Membership Sites
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3 Membership Site Creeping Tactics for Maximizing Up Sales and Retention

Remember when phone caller id was first offered.  You could creep someone out by greeting them, "Hi, (there name)" as soon as you picked up the phone.   The system told you who was calling, but you wouldn't typically greet them that way because not everyone knew that was possible. Not with mobile phones, it's a given.

In today's world creeping is about looking through the information that's readily available to learn as much as you can about someone.  Being overt when using this data could easily "creep" them out, but using that data intelligently and discreetly is just plain smart.

In a well built community environment which should include a membership site, it's crazy simple to track the last time a member logged in.  You can tell how long they were logged in.  You can watch the pages they've visited, how long they've watched a specific video and what content areas are their favorites. You can even take a look at who in the system was interacting with them. Very cool.

Here are three possibly creeping tactics for:

  • identifying members that are ripe for buying something else,
  • revealing those that are less engaged and getting ready to leave your program and
  •  learning who are potential referral sources for your business.

Creeping Tactic #1: First login and course completion

I heard an expert once tell me that if they could get their members to log into their membership site within a few days of purchasing their certification program, they drastically improved their chances of finishing the entire program.  If they could get members to complete the first module in their ten module certification course, they dramatically increase in their chances of completing all ten of them and the entire course.  It was interesting that those two basic milestones made such a huge improvement.

This firm focused on maximizing what they could do by hiring an intern whose job it was to call members that had not logged in yet.  The tone of the call was upbeat welcoming them into the program.  It included a question, "Have you had any issues logging into the site?"  The interns job was to get them to login, probably for the first time, while on the phone with them.  They then showed them a few things in that important first module.

I'm sure they could have followed that up with a second call if the member hadn't completed the first module in the expected amount of time.  That call might then have focused on learning what might be holding them back.

You have to calculate your ROI on taking an approach like this, but if you know your numbers well, making small investments like this could make a big difference.

Creeping Tactic #2: Progress updates

People are competitive.  They are driven by doing things better and faster than others.  As people progress through your course content, you can provide them information about their progress versus others taking your program.  If you know the most successful members take two weeks to finish the first section of your course, you can provide other members with that information in the sidebar and/or by sending them email messages.  Some examples of what you can do are:

  1. Congratulating them for progressing along quickly.  Tell them them they are beating the average.
  2. Pointing out that members running at their current pace don't reap the biggest benefits from your program.
  3. Offering a call or some other form of help to those falling behind.

Keep in mind that people purchase something in hopes of getting some expected benefit.  If they don't get that, they will either quit or lose interest is what you have to offer.  This means you will likely lose their business AND any potential referrals they would have been happy to give you.  Don't underestimate the full impact of losing a customer.

Creeping Tactic #3: Identifying areas of interest

We've built sites of all types where information on different topics are grouped together.  On a site providing training workout videos, you might organize them into sections for leg workouts, core body works outs or workouts for specific muscle groups.

You can then use membership site features to track a member's preference for information in specific areas of the site.  If you see they spent a lot of time watching videos on upper body work outs, you could offer them an up sell offer on improving upper body strength or something similar.  If they spend a lot of time viewing information on injury prevention, you can send them an offer on physical training or coaching services aimed at preventing injuries.

Creeping has a negative ring to it.  People feel threatened if they think you know more about them than they would like.  But using information you know about your members has a lot of benefits too.  It better enables you to meet your customers needs and that's good for both of you.

Let me know how this applies to what you doing or needing to do on your site.