Learning the Lingo: A Glossary of Useful Membership Site Terms

When you embark on any new venture, or start exploring a new subject, there are always words and phrases that you need to learn. These are often familiar words that have a brand new meaning in this unfamiliar context.

Creating a membership site is no different, and trying to figure out what these terms mean can slow down your progress, when you should be concentrating on getting your website up and running and making a profit.

We’ve compiled a short list of the most common terms you should be aware of as you start building your membership site empire.

MEMBERS – the people who have signed up for a paid membership to your site. Also known as SUBSCRIBERS.

SUBSCRIPTION PLANS – different levels of membership for accessing different content, for example: beginner, intermediate, advanced. You can offer different content for each new subscription plan you design.

MEMBER PROFILE – each one of your members will have their own profile where you can see all of their information at a glance, such as their name and email address, and what subscription plan they’re currently on. You can easily manage all of your member profiles from the SubHub membership dashboard.

THIRD PARTY INTEGRATIONS – ‘third party’ refers to a service which is not a native SubHub service. You can link your site up with a whole host of third party apps, such as PayPal for payment processing, or Mailchimp for email marketing.

PAY PER VIEW CONTENT – this is content which you can offer in your online store so even your non-members can benefit from your membership content. Non-members can pay a one-time fee for a single download of an ebook or a video, without having to sign-up for a full membership. It can be a great way of letting people try out your content before they decide to go for a more long-term commitment.

MOBILE RESPONSIVE – this simply means that your site is designed to be viewed on any device (including phones, tablets and desktop computers) without losing valuable information or design features. If your site is mobile responsive it will look gorgeous and work beautifully no matter what device is used to view it.

RETENTION – your retention rate is the number of people who continue to be members on a long-term basis. This is the most important metric for you to track – it’s much cheaper (in terms of both money and time) to hang on to an existing customer than it is to attract a new one.

CHURN – any time you lose a member, for whatever reason, they have ‘churned’. Your aim as a membership site owner is to keep your churn rate as low as possible, to make sure you’re retaining as many of your paying members as you can. If your churn rate is above 15%, then you might want to take a close look at your content, community and customer service to work out why you’re losing so many customers.

ONBOARDING – this is one of the most important, and often forgotten, steps in increasing your member retention. It refers to the process that happens directly after your customer has handed over their money. This is when they will be most alert to whether you can deliver on everything you’ve promised in your marketing, so you need to make them feel both welcome and reassured. Try sending out a nice email welcome pack (you can set this up to go out automatically using a service like Mandrill or Mailchimp) with a welcome letter, and perhaps a guide or download with instructions for getting the most out of the site – where to go first, setting up their member profile etc etc. It can go a long way to turning a first time customer into a raving fan.

Have we missed anything?

Are there any membership site terms that you’ve heard but aren’t quite sure about? Do drop us a line on Twitter or Facebook and we’ll add them to this post.