For Travis, the primary question you should be focused on when onboarding should be how do you help your members succeed? This begins with the first impression they receive when they enter your membership. Money back guarantees offer psychological risk, so Travis recommends sticking to a free trial or just a cheaper entry-level tier.
The next step is making sure that your users and new members can navigate your site clearly. When you’re the one designing the site, it’s tough to take a bird’s eye view. Utilize an outside set of eyes to take a look and tell you what they think.
A mistake to avoid during onboarding is information dumping on new members. Create a dedicated page for welcoming new users to the site for the first time, offering the first video or the course, or a discussion forum where they can introduce themselves. Travis emphasizes looking back at the seeds you’ve planted in your marketing, and make sure you deliver on that immediately. Don’t throw too much at them at once.
To keep your users engaged, utilize checklists and roadmaps to show them a clear map and track their progress. Creating a drip email campaign of welcome emails that aren’t overloaded with information, but rather shares valuable bite-size, can help remind your users to finish projects, complete steps, or read important content.
To understand what keeps your users engaged and happy, Travis has three recommendations: look at key retention behaviors, actively participate as much as you can as the expert, and automate consistent processes.
- These key retention behaviors can be pinpointed by identifying your users who have been successful and stuck around for a long time. Then, compile the steps and actions they engaged in. Once you can identify those behaviors, you can start measuring and encouraging new members to follow in their footsteps. Additionally, you can pull members who have fallen away back in gently to the key retention behaviors with email reminders that send them down those pathways to get back on track.
- Actively participate and be consistently checking in with everyone, whether it’s through answering questions on discussion boards or posting valuable content on forums. This will help you as the owner and expert stay on top of problems so you can understand new things you can offer or changes you should make. It requires consistent time but will give you long-term rewards.
- Automate the onboarding process and sharing content. If you can streamline consistent processes, you’ll free up your time for more important things.
Membership vs. Courses:
If you have the time and desire to create content and keep adding to it, membership is for you. Otherwise, the courses are the way you should go.
“Long term, the membership model has, to me, higher potential for success and profit. A course often can be much more short-term profit, cause you’re going to sell just a one time fee at a higher price point.”
To track your sites engagement and user behaviors, Travis’s company Member Up provides a valuable tool called “Member Score.” It hooks into your site and tracks what everyone is doing and puts together a score for each user. This gives you insight into key retention behaviors, so that you can pinpoint where you need to trigger a sequence of reminders and check-ins. For example, it ties into your email provider, so you can set it to kick off a reminder or email drip to certain members if their score falls below a certain number.
When analyzing this data from Member Score, stay focused on directing your users to the key retention behaviors of successful members.
“It comes down to analyzing kind of what we touched on earlier for those successful members: what did they do, what was their path, or what patterns of engagement did they show?”
Free PDF: How to maximize your membership site revenue with members you already have
LinkedIn: Travis Northcutt