2 Good Ideas for Marketing Membership Sites

Running a paid membership site is one of the best ways to create a passive, recurring revenue stream for your association. However, for it to be a sustainable income source, you have to acquire numerous members, which is where membership marketing comes into the picture.

If you want to know how to increase memberships, you have to learn how to promote your membership site so that potential members know you exist. There are many ways you can begin marketing membership sites, and we’ll cover some of them today.

In this blog, you’ll learn how to promote your membership site using two key membership marketing ideas:

  • Search engine optimization
  • Email marketing

Your membership marketing efforts will depend on which stage of the Membership Lifecycle someone is in. A holistic membership marketing strategy enables you to attract and recruit prospects to then engage, renew, and reinstate as members.

Keep reading for two membership recruitment tips that will help your association grow.

How to Promote Your Membership Site: 2 Key Membership Marketing Ideas

1. Search Engine Optimization

When you first launch a website, it doesn’t receive much traffic. You have to implement digital marketing strategies that help drive traffic to your membership site; converting that website traffic into members is the end goal. The more qualified traffic you can drive to your membership site, the more paying subscribers you’re going to get.

One of the best ways to gain more website traffic is through search engine optimization (SEO). SEO helps drive relevant, high-quality traffic to your site by sharing keyword-rich content which improves your rank on search engines. According to Moz, the first page of Google captures 71% to 92% of search traffic clicks–if you’re not on page one, you don’t exist.

Here are a couple of ways to get started with SEO:

  1. Write descriptive, keyword-informed page title tags and meta descriptions. This signals search engines as to what each web page is about and helps users decide if they want to click through to your website for more information.
  2. Optimize your website using keywords and phrases that are specific to your business. Integrate key phrases and questions that someone may type into Google into your website copy and headers to attract visitors searching for niche content.

To launch an effective SEO strategy, we recommend partnering with a membership marketing agency like Marketing General Incorporated (MGI). Keep in mind that SEO is a long-game marketing strategy. For a more immediate ROI, consider paid advertising on social media or search engines. But that is a topic for another article.

Next, let’s look at how to promote your membership site using email marketing.

2. Email Marketing

Every good marketer employs email marketing as part of their membership marketing strategy. Email marketing outperforms social media and has the highest ROI of any marketing channel. It allows association marketers to engage prospects and members in a personalized way that can both drive sales and build long-term relationships.

In order for email marketing to be effective, it needs to deliver value. If readers don’t care about the content you’re sending, they’ll unsubscribe without a second thought. To ensure your emails are relevant, leverage data from your member database to personalize outreach and segment subscribers into specific lists.

A MailChimp report notes that segmented email campaigns get 14% more opens and 65% more clicks than non-segmented campaigns. The four primary types of email marketing segmentation are:

  1. Demographics (age, gender, etc.)
  2. Psychographics (values, pain points, etc.)
  3. Geographic (location)
  4. Behavioral (buying trends, membership lifecycle stage, etc.)

For instance, you could segment your audience into two behavioral lists based on where they exist within the Membership Lifecycle. Your “Current members” segment will get inside information about your association to engage them while “Prospective members” receive emails that promote the association and its benefits in efforts to recruit them. This is a simple example, but you can get incredibly granular information from your membership database to further improve your email segmentation and personalization.

Marketing General Incorporated: Your Membership Marketing Experts

At Marketing General Incorporated (MGI), we have one focus: Membership marketing.

MGI is a widely respected thought leader, trusted resource, and preferred partner throughout the association and nonprofit communities. We’ve applied our nearly 45 years of experience to develop the Membership Lifecycle–a five-step marketing model that identifies the fundamental building blocks of sustainable membership growth:

  1. Awareness when prospects first discover you
  2. Recruitment when prospects choose to try you
  3. Engagement when new members feel they belong with you
  4. Renewal when lapsing members decide whether to keep you
  5. Reinstatement when former members agree to return to you

Our Membership Lifecycle has proven to be an effective model for designing customized membership growth strategies. And because no two of our clients are alike, neither are our solutions:

  • Research. MGI’s research team helps associations improve their membership marketing efforts by better understanding their members and prospects.
  • Strategic consulting. After gauging an association’s position in the market, we develop multi-media marketing plans to overcome their unique challenges.
  • Direct marketing. MGI’s direct marketing programs build strong one-to-one relationships between our clients, their members, and prospective members.
  • List management. MGILists specializes in full-service management and marketing of largely non-profit, education, and healthcare association member lists.
  • Digital marketing. Whether it’s a simple email drip campaign or a sophisticated lead generation initiative, MGI uses digital marketing to convert prospects into members.
  • Data analytics. MGI combines the knowledge of association marketers with the skills and experience of data analysis professionals to deliver custom marketing intelligence solutions.

If you’re not sure how to promote your membership site, connect with MGI. We can help your association put these and other membership marketing ideas into action. Request a membership consultation today or download our latest Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report for more insights.

Request a Membership Consultation