Do You Offer Your Members A Hybrid Membership Option?

Membership Recruitment |
Many membership organisations are now turning to a hybrid model of membership subscription as they understand that a “one size fits all” approach is no longer appropriate for many of their members.

We’ve talked in the past about the different stages your members will go through during their time with your organisation – from student to qualified professional all the way through to retirement (see this blog post: Managing the Membership Journey). At different stages, your members will have different requirements, and to be able to reflect these through the membership subscription models you offer will help ensure members renew year on year. 

It’s easy to see that by offering a portfolio of membership options to your members, you’re giving them the ability to pick the package that best suits their needs and budgets. When deployed with your members in mind, these kind of subscription models can help boost membership engagement, membership numbers and overall revenue.
So what are some examples of hybrid strategies:
  • Group sales
  • Tiered service levels
  • Hyper-bundling by adding different benefits to membership subscriptions
  • Specialised offers for certain segments within your existing membership base or for new markets
  • Different subscription models for individuals vs organisations

Planning Hybrid Membership Models

Understanding your membership base is vital if you’re planning on introducing hybrid membership models. It’s not good enough to simply roll out a few different subscription options – you need to fully understand who your members are and what they value, so you can create appropriate models.

The following areas are a useful place to start the research:
  • Membership analysis
  • Market share analysis
  • Membership surveys
  • Review of other membership models
  • Pricing analysis
It’s worth having a group of members that you’ll use for feedback and suggestions – a work-group that will help you shape your new hybrid models. Using the above research areas and working with your work-group, you should be able to put together some new hybrid models with appropriate pricing structures and present these successfully to the board.

Managing New Hybrid Membership Models

Once your new hybrid subscription models are approved, it’ll take some careful planning to ensure the rollout is successful.

You’ll need to decide how to offer the new subscription offers to your members – will you wait until a set point in the year and then launch them all then, or will you offer it to members as soon as their current subscription expires?

You’ll also need to consider how this will affect new members? Will you offer this to all new members straight away? If this is the case, you’ll need to ensure you've successfully communicated the new structures to your existing membership base beforehand. There must be no confusion for existing members, or feelings like new members are being offered preferential rates or offers. 

A communication timeline can help manage this. Plan what messages you want to promote, when and by which medium. This might be through your membership newsletters, through telephone calls directly to members, via your website, or through new marketing collateral.

Planning and managing a new set of hybrid subscription models takes a lot of research, planning and long-term management. It’s vital that your membership management solution helps you in this task, rather than hinders:
  • Do you have a clear view of all your members?
  • Do you have a clear view of all your prospective members? 
  • Do you understand what they value and what engages them? 
  • Can you quickly and effectively communicate updates to all your members at once based on their own communication preferences?
  • Can you easily renew membership subscriptions based on different tiers and subscription levels
If you've answered no to any of the above questions then get in touch. Silverbear Membership can do all this and more. Making the roll out and management of hybrid membership models a breeze.