Picture this. You book a vacation at a luxury resort in Hawaii. When you walk in, you’re surrounded by palm trees, gorgeous hibiscus flowers, and a building that looks like it’s designed for A-list celebrities.
But that’s not all. When you check in, you’re greeted by a happy employee, given a Mai Tai, presented with a lei, and serenaded with ukulele music. The room is perfect. The pool is like nothing you’ve seen. And someone brings chocolate and fresh flowers to your room every evening.
When you decided to book this resort, you weren’t paying for a place to sleep. You were paying for an experience. And this resort delivered.
It’s the same with any online membership community. People have hundreds of options for yoga studios, art lessons, or unique streaming services. But why do they decide to invest their hard-earned money in a particular online community? It’s because of what they experience and how they feel when they participate.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your membership experience, you’re in the right place. We’ve interviewed the top experts at Uscreen to give you the best advice on how to deliver an outstanding community. Let’s dive in!
What is member experience?
Membership experience is how your community interacts with your brand and how those engagements shape their brand perception, participation, and loyalty. It encompasses everything from how they first experience your brand through the sign-up process to their community interactions and everything in between.
Above all, member experience is the value you promise and how you deliver on your promise. Here’s a great example from Daniel Kosmala, our Senior Marketing Manager, illustrating how member experience works.
If you promise your members they will lose 20 pounds in the first 90 days of signing up, then it’s important that the experience of the membership delivers on that. If you don’t deliver on that, then your membership is failing on delivering that experience,Daniel Kosmala, Senior Marketing Manager at Uscreen
Why a good member experience matters
As the popularity of membership communities for creators is growing, it’s hard to stand out from the crowd. But there’s one surefire way to capture the attention of your fans—to provide an unmatched member experience.
Here’s a look into the top benefits of providing a stellar membership experience:
- Increases retention. A great member experience keeps members engaged and delighted. This leads to members renewing their memberships and staying involved with your brand.
- Boosts referrals. Satisfied members may recommend your community to others. Their recommendations lead to organic growth through positive word-of-mouth.
- Enhances brand reputation. An outstanding member experience improves your brand’s image, making your community more attractive to potential members.
- Encourages upsell opportunities. Positive member experiences open the door to exploring additional services or products you offer, boosting revenue potential.
- Fosters loyalty. A good membership experience creates a sense of belonging, which nurtures people’s bonds with each other and your brand.
- Reduces churn rate. Providing continuous value and a positive experience reduces the likelihood of members leaving.
- Builds social proof. Positive feedback and testimonials from satisfied members are social proof—a stamp of approval from peers that encourages you to purchase.
- Drives growth. A positive member experience starts before conversion. When you prioritize your members, they feel more satisfied. Your brand shines and your community grows, ensuring long-term success.
5 strategies creators use to provide an outstanding member experience
Now that we’ve covered the benefits of building a positive member experience, let’s cover the how. What strategies can you employ to ensure your members are getting the best value?
To understand this topic more deeply, we sat down with our Sr. Director of Marketing Jaimie Chapman and our Sr. Marketing Manager Daniel Kosmala, to understand how creators on Uscreen are providing.
They spend hours every day working with creators, talking to various community members, and collaborating with the pros behind the scenes at Uscreen. As a result, they have provided a keen look into the best member experience strategies.
Here’s what these experts recommend creators do to deliver an unforgettable experience.
1. Maintain a regular content schedule
Remember how Daniel said member experience means promising value and then delivering on your promises? He takes it a step further to help creators understand exactly how to do that.
It may be overly simplistic but your content has a track record of delivering the value promise,explains Daniel.
Your members join your community because they like what you have to say. They want to access your content library, including exclusive content and first dibs on new releases.
To deliver the best member experience, keep your content creation and publication game on point. How? Create a content creation schedule and stick to it. Let your members know how they can access your content (e.g., desktop, mobile, app, etc.), and keep them posted on when you’ll be releasing new content.
FWFG is the perfect example of a community that keeps it fresh. They post regular updates and vlogs that members can check regularly. This keeps the community interested, engaged, and participating.
Remember: Your membership community is alive. To grow it, you have to nurture its members with fresh content. So, prioritize, participate, and publish (on the reg).
2. Build a community
On subscription sites (like Netflix), people sign up for Netflix for one reason: to watch TV. You don’t usually need external motivation to stream. You just pay your membership fees and stream when you feel like it.
They are usually creator-led and help you gain a new skill or improve a current one. For example, you could join a membership site to practice yoga, learn chemistry, or get better at poker.
But, here’s the thing. To learn a new skill or accomplish a task, you usually need a sense of belonging, a community, and a leader to motivate you to take the next step. Psychologists and educators have agreed about the effect of community for ages.
For example, one study by Dr. David Holder at Liberty University investigated the motivational effect of communities on learners. He found that configuring people into communities produced a positive effect on each member, which increased motivation and effort for all.
So, how do you build a community within your membership program that’s worth paying for?
