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Ensuring Member Alignment

You could make the case that customer acquisition is always a challenge. Convincing people to listen to your sales pitch is one thing. However, getting them to part with their money is something entirely different.

Ensuring member alignment takes the degree of difficulty up two or three notches. For our conversation, member alignment has to do with how well a potential member fits into what you are trying to do with your membership site or subscription service.

What is member alignment?

Simply put, member alignment is basically about managing customer expectations. If the customer thinks that you will be providing something in one way and you are actually providing something differently then you’ve got a problem with customer alignment.

For example, you may be targeting an audience that wants to produce subscription services and is concerned with customer success. However, some of your potential customers may be interested in creating standalone courses and don’t understand why all the fuzz about customer success.

The business relationship may start with the initial payment. For the standalone course people, the relationship ends with the payment. Standalone course people have kind of a fire and forget mentality.

Member alignment means you need to socialize your potential customers as part of your prequalification. Socialization means that you need to educate your potential customers on any jargon that you are going to use. You need to identify your reason for trying to help and make sure that it aligns with their personal value system.

Why does member alignment matter?

Member acquisition is one of the most expensive things you do. You can justify spending more on member acquisition because of the potential recurring revenue. If you do member alignment poorly then the customers will leave before you recoup your costs for member acquisition.

If your targeting efforts fail, then you could spend a lot money on programs and initials that don’t produce members that are willing to stay until you recoup your acquisition costs. What’s worse is that you produce a lot of customers who join your program for the free gift.

It’s hard to do anything as a new subscription maker without money back guarantee. And anything that could potentially lead to a loss of goodwill is to be avoided at all costs. You’re caught between a rock and a hard place. The only way to protect yourself is to concentrate on member alignment.

Member alignment reduces Time-to-Value.

One of the key metric you will have to track is the time-to-value. Time-to-value is how long it takes before the member receives value once they signup for your subscription service. This metric is a great predictor of whether the member will renew.

As a subscription maker your first job is customer success. The second is convincing your member that there is value in sticking with your subscription service. If you can’t convince your members to renew, then you lose member acquisition investment.

Additionally, member alignment will help you with your onboarding efforts. Many people believe that onboarding is the best way to convince new members to renew. Spending sometime ensuring member alignment before signup will ease your onboarding efforts and convincing your member to renew, as long as you deliver on what you promise.

Conclusion

Ensuring member alignment will safeguard your investment in member acquisition. And improve your time-to-value, which is one of the key metrics in predicting your success.

Zachary Alexander