The Membership Economy: Find Your Super Users, Master the Forever Transaction, and Build Recurring Revenue

The Membership Economy: Find Your Super Users, Master the Forever Transaction, and Build Recurring Revenue

by Robbie Kellman Baxter


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In today’s business world, it takes more than a website to stay competitive. The smartest, most successful companies are using radically new membership models, subscription-based formats, and freemium pricing structures to grow their customer base—and explode their market valuation—in the most disruptive shift in business since the Industrial Revolution.

This is The Membership Economy.

Written by an expertconsultant, this groundbreaking book will show you how to turn ordinary customers into members for life. Learn how to:

  • Turn digital subscriptions into forever sales
  • Build an online community your customers will love
  • Develop new loyalty programs that really pay off
  • Transform freemium users into superusers
  • Create a self-generating revenue stream
  • Keep memberships and profits growing for years to come

Whether you’re a small business with limited resources, an established company using a traditional business model, or a hungry start-up who wants a bigger bang for your buck, this comprehensive guide provides a wealth of membership-building options to suit every need.

You’ll learn the best-kept secrets of top industry leaders, from global giants like Am Ex and Weight Watchers to smaller dot-com successes like SurveyMonkey and Pandora. You’ll find proven strategies for creating membership programs for everything from vacation timeshares and car rentals to video streaming and Software-as-a-Service.

Most importantly, you’ll discover what works, and what doesn’t, from some of the key players in the new membership economy. It’s not about ownership; it’s about access, options, and freedom.

When you join forces with your customers, membership has its rewards—for you, your company, and your continued success.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780071839327
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing
Publication date: 03/17/2015
Edition description: Net
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 554,360
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Robbie Kellman Baxter is a consultant and speaker who has been providing strategic business advice to Silicon Valley companies for over 20 years. She is the founder of the consulting firm Peninsula Strategies LLC, and regularly presents to professional associations, leading universities, and corporations.

Table of Contents

Foreword Allen Blue ix

Acknowledgements xi

Introduction 1

Section I What you Need to Know about the Membership Economy

1 How the Membership Economy Fits into the Bigger Picture 9

2 Why the Membership Economy Matters 17

3 The Many Faces of the Membership Economy 25

Section II Membership Economy Strategies and Tactics

4 Build the Right Organization 33

5 Build an Effective Acquisition Funnel from the Bottom Up 45

6 Onboard Members for Success and Superusers 55

7 Start Simple with pricing, but Leave Room for Flexibility 67

8 Incorporate "Free" as a Tactic, Not a Strategy 81

9 Use the Right Technology and Track the Right Date 91

10 How to Retain Members (and When to Let Them Go) 101

Section III Membership Organizations Come in All Shapes and Sizes

11 What you can Learn from Online Subscriptions 117

12 What you can Learn from Online Community Models 127

13 What you can Learn from Loyalty Programs 137

14 What you can Learn from Traditional Membership Economy Companies 147

15 What you can Learn from Small Businesses and Consultancies 157

16 What you can Learn from Nonprofits, Professional Societies, and trade Associations 167

Section IV The Membership Economy and Transformation

17 From Idea to Start-Up 181

18 From Start-Up to Mature Organization 191

19 From Offline to Online 201

20 From Ownership to Access 211

21 From Business as Usual to Competitive Disruption 221

Conclusion: How You Can Start Transitioning Today 231

Glossary 239

Notes 243

Index 248

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The Membership Economy: Find Your Super Users, Master the Forever Transaction, and Build Recurring Revenue 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Vera_Thomas More than 1 year ago
I'm the VP Marketing for a tech company, and I think this book is a must read for any exec (tech or non-tech). Here's why. Whenever someone first buys from a business, they are a new customer. But no business can be sustained on new customers alone. All businesses rely on REPEAT CUSTOMERS. (Duh.) The key to getting more repeat customers is to STOP treating them like customers and START treating them like MEMBERS. This is the book that can help you (and your entire business) make the transition from being customer-centric to being member-centric. Read this book and learn: - What the difference is between a membership and a monthly subscription (hint: they're not the same, because "Membership is an attitude, an emotion.") - How to (re)organize to be member-centric -- "The Membership Economy is more than a marketing strategy. It's about the whole organization being built around the ongoing customer relationship." - Why ongoing tinkering with membership benefits is absolutely critical - How to streamline your member acquisition funnel - What a super user is, and why they're important for other members - When "free" does and doesn't make sense - Technology to help your organization to be more member-centric - And much, much more. This book is a quick read. It's well written and full of tons of practical advice and real-life case studies. Whether you are VP Marketing in a large company, a sole proprietor of a local business, or the head of a non-profit or association, this book is a must read. This book (and author) is pure marketing genius and is likely to spawn a whole new generation of marketing.
Jeff_Hewitt More than 1 year ago
Robbie Kellman Baxter does a fantastic job of explaining how a business model pioneered by Netflix has become increasingly deployed by Silicon Valley companies. She has structured the book so that it can be enjoyed by everyone from a seasoned veteran looking to help their company succeed to the newcomer to the space looking to get smart. She peppers the book with anecdotes from many companies; it's clear to me that few if any other experts know this space as well as Ms. Baxter. And I found it practical as well. She has structured the book so that the reader can quickly navigate to the place that will address their question or they can simply read it through. I believe that this book will become standard reading for those looking to win in the membership economy.