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Join the Club: A Step By Step Approach To Start A Successful Membership Program

membership management software helps membership organizations to follow successful membership model

Memberships are important for any business focused on fitness, wellness or recreation. Let's say you run a club; apart from bringing together like-minded people,  membership plans are a ticket to steady cash inflow. When you choose to run a recreational club, you should consider a lot of things to make sure that you have a recurrent revenue stream. This can be made possible by enabling the right  membership program for your club

Alright! As you embark on the journey of launching a membership program at your club, you are most likely to have a series of important questions on your mind.  These might include inquiries such as 

  • "What are the different membership programs to set?",
  • "What valuable benefits do I offer in my membership program?", and 
  • "How are the right steps in building a membership program?”

Rest assured, this article is purposed to answer all these vital considerations and help you create a membership program that aligns with your goals for a delightful member experience! Let's skim through the article to learn more.

What are Membership Programs? 

A membership program represents a well-structured business offering where an organization provides a recurring service along with various benefits to individuals who sign up for a membership plan. These programs come loaded with exclusive perks and privileges designed to enhance customer loyalty and generate consistent revenue for the business.

Given their crucial role in establishing trustworthiness and securing recurring income, service-based industries like fitness centres, clubs, and professional associations actively include these membership programs as a fundamental part of their operations.

What are the Benefits of using a Membership Program?

Utilizing membership plans in your business offers many advantages to both the businesses and their clients. Employing membership models for your business helps in the following-

  1. Access To Exclusive Data
  2. Enhanced Customer Engagement 
  3. Customer Loyalty
  4. Steady Revenue 
  5. Lower Business Costs 
  6. Community Building 
  7. Lower Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) 

Let’s dive in a little deeper! 

1. Access To Exclusive Data 

Client information such as membership details, and their preferences helps in better member retention

Memberships give you access to valuable information that helps you understand your customers' behavioral patterns, purchasing patterns, and preferences. Such exclusive data allows organizations to gain deeper insights into your target audience, helping to tailor products, services, and marketing strategies more effectively. Furthermore, this privileged access to member data enables businesses to create personalized experiences, build stronger customer relationships, and remain agile in responding to market trends. 

2. Enhanced Customer Engagement

membership programs increases engagement with existing members which improves member retention

When you’re running a recreational center offering exclusive benefits, perks and incentives to your members will naturally get them jazzed up and excited. When clients start to get killer discounts and call dibs on the latest product before anyone else, this serves as a secret sauce to increase client engagement, which in turn improves client retention, thus improving your club’s recurring income.

3. Customer Loyalty 

Now let’s dive into the most important and challenging aspects of running a business - Client Retention!

Sure, bringing in new members to your business is not a walk in the park. But, when it comes to retaining them, the challenge can be even greater! This is where a well-structured membership program comes into play. 

It builds a strong bond between your clients and your business. And “How do they do that?” Membership programs create a feeling of being valued among your clients rather than maintaining a transactional relationship. When your clients feel that they’re valued, they tend to stick to your business for longer. So, strategize on offering a targeted membership program that has valuable benefits tied to it.

4. Steady Revenue

membership drive steady revenue and proves to be a better way of retaining members

It’s not a surprise that in the end, all that matters is revenue!

When clients enroll in membership programs, they commit to long-term involvement with your business. Memberships transform one-time transactions into long-term recurring income. With its long duration of client engagement, it brings financial stability to your business. This kind of long-term steady income is essential for a business to meet up with sustainability with fluctuating economic situations and any kind of emergency expenses.

5. Building A Community 

member engagement through social media platforms builds a member community

Membership program cultivates a strong sense of community, as it brings together like-minded people. Businesses conduct various events and activities. Members often engage in activities, discussions, or events exclusive to their community, deepening their relationships and fostering a sense of belonging. Whether it's a professional association, a hobby club, or an online forum, memberships create a structured environment where individuals can connect, collaborate, and support one another, ultimately reinforcing the bonds of community.

6. Lower Customer Acquisition Costs

One of the key advantages of membership programs lies in their ability to significantly cut down on Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC). With a membership in place, the need for extensive advertising diminishes. Instead, your business can leverage the power of organic word-of-mouth marketing, which proves far more cost-effective. Membership perks not only retain your current clients but also act as a marketing tool, spreading the word about your services. Essentially, memberships work like a double-edged sword, reducing CAC while simultaneously enhancing customer loyalty and promotion.

