One of our customers, Sue Bryce Education, reached out recently with a feature request. They wanted an easy way to track the consecutive number of months a member has maintained an active membership. Why? This metric would allow them to reward long-time members for their support - a “carrot” instead of a “stick” retention strategy. Instead of forcing members to stay with them under the promise of unlocking content, they wanted to start rewarding longevity. This approach to retention resonated with us, here’s why.
Dripping content punishes learning
Dripping content turns the ‘reward longevity’ approach on its head - punishing learning instead of celebrating it. Let's say you discovered a newfound interest in woodworking. In your excitement, you purchase an online membership for a woodworking community. You block out your entire weekend so you can binge watch instructional videos; but, not so fast. You log in and realize the site only allows you to view the first three introductory videos. "What about the rest?!" you scream. Sorry, you'll have to wait, because they're "dripping" that content. What a buzzkill, right? When you block access to learning you quickly turn excitement into frustration. Not letting your student learn at their own pace is a bad idea. So, if you’re interested in keeping your members engaged and keeping them around - stop dripping your content.
Start tracking ‘active since’ with Memberful
We’ve added an ‘active since’ value that is shown by each member's subscription in the Memberful dashboard. When their membership lapses, the counter is reset (if you’d like to view this metric in WordPress as well, contact us, and we’ll help you set it up).
Rewarding in action
One of my favorite coffee shops has a reward program. I bring a punch card in, and when I reach seven cups of coffee, I get one free. I enjoy the program, not only because of the gamification aspect of collecting stars or punches but because it reinforces my status as not only a customer but a member of their community. The same applies to your membership site. Now that our ‘active since’ feature is up and running, Sue Bryce Education started adding the metric to their member profiles:
“We’ve added that stat on the user account page so members can see their data. The plan is to start offering special bonuses to members that have been active for a longer period of time. From the feedback we’re getting, this membership status is an important achievement and will motivate people to maintain their membership.”
Remember to over-deliver
As you start your reward program, remember that there are multiple ways to reward membership loyalty, but the most important will always be over-delivering value and letting members know they will continue to receive substantial, consistent benefits, by being an active part of your community.