The worst churn rate I've ever seen

If your members are headed for the exits after 30-90 days on your membership, this one is for you.

As a membership site owner, the pain of a new member churning is gut wrenching – especially when you just can't figure out why they're leaving so soon. After all, your site is awesome, you have an active community, and you thought you were providing the content and instruction new members were expecting when they joined.

But clearly that's not the case if this early churn has become more the rule than the exception.

The question you should be asking yourself is, "Does my marketing align with my member experience? Am I delivering what I say I'm going to when someone agrees to join?"

We performed a marketing and onboarding audit for a membership site last year that was experiencing this very problem. The lion's share of their budget went toward professional pomp and circumstance. Their marketing painted an absolute best case scenario outcome of joining their membership that only about 1% of their members actually achieved.

The result: the worst sub 90 day churn rate we've ever seen for a membership site. At a glance, their conversion rate from trial to paid user was absolutely astounding, which provided the owner with a heaping portion of false confidence which led to a snowball of short sighted business decisions.

Granted, this is an extreme example, but we see varying degrees of this same issue on a regular basis.

If your marketing paints a picture that is just too good to be true (be honest with yourself here) and you're not able to deliver on your promises to the vast majority of your members, you're overpromising and underdelivering.

Skip the flashy videography and five figure graphic designer and start talking to your prospective members like the humans that they are. If your membership offering is valuable to a segment of the population, find them (more on how to do that later), and tell them what you can do. Back that up with social proof (testimonials) and paint a realistic picture of how their life will change for the better through your membership offering.

THEN, blow their minds by exceeding their expectations: underpromise, overdeliver! When you underpromise and overdeliver, you create happier members who are far more likely to become power users: your most engaged, profitable members who become referral machines because they are so unbelievably freaking happy they found your membership!

It's important that you don't hear me say, "it's fine if your marketing sucks, just make a good product and you're good to go." No! Just be a human, talk to other humans like you would to someone's face, and don't promise to send someone to Mars if you don't even have a rocket ship.

The best membership businesses are built on renewals and referrals. Creating happy customers starts with your marketing messages. Basically, don't lie to people – not even a little bit.

How much do you stand to gain by lowering your churn rate by even just one percent? Plug your numbers into our churn calculator to find out.