Marketing

How to Craft Effective Membership Messaging That Converts

By Jade Beason and Eden Metzler
10 Min Read
Woman smiling while typing on her laptop.

So, what is your membership all about?

It’s a question you’ve probably had to field many times – to the point where you’ve memorized a cut-and-paste answer.

What I want to know is how people usually react to that answer. Specifically, do they seem to ‘get it’ right away, or are you met with follow-up questions?

If you often find yourself in the latter scenario, then chances are you need better messaging. And, that’s what I’m here to help with.

Because, if your audience is confused about what your membership offers and how it can benefit them, they won’t sign up. Full stop.

I became a six-figure, full-time content creator just months after uploading my first ever YouTube video. How? The same way I’ve grown my membership to $8.5k+ monthly revenue…

8+ years of marketing and business experience.

Now, I’m sharing my own membership messaging framework to help you craft better messaging and convert more members.

Why Membership Messaging Matters

When was the last time you spent money on something before you understood how it would benefit you?

Even an impulse purchase as small as a pack of gum is driven by a minty-fresh understanding of how it will improve your day.

Not only are your members spending money on your membership, but they’re committed to spending that money month-after-month and (ideally) year-after-year.

There are 3 core questions that everybody needs to satisfy before they feel confident spending money on anything:

  1. Is this product or service the right fit for me?
  2. Can I find this kind of value elsewhere?
  3. Will this get me closer to my desired outcome?

If someone can’t find the answers to these questions on your membership site, chances are they won’t sign up.

That’s where messaging comes in: good messaging should provide clear, quick, and consistent answers to each of the 3 core questions.

I’ve used a couple of simple frameworks to create my membership copy, so let’s explore how you can copy-and-paste these for your own membership messaging!

How to Craft Membership Messaging That Converts

Messaging Fundamentals: Descriptive & Transformational Messaging

Writing great copy is a skill.

But, the truth is that you don’t need to know a whole lot to write copy that’s good enough to drive results.

If you want to improve your messaging quickly, there are 2 important principles to understand that will empower you to create better messaging for your membership:

  1. descriptive messaging,
  2. and transformational messaging.

Descriptive messaging provides an objective description of your features and benefits, including the value they provide and the frequency at which they’re available.

Transformational messaging focuses on the outcome your members will receive from these same features and benefits.

Combining these principles together are what will help you to create well-rounded copy and really drive impact.

Here’s how I would apply both descriptive and transformational messaging to that pack of gum I mentioned earlier.

Descriptive MessagingTransformational Messaging
Feature/

Benefit

ValueFrequency/

Volume

OutcomeEffective Messaging
Spearmint gum.Sugar-free, effects last for 2-3 hours.A week’s supply.Better breath in seconds.A week’s supply of sugar-free, spearmint gum that’ll give you better breath in seconds, and last for hours.

When you combine descriptive and transformational messaging, you provide complete clarity on the value your audience will receive, and how it will help them to achieve a specific outcome.

In short, it’s a winning formula that drives your audience to action.

Now let’s apply these principles to each part of your messaging: primary, and secondary.

Primary Messaging: Define Your Membership Value Proposition

You’re in a room filled with total strangers who just so happen to be your target audience.

You have just 10 seconds to pique their interest and get them to visit your membership site before they leave the room. What do you say?

Now, a few seconds isn’t nearly enough time to convert them all into new members. But, it’s more than enough time to grab their attention and motivate them to learn more about your membership.

That’s what a good value proposition does.

In less than 10 seconds, your unique value proposition (UVP) clearly explains how your membership uniquely serves a specific group of people, and helps them to achieve a valuable outcome.

And, it can double as your primary messaging across your marketing.

To develop a strong value proposition, there are 3 elements you need to define:

  1. Target audience (descriptive). Who exactly does your membership serve?
  2. Key value-driver (descriptive). What is the key value-driver that bridges the gap from when a member joins to when they achieve those core outcomes?
  3. Core outcomes (transformational). How does your membership change the lives of its members?

Once you have these clearly defined, it’s just a case of threading these elements together to create a compelling value proposition, and powerful primary messaging.

Here’s an example using my own membership value proposition for The Creator Project Collective

Descriptive MessagingTransformational Messaging
Target AudienceKey Value-DriverCore OutcomesValue Proposition
Beginner and part-time creatorsExclusive masterclasses, creator community.Grow an audience, earn an income.The Collective teaches beginner and part-time creators how to grow an audience and earn an income through exclusive masterclasses and a community of creators.

As you can see, good value propositions are concise yet comprehensive. But, they’re a little too long to make for a compelling headline in your marketing.

