For all startup businesses, especially those who are heavily involved with the relationship between themselves and their customers, membership marketing is a great way to, well, market. If you, as the business owner, optimize membership marketing, you can turn occasional buyers into loyal customers. Setting up a membership service for your customers means that they instantly receive the incentives of being a member. This may include discounts, deals and special services, but mainly it includes ‘belonging’ to something. Everybody wants to feel that they belong somewhere and feel loved and appreciated, and your customers want to feel valued — memberships offer just this, and in turn they garner loyalty from the customers.
There are many other benefits to attempting such a venture with your business. For one, it conserves your company resources as those that are on offer are given out in priority of who has paid or earned a certain service. For example, a customer that has paid for the lowest priced service in the membership will only receive a certain amount of the produce, meaning you can save some for those that have paid a higher price. As well as this, memberships provide a business with a predictable revenue stream instead of forcing them to sporadically sell products and services. it also greatly improves the business of referrals as people like to tell their friends about a company to which they feel a sense of loyalty.
As previously mentioned, membership programs offer priority based opportunities, all costing different prices. For example: Hertz, a company that offers car hire, offer different levels to their membership program, all costing different prices.
Hertz Club – A private number provided for those in this level of the membership have their information automatically filled out for them, thus speeding the process up.
Hertz Club Express – Those in this level receive an exclusive checkout counter.
Hertz Awards – Allows member to earn points for everything spent on business and leisure rentals that can be redeemed for prizes.
Offering different levels to membership programs will make the consumer always feel as if they are getting the best they can get in the market for the price they are willing to pay.
To only further the feeling of belonging induced by membership programs, membership cards serve as a way of making the customer feel that they are always linked to the company if they carry it about with them. Plastic cards are a great option in this sense as they are accessible and affordable when it comes to production, and are easy for the customer to carry with them. They also serve as a reminder for your customer that they should take advantage of their membership if it has laid dormant for awhile; they are a physical proof of membership; and they can be used to mark off visits or purchases of a specific product, much like a coffee counter scheme at an establishment like Starbucks or McDonalds.
So, if you want to take your startup all the way up to the level of market leader, perhaps it’s time you optimized membership programs and marketing and made it a readily available option for your customer base. The sky’s the limit for your startup if you do.