Membership Geeks

How to Prevent “Hit and Run” Members Abusing Your Membership

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Membership owners spend so much time planning and creating amazing content.

When someone comes along and does a “hit and run” – signs up, downloads everything, then cancels their membership – it can leave you questioning whether what you’re doing is even worth it.

That’s certainly how we felt when it first happened to us.

But I can promise, it's not as bad as you think it is.

I want to share four ways you can prevent hit and run members – but I also want to explain why you shouldn’t spend too much time worrying about them.

So, let me start this post by addressing why I don’t want you to worry too much about these types of members.

Understand the scale of the problem

Hit and run members are not as big a problem as you think they are.

Whether you've got tens of thousands of members, or just a few dozen, you'll find that ‘hit and runners’ are actually few and far between.

It's just that when we spot that one bad apple, it gets under our skin. Because nobody likes to feel they're being taken advantage of; but in our annoyance, we inflate the scale of the problem.

And the harsh reality is that if someone wants your content badly enough, they’ll find a way.

So, whilst it’s a good idea to safeguard your content (and your membership), from hit and run members, it’s also important not to get too wrapped up in trying to stop them.

For every 1 hit and run member you have, you’ll have 999 great members.

Who do you think deserves more of your attention?

That being said, there are a few ways you can lock down your content to make it harder for members to hit and run.

Don’t make video content downloadable

Some content in your membership should always be downloadable. It’d be silly not to have workbooks, checklists, or planners available as a download.

Video content, on the other hand, does not come with that same expectation.

In fact, it makes a lot more sense to embed your videos on your site.

Embedding videos on your site:

  • Encourages people to log in regularly
  • Stops members from feeling overwhelmed by a folder full of videos
  • Helps you structure their journey through your membership more closely

Importantly, embedding your videos makes life harder for hit-and-runners because they literally cannot take all your video content.

They could download specialist software to rip videos from individual pages of your site… but hit-and-runners are lazy. They want everything easily – that’s why they do what they do!

It’s a low probability that they would be bothered or focused enough to do that.

Drip-feed your content

If you make sure that all your content isn’t available from day one, hit-and-runners can’t take everything on day one!

This won’t work for everyone. I highly recommend you only do this if this makes sense for your membership and also provides value and practicality to your members.

So, this could be a series of articles or videos that you email members on a weekly basis.

It could be a follow-up checklist after a task.

It could be a quarterly calendar that you send out over the year, rather than all at the start.

There are so many ways you can break up your content and deliver it over a period of time – but it needs to come from being genuinely valuable for your members.

We’ve talked before about how to decide whether you should drip-feed your content or not, so head to that post if you’re struggling to decide. The key takeaway though, is that, if the only value in creating staggered content is stopping hit-and-runners, you shouldn’t do it.

Doing so means that you’re weakening the service that the vast majority of your members deserve out of fear of a few bad ones.

Being smart about your software

If your membership includes a piece of software – be it a program or a tool or similar – then you have a great opportunity to safeguard yourself from hit-and-runners.

Make access to your membership key to its continuing functionality. Or, in simple terms: brick it if the person using it isn’t a member!

Make it so that only members can access updates and support. Roll out regular updates that make the previous version obsolete or limited in its functionality

And don’t ever feel bad about it!

It makes it less attractive for somebody to approach your membership with that hit-and-run mentality and gives all your other members a brilliant, well-maintained piece of software.

Diversify your content

Your content is, of course, brilliant. But you can always mix it up to produce even better results – and stop hit-and-runners at the same time!

Static content like courses, worksheets, and tutorials are great – but have you ever considered adding a live element to your membership, too?

Live content can take many forms – calls, Q&As, webinars, guest webinars, and so much more – and can occur at a frequency that suits you. Some people do them weekly, fortnightly, monthly, or even quarterly.

However you choose to approach live content, the result is the same: you have an element of your membership that exclusively provides value to genuine, long-term members.

By its very nature, live content means it is simply inaccessible to hit-and-runners. It only happens when you decide it and then it’s gone.

If you’re feeling stuck for content creation ideas and need a little inspiration, we’ve written about the 12 Types of Content To Include In Your Membership Site before.

Focus on your good members – they are the majority!

If there are seven types of members in every membership, this means there are six other types of member who deserve your attention.

And no, it’s not an equal split seven ways! Hit and run members don’t take up 15% of any membership – they’re more like 1% (and that’s being generous!)

Don’t let the occasional hit and run member ruin it for the 99% of your members who are good and honest.

Keeping good people in your membership should be more of a priority than keeping the occasional bad people out!

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