Owning a membership site can feel like a juggling act. 

You’re continually working on bringing new members in, keeping current members happy, and preventing at-risk members from abandoning. All of these responsibilities can become overwhelming, particularly if you’re running a one-man show. You’ve heard stories of membership site owners taking three-month vacations using funds from their site’s recurring revenue stream, but you’re not sure how they’ve managed to do this yet.  

To lock in that kind of recurring revenue, you need to keep your members engaged and subscribed. But retaining members is a common challenge. In fact, the average member cancels after three months. Why is holding onto members so difficult?

Consumers’ Expectations Are Rising

In order to keep your members, they need to enjoy the experience of using your membership site — a messy, unattractive interface that’s cumbersome to interact with will deter people from engaging and lead to cancellations.

Consumers are quicker to judge than ever. In fact, 75% use a website’s overall aesthetics to judge its credibility. As Nick Babich of Adobe said, “Design and user experience have never mattered more. The past decade of change shows us that design must constantly adapt as a discipline in order to meet user needs.”

Looks aren’t the only problem. Many members leave because of technical problems — particularly if members are having issues from the first day of their membership. In many cases, members would rather cancel their account than try to stick with it and figure it out on their own.

How can you create a site that’s easy for members to figure out — let alone enjoy using?

Think Like a User

Investing in the user experience is the way to ensure your members will figure out your membership site within seconds. As Usability.gov puts it, user experience (UX), “focuses on having a deep understanding of users, what they need, what they value, their abilities, and also their limitations.” UX is all about creating a site where the user doesn’t have to think about how to use it. It’s designed in an intuitive, easy-to-understand way. The user experience will guide them, and they likely won’t even know they’re being guided.

With the right design elements and website structure, members will be engaged, happy, and easily able to navigate your site without any frustration.

Some businesses have remarked on the massive change even a small user experience change could provide. ESPN.com’s revenue jumped 35% after they took feedback from their community and incorporated suggestions into their homepage design. One study even showed that a more user-friendly experience could raise a website’s conversion by up to 400 percent.  

Start Investing in Your Membership Site

Ultimately, user experience just makes sense. An investment in user experience is an investment in your membership site. Studies have shown that by 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.

Your login page is essentially the door that stands between your visitor and all your membership site’s content. The simpler it is, the better.

When you start investing in user experience, you’ll:

  • Get more conversions as more visitors will see your site as credible
  • Spend less time with customer service requests as members can easily make changes and navigate the site on their own
  • Have fewer membership cancellations as members will be able to quickly orient themselves
  • Start seeing a higher passive income as more members stay
  • See higher engagement levels than ever as users start to really enjoy the time they spend on your site
  • Have a membership site that sells itself as members can’t wait to bring their friends aboard

When you’re ready to start focusing on providing an excellent user experience for your members, check out Membership Site User Experience.

About Camille Smith
Originally from the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, Content Marketing Strategist, Camille Smith came out to California to attend UCSB and fell in love with Santa Barbara’s perfect mountain to ocean ratio. During her time in college, Camille also worked on the growth marketing teams for several technology companies. When she’s not putting her Communication degree to use at work, she’s using her minor in French to remind everyone the correct pronunciation of her name à la française (pronounced cah-mee, not kah-meal).