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Written by:
Layla Acharya
Last Updated:
Member retention tips and tricks

Member Retention Tips for Your Online Course | 2023

Creating an engaging online course is a challenging task. Even if it has incredible content, your member retention can sometimes be disappointingly low. If you wish to succeed and keep your audience engaged in the long term, it’s necessary to prioritize member retention.

There are many ways to appeal to new members but to make sure that current members continue to subscribe to your product and services is a different feat altogether. You want to keep your consumers engaged no matter what content your organization produces.

We’ve created this simple guide with member retention tips for your online course to make sure consumers stick around and why it’s important to create a positive community.

What Is Member Retention?

Member retention is the process of encouraging members to keep engaging with your products or services. For an online course, it means having participants stick around after they have finished using your site and class.

You can use general marketing and membership retention strategies to boost membership retention, such as membership packages or offers, to entice potential members.

However, the approach to get them to keep engaging will depend on your organization. You’ll have to factor in the type of service you provide and how you aim to attract new members.

how to keep members from leaving online course

Why Is Member Retention Important?

Quite simply, to make money, you need to have a high level of member engagement. Much revenue comes from potential members finding you on other blogs or social media and coming to your website.

These people may bring in money by subscribing to one online course (or more!) or engaging with items like advertisements or affiliate links if you have a blog.

Of course, targeting new consumers is crucial, particularly when starting a business. However, it’s even more important to ensure that they keep engaging with your content and stay for the long haul.

Although the strategy of every business is different, member engagement should be a priority for every company. By creating associations between your brand and positive experiences, you can help keep your member retention rate high and appeal to a wide range of people.

Marketing or hosting an exciting event can draw in new people. However, if only a few people are becoming long-term members after initial engagement with the site, you need to try a different strategy to reach potential members.

Although different industries tend to have different member retention rates, it is crucial to generate as many new members as possible. It is the best way to guarantee consistent engagement with your brand.

The Membership Marketing Benchmark Report noted that 48% of businesses want to increase their member retention rate. The figures show that consistent membership engagement helps businesses to succeed. It’s cheaper to retain a member than to attract one, so it’s both cost-efficient and will improve member satisfaction.

How Is Membership Retention Calculated?

There’s a simple formula to find the membership retention rate of your organization:

((ME-MN)/MS) x 100

  • ME: Members at the close of a set time
  • MN: New members gained during that set time
  • MS: Members at the start of that set time

All you need to do is pick a time period, see how many members you had at the start and end, and run the equation. That calculation will help you get your member retention rate.

How Do You Retain Members?

1 – Create Excellent Content

Marketing and creative social media campaigns can help your business to succeed. But if your site doesn’t feature quality content, consumers won’t stick around. The most crucial part of membership program consistency is to create excellent content that is worth a subscription.

Rates of member retention depend on your site’s ability to meet your members’ needs. Members need to see your website as an authority on their chosen topic.

retaining members

You can establish authority via content in two ways: subscription-based content and free content.

On the one hand, suppose all of your content requires membership. More people will subscribe if they need to learn about something you’re covering.

However, you will reach more potential members if you have some free content or software. With free content, you can improve the visibility of your association.

It’s vital to balance these two factors to receive the maximum amount of possible membership subscriptions. If you can keep this association between you and a high level of knowledge, you will keep your members, too.

2- Run Exciting Events and Offers

If people know they can rub shoulders with industry experts and have fun, too, they’re likely to invest in a membership. It would be a good idea to form bonds with professionals so that your members can have access to them through you.

For some online courses, member retention strategies encourage members to take part in a subscription service, regularly paying to be part of a membership community and have access to resources like:

  • Education
  • Software
  • Specialist content

Your website must provide benefits or events unavailable elsewhere to keep consumers using your membership scheme.

The exclusivity will boost your value and encourage new members to join. They will know they can access private events, software, and experiences through you.

Knowing which industry leaders or events are attractive involves a degree of engagement with consumer trends. If you can predict what members want, you can find a way to create excitement before other membership sites and improve retention rates.

3- Create a Supportive Community

Creating a positive community for members helps to increase the perceived value of the membership. It helps people build personal connections and is an excellent way to keep them engaging with your membership business.

