Updated: Jul 22
It’s not a typical summer. We’ll just start with that.
But even with COVID-19 numbers climbing, human behaviors are still predictable. Summer is typically a time when families go on vacation. People spend more time outside instead of on their computers. And...your membership engagement goes down.
With a combination of fewer sign-ups and more cancellations, summer can be a tough time for content creators.
Today, we’d like to offer some tips to support your growth and stability through the summer months.
Meet Your Members Where They Are
This is a big one. And it’s true whether it’s summer, winter, or the months in-between. You’ve got to build your platform and all of your communication around your community. Not the other way around.
If your members aren’t sitting at their computers, then you need to reach them on their phones.
The World Advertising Research Center, “estimates that around 2 billion people currently access the internet via only their smartphone, which equates to 51 percent of the global base of 3.9 mobile users.”
Is your membership site mobile responsive?
Can your members easily access the content they want?
Does your site have a modern, easy to navigate design?
Does your site load within 3 seconds?
If you answered “no” even once, you’ve got to rethink your current membership site. It may be outdated. Or too complicated. And if your user experience suffers because you have the wrong software, you can’t effectively grow your business.
(By the way, if you are using CustomerHub, we offer a theme upgrade service that ensures your site is updated and mobile responsive.)
Give Members a Way to Easily Engage
Hypothetically, your members are standing in front of a grill. Or sitting on the beach. Or even taking a hike through the mountains. During summer months, they are actively engaged in other activities.
Is your content easily consumable?
Creating content that can be downloaded and easily accessed (again from a phone) is always a good idea.
Did you know…32% of the population listen to podcasts at least once per month? 22% of podcast listeners prefer to do so while driving. 11% while at work. And 4% while onboard a public transport vehicle. Of all content types, podcasts are one of the easiest to engage with. Because they can be listened to while multitasking and require very little effort from your listener.
Another great content idea is an ebook. Even though people continue to work through the summer months, they slow down. On average, they spend more time reading during the summer than any other season. An ebook with fresh, exciting content and new ideas is the perfect solution for a leisurely afternoon.
Try not to hit your members with deep, demanding content. It’s not what they’re in the mood for now. Keep it light. Keep it surprising. Keep it on the entertaining side.
Don’t have any content like that? You might want to put something together fairly quickly.
Communicate Often (and Before the Summer Lull Starts)
Sure, it’s summer. But that doesn’t mean all communication with your prospects and customers has to drop off. It simply means you’ve got to switch up how and when you connect.
Remember...your members are still on their phones. Consider switching your standard messages from email to text. It means shorter messages (and typically higher costs) but you succeed in reaching your target audience.
Furthermore, if you’re concerned that summer will drag your members away, you might initiate a pre-summer campaign.
Pat Fiore, a branding expert, said, “Get consumers engaged before the summer. Depending on your product, develop a summer journey campaign, with the payoff in the fall. Create a "share your best summer experiences" contest and give them reasons to follow throughout the summer.”
Take Advantage of Summer Opportunities
Basically...don’t forget about the holidays.
When trying to attract new prospects or upsell your existing members, holidays always serve as a great reason for running a special promo. Your contacts almost expect it. They see promos from other businesses and anticipate you’ll offer exclusive deals as well.
Don’t disappoint them. Run special offers your members won’t want to miss out on. For the record “freedom” is a great theme for nearly any business or course. And that theme works well for the entire month of July.
Just make sure your deals are for memberships or courses that last at least 3 months. That way you have time to fully engage your members once they return to their regular routines.
Think Outside the Box
Such a cliche, right?
But if your typical methods aren’t bringing in new members, then you’ve got to come up with some new ideas. Use the summer months to explore new places to advertise or new lead magnets to attract more prospects.
Certainly, focus on your social media efforts during the summer. Research done during these months will help you nail your message before business picks up again. And any messages you manage to plant in the summertime can grow before the summer ends.
Other ideas include:
Holding a summer-themed contest or giveaway
Hosting virtual events (at least this summer it needs to be virtual)
Creating summer-only content
Increasing community engagement with photo contests/requests
Mailing your members summer swag
Starting meetup groups for your community
Did you think up some ideas earlier in the year that you wanted to try? Now would be a really good time to test them out. You’ve certainly got nothing to lose.
Let’s make this point perfectly clear...forcing your members to act unnaturally isn’t going to work. Your members operate according to their plans, their own schedules. If you launch huge initiatives during the summer, you can count on your efforts being a flop.
Keep your efforts small but meaningful and put your members first. While growth may be slower, you can reap the rewards of staying relevant. And your numbers in the fall can more than make up for summer slow-down.
Got some time this summer to upgrade your membership platform?