old-school mass mailings using companies that provide print fulfillment services? Or will everything be done digitally? You might need to rely on both, depending on what you want to achieve. Here are a few more ideas to consider when running a membership campaign for your business.
- Set your goals the right way. It would be redundant to say that the goal is “to increase membership.” According to some experts, your goal setting needs to be SMART, which stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timebound. A goal that says attract ten new members in a month is SMART. If your base is a membership of 100, a goal of ten is specific. It’s measured as 10% of your base. It’s achievable, targeting a particular audience, and done within a month.
- Why they should be a member. Emphasize the benefits of being a member and the meaning of their commitment to your brand, product, or services. For example, it could be the facility that you have that is the only one in the city or a unique natural oil used in your aromatherapy sessions that helps reduce stress.
- Offer options. If your target market covers a broad demographic—low to high-income earners, for example—provide opportunities on how they can become a member. Analyze your customer options and create membership tiers that would be attractive to your entire demographic. A more expensive fee with more services offered could be a tier for the high-income earners. A cheaper and more affordable level can be created for your lower-income base.
Mobilize your executives and team members in picking up the phone even to only follow up on the initial marketing drive. They might provide the right push that moves the situation to your favor.