Building a successful membership program
Customization and benefit targeting can optimize program results.
One of the simplest but most important facts about membership programs is that they are not all the same. Despite what some may think, there is no "one size fits all". Every membership program has its unique audience, demographics, benefits, and engagement philosophies that speak to the thinking, values, and interests of the group. Companies that share this viewpoint reap the rewards.
So why do so many companies still consider an "off the shelf" program? And when will they realize that there's more to a successful strategy than simply generating recurring revenue?
At Augeo, we work with hundreds of companies across diverse verticals to develop and launch custom membership and loyalty programs. Here are 3 lessons we have learned for building successful and engaging membership programs.
Know and understand your customers.
What are the key demographics of your customer base? How frequently do they purchase products from you? What type of products do they purchase? What are the most recent purchasing trends? In other words, what makes them tick? Personal statistics that include such information as income level, gender, educational level, location, ethnicity, race, and family size are important demographic variables when configuring relevant benefits for a targeted loyalty solution.
For example, through experience, we know that a benefit configuration that focuses on local merchant discounts resonates with a membership program targeted to groups with strong cultural ties. We have learned that certain ethnic, religious or social groups with strong ties to each other respond favorably to benefits with a community appeal such as local retailers, a bakery, pharmacy, or variety store. Providing extra value to members with local discounts at thousands of local merchants nationwide has proved to be highly successful, encouraging benefit usage, retention, and elevated member engagement.
Build a seamless user experience.
A simple and smooth user experience yields high program satisfaction, and greater profitability. Branded design, ease of use, accessibility, and efficiency of a membership website are critical to overall success. The navigation, layout of the home page, loading speed, calls to action, images, videos, whites space, search functionality, readability, linking, contact us, and customer service functionalities such as contact us or chat, are critical aspects that should be thoroughly vetted. These same elements should be constantly reviewed and enhanced post launch.
Review your program metrics.
It's important to establish evaluation metrics at every stage of the membership life cycle in order to quickly assess program status and make changes to acquisition, activation and retention strategies or the benefit configuration. Can one unique and appealing benefit really increase conversion or retention? The answer is simply – yes. Achieving program goals necessitates collecting and analyzing data along the way. Constantly survey your most and least active users? If done correctly, acting upon data insights will continuously optimize your program and more effectively help you achieve overall goals.