Have you ever met a meta-membership site?

I run a membership site for entrepreneurs who run membership sites. Yes, it’s very meta, thank you.

It’s given me a ton of insight into the industry and how to effectively run a membership site that has great retention numbers.

What I’ve realized is that memberships are a marathon, not a sprint. Yes, it’s about getting that initial sale, but it’s also about getting it again month after month, year after year.

Entrepreneur’s often forget how important that retention part of the equation really is. There’s no value in bringing people in through the front door if they’re just going to slip out the back. It takes so much more effort to bring in a new member than it does to retain an existing one. The main reason people come into memberships is to get the repeated value, and if you’re giving them a leaky bucket they won’t be with you long.

The minute someone joins your membership site that’s when the clock starts ticking on their lifetime value with you.

Properly onboarding your members can mitigate against losing members within those first few months. You have to be a caretaker of your community and check in on their experience as a member.

There are some specific things you can do to strengthen your process.

Give A Warm Welcome

This is pretty obvious but worth discussing. Give all your new members a warm welcome. This has a huge impact.

Usually, there’s a little bit of anxiety around making these kinds of purchases no matter how aligned the proposed value is.

Buyers remorse can begin to creep up as your customers wonder if they truly are getting something as great as you’ve promised. The initial welcome they receive preferably in the form of a personal video goes a long way to set them at ease.

Provide An Orientation

Then they can stop worrying about having made the right call and dive into your content. This is where you want to provide them with some type of orientation.

Don’t leave new members hanging, they don’t know their way around your community yet.

Provide them with a walkthrough or interactive tour that shows them step by step how to get the most out of your site.

Think Out The Ideal Steps

What are the 4-5 steps that every new member should complete to get off the best start? You may want to provide a new member checklist or even a course.

This can include adding a photo to their profile or joining your member-only Facebook group. Whatever it is, you want to get them on the path to building habits around using your site.

Stay In Contact

It’s important to stay in contact during that first month or trial period. Send them an email via your autoresponder series, and have specialized content suitable for new members.

Make sure they know where to go for support and reiterate the features you went over during the walkthrough.

Be sure to let them know you’re there to communicate with them if they are having any issues.

A lot of times new members will keep quiet about issues they’re experiencing because they don’t know the lay of the land just yet.

Bring Them Into The Fold

As they continue with you, be sure to start “signposting” the upcoming content and conveying the ongoing value that they’re receiving from your membership. This strategy works to keep valued members from drifting away.


Action Steps

  1. Give new members a warm welcome with a personalized video.
  2. Provide an orientation video that walks new members through the basics of your site.
  3. Think out what are the 4 to 5 best steps for new members to take in order to get started and walk them through how to complete them.
  4. Stay in contact with an autoresponder and specialized content in the first month.
  5. Signpost upcoming value for new members to further lock in their confidence in your site.


Result You Will Achieve

A stronger onboarding process for your new members that make them feel comfortable and at home in your community.

Mentor: Mike Morrison

Co-founder at The Membership Guys. Mike Morrison is one half of The Membership Guys, and along with his partner, Callie Willows, has spent years guiding the growth of 6 and 7 figure memberships, e-learning businesses and online communities.

This article is based on an EHQ interview with the mentor.