Membership marketing is when an organisation starts a membership programme with the aim of generating additional income, generating leads, and/or achieving other organisational goals. In other words, a membership programme is designed to offer clear benefits to the members over a specified time period in exchange for something of value to the business i.e. subscription fees, engagement, sales opportunities, etc.
The membership process generally comprises three basic stages: acquisition of new members, providing value to the members and renewing their memberships plan. Each stage is usually broken down into sub-stages, and each one of those is aligned to specific types of communication.
Membership marketing impact on businesses
Membership marketing offers businesses some very powerful benefits. One of the biggest is that it helps you secure a regular, predictable income, which is key to creating stability and growth. Another major benefit is that, since people love to be part of something, it earns loyalty; and having a base of loyal members is a great starting point for launching and marketing other profitable goods or services – essentially it gives you a database of warm leads. It can also lead to wider brand exposure since many members will spread the word for you.
How to get it right
Firstly, you need a clear idea of how it fits into your general marketing strategy. What do you want to achieve? More revenue? More engagement? More sales or bookings? Once you know what your objectives are you can then design your membership programme around them.
The next stage is understanding your target audience. Who are they? What makes them tick? What problems do they need to solve? This knowledge is essential for making decisions about what to include in the membership.
Then you need to design the membership communication cycle. At Romax we suggest there are five stages in the cycle:
- Welcome pack
- Newsletter, Catalogue or Magazine
- Unexpected Content
- Renewal letter.
Each stage should have well-crafted communications that help you bond with members, deliver value and encourage continued membership. This can mean a lot of specialist work, which is why many businesses partner with marketing firms like Romax who first help you plan the cycle, and then use their specialist resources to produce high-quality content both in print and digital media.
This type of service also helps you measure results and then use the data to improve the programme.
It’s worth noting that some firms choose to focus on digital communication because it’s cheaper and easier to analyse. However, the online market is heavily saturated and many people are suffering from email fatigue which lessens the impact of digital communications. So, to get ahead, many businesses are opting for traditional print media because its tangibility offers something real, that is, something tactile for the member and that in turn strengthens the brand perception.
Romax Marketing & Distribution has more than 20 years of experience managing membership and client printing and communication services for organisations such as Southbank Centre, DKMS and PlusNet. Contact us for a bespoke Membership Marketing Solution: email@example.com, +44 (0) 20 8293 8550.