After building a solid subscriber base for your membership site the target will then be on you to ensure that your members are satisfied and are being served well.
Whereas initially your efforts and concentration were most likely spent on marketing and promoting your site, there is now another dimension you will need to put in the forefront of your activities when you have amassed some members.
A membership site is no good to you if you cannot keep your members actively subscribed, because after all, your income source is heavily dependent on these people.
Keeping members subscribed often means keeping them happy and providing them with quality and value for money content. One easy way to gauge how happy your members are is to keep track of your site’s attrition rate or rate of unsubscribe instances per week/month/year etc.
Most membership sites out there are of low quality and thus have a high attrition or cancellation rate. This is great news for people like you and me who pride ourselves on the quality and value of our work because it means that our membership sites have a good chance to stand out and shine amongst our inferior competition.
So what are the factors which contribute to high membership cancellation rates and what can we do to minimize them?
Obviously each situation will have unique circumstances governing the reasons why a membership site has high attrition rates but some common factors are listed below:
1) Low quality content
When people shell out money because they’ve been persuaded to join your membership site, they will have certain expectations regarding the quality and quantity of the content. If they suddenly realise that after a couple of payment cycles they’re getting junk instead of quality content, your members will leave in droves.
Therefore, when creating your content, service or product, always be mindful of the quality of the product you are creating and honestly ask yourself, “would I be happy to pay for this?”
2) The perceived value of your membership product from the perspective of your clients, is lower than the price they paid for it
Following from the point above, the perceived value of your membership product is one of the most important qualities you can cultivate regarding a membership site. This psychological factor also applies to any product or service and whether you are selling online or not.
When people perceive that what they are paying for offers tremendous value for money or is a great deal, then you’re always going to be in a good position as the provider of the service or product. This is especially apt for membership sites.
However, when the reality of your membership product does not match the initial perceptions held by your customers, they will not hesitate to cancel their subscriptions or even ask for their money back.
Always try to over-deliver when it comes to quality and value. As a matter of fact, if you start out by giving free and useful content to your members, this will have a positive effect on their perceptions of your products and services and will lay a good foundation for a fruitful client-seller relationship.
3) Information overload or excessive marketing via email campaigns
We mentioned earlier that your initial efforts when setting up your membership site are usually concentrated on promoting your products and services. Even though you may already have built up a large subscriber list, your marketing and promotional work will most probably continue.
But where a lot of people fall down when it comes to membership site promotions, particularly to existing clients, is that they push the boundaries of the amount of upselling or marketing they do. For instance a big factor which will determine whether a member stays subscribed or not is how tolerant they are to your autoresponder campaigns. If the frequency of your emails is too high, then a lot of people will feel they are being sold to instead of being treated like a client.
4) Your content or product does not meet your target market’s needs
This issue arises when people market their membership site in a misleading way. Obviously the reason some membership site owners set out to mislead people with their marketing is because they are trying to build their subscriber list.
They are also counting on their clients to either not notice that what they are being offered is not what they are getting or even if they do notice, they might forget to cancel their subscription.
The best practice is to obviously create a membership product which provides its members with what they are looking for. Also, you should always be truthful in your promotional material and be honest if you are not providing something. People will often appreciate your honesty.
5) Not offering enough content to your members
This is a problem often encountered by both newbie and experienced membership site owners. A lot of the time, people create what they believe to be enough quality content or material for their members and then they either stop creating content or their new content begins to deteriorate in both quality and quantity. A successful membership site will always keep its members engaged and offer them fresh material and information.