11 Proven Strategies To Grow Memberships in 2024

Do you manage a nonprofit, host online courses, or run a subscription website? If so, choosing the right membership growth strategies are crucial to your success.

What really works to attract new members and keep them engaged?

It isn’t just about increasing numbers—it’s about creating a vibrant community that actively participates and remains loyal over time.

If you’re struggling to maintain subscribers, this post is for you.

We outline 11 proven strategies that will not only help you draw in more members but also keep them content and engaged.

Let’s start building a stronger, more connected community today!

1. Host Engaging Events

Events are a powerful way to showcase what your organization offers and to make members feel connected and valued.

Host Engaging Events

How Events Can Increase Visibility and Attract New Members

  • Showcase value: Events allow you to showcase the benefits of your organization in a real and tangible way. When people attend and have a great time, they see firsthand what you offer.
  • Word-of-mouth: Happy attendees are likely to talk about their experiences. This word-of-mouth advertising is incredibly effective as it comes from a trusted source.
  • Build community: Events create a sense of community and belonging. People who feel connected to a community are more likely to join and stay involved.

Event Types That Help Grow Memberships

  • Virtual workshops and masterclasses: The course creator could host live, interactive workshops that delve deeper into specific topics covered in their online courses.
  • Live Q&A sessions: Regularly scheduled Q&A sessions held online can be a strong draw.
  • Webinar series with guest speakers: Inviting experts from related fields to participate in webinars can add significant value to memberships.
  • Exclusive online networking events: For memberships that cater to professionals or hobbyists, hosting virtual networking events can be a huge bonus. These could be structured around specific themes, like “Growing Your Business Online” or “Advanced Photography Techniques,”.
  • Demo days or showcase events: Members who are learning new skills can showcase their projects or achievements. For example, a digital marketing course might end with a demo day where members present campaigns they’ve crafted as part of the course.

If you’re new to hosting workshops or online events, make sure to prepare in advance.

Check your tech, test the camera and microphone, check if your Wi-Fi connection is reliable and rehearse a little.

A little preparation goes a long way!

2. Understanding Your Audience

Imagine you run a club that teaches people how to cook Italian food.

If you know your audience loves Italian food but doesn’t know much about cooking, you would offer beginner classes, right?

Audience analysis to grow memberships


If your members are already good cooks, they may be looking for advanced techniques or special recipes from different regions of Italy.

You won’t know what they are looking for without learning a little about them.

How To Learn About Your Audience

Here are two good ways to find out what your audience wants:

  • Surveys: Ask questions online or in person. For example, a library might ask users what new books they would like to see, or if they prefer ebooks over printed books.
  • Focus groups: This is a small meeting where you talk about what your club or service does and listen to what people say about it. It’s like when you show a new game to your friends to see if they think it’s fun or too hard.

By using surveys and focus groups, you learn what your audience, or people like your audience, wants.

Give your audience what they want and memberships should grow as a result.

3. Enhance Value

When your members feel they are getting good value, they are more likely to stay.

They may also tell their friends about it, and even upgrade their membership to get more benefits.

Enhancing value of memberships

How To Add or Highlight Value

Here are some ways to make memberships more valuable:

  • Exclusive content: Offer special articles, videos, or tips that only members can access. For example, a health club could offer special workout videos that only members can watch.
  • Discounts: Give members special prices on things they need. Like a bookstore that offers members 20% off all books or special pricing on author events.
  • Member-only events: Have special events just for members. It could be anything from a cooking class at a food club to early access to sales at a retail store.

Thanks to its support for drip feeding and custom access rules, SureMembers makes it easy to implement value propositions.

Examples of Successful Value Propositions

  • Amazon Prime: Amazon offers Prime members free two-day shipping, plus exclusive access to movies, music, and ebooks.
Amazon Prime
  • Costco: Costco Members pay a yearly fee to shop, but also get lower prices on bulk items, electronics, and more. They also get cheap prices at Costco gas stations and access to special services like travel discounts.
Costco value proposition

By enhancing the value of memberships, you ensure members are happy and feel memberships are worth it.

This can lead to long-term loyalty, which is key for any organization’s growth.

4. Implement a Referral Program

Implement a Referral Program

Hostinger Referral Program

A referral program is like telling people about a party and receiving a special thank you from the host because you invited them.

It’s a way to let your current members help grow your membership on your behalf.

Benefits of a Referral Program

A referral program can be a powerful tool because:

  • Trust: People are more likely to join something if a friend or someone they trust recommends it.
  • Cost-effective: It’s often cheaper to attract new members through referrals than through advertising.
  • Member engagement: It makes current members feel valued when they can share something they like and be rewarded for it.

