You’re continually working on attracting new members, keeping current members happy, and preventing at-risk members from abandoning. All of these responsibilities might feel overwhelming, particularly if you’re running a one-man show. You’ve heard stories of membership site owners taking three-month vacations while profiting from their site’s recurring revenue stream, but you haven’t yet reached a point where you can do this yourself.
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, over 80% of customers cancel their membership site subscription within the first two years. There’s a reason why holding on to customers is so challenging.
Consumers’ expectations are rising
In order to keep your members subscribed, 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% of users judge a website’s credibility based on its overall aesthetic. According to Lyfe Marketing, “One of the biggest problems in digital marketing today is that small business owners don’t realize how important their website design actually is. The appearance and functionality of your site can make or break your business.”
And looks aren’t the only obstacle. Many members leave because of technical problems — particularly if members experience issues on 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.
Your challenge is to create a site that’s easy for members to figure out — and enjoy using.
Think like a user
Investing time into creating a seamless membership site user experience is the best way to ensure your subscribers are able to navigate your site effortlessly. 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 in which the user doesn’t have to think about how to use it — it’s designed in an intuitive, easy-to-understand way. A seamless user experience will guide subscribers through your membership site without them even knowing 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 impact even a small change in user experience can provide. ESPN.com’s revenue jumped 35% after they received feedback from their community and incorporated suggestions into their homepage design. A study by Forrester even showed that a more user-friendly experience could raise a website’s conversion by up to 400%.
Start investing in your membership site user experience
Ultimately, focusing on user experience is mutually beneficial — making it a no-brainer. An investment in your membership site UX is an investment in your business. Studies have shown that by 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.
When you start investing in your membership site user experience, you’ll:
- Earn more new members as more visitors will see your site as credible
- Spend less time with customer service requests as members can easily navigate the site on their own
- Have fewer membership cancellations as members will be able to quickly orient themselves
- Start seeing a higher recurring income as more members stick around longer
- See higher engagement levels than ever as users start to genuinely enjoy the time they spend on your site
- Have a membership site that sells itself because existing 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.