21 ideas to craft a winning member engagement strategy

After a lot of effort your membership website is up and running.

You have applied some great marketing strategies and people are discovering you and are signing up to become members.

But the interaction is low.

Even with dozens or hundreds of members it seems that there is no one there.

That kills the mood for you and your membership.

Most importantly, it can also skyrocket churn rate and kill your profitability.

If members don’t interact with you, with your content and with each other, they will end up getting bored.

They won’t see the value of what you have created and will quickly leave.

If you don’t want that to happen, you need to improve the engagement of your membership site.

Engagement is what this post is all about.

We’ll share 21 membership engagement best practices you can use on any membership website.

By the end of this post, you’ll have the tools you need to engage your membership and ensure its continuity.

Increase your community’s interaction and loyalty with these 21 ideas to boost the engagement of your membership site

Why is member engagement important?

Membership sites typically run on a recurring payment basis. The more members you have, the more money you make. The longer they remain members, the more predictable your income is over the long term.

This type of website is not a sell-and-forget business model. You need members to stick around so you can keep earning.

That’s why it’s so important to put a great membership engagement strategy in place.

When it comes to member engagement, you want your users to experience two things:

  • A sense of belonging and ownership.
  • Continuous interaction.
member engagement

Both are a bit complex to analyze and keep track of but there are many signs that may indicate you’re on the right path.

  • Length of membership.
  • How often and how many times members log in.
  • Attendance at in-person or digital events.
  • Open rate and click-through rate of the newsletters you send.
  • Number of messages in a forum.

It all depends on the strategies you implement since many of them will have an associated KPI.

Be ready for the churn rate

Losing community members is as painful as a refund. It’s also a natural part of this business model.

There will always be people who have to drop out for one reason or another.

You can try to get them back, (how many times have you re-joined Kindle KDP?) but in most cases you’ll have to learn to live with it.

So don’t stress it.

Try to reduce the churn rate as much as you can using our membership retention strategies.

If you can keep it smaller than 2 digits and your business is profitable, it’s probably better to put more effort into capturing and converting.

Acquiring a new customer can cost up to five times more than retaining one, so it’s well worth working on this area.

So, how can you increase member engagement?

21 membership engagement ideas

Here’s how you can help your members interact with you and your community on a whole new level.

  1. Send a welcome package to new members
  2. Run giveaways and raffles
  3. Create interactive content
  4. Create surveys to gather feedback and suggestions
  5. Make them feel at home with a custom menu
  6. Host member-exclusive events (live and virtual)
  7. Provide members with early access to new products
  8. Offer one-to-one consultations for specific members
  9. Host Q&A and A.M.A. sessions
  10. Create tailored content for your member’s questions
  11. Launch an online community forum for members
  12. Create alternative members-only social media channels
  13. Add community features
  14. Feature your members
  15. Stands up for a cause
  16. Run challenges and create rankings
  17. Implement a points-based system where members can earn rewards
  18. Send anniversary gifts to long-term members
  19. Let them create content for your platform
  20. Create a contest where members can vote
  21. Create a member ambassador program
21 membership engagement ideas

1. Send a welcome package to new members

Remember the typical TV scene where a family moves to a new neighborhood and the residents welcome them with a basket of fruit?

A welcome gift has an inherent meaning:

You are welcome to join us and we are glad you are here”.

Welcome package

Offer something like this and you’ll certainly give your new member a great start!

A physical gift would make a big impact, and it doesn’t need to be expensive.

It could be:

  • A welcome letter.
  • A membership card.
  • Stickers, magnets or a badge.
  • A small book.
  • Useful tools or gadgets related to your site.
  • Samples from collaborators.
  • Branded apparel.

But if you’re on a budget, try a digital welcome gift.

  • A PDF membership handbook.
  • Discounts for other products.
  • Discount from your collaborators.
  • A digital badge or avatar.
  • Even a welcome video could do the trick!

You can use SureTriggers to schedule the content to be sent after the users purchase access to the membership.

SureTriggers Example

The key here is that this gift needs to be a surprise. Don’t promote it in any way, anywhere.

Although advertising it in advance might help with conversion, you can also use it as a surprise member engagement strategy.

2. Run giveaways and raffles

Sweepstakes can significantly impact engagement metrics.

