Getting your first new members onto a site is always great but it is what you do next that will really set your site apart from your competition. One of the biggest keys to success with membership sites is retention; what you do after somebody joins to make sure they want to stay for as long as possible. In this article you are going to learn about the key things that you should be doing to make sure people feel welcomed and want to remain a member for a long time.
1. Welcome Video / Message
When somebody logs into your membership for the first time they don’t know where things are, they've likely not had to navigate your site before and they won’t always know what they should be accessing first. They will also be looking for validation that they have made the right decision by investing in your membership site. This combination of factors can have a negative impact on your members if they feel lost and alone. Therefore a simple video introducing the community manager or a written message stating the great benefits they will receive from being a full member will help you make a great first impression.
Create a simple welcoming video. You can host it with YouTube but if you use something like Easy Video Suite or Wistia then you can also track how effective your video is and whether the majority of people are listening all the way through for the key points.
2. Membership Dashboard
In addition to this video you should also make sure that you craft a membership dashboard that connects new members with the introduction video, a getting started guide and also provides new and returning members with quick links to the most important areas of the membership site.
If you use Wishlist Member there is an Dashboard plugin available through their insiders club however this can simply be a standard WordPress page where you list all of the most important links for finding specific content and navigating around the membership site.
If you can identify supplementary things that your audience will appreciate such as extra tools or extra trainings, then providing them as an unadvertised or surprise bonuses will go even further to show that you care about your new remembers. A side bonus to this that may not be immediately obvious is that it can often offer the perfect lead in for when they are recommending your site to their friends and contacts.
Surprise bonuses are most effective when they are something that your members actually want, or something that will help them rather than just piling on extra junk they don’t need. If you’re stuck you could try licensing content but make sure it is relevant!
If you provide solid content that is backed up with these three membership onboarding and retention tactics you should be well on your way to making sure your members stay past those first crucial days.