Many different types of business are offering membership for their regular clients. Sometimes it’s to ensure a guaranteed income for the company. In other cases, it’s to provide priority access or preferential rates to the most loyal customers. The membership most people think about for services is the gym or fitness centre. But there are so many more ways to use a membership, from retail services to educational courses.
With the updated video below, you’ll see how to create and set up memberships using your SimplyBook.me platform.
Why Offer Memberships?
It doesn’t matter whether you are offering discounted items for sale or priority access to members-only. Offering membership to your clients and customers has significant benefits.
Incentivised Return & Loyalty
When people invest in a membership for a service they like, it increases their incentives to come back and loyalty. Whether they get preferential rates or have already paid for the services, they will keep coming back.
Sometimes, it might be as simple as not wanting to research to find a different provider or business. When people find something that fits, they are unlikely to look elsewhere unless it severely disappoints them.
NB Don’t disappoint your clients.
Whether you have mandatory monthly payment contracts or annual membership schemes, when you have clients that invest in a prolonged membership, they commit to spending money with you.
If you have an annual membership fee, you can allocate the membership as income over the whole year. However, a regular monthly subscription infusion is more manageable for clients than a large one-off payment and is more efficiently allocated to monthly revenue.
Reward Loyal Clients
Memberships needn’t be a paid thing. You can create memberships and “gift” them to your favourite and most loyal clients as a way to show your appreciation. You can enable access to priority bookings, preferential rates, or services that you don’t provide to non-members.
By removing the membership from the booking page – you can choose not to show your membership to ordinary customers by having it as an admin side allocation only.
Restrict General Access
If you want to provide a whole range of services and packages that only members can access, offering membership is the best way to do this.
By allocating specific services to a membership, you can prevent anyone without membership from booking them.
Enhancements to The Membership Feature
There have been some updates to the membership feature in the SimplyBook.me system, and here we can lay them out for you.
It has long been an issue that only a few payment gateways could support recurring payments for auto-renewing membership fees – Stripe and Adyen. However, as not all payment processors are valid in all countries, we had to find a way around this problem.
While you can automatically make the membership renew, you can only take payment once and then create automated invoices for future renewals and take fees manually or through your payment processor.
There is nothing worse than someone booking slots in all the available classes and then only attending half of them. And sometimes, they don’t even bother to cancel. This makes your other clients exceptionally angry, and it also severely skews your reporting data.
The point of the booking limit is to prevent people from booking more spaces than you want to enable at once. So if you don’t want to enforce the booking limits, set it to zero.
Offering Membership for Your Business (more than just for gyms)
Okay, so you know that you can use membership status for more than just a fitness centre. However, sports and fitness centres do require more membership subscriptions to maintain their income. Therefore, a business cannot sustain itself on the New Year design to “get healthy” without promising something more.
Beauty, Spas & Wellness
Committing to a long-term self-care routine is more than just buying a package and seeing it to the end. After a year of people learning the value of self-care and promising to keep it up in future, a beauty membership is not such a bad idea.
Educational Courses and Tutoring
Educational centres and platforms have seen a massive surge since many people decided to retrain for a new direction or improved job stability. While learning media and colleges provided individual courses for a defined price, such as local college campuses and Udemy, there are alternatives in offering membership to cover many learning paths for a monthly fee, such as Coursera.
Memberships can adjust according to the time available to study and the number of courses the student would like to follow in a defined membership duration.
Personal and Home Services
Suppose someone has a personal service business, whether garden maintenance, pool, house or office cleaning, building maintenance etc. There is a benefit to offering membership as the method of securing regular services at an arranged time. What’s more, it can be beneficial to offer additional supplemental services at a reduced rate in these cases.
A simple example is a gardener that offers weekly garden ‘maintenance’ and offers a seasonal ‘tree clipping’ to their regular membership clients at a reduced rate.
Retail & Shopping Services
Retail might not seem like an ideal use of memberships, but some stores have taken to using memberships to apply preferential pricing to regular customers. At the same time, having retail store membership also makes those members eligible for special events. Some examples are new product releases and shopping services, such as personal shopping and demonstrations.
I know three stores near me that offer these options for a nominal annual or bi-annual fee.
A nominal fee might not seem like a huge revenue generator. However, when people regularly return for the benefits provided by an annual membership, revenues and average spend on each visit increases.
Offering Membership to Boost Business.
So memberships can work for everything from retail and beauty to sports and wellness. It’s simply a case of finding the right angle and the right incentive to encourage members to join you.
While offering membership isn’t precisely genuine loyalty, it can look the same. At least as long as you continue to meet their expectations.
Not only does offering membership tie in some of your clients, but it also has the bonus of providing additional extras that non-member status doesn’t offer.
If you want to set up memberships with your SimplyBook.me system, you can find detailed instructions in our help centre. The video has a simple walkthrough of the membership set-up, and our live chat agents are always happy to help.