How Many Membership Levels Should You Have?

Nov 15, 2017

Membership Levels

Guest Blog from Scott Whitaker — see bio below PLUS a free gift from Scott!

Membership LevelsDuring a recent coaching call, one of my members asked me,
How many membership levels should I have?

It’s one that I’m often asked and the answer is always THREE!

Regardless of your business or niche that you’re in – the answer is still three.

Here are 7 reasons why:

1) Three is better than one.
Many businesses have just one level. This sounds pretty simple and easy to manage but what ends up happening is that you will have members who are willing to pay you more.

Plus, your members will feel like they’ve utilized all that you provide and eventually leave your program.

2) It gives you an immediate “Ascension System”.
You can easily point your members toward upgrading and increase their involvement.

Plus, when a member tells you they want to quit, you can “descend” them in your program.

3) If you have more than three levels, usually one level is cannibalizing the others.
What do I mean by that?

I’ve seen it again and again where a level of membership is actually taking members away from another level, preventing them from ascending and/or creating a lower profit margin when compared to the other levels of membership.

The additional level (beyond three) becomes a distraction from the overall membership business.

4) A confused mind says, “No!”
When you give people too many options they end up saying No.

How will your prospects know which level is best for them? Will they know how to respond?

You may think you’re making it convenient but what ends up happening is that they get confused and end up saying NO!

5) You try to become all things to all people.
You can’t please everyone. If you try to create a membership level for every need your members have, you’ll decrease the impact of your overall membership.

That’s why you package your benefits into the different levels. The levels dictate the benefits, not the other way around. You can’t have your benefits BE a level. Have the levels of membership and then put the benefits into each.

6) You create an easy to follow “membership pathway.”
When you have three levels, you give your members an easy to follow plan on how to “journey” through the membership.

This is an advanced strategy that I share in coaching.

7) It gives you an indication of growth and health in your business.
When you have three levels, you can measure it on a bell curve.

The bulk of your members should be in the middle level. If they’re not, then you could be charging too little, charging too much, not offering your members enough (or too little) or any host of other problems.

When you’re able to plot your numbers and see the bell curve, you’ll know that your business is setup for maximum impact and profit.

So, how many levels do you have in your business?

Put me to the test on this. Pull your numbers and see what is happening (or could be happening.)

Without a doubt, if you have more than three levels, you are cannibalizing your levels and losing members.

If you have less than three – you’re not helping your members as much as you possibly can and you’re leaving money on the table.


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Scott Whitaker is an expert in creating and building membership programs within businesses, giving greater value to customers and multiplying income. Using his “Seven Systems of a Healthy Membership Program,” he will help you get new members, increase retention and structure your membership program for long-term growth. You can get Scott’s free book here: “Why People Quit Your Membership Program & What You Can Do About It.”