Marketing Strategy

A Nifty Process To Reduce Membership Churn


If you offer membership products and services then you’ll be very familiar with the black cloud that is membership churn.

So many businesses accept cancellations as a standard part of the membership cycle, no questions asked.

If someone wants to leave then you should let them go right?

If this sounds like you then, at the risk of sounding rude, you're probably doing it wrong and losing money when you don't have to.

Fear not! We've put together a nifty process that will seriously reduce your membership churn and make you lots more money.

1. Show Them, Don't Tell Them

When you get the notification that one of your loyal members has decided it's time to leave it's standard protocol to let them know you're ‘sorry they're leaving'.

This parting message normally goes out in an email or notification or maybe you send them to a leaving page.

At this point you've accepted that someone is leaving and you're just waving goodbye really.

Well, no more waving goodbye!

Instead you're going to send them to a shiny new page which will contain a video that will ultimately encourage a high percentage of your members to actually stay on and keep paying you.

Membership Churn Strategy

You want to feature your ‘top dog' in this video, the face of your brand, this way people will know this is an important message and you mean business.

In this video you should mention that you're sad to see that they want to leave, and that you've put lots of effort into making your membership service really amazing.

After this you should reel off a big long list of all the features they will be missing out on if they go ahead and pause their membership.

Playing on the fear of loss will get people thinking about whether they really do want to pause after all.

2. Nobody Ever Cancels

If you've been paying attention so far, then you will have noticed that we haven't mentioned anyone ‘cancelling' their membership.

That's because instead of cancelling they will be pausing.

Just by simply switching the wording you are using you can change your members mind set.

By referring to it as ‘pausing' their membership people start immediately thinking in the temporary, they're just pausing because at some point they will be coming back.

If you keep using words like cancel and cancellation, you are telling people that you know this is permanent. Not good!

If you and your support staff can get into the habit of ‘pausing' memberships then you'll be one step ahead of the game.

Membership Churn Strategy

3. Only Offer 2 Reasons For Pausing

In your video you should make reference to the reasons they might have for pausing their membership.

You can take control though!

You should only offer them two potential reasons:

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  • They don't have time to implement their membership
  • They can't afford it anymore

By only offering two reasons you're hinting at the fact that there couldn't possibly be any other reason they would want to leave.

This way you aren't giving anyone the opportunity to even consider thoughts like – ‘I just don't need it or want it'.

Now that you've limited your reasons you can offer solutions for both:

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  • They don't have time to implement their membership

You could offer a free bonus that will help speed up implementation for them, making usability easier and faster for them. The free bonus will of course totally depend on your market and service.

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  • They can't afford it anymore

You could introduce the idea of a ‘downgraded' membership. They will still get all the important parts of the membership but less add on's for a seriously reduced price.

4. Make A Final Decision

At this point you've explained what amazing features they will be missing out on if they pause.

You've explained all the benefits of your membership and how valued they are as part of your team.

On top of all that you've even offered solutions to the only two reasons they could have for wanting to pause.

Now it's time to hand control back over to your members.

This is the fun part!

At the end, or during your video three buttons will pop up on your page.

There will be a big green button which will be your stay button.

You'll have a smaller amber button, this one is your downgrade button.

Then you will have a little red button which is the pause button.

Membership Churn Strategy

It's important that the green button is the biggest and the red button is the smallest if you want to make the most out of visual hints.

Remember, at the beginning of this process 100% of members watching this video were ready to pause their membership.

Now you have a high percentage of those people hitting the Stay button.

A small percentage will be hitting the Downgrade button and a teeny tiny percentage will still decide to Pause.

What does this mean? Well, it means a lot more money than you had when you were simply just waving goodbye!

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