In September 2020, we partnered with The Membership Puzzle Project to publish The Membership Guide, a tactical, practical guide to membership models in news.
The Guide, which was supported by the Google News Initiative, is like a little course in membership. It takes you through the steps. It identifies best practices and warns of common mistakes. And it gathers into one place all of the lessons people have learned as they have built successful membership programs— including, of course, the errors and wrong turns that are part of any experiment.
That’s a lot to cover, so we offered a few ways to use it. You can navigate by what stage you’re at in your membership journey, by hovering over “Handbook” and choosing “Getting Started with Membership” or “Making Membership Stick,” for example.
Or, you can jump straight to a topic, such as “Choosing your membership tech stack.” If you want to start with case studies instead, you can filter them by newsroom type (such as “Legacy” or “Digital native”) or by relevant topic, such as “Making the business case for membership” or “Adopting a product mindset.”
Today, we’re introducing one more pathway to explore these many resources: a weekly newsletter course that takes you through each section of the Membership Guide and tells you what’s most important in each section.
In total, you’ll receive one email a week over the next 13 weeks. By the time you’re finished with the course, you will have a clear roadmap for how you can most effectively launch, grow, or iterate on your membership program.
Each issue will walk you through strategies for how you can apply the lessons in your newsroom, offer exercises or worksheets you can utilize with your team, and highlight actionable case studies to learn from others who have tackled similar challenges.
Want to start right away? Check out the Guide’s introduction to brush up on how membership differs from subscription and donation models, and what members want from organizations they support.
Thanks, and we can’t wait to learn together.