13 Best Membership Sales Strategies

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13 Best Membership Sales Strategies

Marketing Content Specialist.
Content Strategist
12 minutes read
Last updated: April 19, 2024

Last Updated: February 21, 2024


To effectively generate steady revenue, businesses should consider implementing a membership model.

However, once the platform is established, the target audience identified, and valuable content created, the pivotal challenge remains: attracting members. This process necessitates strategic promotion.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to build a stable membership base in one day, even with a strong marketing campaign. It will take some time for the system to start bringing in sales.

The main tool for winning members is the right strategy.

Read on to explore the importance of a strategic approach, outline preparatory steps before promotion, and learn about the top 12 strategies for boosting your membership sales.

Key Takeaways

  • Define your membership goals, sales proposal, product package, and target audience before creating the membership. These are critical first steps.
  • Set up the necessary tools and systems to operate the membership program. Payment processing, equipment, and aligned staff are key.
  • Promote the membership through various channels once established. Let potential members know it exists and communicate the benefits.
  • Offer a free trial to give people first-hand experience with the membership program. This makes signing up less risky.
  • Create an exclusive community and sense of belonging for paid members. Special perks and privileges boost perceived value.

Why a Membership Strategy Is Important?

No matter how interesting and attractive the membership is, your members will not consider it until they find out about it.

It should not be presented exclusively in the form of a commercial offer. This is something that should be offered only to those who need it.

That is why the ideal membership marketing strategy should be thought out and implemented.

Let's move on to the initial stages of its implementation:

  • Even before starting to create a membership, you need to create goals, a sales proposal, and a product package.
  • This is the first strategy you will encounter when working with a membership. You also need to define a target audience that will be ideal participants, but you will be able to meet all of their needs.
  • Next, you need to work out the tools you need to make your membership work. Every nuance is important, from equipment to payment system. Your employees must also be willing to pursue common goals.
  • As soon as the whole system of membership is established, you can start promoting it.

Let's take a look at 12 of the best strategies.

Taking the First Step

Even before starting to create a membership, you need to create goals, a sales proposal, and a product package.
This is the first strategy you will encounter when working with a membership.

You also need to define a target audience that will be ideal participants, but you will be able to meet all of their needs.
Next, you need to work out the tools you need to make your membership work.

Every detail is important, from equipment to payment system.

Your employees must also be willing to pursue common goals. As soon as the whole system of membership is established, you can start promoting it.

Let's take a look at 12 of the best strategies.

13 Best Membership Selling Strategies

Selling memberships requires adapting strategies to match each unique situation.

A one-size-fits-all approach rarely succeeds across different membership models like online courses or fitness centers. While specific tactics may differ, focusing on core principles goes beyond any single context.

Here are 12 of the best general-purpose strategies to suit almost every type of membership.

1. Provide a Free Trial to Potential Members

free trial

A great way to engage your audience is to provide an opportunity to try becoming a member for a while.

For example, for 30 days, your potential members will enjoy a certain number of privileges and will experience all their benefits.

If you've created a system for daily use, remember - the primary habit is formed in just 21 days!

That is why new members of the membership simply cannot do without it.

The main task is to provide the most useful experience so that a person understands that at the end of the first acquaintance, he has already achieved a result.

Yes, you can cheat and promise more than you are. But this will give a short-term result, further negative experience, loss of a member, and a bad review that will appear to the rest of the interested users.

During the free period, request the member’s billing information so that as soon as it expires, you will renew your paid membership.

A few days before the completion, inform the participant about the extension of the period. This will strengthen the relationship of trust.

2. Share Your Membership With the World

Unfortunately, many organizations choose the tactic of closed membership and announce it only on their social networks once a year.

Paradoxically, they are the ones who are most surprised that no one wants to become a member.

No one can become a part of the membership if they do not know about its existence. Therefore, it is important to tell as many people as possible about it, providing an easy path to resources.

From time to time, remind all existing customers of the membership and talk about its privileges.

