Membership pricing strategy

5 Secrets to Membership Pricing Strategies

Before the actual moment that a consumer decides to subscribe to a company’s membership package, there is a great deal of time and thought that goes into choosing one company over another and one package over another. It is very important that a consumer feels like they are getting the most out of what they are paying for, so membership pricing strategies are extremely powerful in gaining more members. The way your company chooses the packages that are made available to the consumer and the way in which these packages are presented is pivotal to increasing memberships.

So, how are you working to increase your memberships? Consider these 5 membership pricing strategies to find one or more that will fit your association.

Jump to Strategy

Free Trials
New Member Promotion
Multiple Edition
Keep Options Simple
Showcase Offering

Free Trials

Utilizing a free trial is a great membership pricing strategy if your company presents it properly. A free trial can be as short or long as your association sees fit. The most important part is making sure that your association offers the consumer something valuable in this trial time period.

For example, the Association of Climate Chang Officers (ACCO) offers a 30-day free trial that includes benefits such as free online training and access to their knowledge center resources. These initial, free benefits that a member would get for the first month are great to a consumer because they feel they are getting a valuable service without having to pay any money for a month.

If a consumer is able to see all of the benefits of joining your association without the upfront financial commitment, they are likely to continue being a member of your association.

A key factor to this pricing strategy is understanding that consumers attracted by free trials may react differently than regular consumers. In a study released in The Journal of Marketing Research, it was clear that user experience is pivotal in making consumers attracted by free trial pricing strategies stay because new customers need to have a comprehensive understanding of the benefits your association provides.

Paired with marketing communication, using free trials as a membership pricing strategy can be very powerful.

membership pricing strategies sample

New Member Promotion

Some associations use a membership pricing strategy we call a Joining Promotion. This strategy is essentially a promotion for registering or applying to become a member of your association. Instead of a free trial, a joining promotion is usually something that the customer receives once they register, but they still pay for the initial registration.

The Family-Focused Treatment Association (FFTA) is currently offering a free conference registration to their 33rd Annual Conference to anyone that registers before June 28th. This promotion encourages consumers to become a FFTA member by giving them something in exchange for purchase of membership.

Using a joining promotion as a membership pricing strategy might be a better fit for your association if you think that consumers that opt for a free trial will not be able to clearly understand the benefits of a membership with your association without extensive marketing and user experience efforts.

Membership pricing strategies example

Multiple Edition

The multiple edition strategy uses different packages, or groupings of their benefits, to cater to different consumer types. This membership pricing strategy works extremely well as it can allow consumers to find a package that fits their specific needs. For example, a small business or individual may not have a need for the same resources that a large corporate business would.

The American Chamber of Commerce in China utilizes this pricing strategy as they offer both corporate and individual packages. They even break down these two categories into subcategories of large, small and venture for corporate and individual and other professionals for individuals.

By adding different membership options to your portfolio, your association will be able to let the consumer choose what is best for them and get the most for what they are spending.

creative membership pricing strategies

If you want to take complete control over your digital pricing strategies and packages, we suggest booking a demo with us so we can show you how much power you could truly have over your pricing.




Keep Options Simple

While giving your consumers different options can allow them to pick an option that suits them, it is very important to remember this membership pricing strategy: Keep Options Simple. Even though consumers do want to feel like they can pick a membership that best represents their needs, consumers often get overwhelmed if there are too many options.

If your association offers too many different packages for each type of consumer, they will likely get flustered weighing the different choices. It is best to keep your options clear and simple for the customer, so they are able to understand what you are offering and do not have to list off pros and cons for multiple different options.

It is also important to keep the way in which you write the prices of your packages simple. A study published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology finds numbers that use commas and decimals appear to be larger because of their syllabic length. So, your association can use the membership pricing strategy of keeping things simple by limiting the number of packages you offer as well as presenting prices without commas and decimals.

Showcase Offering

The last membership pricing strategy that your association could use to increase your memberships is called showcase offering. Showcase offerings highlight the most expensive and extensive package that your association offers in the hopes of making the other, smaller packages look inexpensive in comparison.

Associations will show the super-premium option as being expensive, and most consumers will settle for something in the middle. This strategy can sometimes use a compromise effect which emphasizes the middle option as the most popular among consumers. By showing a premium option and then showing a less expensive, more popular option right next to it, consumers are drawn to a middle package.

Membership pricing strategy in the real world

Which Membership Pricing Strategy is for You?

With 5 different powerful membership pricing strategies to choose from, you might be wondering which would be best for your association, but ultimately, that is up to you!

To choose which strategy fits your association, make sure to focus on who your target audience is, and how you believe they will respond to the different options.

It could even be beneficial to your association to blend together some of the strategies we have mentioned. For example, your association might want to use showcase offering to make your lower price options appear inexpensive. This could be combined with the multiple edition strategy to not only highlight the low prices of the smallest package, but also to give options that cater to different consumers.

If you feel your association has a wide variety of consumers ranging from individuals to large corporate companies, adding on the multiple edition strategy to another pricing strategy might be best for you.

Ultimately, we know that the way that a consumer is presented information is extremely important to their decision to join or not join your association. To make sure that you present your membership packages the proper way, consider who you are catering towards and which strategy best fits your audience.

Registering a new member is just the beginning, there’s also the follow-up and welcome packages that get them engaged, and ready to stay with you for the long-haul. Check out our guide on crafting your ideal new-member welcome package.


If you would like to explore how EventBank can help your organization, contact us, and we’ll give you a tour of all our modules, automation, and other great features.




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Written by Remy Max

Remy Max is a passionate content creator who is currently working in Shanghai, China as a Digital Marketing Representative for EventBank, but attends The University of Georgia. There she studies Public Relations and enjoys photography, reading, (lots of) eating, and hanging out with friends in her free time!

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