Memberships are a fantastic source of recurring revenue. But how do you keep your existing members engaged and attract new ones? Member benefits.
Member benefits are often one of the reasons guests choose to convert to members in the first place. After all, everyone likes being rewarded for loyalty, right?
These benefits increase member acquisition, breathe life into your membership programs, and turn members into brand advocates.
What are member benefits?
Member benefits are the perks that come with being a member of an organization; they are what members receive for the price they pay for their memberships.
Usually, perks come in the form of:
- Services, such as a free daily pass to your venue once a year and/or
- Access, such as access to member discounts or early access to new attractions
Why are member benefits important?
Stand-out member benefits mean:
- Your existing members will remain engaged. And when members are engaged, they become greater brand advocates as they bring you feedback and talk about your venue to others.
- You can easily attract new members as the incentives you offer (member benefits) are too hard to pass up.
- It is easier to retain your existing members. Members will stick around and renew if you give them a reason to!
10 membership benefits you can implement in your venue
1. Offer coupons and discounts
Your members want to feel like having a membership with you is special. And it is! So a great way to prove this is to offer them what they most likely want the most from you: discounts.
By offering a discount, coupon, or even a 'cashback' reward that non-members would not get, your members will feel special. They may even feel so special that they post about it on social media, widening your brand reach!
The old 'surprise and delight' method is a great way to keep existing members happy and incentivize potential members to sign up.
Members get 30% off all food and beverage items in venue, while non-members have to pay full price. Or admit members to special events for free while asking non-members to pay.
By rewarding them, you can guide existing members to make repeat purchases, such as renewing a membership.
For example, offering extra 'points' for renewing their membership every year could add up towards a cashback reward once they attain a certain number of points.
2. Award a 'member of the month'
A great way to say thanks to active members is to feature them in a 'member of the month' section on your website or newsletter.
They will surely appreciate the gesture, ensuring that they stay engaged. This program can also inspire other members to participate more, which can have a broader effect than you might think.
Choose a winner based on who has participated the most in your venue or taken up the most offers. Then email them privately, asking for their permission to publish on your website, and perhaps even ask them for a quote.
You might also want to send them an accompanying 'gift' such as a free food and beverage voucher for their next visit.
You could ask other members to nominate a member of the month as this will create engagement around your brand while at the same time also building a stronger sense of community amongst your members. And that's a great thing!
3. 'Feature' members on your website
You could go one step further than 'member of the month' and 'feature' a few select members on your website every so often.
You can feature members randomly just to point the spotlight on them and drive engagement, or you can put out an invitation asking members if they would like themselves or their businesses to be featured.
It'll show your members and potential members that you are invested in the community and are not just promoting yourself and your venue.
Feature members on their birthdays or when they have accomplished something big, like the 5th anniversary of being a member with you.
You might consider featuring members who haven't been to your venue in a while to remind them of your venue and bring them back.
In your feature, you could ask them to tag a few friends with whom they'd love to come back, increasing brand engagement.
4. Reward members for hitting 'membership milestones'
In the same vein as the above, you can also reward loyal members by recognizing them when they reach certain 'member milestones.'
Milestones don't necessarily have to be just their tenure with you; it could be the number of 'points' they’ve collected thus far.
Reward your members at your preferred intervals, such as yearly or maybe, every five years. Ensure the reward is exciting enough to get them back in your venue, preferably with their friends.
You could offer 50% off entry to your member and 5% off for any friend they bring.
If you wanted to get creative about your reward, you could incorporate the milestone number into your gift. For example, five coupons as a reward for a 5-year membership.
Bonus tip: a creative gift like this can also make for a catchy hashtag if you or the guest post about it on social media. #5couponsfor5years #goingstrong
5. Host 'member only' competitions and events
Competitions and events are a great way to engage your members/community. We all love a good contest or a fun day out, whether participating or merely spectating.
So creating 'member only' competitions and events that are fun and exciting will have all your guests/members talking and drive up interest in your venue AND membership program for sure!