The minimum worth starts from posting information on the site, talking about membership on different pages right in the content, and dropping a link to a resource on social networks.

To avoid mistakes in your text, do not neglect the proofing and proofreading platforms, such as Ivory Research, as well as the services of a professional editor.

3. Create an Exclusive Member Community

Building an exclusive community around your membership program can be a powerful way to drive sales.

Consider offering members-only forums, private events, or a members-only newsletter. Giving members a sense that they are part of an inner circle makes the membership seem more valuable. You can even create different tiers of membership with increasing levels of exclusivity to upsell existing members.

Just be sure not to make non-members feel completely excluded, or they may lose interest before joining.

How Can I Create an Exclusive Community?

community management software

While there are many platforms available for creating private communities, you should consider the one that has robust security and integrates well with your other software.

While there are numerous platforms available for creating private communities, it is advisable to choose one that offers robust security and seamless integration with your existing software.

Glue Up's community management software delivers the capability to construct custom online communities and forums as part of a membership program. You have the option to restrict forum access exclusively to paid members, a strategy that promotes membership enrollments by offering exclusivity.

In these member communities, functionalities such as member profiles, private messaging among members, and discussion boards on topics that interest your members are available. Additionally, there's the option to distribute a members-only newsletter containing exclusive content.

Moreover, member profiles can be categorized into different tiers, including basic, premium, and VIP.

Members in higher tiers receive privileges like access to exclusive private sub-forums, additional content, and special perks. However, it's important not to entirely exclude non-paying members to maintain their interest.

Glue Up's tools, by nurturing an engaged member community with exclusive perks, demonstrate the value of paid membership, thereby driving recurring revenue and retaining current members.

For more information about this tool, you can request a demo here.

4. Create a Referral Program

referral programs

Promotion of membership through referral programs is a successful strategy because your partners are interested in you getting new members.

Offer affiliates discounts, gifts, or financial rewards for referrals. They will find interested users and make impressive advertising.

More often than not, referrals are trusted influencers.

Therefore, each member of the chain will receive its benefit: you will increase your membership and receive income from sales, the partner will earn money or acquire other benefits, and the new member will be confident in the reliability of the recommendation.

Don't forget to rate if the referral program is paired with a shopping cart or membership plugin. If so, you will be able to assess the flow of sales and leads competently.

5. Include an Online Chat Option

Even with the correct preparation of a commercial proposal, a description of all the benefits of membership, and the details of its functioning, users will always have questions.

To solve the problem, use a live chat for all participants and users, which will provide answers to all their questions in real time.
The method will help increase conversion, since everyone who will be on the threshold of purchase but will encounter problems, will be able to solve them on the spot, without waiting for long answers.

This is an effective strategy, especially if you notice that people spend a long time on your sales page, but leave without committing.

In addition, you will increase the level of trust of potential members.

All of them will understand that you have a support service that will prompt, help, and give a detailed answer at any time.

6. Promote on Social Media

social media marketing

Social media is the most popular way to communicate. Facebook alone has about 3.049 billion monthly active users.
All members of the membership will be happy to share their experiences with friends, colleagues, and family.

To do this, they will choose one of the social networks or several at once. Some of the users who learn about you are bound to become members of your membership.

  • First of all, your brand needs to make business pages on social networks filled with all the necessary information. This will allow you to react faster to leads and increase the possibilities of your marketing campaign.
  • Secondly, you need to maintain a regular posting schedule so you can build trust and authority in your audience’s eyes.

Plus, you can encourage everyone to talk about membership. For example, by offering to participate in a competition. It can be absolutely anything, but its main part should be the reward of all participants.

Prizes must be related to your membership.

Reward everyone who took part in the competition with mementos, and give the winner the main prize.
All participants will share this event, which will be an excellent lead-generation tool.

To attract users to the membership through social networks, Facebook is most often used - at 93%, Twitter - at 82%, and LinkedIn - at 72%.

7. Launch an Advertising Campaign

If the membership program is relevant throughout the year - periodically run promotions. This will help increase your membership sales.

