It’s Easy to Make Your Membership Complicated. Simplification Is Difficult and Important

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Simplifying Your Membership is Important

Pointless. I was writing, printing, and mailing a 24-page full-color newsletter for 36 people. That’s all that signed up. It was so humiliating to write and preparing a newsletter for only 36 members. Expensive too — although each member paid $199.00 monthly, total dues collected was not enough to cover my production and fulfillment costs with so few members. Membership would exceed 360 in just a few months, and a year later there were more than 1,000 members. By then, I’d forgotten about running negative that first month. But at the time, it felt pointless. The release of my new book, Retention Point, has generated a lot of discussions with potential new clients. At some point, I’ll charge for the subscription assessments I deliver. They really are amazing and well worth investing $2,500.00, $5,000.00, or more. Heck, I put 5–10 hours into reviewing your subscription marketing, onboarding, and deliverables before … Continued

Member Retention Secret for Getting More Lifers and Becoming the Membership That Doesn’t Get Canceled

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Subscription Membership That Doesn’t Get Canceled

“I can’t even get my member to return my call.” I’ve heard it a million times. This person has been a member for months, but now they’re getting canceled because their monthly charge didn’t go through. The team emails, calls, and even sends a letter … no response. In the beginning, there were just a few of these, but now, you can see there is a disease. Members won’t return your emails and calls. This problem started in the hours and days after this member joined. You just don’t excite them anymore. Have you ever gotten excited about buying something, then a few weeks after you bought it you didn’t even remember you had it? And if the company who sold it to you calls you, are you going to take that call? Heck no! Even if you liked them well enough, it wouldn’t matter. No one likes talking to … Continued

In A Divided World, Those Who Unite Their Supporters Win

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Those Who Unite Their Subscribers Win

Your subscribers have several monthly charges on their credit card. How do you make your subscription a “must have” to avoid being canceled? When your member examines her credit card statement with the idea of cutting back on her monthly expenses, how can you avoid being one of the many services that’ll get canceled? She’s likely got cellphone, Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, a subscription box or two, monthly charitable donations, a couple of subscriptions for her work, and perhaps even a food delivery. What can you do to get her to keep yours? It’s not by increasing the value of what you deliver. Yeah, that’s right. Subscription programs often try to double down on the cost of what they deliver, only to be disappointed when it has little or no impact on retention. Or they do their own equivalent of what publishers try to do — deliver 24 pages of content … Continued

Traveling the World to Fight Subscriber Churn

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I take it personally when one of your members quits.

Every time one of your members quits, a piece of me dies. It is a relationship lost. A promise broken. Opportunity unfulfilled. It’s my mission to help you never let it happen again. I take it personally when one of your members quits. Can we ever make it stop completely? No. And, honestly, we want some churn. We need to get rid of the people who don’t fit or shouldn’t be our members. But as for the rest of them, a loss is nothing but a loss. There’s no way to sugarcoat it. And, if I don’t tolerate losing, why do you? In June, I traveled to Ireland to visit the team at Agora Integrated Marketing (AIM) in Waterford. This is the internal marketing agency for The Agora, the billion-dollar publishing company with newsletters around the world. In May, AIM hosted the Agora Internet Marketing Summit in Baltimore and invited … Continued

The Retention Point Accelerators that Grow Your Member Lifetime Value

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Accelerators that Grow Your Member Lifetime Value

These strategies form the key distinctions between people who are what I call “Membership Marketers” and those who are “Member Leaders.” Membership Marketers focus only on the hunt, acquiring new members. Member Leaders are as concerned with keeping the members they have as they are with getting new ones. Member Leaders implement systems to get their members to the Retention Point as quickly as possible. The Retention Point is when members fall in love with you, buy everything you offer and eagerly refer their friends. Chances are, this is already happening a little. You likely have some of these members already. These 10 marketing strategies help you generate more of those Lifers increasing your average member value. And, help you convert some of your Quitters into Lifers to decrease churn, increase retention and grow your recurring revenue. Briefly they are: VALUE is like water; too much is just as bad … Continued