At least one member, or more if you have more prizes, will be really happy.

People love free stuff and to win. Offering giveaways is one more reason for them to renew their subscription.

Especially if you perform this action on a recurring basis. Like once a month.

The trick here is not to raffle something just for the sake of it. Use the prize as an incentive for members to perform certain actions, getting more entries with each one of them.

For example, complete a short quiz about one of your latest lessons. This way you’ll be motivating them to consume your content.

Gleam competitions provides an effective way to run giveaways like this.

Gleam competitions

It allows you to give extra entries according to the actions you set: comment on a post, upload content, fill out a form and more.

3. Create interactive content

Adding interactivity to your membership site can help engage members and enhance their overall experience.

Instead of consuming content passively, it encourages them to participate, increasing their satisfaction, and hopefully, retention.

It will also help you stand out as this is not something you come across often.

Interactive content

Depending on the type of website you manage, you might want to create different types of interactive content.

One of the types that work best are custom calculators, which can be created relatively easily in WordPress.

Such as the macro calculator that Andy from Rippedbody provides.

Macro Calculator example

The other two main types of interactive content that you can include are quizzes and assessments.

They allow members to test their knowledge, track their progress, and receive personalized feedback.

They play into gamification and add an element of competition and achievement which can be powerful motivators.

An LMS like LearnDash will let you easily create and manage this kind of content.


You can also create interactive videos with Wistia, develop custom tools and much more.

4. Create surveys to gather feedback and suggestions

Creating surveys to gather feedback and suggestions from members is another option to add interactivity to your membership site.


This comes with two extra benefits:

  • It will help you understand your members’ needs and find areas for improvement.
  • You will be telling your audience that you care about their opinion and that you are adapting the site to what they need.

The latter will hopefully make them feel more engaged with the site and stay for longer.

There is nothing like knowing that you are listened to in order to feel valued and integrated into a community!

formidable forms

There are many online survey tools available. From the simple and free yet powerful enough Google Forms, to more advanced ones like Typeform or Formidable Forms.

Keep the surveys fun and interesting and make sure there’s some kind of payoff at the end.

5. Make members feel at home with a custom menu

Creating a custom menu, only shown to members of your community, is one way to make them feel the site is theirs.

This can be easily done with SureMembers.

You can define each menu item for the access groups you want it to be displayed to, or not.

Custom menu SureMembers

Extra engagement points if you also show there more personal information such as their username or Gravatar profile picture!

6. Host member-exclusive events (live and virtual)

By hosting events, you’ll help make your members more proactive.

To enjoy the benefits of your community, members will have to attend on a specific date and time or miss the event.

If you manage to host them in person they will skyrocket the sense of community among members as they will be able to meet and interact in real life.

If you organize the event online, don’t forget to add some interactivity to make it more dynamic and engaging.

For example, if you’re going to interview an influencer in your industry, allow the community to suggest questions for you to ask.

member-exclusive events

You can easily organize your live or virtual event with Zoom or any other webinar software.

7. Provide members with early access to new products

When we talk about providing members with early access to new products, we’re mainly talking about letting them test and give feedback on beta products or pre-releases.

This generates excitement and fosters customer loyalty as they feel they’re co-creating with you the future of the community.

Early access

There’s also an element of exclusivity which motivates a wide range of people.

You’ll also gain valuable feedback on the product or service before going public.

You don’t have to let your entire community participate.

You can make a greater impact if you allow a select group of people to sign up for beta testing.

You can limit this to members of the upper tier of your membership site or those who have been with you the longest.

The criteria you choose is entirely up to you.

8. Offer one-to-one consultation for specific members

Offering private sessions can be the sole reason someone joins your community.

It could be between you and a member of your community. Or it could be another expert from your team taking the time to solve specific needs or challenges the member might be facing.

Either way, you’re providing valuable expertise, one-on-one time and that feeling of exclusivity again.

It’s not a scalable strategy since it’s a benefit that can only be enjoyed by a few people per month.

 one-to-one consultation

The fact you’re offering this service can greatly improve engagement since you offer it to those who really deserve it. For example the most active members.

Plus, scarcity increases the value, so limited numbers can work for you as well as against you.

Offering one-to-one consultations shows that you care about your members. You can truly enhance their experience and create a stronger connection.