With online communities, members form associations with industry experts. That opportunity makes you stand out from competitors who merely provide information.

Examples of community-building include:

  • Exclusive access to a collaborative technical blog
  • Regular online or in-person events
  • Forums for networking with potential colleagues or management of influential companies in their chosen industries

Also, think about what paid members receive. They will getting more opportunities as part of their membership. You could do offer paid-access only opportunities by:

  • Partnering with a relevant association to provide talks
  • Giving free membership to important professionals in exchange for their exclusive content
  • Creating a regular networking event or experience linked to your organization

In the same way that going to a university, like Harvard or Oxford, may expose a student to a particular community, your course can be the go-to for attracting influential people. With that reputation, you will have a higher engagement level and member retention as members seek to learn from each other and make contacts.

In this sense, the services you provide have as much value as your site’s content when it comes to the increase membership retention strategy.

4- Become an Industry Leader and Marketing Expert

If you provide specialist services, make sure that you’re ahead of the curve. Keep up to date with information and ensure that you’re always one step ahead of competitors.

Creating an offer or free trial for a new member may help to increase retention rates. Potential members can learn about the different information and resources your organization provides. From there, they can choose whether they would like to start a paid membership.

A high rate of member retention allows your online course to have a steady income. You can use it to provide even better benefits for members of your community. Ultimately, it will create a positive cycle of membership revenue, generating increased benefits for members.

Membership services generally encourage new members to subscribe for a few weeks or days. Often, a member pays per month or a year. They receive membership benefits at regular intervals.

The key to successful member retention strategies is to provide a high standard and quantity of information and regularly encourage engagement with the project. That way, members are aware of the value of their membership.

It doesn’t take much investment, either. You could start with a daily email newsletter showcasing how your classes have helped members learn and improve their skills. The more a consumer gets from their membership, the more likely they are to stay.

5- Stay on Top of Consumer Trends

Ensure that you know what existing customers want so that you can provide it before they even ask. This awareness applies to both content and media — make sure you’re utilizing several mediums to connect with potential members.

You must remain members engaged with ongoing changes in your chosen industry and make sure members can get the most up to date information available through your association.

To do this, you must create better and more reliable content than your competitors so that existing members know that using your membership site owner will increase how much they know.

If you develop these associations with authority, both through marketing and good management, this is a great way to increase member retention.

6- Have Great Customer Service

The final essential item is excellent customer service. Be polite, easy-to-contact, and friendly. Also, respond to any issues with professionalism and respect toward members. Through it all, you can create an association between your organization and excellence.

It is necessary to foster a positive relationship with your newest members so that they like and trust your organization. It will lead to a high retention rate.

An excellent way to do this is to send new members a welcome email or gift. It will make the membership package seem more exclusive and personal and encourage incoming members to start engaging more with your association.

How Do You Increase Club Participation?

It’s one thing providing a satisfying experience or club, but it won’t help member engagement unless you can reach your members and make them want to attend.

For many consumers, time is limited. Even if they want to attend an event, they may not feel they can if it’s long.

To improve your members’ engagement with these clubs, you need to offer something that they can’t get for less money or experience in less time.

For example, suppose you partner with associations or companies that will directly help your members. That opportunity will make them want to attend and prioritize it over other ways they could spend their time.

Similarly, if you’re providing a club or group for members to join, the association needs to be exclusive or helpful to a member. Otherwise, they are unlikely to spend money on a membership.

One possibility is to offer one-on-one communication with either you or an organization or association with specialist knowledge or software.

Again, exclusivity is critical for reaching members. You need to provide them with a worthwhile and enjoyable experience. The more time a member devotes to your association, the more likely they are to return, get to know other members, and form contacts.

Also, make sure that each member has an enjoyable experience, particularly the first time they engage. It will improve retention. For example, you could give members exclusive VIP access or send them a personalized email from the management team, inviting them to join a club or attend an event.

If members feel seen, they will want to be part of your association, you can collect feedback from them


Membership and retention are crucial to your business’s success. Although it can be challenging to know where to start with member retention, following this guide will give you lots of ideas and tips to keep your subscribers and form important bonds with them. Soon, you’ll have an excellent membership base.