So, there are a couple of ways to use this UVP as your primary messaging:

  • Use it as-is. Your value proposition covers the 3 key points that people need to know before they feel inclined to learn more. You should use your whole UVP as-is when you’re promoting your membership for the first time, or to an audience who isn’t familiar with you.
  • Break it into smaller pieces. This approach involves extracting 1 or 2 of the key points of your UVP to turn it into an even more concise piece of primary messaging. This is a good solution when you’re promoting your membership to an audience that is familiar with you, and might know a bit about your membership already.

For example, I assume that if somebody is browsing my membership’s landing page, then they’re probably familiar with me and my membership’s UVP to some extent.

So, I’ve extracted the core outcomes of my membership program, and I spotlight these on my landing page.

Screenshot displaying an example of Jade Beason's primary messaging on her membership site landing page.

Your core outcomes will be what resonate most strongly with your audience, so it’s a safe bet to lead with these, and lean on your secondary messaging to provide more context.

Speaking of, let’s go over what secondary messaging can do and how to create yours.

Secondary Messaging: Sell Your Core Benefits & Features

If primary messaging communicates the ‘zoomed out’ value of your membership, you can consider secondary messaging as what communicates the ‘zoomed in’ value.

Your secondary messaging describes the core benefits and features your membership offers.

I need to pause and stress on the word ‘core’ here. I know it’s tempting to list out every single benefit and feature that your membership offers wherever you get the chance…

In theory, the longer the list looks, the more valuable your membership is perceived to be.

But, in reality, it can often confuse and overwhelm your audience – and those are feelings that completely compromise the impact of your messaging.

So the first step of developing your secondary messaging is to identify 3-5 core benefits and features that matter most to your members.

The best way to do this? Ask your audience directly.

I host a short Typeform survey on my membership site that collects feedback on all aspects of my membership – including what my existing members want more of.

Screenshot displaying an example of Jade Beason's Typeform survey to collect feedback from members.

If you haven’t launched your membership just yet, you can send out a similar survey to your email list, or host a poll on platforms where your audience is most engaged. Anything you can do to get a better idea of what features and benefits your audience want the most.

Once you have your core features and benefits on hand, you can move into developing your secondary messaging.

Here’s where you’ll apply a mix of both descriptive and transformational messaging to ‘sell’ prospective members on the individual features that drive the most value for your membership.

This is how I would form my secondary messaging around live events, one of my key benefits…

Descriptive MessagingTransformational Messaging
Feature/

Benefit

ValueFrequencyOutcomeSecondary Messaging
Live events.Receive personalized advice.Monthly.Become a full-time creator faster.Monthly live events where you can receive personalized advice to help streamline your journey as a full-time creator.

Listing out your features without showing how they result in a desirable outcome is a missed opportunity. If you can ‘sell’ each aspect of what makes your membership, you’ll have a much easier time selling your membership as a whole.

How to Put Your Messaging Into Practice

You have your primary messaging on-hand, and your secondary messaging to drive it home. Now what?

I’ll break it down in the order of what’s most likely to directly influence immediate conversions: starting with your membership site.

Membership Site: Use Messaging to Drive Conversions

The goal: optimize your messaging to increase direct sign-ups.

The audience: your core target audience who are ready to pay for a membership like yours.

For the most part, the people who scroll through your membership site are not just random visitors.

They subscribe to your newsletter. They watch your free content. And, after hearing you promote your membership on those channels, they’re interested in what your membership has to offer.

With that in mind, the goal of your membership site is simple: optimize for new sign-ups.

I chose to keep things simple with an all-in-one landing page, instead of breaking things up across dedicated pages. It has all the information prospective members need, from key outcomes, to core benefits, to pricing plans.

Here’s how I optimize my landing page to drive new sign-ups…

Right off the bat, my primary messaging is the first thing you see when you land on my website.

Screenshot displaying an example of Jade Beason's primary messaging on her membership site landing page.

As you scroll, I continue to reinforce my primary messaging, and start to introduce my secondary messaging.

Screenshot displaying an example of Jade Beason's secondary messaging on her membership site landing page.

Once I’m sure that my primary messaging is clicking, I dive deeper into my secondary messaging.

Screenshot displaying an example of Jade Beason's secondary messaging on her membership site landing page.

And in between, I feature member testimonials that reinforce the promises my messaging makes.

Screenshot displaying an example of Jade Beason's member testimonials on her membership site landing page.

By the time you reach my pricing plans, you have all of the information you need to help you make a decision, then and there.

It’s important to note that not everybody who visits my site will be ready to sign up right away, but those who are ready will have their questions answered, and my messaging won’t get in the way of their next steps.

