Are you thinking of creating a membership site? Memberships are one of the best ways to build a recurring revenue stream for your business.
However, starting your own membership site is a big decision, so it’s important to be aware of the current trends and statistics. They can tell you if it’s worth putting in the effort and the right model for your business.
Likewise, if you already have a membership website, you can use the trends to foresee changes in the industry that can highly benefit your business.
We’ve created a list of the top membership site statistics and categorized them into five sections so you can easily navigate them.
General Subscription Economy Statistics
Increasing demand for subscription services has led to the subscription industry becoming one of the fastest-growing segments of the overall global economy.
Here I have captured various statistics and growth trends to give you a quick overview of the subscription economy.
- According to a study, the global subscription economy market size is projected to be 1.5 trillion USD in 2025, up from 650 billion USD in 2020 (18% CAGR).
- From 2012 to 2020, the subscription economy grew by nearly 6x (more than 435%. Subscription businesses have grown five to eight times faster than non-subscription businesses during the same period.
- The subscription market is largely led by digital subscription revenue, including SAAS, music, video, and gaming services, projected to be worth 425 billion USD in 2020.
- While the eCommerce subscription market is relatively small, it is projected to grow at a CAGR of 25% through 2025.
- Netflix is the biggest subscription-based service globally, with 222 million subscribers at the end of Q3 2021.
- 98% of Americans subscribe to at least one streaming media service, while 75% subscribe to two or more services.
- An average US consumer spent $273/month on subscription services in 2021 compared to $237/month in 2018.
- In a 2021 survey, 89% of US respondents underestimated their subscription, and 66% of people got it wrong by more than $200.
- Britons waste £25 billion in unwanted subscriptions every year. Unused subscriptions are a major trend in the industry, which leads to additional revenue at zero incremental cost for subscription businesses.
- Many businesses (70%) see memberships and subscription models as the key to future business growth.
Membership Growth and Challenges Statistics
Membership websites, including associations, form an important segment of the overall subscription economy. Broadly speaking, the focus of memberships is around teaching new skills and enabling professional growth.
This section will examine the various segments, growth trends, and challenges within the membership sites and associations industry.
- Membership sites run by online creators are still in a nascent phase, as 37.85% of them have existed for less than a year.
- Only 22.03% of membership websites have been running for 1-2 years, and 14.12% for more than five years.
- Creators start a membership for several different reasons. The biggest reason is to achieve financial goals. While 58.1% of people want to make more money, a similar percentage of people (58.6%) want to create a stable income source.
- Despite the consistent growth over the previous years, association memberships faced various challenges due to COVID-19. In 2021, only 26% of associations saw an increase in membership.
- In 2021, almost half of the associations (47%) reported declines in their members. Of those who experienced a decrease, the median membership drop was 9%.
- In 2019, 45% of associations’ membership increased, while only 28% saw their membership decrease.
- If you look back at outcomes from previous economic recessions like the Great Recession in 2008 and 2009, you’ll find that memberships made a remarkable recovery in the following years. Associations reported an increased membership rate from 36% in 2010 to 50% and even higher in the years after.
- The main challenge for 59% of membership sites is getting new members, while 37.6% find it challenging to find time for managing everything.
- As far as associations are concerned, the biggest challenge for 37% of memberships is communicating their value to members.
- In addition, 30% of associations struggle to manage their memberships due to a shortage of human resources, while 23% find it difficult to meet members’ varied needs.
- The outcomes of dropping member numbers through 2020 and 2021 have impacted the budget and staff of associations. 2 in 10 associations say they experienced a high number of employee layoffs and salary reductions.
Membership Site Marketing Statistics
Next, let’s analyze the different marketing channels and tactics successful membership websites use to grow their member base.
If you plan to launch a membership site, this section should give you valuable insights to plan your overall marketing approach.
- Content and email marketing are the primary marketing channels for more than 50% of businesses, while 12.99% use social media as the primary marketing source.
- 53.37% of businesses use paid advertisements to promote their memberships.
- Of these, most membership sites (93.96%) use Facebook Ads as their most popular form of advertising, followed by Instagram Ads (22.89%) and Google Ads (19.28%).