Even if at the moment you have a large number of members - put up a promotion at least once a quarter. All people love discounts and, perhaps, those who did not dare to purchase a membership earlier will gladly buy it now.‘

Send a discount notification to every user so you can remind yourself and attract old potential customers.

Promotions are a great psychological trick that makes the members feel like they are making the right decision when making a purchase.

8. Offer Registration Bonus


Offer potential customers a sign-up bonus. It can be a discount, a gift, or a product. Most importantly, it must be meaningful and valuable to the user.

You can also offer a free month of membership with all premium services, or use other ways to reward your members.
This way, you will get closer to potential members and encourage them to buy a membership.

9. Host an Online Seminar

Once you open membership to register, host an online webinar.

Thus, you will provide more detailed information to potential customers and interest them. Plus, live chat is the best way to communicate with users.

Explain the membership, its benefits, and member privileges and provide training.

Finally, add a call to action and provide a bonus in the form of a membership discount for a limited amount of time.

10. Offer Video Training Series

One benefit that works well for membership sites is access to online training content.

These could be pre-recorded video courses, a library of on-demand webinars, or even access to live virtual events. The key is making sure members feel they are getting exclusive educational content tailored to their goals and interests.

Combine this training material with opportunities to interact in community forums and Q&A sessions. This creates an engaging learning environment that keeps members actively using and seeing value from their membership.

Be sure to update your training regularly with fresh content so existing members have a reason to stick around.

11. Offer Membership Refunds and Cancellations

To reduce the risk for potential members, offer a satisfaction guarantee. For example, allow members to receive a full or partial refund within the first 30 days if they decide the membership does not meet their needs.

Also, make it easy for members to cancel at any time. Knowing they can get their money back or quit effortlessly will make people much more comfortable joining initially.

Just be prepared that some members will take you up on the refund or cancellation policy. Build some slack into your revenue projections to account for this.

12. Use Data-Driven Customization

data driven strategies

Leverage the data you have on members to provide a customized experience.

For example, if someone mainly accesses video training related to social media marketing, you can showcase other relevant videos they may be interested in.

Or if a member asks a question in an online forum, you can proactively share resources related to that topic.

This tailored experience makes members feel special and like they are getting unique value. Just be careful not to get too invasive with data-tracking or members may see it as intrusive.

Find the right balance between personalization and privacy.

13. Offer Membership Products and Merchandize

As your association evolves, member needs become more complex. Membership products, offered through a platform like Glue Up's Products Catalog, can address this challenge. The Catalog allows you to tailor your offerings to diverse member segments. By providing targeted products, you can increase engagement and satisfaction.

The Catalog also opens up new revenue streams. You can sell merchandise, educational resources, and premium content directly to members, reducing reliance on dues and diversifying your income.

Furthermore, offering membership products fosters a sense of community. Exclusive products promote a sense of belonging and professional pride, strengthening your membership base.

Looking towards professional development, the Catalog provides an ideal platform to offer courses, certifications, or educational materials. By contributing to your members' professional growth, you solidify your reputation as a key player in the industry.

Finally, the Products Catalog allows you to adapt and improve. You can easily adjust offerings based on trends and member data, ensuring long-term success. This strategy goes beyond traditional membership models, providing a dynamic platform to meet your evolving needs.


You have a membership ready - it’s time to develop a strategy for selling it. Try to start with one option, or choose several that work best for you.

Avoid making non-members feel completely left out in the cold or they may lose interest before joining.

Find the ideal balance between showcasing value to members while still convincing non-members to buy in. Just focus on delivering real value, not extracting payments. This customer-centric mentality is what builds sustainable member programs.

Track metrics like monthly recurring revenue and membership renewal rates to assess what is working. Survey both active members and those who canceled to gain insights you can use to refine your program.

A successful membership site takes continual optimization but can ultimately become a scalable source of recurring income over time.

If you’re interested in learning strategies to attract more members or to enhance the experience of current members, please feel free to contact our team here for further assistance.

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