Takeaways & tips for pages that convert:

  1. Repetition is key. Some people will take the time to read everything from top-to-bottom, while others will scroll straight past entire sections. Repeat variations of your primary and secondary messaging from header to footer.
  2. Testimonials are king. Trust is hard to earn, but testimonials and member results go a long way in reassuring your audience that they’ll receive the value you promise to offer members.
  3. Be strategic with CTAs. Stick to just 1-2 types of CTAs, but place them in every third section or so. My landing page has all the necessary information in one place, so I only feature 1 CTA: Join the Collective.

Email Marketing: Use Messaging to Nurture Leads

The goal: to get subscribers onto your membership site.

The audience: your core target audience who are almost ready to join a membership like yours.

Your email list is made up of an audience who already loves your video content. They subscribed to your emails to receive that extra bit of value from you on a regular basis.

And while your email list is likely made up of people who are in different stages of ‘readiness’ to sign up for your membership, they all fall within your membership’s target audience.

That makes the goal for this channel to get those who are ready to sign up for your membership onto your site, while continuing to nurture the rest.

Here’s how I approach this goal with my own email list…

My newsletter, like my membership, is designed to help budding creators grow their audience and earn an income.

Like any good newsletter, I make sure that I’m providing value upfront. This is what will continue to engage and nurture my subscribers, regardless of how ready they are to join my membership.

Here’s a recent example of this, where I shared 2 actionable tips for landing better brand partnerships:

Screenshot displaying an example of Jade Beason's secondary messaging used in her email newsletter.

Then comes the hook (and the call-to-action): my membership makes it easier for you to land brand partnerships.

I call out a core membership benefit that is highly relevant to the topic of the email, and – of course – I use my official secondary messaging to drive it home. This is what will get subscribers to take action if they are ready to sign up.

Screenshot displaying an example of Jade Beason's secondary messaging used in her email newsletter.

Even though I’m tempted to break out the “and also, my membership offers-” I keep my messaging focused. The more focused it is, the more clarity the reader has, the more likely they are to take an action.

Once they’ve clicked through to my membership site, they’ll have all of the information they need to make a decision.

Takeaways & tips for emails that convert:

  1. Provide value upfront. The only long-term strategy for keeping someone engaged with your content is to give them something useful, week-after-week. This will make nurturing – and converting – subscribers that much easier.
  2. Keep your messaging clear. Your primary messaging is a safe bet to use on every channel, in every context. If your email content relates to one of your membership’s core benefits or features, then introduce that single piece of secondary messaging to resonate that much more with your readers.

Social Media: Use Your Messaging to Generate Leads

The goal: increase audience awareness of membership, sign-up for email list.

The audience: target audience at varying levels of readiness to sign-up for your membership.

Your audience on social media – whether it’s YouTube, TikTok, or Instagram – is made up of a lot of different segments.

Some are engaged, long-time fans. Others have been following you casually for a while. Some have just come across your content for the very first time.

This can make it difficult to convert a ton of new members directly from your social channels, seeing as most aren’t ready for that step.

So, to make sure you’re appealing to all segments of your audience, you’ll have 2 goals for your social media channels: sign people up to your email list, while still raising awareness of your membership.

Similarly to how I approach my email content: I provide all the value upfront in my social content, and then I have a clear CTA to sign up for my membership.

What’s unique to my social channels, though, is that I don’t stop at just one CTA. Instead, I provide options that appeal to all of the different segments in my audience. Here’s what that looks like in any one of my YouTube video descriptions:

Screenshot displaying an example of Jade Beason's primary and secondary messaging used in the description of her YouTube video.

The first link is a free, third-party resource that relates to the video. I don’t get anything out of it, but my viewers do. This allows me to provide real value, and build trust with my audience who are new to my content.

The next 4 links will all direct my audience to different parts of my membership. I lean on a mix of both primary and relevant secondary messaging to support each CTA. Importantly, these CTAs appeal to the segment of my audience who are ready – or nearly ready – to sign up for a membership like mine.

The final link in my description is a free downloadable guide, which I provide in exchange for signing up to my email list. This CTA appeals to the segment of my audience who aren’t quite ready to sign up for a membership, but who want to receive more value from my content.

By providing something for everybody, I’m able to build trust, sign viewers up to my email list, raise awareness for my membership, and convert new members – all at once.

Takeaways & tips for content that converts:

  1. Give your audience options. Varied CTAs will ensure that you’re getting the most out of each audience member, regardless of whether they’re ready to sign up for your membership or not.
  2. Use primary messaging to provide clarity. Your value proposition is crucial for getting potential members to understand the core value of your membership.
  3. Use secondary messaging to resonate. Look for opportunities to call out one of your relevant core benefits or features for each piece of content.

Conclusion

While your content needs to adapt to different channels, consistent messaging is key. Use your primary messaging wherever you promote and sell your membership. Use your secondary messaging strategically – choose features and benefits that appeal most strongly to audiences on specific channels.