Today we’ll cover three different kinds of launches for your new membership software…

When it comes to deciding what way to launch your members with a new software there are several questions that you may want to ask yourself…

  • Are you switching over to a new membership software?
  • Do you want to start from scratch with fresh data?
  • Are you unsure of what membership categories your members fall in?
  • Do you want to test your new software to a small group before fully launching?
  • Is your renewal season coming up?

These questions can seem overwhelming. However, if you know the answers to these questions it’ll make it easier to decide what would be the best way for you to launch your new membership software.

What are the three kinds of launches?

A Hard launch is the first kind of launch that we’ll cover.

This would be ideal if you’re switching over to a new membership software. You can send an email to your current members with the information that will redirect them to the new membership software.  Once your members receive the email they can go directly to the new platform, create a user log in and begin to explore the new software. Here you will be releasing the membership software to all your members.

Soft launch is the second kind of launch we will consider. A soft launch can be broken into two separate options: test group or starting fresh! Let’s review them:

Test Group

Using a test group is ideal if you want to test out your new membership software.

Pros:

  • Helps you minimize any risks or operational failures
  • Can be used for a small quantity of people
  • Tests out all of the links make sure they work
  • Check all pages to ensure they are working

Cons

  • It can push back your official launch date

This launch strategy will allow you to send the welcome email to the platform to a small group. During the test group soft launch, you have the flexibility of choosing who has access. Once you select the individuals that are part of that group, they can receive the welcome email. They will be able to go through all the steps that you’re future members will have to go through.

This strategy allows you to see if there are any operational issues that may need to be dealt with. This will also provide you with ideas to see if maybe changes need to be made to make things run more smoothly.

For instance, you only provide access to your member portal to the board of directors. Your board of directors will receive a welcome email that redirects them to the member portal. There they will use their log-in credentials to sign in and proceed to explore the member portal.

Consequently, allowing your board of directors to go through all the steps that your members will eventually go through during your hard launch. Through this experience, they will be able to test that all the links, pages are working and there are no issues that require immediate attention.

Let’s talk about a different kind of soft launch.

Starting Fresh

Do you want to completely start from scratch?

Pros:

  • Helps you minimize any risks or operational failures
  • Allows you to catch errors and mix as members are applying to the membership
  • Decreases onboarding time and increases launch date

Cons

  • Members can be lost if you do not have an effective membership drive upon launch.

Email and marketing to have members apply and rejoin

If you don’t have accurate data and you want to start from scratch.  It is recommended to use your email marketing tool to create email campaigns as your launch. In the email provide an explanation for why they need to reapply to the new system if you have not already done so.  Then provide the new memberships application links and descriptions for each so the membership categories to inform members which category they need to join.   The fresh start strategy allows only the members who are active members to go into the system because they’re joining the new platform from scratch, giving you a clean database.

 

A Renewal Reminder is the last kind of launch we will consider.

If you have annual memberships with renewals coming up within the time frame of launching your new membership platform.  Sending out a renewal reminder is a perfect way to introduce the new platform and have your members renew while updating their contact information at the same time.  This method should only be used for annual memberships, if you have anniversary or lifetime memberships you will need to use the hard or soft launch methods.  Using the renewal reminder method is also great to earn back the onboarding and set up cost that you had to get the system launched while seeing what your renewal rate will be with the new platform.

Now that we’ve covered the ways that you can launch your new membership software to your members! You just have to decide what one works best for you.