How To Start Building an Audience for Your New Membership Site

February 12, 2021

Consistently providing quality content to members is a big challenge for most membership site owners. Once you have the content side of things figured out, it’s time to start building an audience for your membership site. This helps you convert visitors into paying members.

You need to have an adequate number of people registered on your membership site in order for it to be profitable for you. It will also help you improve your membership program and attract even more people to join.

With this in mind, in this article, we’ll take a look at how you can start building an audience for your membership site. We’ll explain how you can get new members and retain existing members. We’ll also explain how you can build an audience for your membership site by offering a free membership plan.

Calculating Growth On Your Membership Site

Calculating Growth On Your Membership Site

Before we jump into different strategies for building an audience for your membership site, it’s important to understand the metrics used to calculate the value of any membership site.

Here are four various metrics used to calculate value:

  • The average customer lifetime value or LTV refers to the average dollar value that a customer is worth to you over the lifetime of the membership. For example, if the monthly subscription fee is $30 and the average customer retention is five months. This will make the average customer LTV $150. Knowing your LTV is useful in deciding how much you should spend to gain a customer and still be profitable.
  • Churn Rates. The churn rate is the rate at which your members cancel their membership subscription. This helps you identify new members that joined during the same month of the membership. For instance, to calculate your churn rate, you must divide the number of members who canceled their membership in a given month by the total number of active members you started that month with.
  • Growth Rates. Your membership site’s growth rate is known as the rate at which new members are joining your membership over a specific period of time – be it weekly, monthly, or quarterly. Calculating your membership site’s growth rate is pretty simple, just divide the total number of new members in the last month by the total number of active members in the last month. Multiplying that number with 100 will give you the percentage of your growth rate.
  • Conversion Rates. These two conversion rates are used by membership site owners to keep track of their conversions:
    • Sales Page Conversion Rate: For calculating your sales page conversion rate, divide the number of people who signed up for your membership by the number of people who just visited the sales page. This will give you an idea of how many people decided to become members.
    • Free Trial Conversion Rate: To calculate your free trial conversion rate, start by dividing the number of people who signed up for your paid membership after completing the free trial by the number of people who just signed for the free trial or free membership plan.

The key benefit of knowing these values is that you always know where your membership program stands. This way, you can take appropriate measures to build an audience and grow your membership site.

How To Start Growing Your Audience

How To Start Growing Your Audience

Dave McClure, the CEO of 500 Startups, has come up with a growth hacking framework for membership sites. The growth hacking framework puts your acquisition funnel into perspective for you to identify the stages that your members go through.

Here are some questions you should ask yourself when deciding on your sales, marketing, or support strategies:

  • How do new members find your membership site?
  • How quickly can you make them interested in your membership?
  • How many members can you retain over time? And why are you losing members?
  • How can you use your customers to promote yourself and your membership program? Have you considered turning them into loyal brand advocates?
  • How can you increase the overall revenue of your membership site?

You should have a good, effective strategy for each stage of this growth hacking framework to better understand where you’re stuck and how you can grow your bottom line.

Attract New Members

If you have a low acquisition rate, you need to focus on attracting new members. Getting new members for your membership site is possible by using effective methods of reaching out to more people.

Ideally, you want to test out the waters before jumping in. One way to attract new members and drive more traffic to your membership site is by pre-launching your membership program. This helps you get feedback on your membership content and see what areas can be improved.

Another great way to boost your audience is by hosting webinars. Webinars help membership site owners attract new members before they’re ready to sign up for the membership. You can use webinar platforms like Zoom, GoToMeeting, or ClickMeeting.

Social media also provides a great place for you to attract new members and build an audience for your membership site. By providing free membership content previews and helpful advice on social media platforms, you motivate and attract more people to sign up for your membership and get access to all of your quality content. Additionally, some membership site owners also use affiliate marketing to build an audience on their website.

Retain Existing Members

If you’ve landed on a solid strategy to attract new members but have a low retention rate then you need to focus on how you can persuade existing members to stay.

Think of it this way: you’ve already got people who’ve developed an interest in your membership. Keeping them interested in your content is a challenge but is achievable if you’ve got the right plan in mind. It’s just as important (if not more) as gaining new members on your membership site.

Two effective ways to increase your membership site’s retention rate is by improving your onboarding process and enhancing customer support experiences.

Onboarding is the process of adding new people to your membership program. Your main aim during the onboarding process is to quickly set people up with your membership, provide them with quality content, and make sure everything runs smoothly and efficiently.

Make members feel like they’ve made the right decision by choosing your membership out of all the options available to them. Consider sending out email newsletters that let them know how other members have benefited from your membership program.

Providing exceptional care and support to existing members is essential if you want to stay in business. Letting your members know how they can get in touch with you is a great way to offer better customer support.

Members should know that it’s easy to contact you and have their queries answered within a reasonable amount of time. Additionally, you can provide things like welcome videos, FAQs, and other helpful elements that may boost the overall customer support on your membership site.

It’s also a good idea to set up a membership forum or discussion board for members. This way, members can connect with other members through a centralized platform.

Offer a Free Membership Plan

Everyone loves free stuff. So, why not use that to your advantage?

Providing a preview of the full membership program will give potential customers an idea of what your membership is like. It also gives them a sense of being a part of the membership. For example, you can give prospective members access to 10 free articles, 2 videos, and the members-only forum for 7 days free of charge. This way, they can experience the membership program and make an informed decision.

Keep in mind that you don’t want to provide too much value in your free membership plan offering. You want to give prospective members just enough to get a preview of what you have to offer and make an informed decision.

This also promotes your content as more people will get a chance to preview your membership, thus boosting the overall audience of your membership site. In addition to this, it allows you to build an email list of qualified leads to retarget later on.


With the metrics we shared in this article, you can overcome challenges and discover opportunities in your business to grow your bottom line.

To recap:

  • Consider pre-launching your membership program, hosting webinars, and engaging social media followers to attract new members.
  • Member retention is as important as gaining new members for your membership website. Simplify your membership site’s onboarding process and improve customer support experiences to increase retention rates.
  • Offer a free membership plan to give prospective members a preview of your membership program and help them make an informed decision.

With a better understanding of how you can start building a huge audience for your membership, you can grow your membership site and potentially increase revenue over time.

What are some effective ways you use to build an audience on your membership site? Let us know in the comments section below.

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