Steps To Design an Effective Referral Program

Here’s how to set up a good referral program:

  • Set clear goals: Decide what you want from the program. More members? More awareness of your brand?
  • Choose your incentives: Decide what rewards will motivate members to participate. This could be discounts, gifts, or other benefits.
  • Make it easy: Provide simple tools that members can use to refer others, like a link they can share.
  • Track referrals: Use software or a method to keep track of who referred whom so you can reward the right people.
  • Promote your program: Make sure members know about the referral program. Make it clear how it works and what they can gain from it.

Incentives for Referrals

Choosing the right incentives is key to a successful referral program. Here are some tips:

  • Offer something valuable to both the referrer and the new member: For example, both might get a month free or a special discount.
  • Make sure the reward is easy to redeem: Complicated rewards might discourage participation.
  • Change up the incentives: Change the rewards regularly to keep the program exciting and engaging.

By setting up a referral program like this, you help grow your membership base through the trust and networks of your current members.

This can be more effective and sustainable than many other marketing methods.

5. Utilize Social Proof

Social proof is like seeing a long line outside a restaurant. It makes you think it must be a great place as so many people are waiting to eat there.

Utilize Social Proof

It’s a psychological phenomenon where people copy others to fit in or reflect behaviors in a given situation.

Social proof is powerful in marketing because it reassures potential members that joining your organization is a good decision.

Ways To Showcase Existing Members’ Experiences and Testimonials

Here are some effective ways to use social proof to grow your membership:

  • Testimonials: Positive statements made by current members work well. You can display these on your website, in brochures, and on social media.
  • Case studies: More detailed stories about how your organization has helped members. They often include specific examples and data.
  • User-generated content: Encourage members to post about their experiences on their own social media platforms. This not only serves as social proof but also extends your reach.
  • Ratings and reviews: Allow members to rate their experience with your organization. High ratings and positive reviews can significantly influence prospective members.
  • Member spotlights: Regularly feature members in communications. This could be through “member of the month” posts on social media or spotlight articles in your newsletters.

By strategically using social proof, you can leverage the power of community to build trust and credibility, which encourages more people to join your organization.

This approach taps into the natural human instinct to follow the crowd, especially when the crowd is happy and thriving!

6. Create a Resource-Rich Environment

A resource library is a collection of materials that your members can access to gain knowledge, solve problems, or enjoy new content.

Resource-Rich Environment

The more comprehensive and updated your library is, the more valuable your membership becomes.

It shows you’re committed to providing ongoing support and information, which can be a big reason for new members to join and for current members to stay.

Here’s What You Might Consider Including

  • Books and ebooks: Covering topics relevant to your members.
  • Video tutorials: For those who learn better visually.
  • Podcasts and audio files: Podcasts and audio are perfect for members on the go.
  • Articles and blogs: Provide quick tips or deep dives into specific subjects.
  • Toolkits and templates: Practical resources that can apply directly to your activities.

How To Implement It

  • Use surveys or feedback tools to find out what types of resources members prefer and what topics they are interested in.
  • Incorporate the feedback into a range of formats such as infographics, webinars and interactive tools for hands-on experience.
  • Make sure your resources are easy to access and use. This might mean having a mobile-friendly website or providing resources in formats that are accessible to people with disabilities.

The flexibility of SureMembers makes it easy to create resource-rich membership websites for literally any use.

7. Offer Flexible Pricing Options

Flexible pricing models open up memberships to a much wider audience.

Consider a streaming service like Netflix which offers various subscription plans.

Flexible Pricing Options

These range from a basic plan with limitations to a premium plan with more features.

By offering different plans at different prices, members in all financial situations can find a plan that suits their needs.

Tiered Memberships

Tiered membership levels mean offering different membership packages with varying benefits and prices.

Each level offers more value and perks as the price increases.

How To Structure Tiered Pricing

  • Basic level: This could be a low-cost or free membership that offers limited benefits, such as access to basic content or entry-level participation in events.
  • Mid-level: A middle-tier might include more features like additional resources, discounts on services, or access to exclusive events.
  • Premium level: The highest tier could offer all available benefits, including personal consultations, free entry to all events, and premium content not available at lower levels.

Providing Trial Periods or Discounts

Trials and discounts can be attractive to prospective members as they lower the risk and cost of signing up.

Trial Periods
  • Lower barrier to entry: A trial period lets potential members experience the benefits of membership without a significant upfront commitment.
  • Increased conversion rates: After experiencing the value of membership during the trial, people are more likely to convert to full-paying members.
  • Attract new members: Discounts can serve as an incentive for new members to sign up, especially during promotional periods or special events.
  • Enhance membership renewals: Offering renewal discounts can encourage existing members to continue their membership.

SureMembers supports the widest range of payment options, plan types and subscription payments.

8. Collaborate With Partners

Partnering can amplify your reach, diversify the value you offer. It can also attract new members through shared resources and audiences.

