Blog posting date icon
min read

4 Pricing Tips to Grow Your Revenue While Keeping Members Happy

With these 4 tips, your association should be able to charge the prices it finds fair while also keeping members satisfied with what they pay for.

Holiday Shaped Cookies on White and Grey Textiles

Pricing your association’s membership can be a tough challenge to tackle. You want to make sure you’re making enough money, but you also don’t want to upset members with a steep price change. As an association, pricing is something that can constantly plague you. Not only do you have to worry about setting a price on your membership from the start, you also have to deal with price changes as your membership grows and advances. And having to explain those price shifts to members without upsetting them can feel almost impossible.

So, are there ways to make pricing easier on everyone involved? With our tips, it’s possible. We’re going to go over a few different ways to set a pricing structure for your member benefits that is a hit for both your association and your members. We’ll give you a few ways to adjust prices, as well as some tips on explaining those price changes to your members.

1. Measure membership value

So, you’re looking to put a price on all that your association offers to members. But how do you generate a numerical value for your benefits, discounts, events, exclusive offers, educational resources, and everything else that you provide?

The truth of the matter is your association provides members with a never ending supply of amazing offers. And although you want to make sure members are happy with the price you set things at- you also never want to undermine the value that you provide. In order to put a fair price on your membership, you can sit down with your association’s team and price out every benefit you have. When selling a membership to potential prospects, it’s important to have set prices to refer back to. You’re doing your best to sell a membership, and if you don’t have the data to back up your membership worth, interested customers may feel skeptical about what they’re being charged for.

You can create a pricing sheet as a reference material to send to audiences interested in becoming a member. This will give them a physical copy of each benefit they can expect to receive, what that benefit is valued at in terms of pricing, and how those benefit prices add up into one ultimate membership price (a discounted rate to what those benefits are typically priced at outside of an association membership).By having a pricing sheet ready, members will have no questions or complaints when signing up for a membership price they approved.

2. Perceived value: Use it to your advantage

Now that you have a pricing sheet with the actual value of your association’s membership, it’s time to tack on some added bonuses to spice things up. While members have your membership prices in front of them, adding on extra discounts and offers here or there can increase the perceived value of what members are getting. But what does this mean?

It means your association needs to be creative when adding extra incentives. Adding in a pleasant surprise for members to look forward to that isn’t necessarily included in their membership cost can excite them, and possibly keep them around in the future (and who doesn’t love a good surprise?)There are so many freebies your association can offer depending on the industry you’re in.

For example, associations with a high quantity of young professionals can offer free professional advice sessions from your association’s staff. Or, you can include a free resume critique/workshop session. Pop up offers like this can get those members excited and eager to spend more time using your association’s exclusive surprise offers. For those associations who put a strong focus on events and conferences, you can create exclusive discounts on event passes, VIP experiences for select members, and prizes to win. There are so many ways to amp up the excitement around your membership, making the price you put on it more than a deal.

3. Increases: Slow and steady wins the race

If members wake up one morning to a steep price increase on their membership, they’re going to have a lot of questions, and possibly even some choice words for your association. While price increases are often necessary, they should never be done all at once. One swift increase in a membership may make members feel as if they’re being take advantage of, even if a price increase is needed to keep things balanced for all parties involved.

Instead of shocking members with a large increase, consider spreading your price increases out in small increments over a decent period of time. Incremental price increases are a much more reasonable option for members. In fact, most members will probably expect their membership price to inflate over time. If you can give members a rational increase in due time that allows them to prepare to pay a bit more, you’ll receive much more satisfaction in the long run- and you’ll have a lot less frustrated individuals to respond to as well.

In order to implement incremental price increase, sit down with your association’s team and decide on an increase that both seems reasonable and that matches what you feel your membership is now worth. For example, if you’ve included a new service or discount, price out that feature and divvy it up into smaller, monthly payments for members to make.

4. Offer “lite” membership options

Okay, so members are still mad about a price increase and are looking to leave. Is there any way you can stop them before they walk out of the door for good?

Your association can consider offering less inclusive versions of its membership in order to satisfy those members on a strict budget. For members looking to save money and cut corners in areas of their lives that may include your association, you have “lite” membership options as a saving grace to keep your member retention rates steady.

But how do you decide which benefits are standard, and which would be considered exclusive? This is entirely up to your association and will vary in each organization. If your association feels that its events are strictly for its standard members, you can offer other benefits like educational resources and member discounts to those looking for a lighter option. Or, vice versa. The choice is all yours.

Revamping your membership pricing can feel like walking on eggshells with members, but there are reasonable alternatives that can make the process as painless as possible for all involved. With these 4 tips, your association should be able to charge the prices it finds fair while also keeping members satisfied with what they pay for.