this man is super stoked on the member experience he just had.

So, you’re a business or nonprofit organization who has members. First of all, may I congratulate you on your wonderful idea? Offering a member loyalty program is an excellent way to ensure repeat customers (if you’re a business) and keep your fundraising goals on track (if you’re a nonprofit). Moreover, it’s an amazing way to make people happy, if you do it right. And they’re not just people; they’re the very people who are helping your organization succeed. That’s huge! So check out the tips below to make sure you’re treating your members like the princes and princesses they are.

1. Give Your Members Something Extra

I’ll throw you the most blindingly obvious point first: your members deserve more perks, benefits, discounts, information, and free hugs than the average customer. So if you’re just establishing a membership program, or you’re one of those organizations that has “members” in name only, then think critically about what you can offer that won’t break the bank. If you’re an eCommerce store, this is as simple as letting your members have the first crack at major sales or promotions. For B2B organizations, it might mean free white papers or discounts on recurring orders.

Nonprofit members, on the other hand, are a little different. Ostensibly, they didn’t give to your organization in the first place for a reward of their own. But that doesn’t mean they don’t want to feel valued. Even a person with a heart of gold will become happier, more loyal, and more likely to donate again if you offer them their own special newsletter or free seats at a fundraising dinner. You can also solicit help from local businesses and drum up a list of restaurants, shops, or services who can offer a discount to your members.

2. Treat Your Customer Service Staff Like Gold

Have you ever had a customer service experience (say, hypothetically, with your internet service provider…) that makes you want to run from the company? Don’t lie; you have. Contrary to popular belief, if you get a grumpy staff member on the phone, or someone who doesn’t appear to care whether you solve the problem you’re trying to address or get the item you need or jump off a cliff or whatever, it’s not necessarily that staff person’s fault. It’s hard to be cheerful with your customers if you hate your job or your boss or don’t have an incentive to care.

So, one of the best things you can do for your business to retain members – and customers in general – is treat your customer service team like the heroes they are. Do you know how hard their job is? People can be really difficult sometimes! So make sure you’re constantly appreciating this fact with pats on the back, gratitude, fair pay, rewards, and bonuses. A happy customer service representative means a happy customer.

3. Build a Community Using a Member Portal

Shameless plug for Clarity: we design and develop beautiful, secure, and highly functional customized member portals! Whew, now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, having a member portal on your website is one of those seemingly small touches that can actually become a huge way to make members feel like members. I mean, think about it: they get their own log-in, access to tons of cool documents, and a quicker way of communicating with you or amongst themselves. It’s like offering back-stage passes to an Adele concert, except in this case, Adele is your website. And she’s looking fabulous, if I may say.

So, what can members do once they log into their member portal? It really depends on the nature of your business or organization, because the range of potential is vast. Some of my favorites are: providing information and documents that don’t exist anywhere else, housing discount numbers and specials in the portal, and allowing your members to network with one another. That last one can be accomplished via forums, messaging systems, or contact directories, and it’s huge. Your members all share a common interest (the product/service your company is offering), so keep them coming back by allowing them to talk amongst themselves and form bonds.

4. Express Your Gratitude

Above all, remember this: your members are providing you with a huge service. They are spreading positive messaging about your organization, trusting you with their hard-earned money, and giving you a vote of confidence by joining your community. Your goal, then, is to show them your gratitude at all times. You can do this however you see fit – sometimes even the simplest “thank you” goes a long way – but you need to do it.

Need some inspiration? Check out a few examples of member portals on our demo site!


Meg Nanson works on Clarity's marketing team. Her strengths are in copywriting, relationship-building, SEO, and strategic thinking. She loves infusing personality into brands by adapting her writing style to match the needs and philosophy of her audience. She rarely sits in a chair and can often be found sitting on her office floor or lying on the lobby couch while she works, or standing behind one of the web developers while they're trying to work. 

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