Collaborate With Partners

Advantages of Partnerships in Membership Growth

  • Expanded reach: Partners bring their own audiences so you can reach people who might not have heard of your organization.
  • Shared resources: Allows you to use resources you don’t have on your own, like specialized knowledge, marketing channels, or technology.
  • Enhanced credibility: Associating with established and respected partners can boost your organization’s credibility.

Ideas for Cross-Promotions and Affiliate Marketing

  • Cross-promotional events: Organize events that combine the strengths of both partners. For example, if you run an online fitness platform, you could partner with a health food company to provide a comprehensive wellness webinar.
  • Affiliate marketing programs: Set up an affiliate program where partners earn a commission for every new member they refer who signs up. This incentivizes your partners to actively promote your membership.
  • Co-created content: Develop content that both partners can share. This could be a joint webinar, a co-authored guide, or a series of instructional videos that both parties can use to engage their audiences.
  • Shared discount offers: Create offers that benefit the audiences of both partners. For instance, members of your online learning community could receive discounts on products from a partner who sells educational tools, and vice versa.
  • Social media collaborations: Leverage each other’s social media platforms for promotional exchanges. You could feature each other’s content, share posts, or even run joint contests that require participants to engage with both brands.

9. Optimize the Signup Process

The signup process is often the first real interaction someone has with your organization. A smooth and friendly process sets a positive tone and builds initial trust.

Optimize the Signup Process

Techniques To Reduce Friction and Enhance the Signup Experience

  • Streamline the form: Keep the signup form as short as possible. Only ask for essential information.
  • Clear navigation and instructions: Ensure the signup page is easy to navigate. Use clear, concise language and provide helpful instructions where needed.

Mobile optimization: Make sure your signup process is optimized for mobile, with large form fields, responsive design and easy navigation.

  • Instant feedback: Provide instant feedback for errors in form fields (like an incorrectly formatted email address). This helps prevent frustration.
  • Social media signup: Offering the option to sign up using social media accounts can speed up the process by filling in details automatically.
  • Reassure security: Clearly display security badges or encryption notices to reassure users that their data is protected.
  • Offer help: Offering a way to get help, like a chat support button or a FAQ section, can make a big difference.

10. Regular Communication and Feedback

Two-way communication is an essential strategy for maintaining engagement and improving your membership program.

It keeps members informed about what’s happening, upcoming events, or any new benefits while giving them a voice in how your site is run.

Regular Communication and Feedback

Gathering and Incorporating Member Feedback

  • Surveys and polls: Surveys and polls can ask members about their satisfaction, what new benefits they might like, or feedback on recent events.
  • Feedback forms on the website: Having a dedicated area on your website where members can leave feedback at any time encourages ongoing communication.
  • Comment sections in emails or newsletters: Allowing comments on newsletters or emails can be a direct way for members to react to specific content or announcements.
  • Social media engagement: Use your social platforms to ask for feedback regularly. Quick polls or questions posted on your social media can engage members in a less formal, more accessible way.
  • Regular check-ins: For more personalized feedback, you might schedule regular calls or virtual meetings with members to discuss their experiences and gather more detailed feedback.

11. Monitoring and Adapting to Trends

What worked yesterday might not work today.

By staying updated with industry trends, you ensure your membership program remains relevant to both potential and current members.

Monitoring and Adapting to Trends

When members see that your organization is dynamic and forward-thinking, they are more likely to stay engaged.

How To Adapt Strategies Based on Evolving Member Needs

  • Regular feedback loops: Implement mechanisms to gather feedback regularly, such as annual surveys, suggestion boxes, and interactive Q&A sessions.
  • Data analysis: Utilize data analytics to monitor member behavior and preferences. For example, track which types of content are most accessed, attendance at virtual versus in-person events, and uptake on new offers.
  • Pilot programs: Before fully rolling out new initiatives based on trends, test them with pilot programs. These smaller, controlled projects let you gauge member interest and effectiveness without committing significant resources initially.
  • Continual learning: Encourage your team to stay informed about industry trends by attending conferences, participating in relevant webinars, and subscribing to leading publications.
  • Adaptation of offerings: Based on the insights gathered from feedback and data, adjust your services, benefits, and events to better align with current member needs and preferences. For instance, if there is a rising interest in sustainable practices, you might introduce content or events focused on sustainability in your industry.


We’ve explored eleven powerful strategies to boost your membership growth and enhance engagement.

From refining your signup process to effectively using social media, these methods are designed to help you build a thriving community.

As you implement these strategies, remember the importance of adapting and evolving to meet the needs of your members.

The good news is, SureMembers can help with every single one of them!

We’d love to hear your thoughts! Which strategy are you excited to try? Do you have other techniques that have worked well for your organization?

Share your experiences and suggestions in the comments below—let’s learn and grow together!

Disclosure: This blog may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, we may receive a small commission. Read disclosure. Rest assured that we only recommend products that we have personally used and believe will add value to our readers. Thanks for your support!

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