If you want this to be a paid perk you can sell it using an eCommerce plugin like SureCart.

9. Host Q&A and A.M.A. sessions

Providing one-to-one consultations to a large membership is very resource-intensive. It may be more efficient for you to run group coaching, Q&A or A.M.A. sessions.

  • Group coaching is similar to one-to-one consultations but you’ll be able to help more members at the same time.
  • Q&A (question and answer) sessions are useful to help groups. The content should be accessible to all the members so they can also enjoy the knowledge you share.
  • A.M.A (ask me anything) sessions are events that allow users to interact with you on a more personal level. Just be prepared for anything!

All these kinds of sessions encourage members to participate as you’re making yourself, or another expert available for their benefit.

Ask me anything

Group coaching and Q&As help establish yourself as an expert while making members feel heard and valued.

If you go the A.M.A. route, members can discover more about you and your story, which can help them better connect. They may feel more comfortable and integrated into the community as a result.

There are many ways to host these sessions.

A live video is usually the best approach, but they can also be run on a written forum, a podcast or a coaching call.

10. Create tailored content for member questions

Creating tailored content for member questions is a great way to increase engagement on your membership site.

They work exceptionally well if you don’t have the resources to offer one-to-one consultations.

You can help a member in a personalized way by creating new content. There’s the added benefit that it may help others too, which feeds back into the engagement loop.

Tailored content

For example, if you have a membership site for photographers you can analyze the photos of one member in one video.

This enhances member satisfaction as they are getting specific feedback or responses to their questions, which make them feel valued.

Anyone else who views the video can also benefit. They learn new techniques or how to solve a problem while also seeing you help another member.

You would likely want to create valuable content anyway, so this is a win-win situation for everyone.

Use this strategy to make your membership even more dynamic by giving priority to questions from more active members, higher tiers or allowing the community to vote to choose what you’re going to create next.

11. Launch a forum for members

A forum is one of the most basic member engagement strategies you can use.

Your community needs a place where members can connect with each other, ask questions, share insights and build relationships.

One of the great advantages of this strategy is that if you have a healthy and manageable community, it mainly takes care of itself.

Just open a forum and let the members interact there. Add some form of moderation and you’re good to go.

Online forum

Be prepared to encourage members to participate at the beginning though!

An active forum is one of the best digital assets you can have on your membership website.

Creating one is not complex, since in most cases you’ll only need to install and configure a WordPress forum plugin.

12. Create members-only social media channels

Everyone has different tastes and preferences. That includes where they like to interact, collaborate or just hang out.

In addition to a forum we encourage you to create members-only social media channels.

Private social media channels

A Slack or Discord channel, a Facebook or Telegram group or even a private Twitter profile to follow.

This strategy has a double functionality.

On the one hand you‘ll be having a greater reach. Your content and interaction won’t be exclusively in your membership site but in many more places.

This will give your content more options to be found, consumed and therefore valued.

On the other hand it serves to increase the perceived value of your offer.

If a member leaves, they won’t only lose access to your website but to many other places and platforms where they may have joined and collaborated in the past.

13. Add community features

Adding community features to your membership website is a strategy that can exponentially increase community interactivity.

Online community features

It mainly refers to the elements that encourage interaction, collaboration and engagement among members.

  • Member profiles.
  • Member directories.
  • Friends and followers.
  • Comments and likes.
  • Direct messages and chats.
  • Job or noticeboards.

These features provide a more rounded virtual gathering place where members can really feel like they are part of a community.

BuddyBoss community

Adding community features to your site might seem difficult or expensive.

But plugins like BuddyBoss do an excellent job in this regard. It’s affordable and compatible with SureMembers.

14. Feature your members

Featuring your members means highlighting and showcasing individual members within your community.

This can be done by sharing their stories, achievements or contributions, making them feel valued.

They are not just another number in your community, but a person you value and respect for their contributions or skills.

Recognizing members for their efforts and accomplishments boosts their motivation and encourages them to continue to keep going.

Featuring members

It can also inspire others to do the same.

This is a very powerful yet really easy engagement strategy to do.

Some examples of featuring members might be:

  • Interview members to explain how your membership has impacted their life or business.
  • Highlight new members who join.
  • Talk about the collaborators who have created the most impactful threads in the last year on the forum.

It’s manual work but doesn’t require much technical complexity and can bring you great benefits.