How to Start a Membership Program?

From defining your objectives to designing enticing packages there are multiple steps in starting a membership program. These steps include 

  1. Understand Your Organization
  2. Understanding Your Audience 
  3. Choose Membership Packages 
  4. Offer Exclusive Benefits 
  5. Creating An Engaging Community
  6. Promote Your Membership Program

Let's read more for a deeper understanding of all these steps- 

1. Understand Your Organization

The first step to entering a successful membership program is to understand your organization better. You should be clear about the mission and vision of your business and convey it better to your team members. Ensure that the onboarding process for your team members is seamless and that your objectives are conveyed with utmost clarity. 

For instance, let’s say you’re running a sports club and you’ve launched a new membership program. The mission of your sports club is to enrich the community with an active lifestyle. The vision is to become a leading fitness destination, and for that, the goal is to increase memberships by 30% and bring in new members to the world of healthy living. 

In this manner, it's important to articulate your business's core values and outline the necessary steps to achieve them.

2. Understand Your Audience  

When you start a service-based business, you start it solely for the purpose of satisfying the demand from your audience and, of course, your passion. But to become a successful entrepreneur, you need to listen to the needs of your audience. 

This can be achieved by multiple methods like social listening, getting feedback and suggestions on how positively your membership program can be improved. If that’s tangible enough for your business to take up, then you can make those changes and improve your client base.

3. Choose Membership Packages 

When it comes to choosing a proper membership package, you should actually understand what your client's needs are. You can do this by either getting feedback from your existing customers or merely by understanding your competitors' moves. 

So, when you run a service-based business, you should be giving out diverse options so that you can have a diverse client base too. 

For example, if you consider Omnify Membership Management Software, it helps you to set your own membership package like monthly, quarterly, and annual, helping your clients to pay for exactly what they need. This is the kind of flexibility that is important to bring in new customers as well as to maintain the already existing client base.

4. Offer Exclusive Benefits 

People enroll in memberships for the exclusive benefits offered by businesses. So, you should make sure to design a membership program with member-exclusive benefits. 

Your clients are likely to have varying preferences to enroll in a membership program. For instance, offering a recreational center membership program with options for quarterly, half-yearly, and annual memberships can be a strategic move. This tiered pricing system serves as a powerful incentive, making it more appealing for clients to join your membership program and choose the plan that suits their needs best. 

Also, you should plan to offer special day discounts and engage with your clients on certain holidays via messages and emails. This helps in building your business by retaining your existing clients and encouraging already enrolled members to upgrade their plans. 

5. Creating an Engaging Community 

Membership program acts like glue and brings like-minded people together, fostering to building of a wholesome community. A members-only social media group, community channels and members only gatherings are some ideas to bring everyone together. This acts as a place for members to discuss their issues and administrators can use this as easier channel to communicate and resolve issues. 

This sense of belonging encourages members to interact, share experiences, and build relationships with one another. Members can also share feedback and reviews about your business so that you can also find space for further improvement. 

It transforms a simple transactional relationship into a dynamic and supportive community where ideas are exchanged, questions are answered, and a genuine sense of camaraderie flourishes.

6. Promote Your Membership Program 

After finalizing the structure and pricing of your membership program, it's time to select the ideal platform for promotion. Utilize various social media channels for targeted client marketing, ensuring you make the most of your online presence. Since each social media platform attracts a unique audience, segment your followers and tailor your membership program promotions accordingly. 

Make sure to collect testimonials from your current members to showcase on social media, blogs, and your website – this can significantly enhance the credibility and trustworthiness of your business

How Can A Membership Software Help In Your Business?

membership management software serves as an all in one platform that helps in retaining target members

It’s never easy to keep track of your business. As an entrepreneur, you will have to run between a lot of different tasks, which is impossible to handle manually. So, it’s natural to search for an automated solution that helps you to focus on your business growth. This is when you need a membership management system. 

There are countless membership management software solutions available in the market. But you should always choose the one that will fit right for your business. When you invest in a tool, you should make sure that it’s worthy of every single penny you invest.