Daniel says it comes down to encouraging engagement:
If I think about the best group I was a part of, I would go to that community to see what conversations were happening,” he says. “Did people respond to what I had said? Were people asking me questions? Are there new people posting that I’m gonna be able to learn from today? If so, yeah. I’m gonna go check that all the time.
Daniel also advises you to participate and chat with your members. He explains that without a community, fans who love your content experience a parasocial relationship. In other words, they know you, but you don’t know them.
When you start engaging and answering your fans, your membership program becomes an actual relationship that makes people feel good and improves your member retention.
The power of being able to take that parasocial relationship to something a bit more personal and two-way is incredibly powerful. It shows the huge benefit of community in building a good member experience,says Daniel.
To sum it up: Don’t build a subscription site. Build a membership community. Then, participate in and encourage conversation among members so they can’t help but log in and engage.
3. Onboard every member effectively
What’s the perfect recipe for a terrible member experience? Ask your members to pay a monthly fee, and then leave them to navigate your platform on their own. When you abandon your members straight out the gate, it comes off like you don’t care.
Instead, show your members you appreciate them enough to hold their hands through the onboarding process.
Daniel explains that onboarding is an essential piece of the positive member experience puzzle. He also relays a hyperbolic example of how people may feel if they have a great initial interaction with a brand or store versus if they are ignored.
When you do nothing during what would be the onboarding process, people don’t know how to use what you’re offering. They don’t know how to have a good experience,Daniel says.
He also explains that when you onboard intentionally, people get more value from your platform. The opposite is also true.
“When you do nothing during what would be the onboarding process, people don’t know how to use what you’re offering. They don’t know how to have a good experience,” Daniel says.
If you’re looking to boost your member experience, stay with your customers as they get familiar with the platform.
Jaimie Chapman offers some ideas on how to do this. “You can send every new member a personalized email, make a category catalog so members can easily navigate your content, and create an introduction post in your community,” says Jaimie.
No matter the method you choose, give examples of how other members use your site. And let users know how to get help and where to find the most important resources.
4. Create member-exclusive content
Remember the Bored Apes NFT (non-fungible token) community that soared in popularity during the pandemic?
As a quick review, anyone who fronted the crypto-cash for a Bored Ape NFT was rewarded with something we all crave— ✨exclusivity✨.
They got cool merch, admission to a private online community, and invites to exclusive star-studded in-person and virtual events.
It seems unbelievable to drop a chunk of your MetaMask wallet on a digital picture. But people weren’t paying for the NFT. They were paying for something much bigger—prestige, limited content, community, and exclusivity.
If you want your members to feel special, do special things for them. In other words, provide them with what they love the most (your content), and make it prestigious and exclusive—just like FWFG (Find What Feels Good) does.
Every week, the FWFG team adds exclusive member-only content to their community. Members can explore new yoga, meditation, and vlog content by visiting their exclusive content portal. Win!
5. Collect feedback and data
Some companies pay thousands of dollars to capture customer feedback and track analytics. Why? Because understanding feedback and trends is key to pleasing their customers (and making more money).
What’s the best part about growing a community? You work within a platform that provides you with gobs of member feedback and insights for free.
Jaimie explains that when you create a community, you build a sense of belonging that encourages people to share openly.
You can find out more about what people are thinking and understand their feelings. With a community, you create a feedback loop,says Jaimie.
Once you have this feedback, you can use it to inform future content, changes you may need to make, and ways to keep your members happy and engaged.
Participating in your online community and scouring it for insights isn’t the only way to capture feedback to create an awesome member experience.
Jaime says you can also use more traditional methods to understand member sentiment. “You could run surveys like NPS (net promoter score) surveys. It’s a relatively easy way to find out what people tell other people about your membership site. It gives you qualitative data to help you make improvements.”
Uscreen creates a stellar member experience for you
Your members are everything to your business. They give life to your community. They support you when you release new content, products, and merchandise. They pay the bills.
As such, member experience should sit on a pedestal among your business-building priorities.
The best news is there’s a platform that makes curating a top-notch member experience a breeze: Uscreen.
Among other benefits, you can create an active community, set up an effortless onboarding process, and capture and monitor feedback with Uscreen.
If you’re ready to invest in the platform that helps you focus on the most important thing—your community—try a free trial of Uscreen.
Member experience FAQs
The best way to increase member engagement is to keep them at the forefront of every business decision you make. Build your community around their interests and use their feedback to inform new content and next steps. Use membership management software like Uscreen to keep your content organized and allow users to consume it from any platform (including apps). If you engage your members and show them you care, they will remain active.
Make your membership more welcoming by effectively onboarding new members on your membership management software. This means guiding new members through your platform, showing them how to access key resources, and demonstrating the benefits and features of your community.
Invest in a platform like Uscreen that provides you with the features and tools to build an active community, stay involved as the creator, streamline the onboarding process, and capture and monitor member feedback. When you have the right tools, it’s easier to focus on your members, improve the membership experience, and build them a space they want to visit every day.