15. Stand up for a cause

Standing up for a common cause is something that can greatly unite members of a community.

Being surrounded by people who share your values and interests forges a sense of belonging that can be very powerful.

So much so, there are even communities based solely on this.

Stand up for a cause

You can do it:

  • On an ongoing basis. Donating a part of your membership income to a charitable cause.
  • On a one-time basis. Raising funds for a specific cause.

It doesn’t all come down to money.

A physical event where community members come together to contribute with their time and expertise can also be really impactful.

16. Run challenges and create rankings

Challenges are structured ways for members to participate in your community trying to achieve specific goals.

One of the key elements of challenges is that they run within a set timeframe. This encourages members to participate and avoid procrastinating.

Run challenges

If you run challenges, don’t forget to include a league table to create a sense of healthy competition and motivate members.

These challenges can add a lot of dynamism to your community.

But more importantly, you’ll be bringing members closer to their goals.

Helping them achieve their goals is one of the best ways to get happy and loyal customers that want to stay with you long-term.


Manually managing a challenge is possible, but it’s easier if use plugins like GamiPress.

17. Implement a points-based system where members can earn rewards

A points-based system is a mechanism where you assign a certain value or give points to specific tasks.

These points can later be redeemed to get any perk that you want.

For instance you could unlock some digital products, badges or access to other private areas that can only be accessed with enough points.

Incentives will make your members naturally seek to participate more as people are more willing to work if there is a tangible reward at the end.

Points based system

Members could earn points for:

  • Attending events.
  • Being active in the forums.
  • Taking a quiz.
  • Referring new friends.
  • And many other ideas.

GamiPress and other plugins like it can help you set up this type of thing for your membership website.

18. Send anniversary gifts to long-term members

While it’s fine to reward members of your community for completing certain tasks, it’s also a good idea to show your appreciation for those members who have been with you for a long time.

Gratitude can go a long way to encouraging loyalty, which is exactly what we want our members to feel.

The idea is similar to the welcome gift. In this case you would send an anniversary gift after a set period of time since the user joined.

Recognition for an annual anniversary is the most natural thing to do. You could also do something during the first year, giving a gift a month after starting the subscription, and perhaps semi-annually.

Much depends on how much time, effort and money you’re willing to invest in it.

19. Let members create content

Allowing members to create content for your platform is as simple as it sounds.

By letting them do so you’ll increase the sense of ownership they have over the platform. A piece of it is “theirs” now.

Member content creation

This also promotes the equality of the entire community. Your membership is no longer about you as the leading content creator, but everyone will be on the same level and be able to do it.

They don’t have to be passive consumers anymore but more active participants, which can lead to higher engagement levels.

You have to be a bit careful with this strategy though.

You need to have some clear guidelines and requirements to ensure that everything that can be published by them meets your quality standards.

You’ll also need to have some kind of editorial oversight to check content before publishing.

20. Create situations where members can vote

Voting is a feature that adds interactivity to your membership website by allowing your members to give a quick opinion on something.

voting system

It’s applicable to many other strategies that you have already seen throughout the guide:

  • There can be voting to give extra points to contestants in a challenge.
  • There can be voting to vote on ideas that users want to see in the membership.
  • Voting can help direct future content or features.

For example voting for the new forum moderator, for the person with the most original profile picture and so on.

Voting is very easy to do as it only requires one click.

As voting will be for members only, it will encourage a lot of interaction between them to get as many votes as possible.

21. Create a member ambassador program

A member ambassador program is the initiative through which you’ll allow some members to promote your membership site and help growth.

Many people will promote your membership website naturally because they like it, without any benefit in return.

Member Ambassador program

However, if you create such a program you can offer benefits to members that attract new users to your community.

This benefit can be a payment via an affiliate system, free months of membership or another type of incentive.


Introducing some, or all of these strategies for your membership site will increase engagement with your community.

This is a really difficult concept to measure.

It cannot be tracked easily. Not even with the churn rate, as you might have a huge amount of paying users but with a low interactivity and engagement between them and your content.

But at the same time it’s about much more than numbers.

Remember that any action that is oriented to increase the sense of belonging and ownership or that makes members interact more will benefit you in that regard.

Do you have any other ideas we haven’t listed here for making a membership site more engaging and fun?

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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