- 73.8% of membership site owners start building an audience before launching their site.
- Membership websites often use marketing strategies like money-back guarantees (44.8%) and trial periods (29.3%).
- Association memberships specifically rely on word-of-mouth recommendations (57%) and email marketing (50%) as the most popular sources.
- Regarding social media marketing, 90% of associations use Facebook, while 82% and 79% use Twitter and LinkedIn.
- And when it comes to reinstating lapsed members, email, phone, and direct mail channels were reported as the three most effective channels by 78%, 50%, and 28% of associations.
- 88% of association memberships conduct member research through online surveys, while 34% do it through 1:1 interviews and 23% through social media polling.
Membership Site Strategies Statistics
Here, we will cover the different membership site strategy statistics, including aspects related to the business model, value proposition, pricing, and technology.
- 81.46% of membership sites work on the evergreen model, allowing new members to join anytime.
- Only 18.54% of sites work on the closed-door membership model, where people can become paid members during specific periods.
- Membership sites offer a variety of core deliverables to create value for their members. 57.87% use online courses, 50% use workshops, and 38.76% offer templates.
- Besides the membership fees, most businesses use several additional revenue streams to increase overall revenue. Almost half of the membership sites (49.44%) offer coaching/consulting.
- On top of that, 37.6% offer standalone courses, 38.2% offer digital products, and 36% offer in-person events.
- 41.81% of membership sites are priced at $25 to $49 per month, making it the most popular pricing range. And, $15 to $24 per month is the next most popular pricing bracket, used by 19.21%.
- Offering multiple membership tiers is another popular strategy to increase revenue. Breaking it down further, 56.9% of membership sites provide multiple pricing options, like annual and monthly subscriptions, and only 43.1% of sites offer just one option.
- When it comes to using technology platforms for hosting the membership site, 65.52% of sites use a WordPress membership plugin, while 22.98% of sites use hosted membership platforms.
- As far as hosting a community is concerned, Facebook Groups is the most popular community platform, used by 53.8% of membership sites, whereas on-site community is used by 38.96% of sites.
- On the other hand, 25% of associations use Higher Logic to host their community, and 46% don’t offer a community.
Membership Engagement and Retention Statistics
Engaging and retaining existing customers is one of the most critical aspects of building membership sites.
To help you gather insights around engagement and retention, I have created a list of important, relevant metrics from the membership sites industry and businesses in general.
- Customer retention is one of the most important metrics for a membership site or any online business, for that matter. 70% of businesses think it’s cheaper to retain a customer than acquire a new one.
- It can also cost five times as much to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one.
- Moreover, the probability of making a sale to an existing customer is 60 to 70%, compared to 5 to 20% for selling to a new customer.
- So as you see, losing a customer can be a pretty expensive proposition for businesses, with the average value of a lost customer estimated at $243.
- However, one encouraging sign is that the average churn rate in the consumer subscription economy has seen a drop from 6.3% in 2020 to 5.4% in 2021.
- Besides premium content, membership sites use several other methods to keep members engaged. The most popular engagement strategy used by 65.5% of sites is hosting an online community.
- Almost 60% of membership owners reported that less than 25% of their members engaged in the community.
- And when it comes to association membership engagement, 25% stated that targeted communication helped while deliberate engagement strategies worked for 16% of association memberships.
- In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, 80% of association membership teams had their in-person events canceled or postponed.
- However, 80% of these associations hosted a virtual event for their members.
- Moreover, having a clear plan to increase engagement seems to have a clear, positive impact on the membership renewal rate. In a 2019 study, 78% of associations that saw an improvement in renewals had a tactical plan to increase engagement.
There you have it, the top 51 membership site statistics. Knowing these statistics can help you make healthy decisions as a membership site owner.
And as the statistics suggest, it’s an excellent time to get into the membership website space. With the positive increase in customers and businesses adopting this model, this trend is rising faster than ever before. So if you were pondering on it before, we hope this article helped push you in the right direction.
If you have any stats you’d like to see in this list or have any questions, please add them in the comments section below.