If you’re struggling to obtain (and maintain) higher numbers of forum members for your company’s website, you’re not alone. Financial services and the costs associated with it (both time and financial) are known as “grudge purchases”. A grudge purchase is a purchase made out of some form of obligation, rather than a pursuit of pleasure or self-gratification.
This means you have to overcome a certain amount of natural resistance from your customers when you ask them to join your forum. Unlike sports forums, niche forums, hobby-related or similar forums, your fintech site doesn’t have the “hedonic factor” behind it; meaning that except for a small selection of people, your customer base will likely lack interest in spending their free time on your message boards.
Here are a few simple, quickly actionable strategies to boost your membership in no time.
Financially Incentivize Membership
Money talks… and (almost always) people listen. And that’s perfect if you’re trying to boost membership, because you have a number of built-in avenues you can use to play off of this.
The key is to always prioritize the fact that your goal is to help your customers (in your marketing and in reality). The forum membership itself will be of genuine benefit to them and the incentive you’re offering is the icing on the cake.
One incentive you could offer free value add service when individuals sign up to be a member. This idea is especially effective because it allows you to build a community around your brand. . This allows you to nurture advocates with the help of your community managers. Another benefit would be support ticket deflection , where your customer community will help each other saving you time on handling customer issues.
Have a Separate Education Section on your Site
When you make it clear to your customers that their financial education is a priority to you, you demonstrate that you’re on the same team and you want them to succeed. That’s a powerful message, especially in the financial sector, which is so characterized by mistrust in recent years (not always without reason).
The new education section on your site will give your customers a huge array of topics to discuss on your forum. It also contributes to an overall tone of helpfulness and general care, which goes back to establishing your alignment with your customer. You want them to succeed, because their success is also yours .
If your site currently lacks a forum and a knowledgebase, definitely consider rolling them out in tandem, for all of the above reasons.
Offer Time-Tiered Rewards
This is a particularly powerful strategy, because it paves the way to obtaining and keeping greater numbers of forum members. Here’s how it would theoretically work:
Begin by offering a “preliminary gift”. For the sake of simplicity, let’s assume you charge $100 annually for an investment account. The preliminary gift for joining might be $10 transferred to their account after they sign up. After being a member for 6 months, you would send them $15 and at the one year mark, you’d send them $20. Adjust accordingly.
The main point to be understood here is to progressively increase the rewards for membership. If your approach is similar to the one above, be smart about it and cap off the refunds at the one-year mark, or before. That alone would be perfectly generous, with a “preliminary gift” and two more time-capped rewards. But if you really want to go the extra mile, keep finding different types of rewards to offer over time.
Boosting forum membership can be difficult even for niche forums and hobby forums, which naturally draw large numbers of people with similar interests. It’s much more difficult to get people interested in (much less unified around) the topic of finance. So don’t beat yourself up if your numbers aren’t soaring right out of the gate.
Whether you offer financial incentives to members, boost membership through educational efforts or try a time-tiered approach, the key is to make the effort and diversify your tactics.
Operate intelligently and keep a healthy dose of guarded optimism and you will see solid results in a relatively short time.