You can host a 'bounce competition’ in your trampoline park and award a coveted prize to the member who can jump the highest, or for the longest, or perhaps even do the most impressive trick. You could even have other members be the judges!
Trust us; everyone will want to come and see!
You could also host other contests, such as a 'who can refer the newest members' contest. See what we did there? Two birds, one stone!
6. Partner up with the locals to offer even MORE discounts
What's better than getting a discount from a venue you love attending? Getting discounts to other places you love too!
By partnering up with local businesses, you can offer more discounts and coupons to your members.
You could allow your members to collect 'points' at your venue and the local businesses you partner with.
A program like this will incentivize your guests to convert into members when they realize how easily and quickly they can receive rewards. And all they have to do is continue purchasing from places they may already be familiar with, and at the same time, they will also be supporting local businesses.
Try to partner up with businesses that are within close proximity to your venue. This way, your members will already be in the area when they're at your venue, so the convenience of using, for example, a grocery coupon at the grocery store next door to you will be very pleasing to your members.
7. Create an online community for your members
Creating an exclusive online community for your members is a great way to build community and member engagement and drive momentum around your venue. Consider setting up Facebook or Instagram pages for your venue, and encourage conversation and contribution in your comments.
Especially in this day and age, online communities are thriving, and they help people feel connected to one another.
An online community is an ideal space for your members to connect, but you can use it too! Consider using it as a place where you can post company updates and offers and even helpful resources.
Ensure you take the time to cultivate a great community atmosphere and that you have valuable information and assets to share. But most of all, make it a place everyone wants to be!
Get everyone on board, from your members to your employees, management, and maybe even your partnering local businesses! The more, the merrier, making your venue seem more 'human' and approachable.
8. Share valuable content your members want
Your members want to learn from you. They want to see engaging, thought-provoking blogs, posts, and videos from you. And maybe if they own a business, they would also like to learn how to do better in specific business areas.
You can provide these things through many sources, including blogs, social media posts/links, podcasts, or even newsletters.
Before creating content, run a poll asking your members which medium/channel they prefer to view content. When you know this, you will be able to focus on producing content most effectively and better please your members too.
'Plug' your other channels on other channels. For example, link to your podcast at the bottom of a relevant blog post. Or vice versa!
Read this next: 5 Ways To Improve Your Member Experience At Little To No Cost
9. Offer various membership levels, including a free tier
This is the membership equivalent of a free trial. This method might be the easiest, most effective way to turn a guest into a member as it is both commitment-free and free.
Offering various membership levels also makes higher-level members feel more valued. And it makes the higher levels seem more desirable to others.
Your venue could have the following membership levels:
- Free level: trial membership option, which is a basic package and expires in a month
- Tier 1 level: offering small discounts and a few perks
- Tier 2 level: offering higher discounts and more perks
- Tier 3 level: free admission and all areas access
You could consider creating a VIP section. You could charge a higher price for the membership and include certain 'exclusive' extras for 'VIPs only,' such as access to more in-venue areas or higher discounts with your partnering businesses.
10. Create a member referral program
A member referral program, where your existing members are rewarded for referring a new member, is a mutually advantageous way of growing your memberships. The reward your current member receives is a great incentive for them to spread the word about your program!
You can't go wrong with cash rewards. Try offering your members a cash sum for every member they refer. For example, $200 per referral.
If you don't want to part with cold hard cash for every referral, consider offering a free piece of merchandise or a discount instead.
A physical gift like merchandise mailed to the member's house might be a good idea as it's always lovely to receive a gift in the mail, especially when it is unexpected. Wrap it up nicely, maybe in a customized gift bag with your logo on it, and who knows, a snap of it might end up on social media!
Benefits so good, they have to notice
Whether you offer discounts, feature your members on your website, or even create a referral program, the best benefits for your business will depend on what kind of venue you operate. And which benefits your members value the most.
Perhaps put yourself in your guest's shoes to determine what is best for you. What would make you want to become a member at your venue? If you were unsure about joining, which benefits would get you over the line? Chances are, they're the same for your guests.