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3 Membership Site Features for Keeping Members Excited and Engaged – Part 2

Here are an additional two ideas we recommend for keeping members engaged on your membership site.  You can click here to read part 1 of this article.

Idea #2: Give out Awards, Badges or Some Other Kudos

The Boy Scouts give out badges.   Training programs issue certificates people can hang on the wall.   The military puts rank and medals right on their uniforms.  There are levels of achievement organizations want from their people.  They then build programs around those levels of achievement and give people the incentives to that end.

Why not do the same on your membership site?

If you watch membership programs closely (and in my line of work I do), you'll notice many have transitioned from just giving people access to content.  It used to be that membership sites were organized as libraries of content.  The content was there to be searched and reviewed by the members a their leisure.  This approach has changed to one where members now get certified.

Let me give you an example to illustrate how big a difference can make with exactly the same content.  Let's say you have a program that teaches iPhone programming.  The membership site content consists of 52 lessons that make up the program and includes a progress bar that shows percentage complete.  Not bad, but it may not be very motivating.  If I'm on lesson 49 with 3 lessons to go, what is my motivation to get the final ones completed?

Let's say that instead you group your 52 lessons into four sections.  You then name the four sections: Newbee, Intermediate, Experienced, Master Craftsman.  You could name them: White Belt, Green Belt, Brown Belt and Black Belt.  You can come up with names to match your member's lingo.  Then you organize member communication around achieving these.

Now if I'm at lesson 49 with 3 lessons to go, achieving that certification could be a big motivator to getting them done.

If you put some effort into the badges or certificates you give out when the members meet the criteria, you can get people to add them to their email signature, business card (does anyone still have these) and their other marketing materials.  And these have an added benefit.  Your members are now promoting your brand because of what it means to them.  A referral programs can easily grow out of this.  The possibilities are endless.

Idea #3: Create a Leader Board

Sales teams frequently recognize their top contributors in front of their peers.  They establish a President's Club and other programs to motivate their teams. Good sales managers know that tapping into this innate competitiveness motivates people.  You can do the same on your membership sites.

On the member dashboard, you can include a listing of the people that have achieved certain "things."  It could be a leader board pointing out who has spent the most time logged into the site.  It could be a list of the people that made the most progress, passed the most tests, etc.   You decide what you want people to achieve on your site and you highlight the members do best.

Now obviously, you need to take privacy into consideration.  You can have members pick a nickname so you don't know exactly who there are on the leader board.  What's important is that the member sees how they are doing versus others in the program.  You'd be surprise how positively this can be seen by your members.

So I'm a member and I'm on my computer at 2am because that's when I have quiet time to study the material.  This is a potentially lonely place to be.  Every one's asleep and I'm up studying.  Now I see that what I'm doing is getting noticed by the people running the program.  All my peers (and I may not know any of these people) are seeing that I'm the best at this.  Recognition like this has been used since before pinball machines posted high scores for all to see.  On pinball machines, all that was posted was a number with no name.  That alone motivated players to play harder spending more money to beat the highest score.  Go figure.

Membership site features are there for you to use to keep members engaged.  Focus your energy on this side of your program.   It can make a huge difference in how people learn from your content and you will reap the benefits from members that stay engaged.