Membership Geeks

Despite What You’ve Heard, Average Member Retention is NOT Only 3 Months

Average Member Retention

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“The average length of time someone will stay subscribed to your membership is just 3 months.”

You’ve heard that before, right?

You’ve no doubt seen “experts” throwing this statistic around. Heck, if you dig hard enough I wouldn't be surprised if we've repeated it ourselves once upon a time!

Well here’s the truth – that 3 month average subscription length? It’s nonsense. Utter nonsense.

In today’s episode I look at where the whole 3 month myth came from and why it’s persisted – but more importantly I talk about what the actual average subscription length for membership sites is.

Episode Summary:

  • Where the “3 month average” member retention myth came from, and why it's stuck around so long.
  • Why it's impossible to determine an exact industry average for online memberships.
  • A more accurate ballpark average subscription length, backed up by data.
  • Why it really doesn't matter what the industry average is, and what you should focus on instead.
Update: The Online Membership Industry Report 2019 not only further debunks the ‘3 month myth' but actually shows that the average is 12-18 months

Key Quotes:

“Two things you'll notice about people who make the ‘3 month retention’ claim: usually they don't have a source for that figure, and usually they have something to sell”

“The snake oil salesmen want you to be scared that members won’t stay long enough for your business to be viable. And of course, when you follow their advice and your retention is better than 3 months then you think they're a genius. But they're not…”

“The truth is that online memberships are a cottage industry. People aren't running these sort of memberships on such a massive scale that there's some centralised database of industry stats.”

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