How to grow your membership base

One of, if not the most important offerings a business in the entertainment and leisure industry can roll out is a membership scheme, as we’ve previously covered.

However, simply implementing a membership scheme doesn’t mean it’s the fast track to increasing profits, like anything worth doing in business it needs to be nurtured and have a clear strategy in place to really grow it to its full potential.

We’ve seen a huge range of our customers flourish with their membership schemes, which is why we thought we’d look at six ways businesses like yours can grow their membership schemes.

To kick things off, you can’t grow if you don’t keep your current members happy…

Focus on retention first

As the old saying goes, you can’t run before you can walk – and the same is true when it comes to growing membership bases.

Don’t get us wrong, every membership scheme will have churn but it’s essential that you keep this as low as possible.

A couple of quick ways to ensure your churn rate remains as low as possible are:

  • Don’t limit offers just as an additional incentive to new members – this just annoys your existing members.
  • Have reports set up that allow you to identify members most at risk of churn, and then check in with them. If your software allows, you can also have automations set up which can entice your members back to your venues.
  • Ensure that value is still translated in your members paying their membership fees, so it’s clear what the perks of a membership at your venue are, for example unlimited monthly entries, discounts on food & merch, priority booking for peak time and so forth.

Keeping your existing members happy will also help in them becoming brand advocates and helping with word of mouth referrals, but more on that later.

Make the value crystal clear

Make sure the value expected from becoming a member is as clear as possible in your messaging to potential members.

So what benefits do members get from paying a monthly fee to you? A couple of ones we see from our customers are as follows:

  • Unlimited visits.
  • Exclusive discount on second line spend items such as food and drink.
  • Priority reservation for your most popular slots.
  • Discounts on party bookings.
  • Discounts on merchandise.

Ultimately you know your business and your audience better than anyone, so you know what the perks to a membership will resonate best with them so ensure the package you build is clearly marketed to them.

Save time on admin

If you’ve got the wrong tools in place when it comes to managing your members, then suddenly you’re spending a huge amount of time on administration.

Things like looking into attendance rates, sending out renewals, marketing emails and everything else that makes up a good membership scheme can end up taking up huge amounts of your time – how are you meant to find the time to spend on the other tasks that will contribute to growing your membership scheme?

With the right solution in place, you can automate a huge amount of the tasks needed to grow a membership scheme, giving you back valuable time to focus on the other tasks that can help grow your membership scheme.

For example, with BookNow Software you can get an automated report sent to you however often you wish with a list of members most likely to churn. Furthermore, as previously mentioned you can set up an automation chain of emails to go out to entice them back, meaning your teams do not have to do the manual work to reach out if you wish.

This automation can also extend out to renewal emails too, with everything all housed within the same system – your Salesforce CRM.

To find out more about how BookNow Software works, just click here to take a 5 minute product tour.


It’s very likely that your members will all have their unique features as a customer for your business, for example age, gender and a whole host of other pieces of information.

Think of everything you can that will help you with your segmentation and include these as a part of your member sign up forms, ensuring you capture as much information as possible.

You can also follow up with market research surveys to capture further information that may help you with the marketing of your business. For example, common interests, passions, other venues they may visit etc. You can use this information to target other potential customers as you begin to build a typical member persona, picking up on trends within your segments.

In addition to traits and interests, guests will also exhibit behavioural trends – these are also things you can capitalise on and include as a part of your segmentation.

For example how often do they visit, how often do they engage with you on social media and visit your website? All of these metrics can be used to segment your audience, and ultimately grow your business.


As you probably already know, most guests are always happy to share feedback – unfortunately the negative ones tend to be the loudest – but all feedback is integral to not only growing your membership base, but also your business in general.

When it comes to feedback there are a couple of essential steps to follow for all guests, regardless of whether they’re a one off or a member:

  • Request feedback from guests post visit, offer an incentive to increase the likelihood you get a response from guests. This could be however you see fit, for example as a part of BookNow Software you can build surveys in as a part of your automated follow up process.
  • Respond to all public feedback, good or bad and ensure a professional manner is used regardless.
  • Offer to rectify any negative feedback, giving you the chance to redeem yourselves in the eyes of the customer.
  • Send out a monthly newsletter to customers and again link your survey from here too.

You’ll quickly begin to notice trends in feedback you get from customers that will then allow you to work out what guests want, again both members and non.

Use your members to make members

Despite all of the advanced marketing tactics and channels now available to businesses, word of mouth is still ultimately one of the most effective ways to market your business – the trust that comes from word of mouth is hard to beat.

The easiest way to have your members make members is by offering a simple referral program where all members who introduce a new member save on their membership, and so does the person they refer – obviously both parties benefit, so from their perspective it’s a no brainer.

Word of mouth can also impact your online strategy, it’s not just face to face comms between your target audience – for example you should also leverage your users’ social media posts as a part of your word of mouth strategy, resharing their posts, and commenting when they tag your venues in their social posts.

We hope this gives you some ideas on how you can boost your membership numbers, and ultimately your bottom line. To find out how BookNow Software can help boost your membership scheme, take a product tour now.

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