So make sure that the software solution you choose provides

  1. Convenience 
  2. Member Accessibility 
  3. Security
  4. Cost Effective 
  5. Recurring Payments
  6. Flexible Benefits 
  7. Collaborations

Let’s understand these in detail 

1. Convenience 

Make sure that the software solution that you invest in offers a user-friendly interface, which helps you in easy usage of the platform. Make sure that you understand your client's requirements and choose the platform that keeps you away from dealing with piles of records and paperwork.

For example, Omnify membership management software provides you with a wide range of solutions, from membership registration, payment processing, notifications, automated reminders, and more.

So, make sure that the software you choose provides you with the utmost convenience while using the platform for both you and your clients.

2. Member Accessibility 

exclusive membership benefits helps to build prospective members base of membership clubs

Membership is about exclusivity! While designing an impressive membership program, make sure that you offer exclusive access benefits to your members. 

Consider this scenario: You’re running a sports facility and you offer exclusive classes to members. You can use QR check-ins and enable members-only entry to those classes. Also, make sure that you provide members-only discounts and special offers this creates a deeper bond with your business. 

From a business point of view, membership management platforms offer you full control over member benefits. You can seamlessly integrate your membership program with various services you provide: it may be classes or even related events and workshops. Along with these, platforms offer flexibility to manage access based on member activity, allowing you to temporarily disable or pause membership access as needed. Convenience and flexibility together make a good membership management software that improves the overall member experience

3. Security 

membership organization should ensure safety and security of the platform they use.

Let’s talk about security now. 

Whenever you run a service-based business, you’ll have access to your client’s sensitive data. You should make sure that the platform that you use is encrypted, and all the data is protected well. This is important to ensure the trustworthiness of your brand.

Also, let’s come to safety from the business end. You should always let your clients know about your business policies and guidelines. This is where Online waivers are helpful. Instead of maintaining stacks of signed papers and files, you can use e-waivers and make sure that your business policies are conveyed to your clients well enough.

4. Cost-effective

membership management software are cost effective way to manage membership models

When you plan to invest in a membership registration software solution, the first thing you’d consider as a business owner will be its cost. You should be analyzing all the platforms that are available in the market and choose the one that has competitive advantages over the others.

Well, there’s no point in investing a good amount of money in software that doesn’t meet up with your requirements. 

So, make sure that you go through all the options available in the market before going for the solution.

5. Recurring Payments 

recurring fee payments helps members pay their due with ease

After you've assembled an exceptional membership program, it's time to explore the payment aspects.

Every business owner would’ve experienced the headache of late fee payments and constantly nudging their clients to pay on time. So make sure that the membership platform that you use gives a solution for this. 

For instance, consider Omnify, which provides a seamless solution through its recurring payment feature. Let's say your client has subscribed quarterly membership,  then the recurring payments occur up to that time span. 

With this functionality, your clients' payments are automatically deducted when they're due, eliminating the need for manual reminders. This membership management software takes care of these nitty-gritty pieces of work in your business and takes convenience to a whole new level!  

6. Flexible Benefits

different membership level with different benefits improves member retention

So, when you run a membership program, you should be able to provide different packages with different benefits. The platform that you use should be able to accommodate your membership plans. 

If you consider Omnify, this platform helps you to offer multiple membership plans with tiered prices. You can even provide discounts along with your membership programs. 

So, before choosing a membership management platform, be sure of what you’re getting into.

7. Collaborations

ensure that the platform you use helps to collaborate other software too

When you are in need of a software solution, you are so used to the software that you use now, be it accounting software or email marketing software. What if the membership software helps you integrate with all your favorite software?

You’ll never have to leave behind your favorite software. Omnify helps to integrate all these software into their platform with integration with Zapier, which helps to integrate with 3000+ software.

So, make sure that you choose a platform that helps you integrate with all your favorite software and eases up your administrative tasks.

So, By prioritizing your members' needs, fostering a sense of exclusivity, and continuously adapting to their preferences, you can build a thriving community around your brand. After building a fantastic membership program, you should choose the right membership platform too. The one that takes care of all the administrative work for you, and Omnify understands this and gives you a 7-day trial before you choose to invest in it so that you need not commit to a platform that you’re not sure of. 



Learn how to start a membership program for your business and streamline its operation with Omnify's top-notch Membership Management Software.

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