The benefits of a membership website are obvious enough. For many brands, membership websites are a critical component of their revenue mix, as they market their premium content to people with different access permissions.
However, startup business, SMBs, and even enterprises often ignore the potential of am membership website in terms of enhancing the customer engagement factor. It’s worth looking into, because engaged customers are more likely to be loyal to the vendors they work with.
Here’s my take on how you can set up a membership website for better customer engagement.
How to Build a Membership Website
Creating a powerful, professionally designed and feature-rich membership website isn’t expensive or difficult. It’s straightforward enough to choose one of the many free or affordable prices platforms that will help you create the website without getting into coding and web development, and without the need to hire an expert.
WordPress, the most preferred and widely used CMS across the cybersphere, comes with quite a few plugins that help you create a membership website. Here’s a handy guide to some of the most credible ones.
For serious entrepreneurs who need a platform that not only helps them create a membership website, but also to grow its subscriber community with essential content marketing tools built in, I recommend a dedicated platform such as Kajabi. Here, you can create feature-rich membership websites where in you can realize all kinds of revenue models, content formats, and marketing campaigns.
There’s more to the tool, which makes it a must-have for anyone looking to build a high-powered membership and subscription-based content business.
Here are some of the most useful features.
- Create your membership website with advanced ecommerce capabilities
- Use responsive and professionally designed layout templates to deliver uniformly engaging website experiences across devices
- Send branded emails to prospects and customers
- Build and manage automated marketing campaigns
- Build landing pages, capture leads, and automate follow up for maximizing conversions
The technical aspects of creating a membership portal for your business are not as challenging as the question of how you get people to willingly register, revisit, and remain active on the portal.
Here’s how you can plan and manage your business’s customer membership portal, so that it helps clients engage with your brand better.
Self Service to Lower Support Costs
The benefits associated with membership infrastructure extend well beyond content monetization. A login becomes a one-stop destination for everything that a client could want to know about its business relationship with you.
From purchase history to contracts, from special promotional offers availed to records of logs of calls with customer support personnel, all information can be captured and connected with an online account within your client membership website.
Businesses can integrate their existing CRM database with their membership websites to enable clients to get quick search-based answers to frequently asked customer service questions. This helps clients to not only get all the transactional information from their online account without having to call up your customer support, but also makes their complex customer service requests easier to serve.
Often, businesses are able to recoup the costs of development of membership websites because of potential cost savings in customer service.
Centralized Information For Better User Experiences
As your product and service basket expands, and as you start experimenting with more marketing channels, you’ll invariably create several isolated online destinations hosting important information for existing customers as well as prospects.
With a well-implemented membership site, all of these destinations can be connected to the common database backbone of your business.
How do you unify all these information assets for seamless customer access? The answer: by creating a customer specific ID and enabling this ID with authorizations to access all relevant information assets.
Superior Content Engagement with Personalization
As your client base grows, it becomes increasingly tempting to send out generic marketing messages and create one-size-fits-all promotional offers for all your clients. This can dilute the quality of the personalized experiences you delivered to your clients in the early stages.
A content management system that supports client memberships can help to personalize experiences.
Over time, brands can design different content marketing campaigns for clients belonging to different user groups. Also, this content personalization goes a long way towards enabling brands to assign clients to preset categories, which in lets marketers use reliable top of the funnel content to initiate buyer journeys. Also, with innovative content formats such as news feeds and information bulletins, you can differentiate the way your brand markets content and promotional offers to different client segments.
Nurture a Peer-to-Peer Community
Brands can give their customer engagement and support efforts a massive boost by opening their online portals for peer-to-peer interactions.
Let’s face it – you’ll never be able to answer all customer queries quickly. When your clients have another channel, one for posing questions and giving answers to fellow members, you create a tremendously engaging channel of expression, interaction, and fulfillment for your clients. This also adds a lot of value to your searchable databases, as more questions get answered.
Plus, engaging in one to one interactions with other clients on your membership portal humanizes the experience of your customers, helping them associate with your brand at a deeper level.
Every marketing and messaging channel that enables one-to-one conversations between brands and clients deserves key position in a holistic multi channel marketing strategy.
A membership website is all you need to not only explore newer revenue channels, but also to achieve most of your customer engagement goals.