Four tips for a great membership onboarding experience

A great membership onboarding experience

Here at Memberful, the Customer Happiness and Customer Success teams are often asked about how to market to new members, but rarely do we hear customers asking about the best way to onboard recently acquired members. It sets an important precedent for engaging and welcoming new people to your community, and sets a great first impression. Here are four key areas we have identified to make your new members feel at home right from the start.

1. Welcome email and redirect page

A significant number of the poor onboarding experiences I've seen with customers is due to lack of instruction or communication around what the member is supposed to do immediately after signing up.

I always tell my customers to assume that new members know nothing about how to navigate the membership they've just purchased. We deal with this in a couple of different ways by:

  • Creating a memorable redirect page that either provides clear next steps or instructs a new member to check their inbox for a Welcome email that aims to answer any potential question a new member might have. (This sounds trivial, but many customers don't take the necessary time to do this.)

  • Notifying members when new content is available along with reminding them how to access that content.

In my experience, most instances where members disable auto-renew immediately after signing up are due to poor onboarding and lack of direction.

Read more about how Memberful can help you build email templates and redirects, to build an instant rapport with your new members, in our help docs.

2. Previewing future content and benefits

Another tactic that works well is sending previews of member content and other perks before they're available. This gives members something to look forward to and 'hang around for'.

This can be achieved with emails that target the newest members who have signed up within a recent timeframe (that the customer can specify).

3. Social engagement

I've been telling some of my customers to give shoutouts to their new members on social media. This has been impactful: new members get recognition and potential members see this as 'social proof'. It's a win-win.

A simple way to accomplish this is by asking new members to respond to the Welcome email with their Instagram handle or Facebook URL to receive a shoutout. A few of our customers use a social proof app called FOMO which integrates with Stripe and creates pop-ups on their sites.

You can learn more about how Memberful integrates into well-established community platforms -- such as Discord and Discourse -- in our help docs.

4. Help new members build equity

Asking new members what type(s) of content they want to see will immediately let them feel as if they have a stake in the membership. When membership operators ask for such input and then take the time to respond that input, it helps create immediate trust. Again, this can all be handled over email by asking members to respond the Welcome email.

The Welcome email is the perfect jumping off spot for lots of different interactions after someone signs up. You might like to consider adding Memberful's custom fields to your sign-up form to deep-dive into what your new members are looking for.


All that being said, whatever a customer can do to establish an immediate personal connection with members consistently proves to be a driving factor for retention and creates a path to expanding future revenue. This makes it even more likely that the member will be receptive to the idea of an upsell, to offer even more value, down the road.

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