Digital Membership Cards: To Do or Not to Do? And How?

by | Dec 12, 2022 | How To

There’s something special about holding a membership card: it makes you feel like you’re really part of a group.  Although they cannot be held physically, digital membership cards still manage to create the same feeling of belonging — and that’s just one of the reasons you might want to include one with your membership site

Are digital membership cards a real option, though? Why? Why not? And if you decide to create one for your community,  how can you make it happen? We’ve got the answers to all of your digital membership card questions below.

What Are Digital Membership Cards? 

Digital membership cards are digital versions of physical membership cards. Just like their physical counterparts, digital membership cards are used to identify members and give them access to a variety of perks, benefits, and discounts. But instead of being held in the hand, digital membership cards exist as digital files that can be accessed via a computer or smartphone (e.g. via a digital wallet.) 

Digital membership cards can be offered in many ways, such as in the form of digital services, digital certificates, digital wallet apps, and more. We’ll get into the nitty-gritty of how to create a digital marketing card later in the article, though. 

advantages to digital membership cards

Advantages of Offering a Digital Membership Card 

Digital membership cards come with a lot of advantages — enough to make them a very appealing idea for membership site owners, content creators, and businesses alike. Some examples of brands that use digital membership cards include Sephora and Starbucks — but bear in mind that membership cards are not limited to Business-to-Consumer or physical product-based businesses. 

As a membership site owner or community leader, digital membership cards can add a lot of value for your members. Here are a few advantages digital membership cards can offer: 

Easy & Hassle Free Accessibility

Digital membership cards are digital, which means they can be accessed from anywhere in the world and at any time. Plus, digital cards don’t require printing or carrying around, which means there’s an environment-friendly element to digital cards, too. 

Immediate Updates & Changes

With digital membership cards, you can make changes or updates to your members’ cards almost instantly. This is especially beneficial if you have a lot of members — changing digital membership cards requires no extra effort from you and ensures that all of your members are up-to-date with the newest perks and benefits your offer. 

More Possibilities for Branding & Design

Digital cards can be easily customized with logos, colors, and fonts that match your brand identity. Plus, digital membership cards offer more possibilities for personalization than physical cards (e.g., adding personal information like name and email address). 

Boosting Your Brand Value

Not only are digital membership cards easy to update, but they also give you a unique digital asset to use in your marketing and promotional campaigns. By creating digital membership cards,  you’re investing in your brand’s digital presence and increasing your digital reputation. Plus, digital cards can help build loyalty with existing members and attract new members by providing an enjoyable digital way to join the club. 

Increased Engagement

Digital cards can also be used to engage with members, as digital membership cards often come with digital products or services such as loyalty programs and rewards tracking. Plus, digital membership cards often come with digital displays that make it easier for members to keep track of their activities. 

Offering Extra Benefits for Your Members 

Digital membership cards can also be used to offer extra benefits to your members. For example, digital cards can be linked with special offers from partnering merchants or businesses. This way, digital cards not only increase engagement but also provide an added incentive for members to remain active in the community. 

Increased Affiliate Marketing Value 

Finally, digital membership cards can be used to increase the value of affiliate marketing campaigns. By creating digital cards with digital certificates or digital wallet apps, you can draw attention to your products and services by providing members with exclusive offers that they can access exclusively through their digital card. 

Digital Membership Cards, Not for Everyone? 

Some argue that digital membership cards are outdated or that they’re nothing more than digital coupons. However, digital membership cards can be incredibly valuable for any membership site, content creator, or business. Digital cards provide convenience, accessibility, and customization to your customers – all of which can go a long way in helping you increase engagement, loyalty, and ultimately revenue

That being said, investing in digital membership cards isn’t always for everyone. In essence, these assets work for membership sites that are highly digital and offer digital services to their members. For instance, if your membership site brings together multiple courses or stores and helps people find discounts and coupons, a digital membership card may make it easier for  people to keep track of their discount codes, offers, and so on. 

If, however, you run courses on your website and want to use digital cards to track who has taken your courses, digital membership cards may not be the best fit for you, unless your digital membership card offers digital certificates or digital wallet apps that offer digital services. 

Ultimately, digital membership cards can help you boost engagement and increase revenue in many different ways. If you feel like digital membership cards would be a good fit for your business or membership site, then go ahead and invest in digital solutions! 

How to Create a Digital Membership Card 

Say you’ve already decided to add a digital membership card option to your website. What should you do next? 

Well, if you run your membership site in WordPress, the easiest way to offer a digital membership card is by using Ultimate Membership Pro. Our plugin offers a wide variety of membership site features, including (but definitely not limited to) digital membership cards. 

The good news is that activating digital membership cards with Ultimate Membership Pro is as easy as switching on a button (really, it’s that easy). Here’s a quick tutorial on how to do this in less than a couple of minutes. 

digital membership cards tutorial 1
How to activate your digital membership card in Ultimate Membership Pro: Step 1
digital membership cards tutorial 2
How to activate your digital membership card in Ultimate Membership Pro: Step 2
digital membership cards tutorial 3
How to activate your digital membership card in Ultimate Membership Pro: Step 3

If you want to make your membership cards look appealing and professional (which you do, by the way), you have two main options to choose from: 

  • Hire a graphic designer (which might be the more expensive option, but you can find affordable  ones) 
  • Use online tools (such as Canva, Adobe Express, or even Microsoft Word) to create digital cards on your own. 

Some tips to keep in mind when creating digital membership cards include: 

  • Make sure the digital certificate or digital wallet app you use supports digital cards 
  • Include your logo and branding on the digital card 
  • Make sure the digital cards are easy to use 
  • Provide clear instructions on how to access and redeem digital membership cards 
  • Ensure there are real benefits to holding the card (e.g. access to higher-tier paywall content, discounts on your site and on other sites, and so on.)

Last, but definitely not least, make sure your digital membership cards include all the relevant information: 

  • The name and logo of your organization/ association/ community 
  • The card holder’s personal info (Name, ID number, and contact information)
  • Membership type
  • QR code or bar code to allow  users to easily access digital services 
  • Expiration date

So…In Conclusion, Should You Get a Membership Card? 

Membership sites are all about community and engagement. Digital membership cards can help your members make the most out of their digital memberships, so if digital services are part of what you offer, then membership cards might make sense. 

Remember though: you shouldn’t offer digital membership cards if digital services are not part of your digital membership offerings. At the end of the day, adding yet another feature to your membership site just for the sake of it isn’t beneficial (for anyone) — so weigh things carefully before deciding to offer digital membership cards. 

We hope this guide helped you make an informed decision on digital membership cards and digital services! Good luck! 

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