How to Use an Online Community for Membership Marketing?

Contact our office in Beijing

We're here to help. Please fill out this quick form and we'll get back to you shortly

How to Use an Online Community for Membership Marketing?

Content Writer, Glue Up
5 minutes read
February 20, 2023

Online communities help organizations in engaging members, but how do they help you in membership marketing?

Digital communities foster a sense of community by encouraging members to participate in discussions, share their insights, and build relationships with one another. Furthermore, they make your memberships more exclusive by adding a member-only tag on them.

In this article, we'll talk about how to use a private online community for membership marketing along with some examples from leading organizations.

But first…...

What Is an Online Community?

Essentially, an online community is a group of people with shared interests, goals, or values who interact and communicate over a digital platform. Online communities can take many forms, including social media groups, discussion forums, and chat rooms.

These digital communities can be moderated or unmoderated, public or private, and may have different rules and norms for behavior. Some online communities are focused on socializing and building relationships, while others may be centered on problem-solving or providing support for a particular issue or cause.

As a whole, an online community allows your members to:

  • Discuss topics of mutual interest
  • Keep up with your organizational activities
  • Acknowledge the entire community
  • Share opinions on projects and work together


Why Does Membership Marketing Need an Online Community?

membership renewal

An online community can play a crucial role in supporting membership marketing efforts, as it can help build engagement and foster a sense of belonging among members.

Here are some reasons why membership marketing needs an online community:

Member Connection

An online community provides a platform for members to communicate with one another, share ideas, and engage in discussions. This helps build a sense of community and promotes member engagement.

It also facilitates networking opportunities, allowing them to engage in one-on-one conversations, build relationships, and expand their professional network.

Strong Member Support

An online community can be used to offer member support, such as answering questions, providing advice, and addressing concerns. This can help build trust and loyalty among members.

Enables Data Collection

An online community collects valuable member data and provides insights into their engagement, preferences, and behavior. This can help organizations tailor their membership marketing efforts to better meet the needs and interests of their members.

Extended Membership Growth

According to a survey by Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report, 2020, 67% of organizations report that word-of-mouth endorsements provide them with more new members only because customers trust feedback and their colleagues.

The online platform can be ideal for member acquisition as you already have trustworthy members discussing your value. This gives your potential members an insight into your community that piques their interest.

How Can Online Communities Be Used in Membership Marketing?

Strong Membership Base

membership growth

Members are more likely to be committed to a community when they understand its purpose and goals. An online community with a defined mission attracts people who share the same interests and goals and thus, helps members stay focused on what the community is all about.

They also promote a culture of respect by having clear guidelines for behavior and enforcing them consistently, that ultimately leads to a strong membership base.

Makes it More Exclusive

An online community usually adds an exclusivity factor to the memberships. This means that only those who are members of your organization can access it.

Since people are driven by the desire to belong to a group, it develops a massive interest among your potential members and makes your community more desirable.

Tailor-made Community Experience

Some private communities like Glue Up are tailor-made - they are customized according to the interests and preferences of your members.

For example, Glue Up is made for professional communities, therefore, it allows them to upload and keep a track of all the documents in a single tab. Additionally, every member can interact with another member and share virtual business cards using a one-to-one chat option.

Some combined membership and community management software also enable you to send email campaigns. These are personalized to provide a deeper level of interaction with your members and foster a sense of belonging.

Read more: Member Management + Community Engagement: Can One Software Do It All?

Offer Valuable Resources and Benefits

engaging content

Members are more likely to remain engaged if they feel they are getting something valuable from the community. Online communities can offer resources and benefits such as exclusive content, discounts, networking opportunities, or access to industry leaders and experts.

Some Examples from GlueUp Online Community for Membership Marketing

Let’s take a look at the leading member-based organizations that increased their membership marketing efforts through online communities.

The Surf Project

The Surf Project is a faith-based charity in the heart of the small town of Portrush in North Ireland UK that works with young people and adults to help them discuss and explore things of life and faith in an open environment.

The Surf Project collaborated with GlueUp to increase its member acquisition. The organization improved its attendees' experience using the software and thus, increased its visibility among potential members.

As a result, its CRM database grew from 1,274 contacts to 2,114, a growth of 40% since it started using the platform.

IACC Growing its Membership Base with Glue Up

The Indo-American Chamber of Commerce Karnataka is the apex bilateral Chamber synergizing India-US Economic Engagement. Its main objective is to promote Indo-American business, trade, and economic relations.

IACC Karnataka approached GlueUp’s all-in-one engagement management platform to seek assistance in expanding its network and growing memberships. In addition, IACC's members represented a wide range of industries, which made the board want to better engage with their members.

Thus, IACC developed a strong strategy that focused on improving its attendees' experience with Glue Up and urge them to join its organizations as members. As a result, IACC was able to grow its membership base and increase renewal rates.

Related Content

A Comprehensive Guide to Building an Online Community [With Steps, Best Practices, and FAQs]
10 minutes read
As we delve into the digital era, online communities are emerging as a cornerstone in bringing individuals together, fostering interactive dialogue, and enhancing the overall experience for members…
Event Best Practices For Managing and Moderating Online Communities APAC - RecapEvent Best Practices For Managing and Moderating Online Communities APAC - Recap
6 minutes read
Building a strong and stable community requires a great deal of effort and commitment. This is particularly true for online communities, where digital burnout is common and interactions feel…
Maximizing User-Generated Content for Community Building
11 minutes read
By leveraging online platforms, digital tools, and virtual events, you can easily connect and engage with your members, share information and resources, and expand your reach. You can not only post…