Have you ever felt obliged to help someone after they’ve helped you? Do you wish your audience felt that way about your membership? The natural human urge to repay kindness is strong, and it can lead to better conversions and increased profits when put into practice within your membership marketing.
Reciprocity is the fancy word for ‘thanks for helping me, how can I repay you?’
When you bring reciprocity into your marketing, you’re essentially offering something of value to your target audience first, then asking for something like a newsletter sign-up or subscription in return.
This is an extra useful strategy for the world of memberships because memberships are already based on a give-and-take relationship. Your membership provides something your members really want, and in return, they pay a membership fee.
But how can reciprocity turn your audience into members? Here are some of the most effective methods you can try in your membership marketing.
Fill Up Their Love Jar
Nope, this isn’t some wacky New Age tip jar! A love jar is a useful strategy for successful, human-focused marketing.
Every person you market your membership to has their own metaphorical ‘love jar’ – a sense of good feeling or endearment towards something. And when that jar is full, they’re at their most likely to want to do what you’re asking them to.
This theory is based on the fact that everything is transactional – in the nicest possible way. Even outside of marketing. People are more likely to help and be interested in others who have already helped or shown interest.
To implement the love jar strategy, you must ensure you’ve filled your audience’s jar up before you even think of asking them to do something for you.
Got a membership that teaches amateur runners to train for and win marathons? You’d fill up your ideal buyer’s love jar with useful running tips, industry insider info, free video content and other things that they’d appreciate.
Only then, after you’ve given, should you ask for what you want from them – maybe you want them to sign up for a free trial or to join an upcoming webinar. Whatever you ask, they’ll be much more likely to do it if they feel they’re repaying some of your kindness.
Hold Members Accountable
Want your audience to actually convert to memberships AND feel like they’ve received what they wanted from you? Hold them accountable with actionable steps.
Once you’ve given, given, given the value, provide one more thing – clear instructions on what they should do next to achieve whatever it is you can help them with. It may be as simple as putting a link to your email signup at the bottom of a blog or directing them to your website in a social post.
These little prompts remind your target buyers that they’ve been enjoying your content and now they have an opportunity to repay you.
Once your audience has followed your marketing journey and finally signed up to your membership offer, keep them accountable. Give them ways to put your membership knowledge into action over a clear timeline.
This may look like a step-by-step course with simple levelling up. Or an overview of the content they need to progress through on your website.
Use Free Trials
Everybody loves a free trial.
Have you ever tried Amazon Prime or Netflix free trials (who hasn’t?!) where you can get all the benefits for a time for free? It feels like you’re getting the best of both worlds. You can try out the service, but you don’t have to pay until your trial ends and you’re sure you want to continue.
The key is to give people something they would genuinely love in this free trial, so those warm feelings of reciprocity kick in.
In the context of your membership, this might be a free trial of the lowest tier of membership, so your leads can try before they buy, and perhaps even see that they’d want a higher tier of membership when it comes down to it.
When your audience sees that you’re providing high value for free, they’re more likely to trust in your membership and want to repay you by continuing their subscription.
Build A Relationship
In the end, reciprocity in marketing all comes down to building a relationship with your target market.
Don’t be that membership that cuts all ties and abandons members once they’ve signed up. Keep the relationship growing, as this can increase the success of re-subscription, upsells, cross-sells and word-of-mouth recommendations.
It’s in the interests of both you and your members to work on your relationship – even after you’ve each got what you wanted.
You can do this in a multitude of ways, like:
- Offer referral schemes. If a member refers a friend, they might get a discounted month off their subscription or access to more membership content.
- Keep in touch through your email marketing, giving them updates, fresh content and deals.
- Reward loyalty. Let existing members know you appreciate their continued subscription by sending them special rewards and exclusive insights.
Spend time on your relationship with members, and you’ll put yourself in a better position to increase your revenue.
Ready To Take Your Membership Idea Seriously?
Working reciprocity into your marketing is an effective way to give your audience what they want while getting the conversions you need. So fill up those love jars, provide actionable steps for accountability, offer unmissable free trials and keep building relationships with members.
Do all that in your marketing and you can easily turn your target audience into paid-up members.
But before marketing strategies even come into play, there’s one thing you need to do first… you need to build your membership website!
If you’re ready to make your membership idea a reality, book a call with our experts and launch your own membership website.