3 SAAS Customer Success Mistakes When Onboarding New Members, and How You Can Avoid a Similar High Churn Rate

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How You Can Avoid a High Churn Rate

Is it easier to leap over a six-inch step or a 10-foot wall? The six-inch step is easier, duh. The more you are asking your new member to do within the first few hours or days of your membership, the more difficult it will be to get that new member to the Retention PointTM. Open an email and click a link. This is a low bar, and a large percentage of your new members will succeed at this task. If you ask them to enter a bunch of data and create new daily habits of using a new software tool, few of those members will be successful. Customers will act in proportion to their excitement about the outcome they will receive. If the potential outcome is exciting, the member will take action. If the outcome is unclear and the work appears burdensome, you can expect your new member to churn. … Continued

How FabFitFun Delivers the Value That Gets Members Engaged and Retains Them for Years

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Get Members Engaged and Retain Them for Years

“Exactly what should I deliver to my members to make more of them stop quitting my membership?” This a question I hear in various forms from my clients. “To help you understand the product, we want you to know why we chose that product and how that product is going to enhance your life,” said Leslie Emmons Burthey, vice president of marketing for FabFitFun in episode 21 of the Membership and Subscription Growth podcast I host. This answer is pivotal for every membership marketer to hear and understand, whether your “product” is a subscription box filled with items, an editorial in a newsletter, a digital product, or a software tool you can use in your life or business. You cannot only deliver the product; you must also communicate how what you deliver will enhance your member’s life. Allow me to begin by explaining it this way. Membership isn’t about what … Continued

Onboarding that Stops Members from Quitting

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Stops Members from Quitting

If your goal is to add 1000 new members this month but had 300 members cancel their membership, then 30 percent of your the marketing expense, your copywriting efforts and the efforts of your sales team were expended to replace members you once had. Think about that effort and expense for a moment. All just to try to stay even. Thirty percent of your month invested to keep from falling behind. It’s even worse if you experience significant refunds. Now you’ve got to expend more marketing dollars just to get back to the revenue number you thought you had achieved. Churn, cancels and refunds have been accepted as a normal part of subscription businesses. Yes, there will always be churn and some of it is normal and healthy, you can’t please everyone. But if you consider the percentage of your marketing efforts are devoted to replacing members who quit and … Continued

Illustrated: Before and After, Improve Conversion of Free Trial Members with a Better Member Welcome Screen

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Improve Member Conversion of Free Trial to Paid

Are you afraid to send email to your members? Have you ever noticed that you get a spike in cancelations after you send a notice out to your members? I have spoken to many membership marketers who are hesitant to send emails to subscribers for fear that it’ll prompt them to cancel. This is similar logic I used to believe about tennis. When I was 12 years old, learning to play tennis it’d often hit the ball right over the fence. I’d then have to spend the next five minutes chasing the ball across the parking lot to try to find it under some car somewhere. I believed, when I hit the tennis ball, it goes over the fence. I must stop hitting the tennis ball. But with a coach there, she could explain to me what I was doing wrong. She could easily illustrate that a tennis ball could … Continued

You Could Do Everything Right and Still Get a Refunded Order or Canceled Member Unless Your New Member Welcome Includes These Three Elements

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Your New Member Welcome Should Include These Three Elements

As soon as I see the envelope in the mailbox a feeling of dread comes over me. Ugh, the credit card bill. A month’s worth of dining out, gas purchases and a “little” splurges summarized in one package. I open it up with trepidation and look for the balance. Ahk! It’s A LOT more than I expected. What happened? That’s a lot of money to pay! Is there anything here that I can return? Have you ever felt surprised by your credit card balance? You opened your credit card statement, check out the balance due and, then there’s the “Holy crap!” moment. Yeah, me too. What’s the first thing you do? If you are like most, first you check to make sure all of the charges are valid. And, if there’s something you don’t recognize perhaps you ask your spouse about it. Then, as a team you try to figure … Continued