The Best Membership Level Names You Can Use

by | Aug 4, 2022 | Resources

When you have multiple options for membership, it will ultimately be up to the customer to decide what works best for them. However, a company can have some influence over its customers’ decisions. It is in the best interests of the company to have as many exclusive members as possible. Choosing creative membership level names can do much to reach that goal.

When a person chooses a membership level, the membership-level names will be the first thing they see. A community manager should have the goal of creating membership-level names that correspond to what each level has to offer; in that way, a prospective member is drawn in and motivated to sign up.

This article can serve as a guide to help you come up with creative membership-level names and to better understand the process of choosing effective tier names.

Coming Up with Creative Membership-Level Names

Most membership offers today use tier names such as

  • Free
  • Basic
  • Business
  • Exclusive
  • Platinum

However, most people are used to seeing these kinds of membership-level names, so they aren’t really drawn in. Potential members are usually enticed by creativity. That’s one reason why creating unique membership-level names is important. Using membership-level names that people haven’t seen a thousand times before will help you to attract and keep new users.

Ideally, prospective members should be able to look at your membership site or sales page and know exactly what is going to work best for them.

One good way to come up with creative tier names is to relate them to the theme of your site.

A membership site for music education, for example, could use membership-level names like

  • New Musician
  • Concert Ready
  • Virtuoso

Once new members decide which level is appropriate for them, they can read more information about the costs and so forth in the pricing boxes.

Membership Levels for Different Types of Membership Sites

When you are ready to name your membership levels, try to come up with something that fits with the topic and the audience you are trying to attract. Consider which of the following options and examples of creative membership-level names can suit your business and website best.

Tiered/Content-Access Membership Levels

Of course, the services you offer and the kind of membership club you have will affect the structure of your subscription tiers.

The tier structure works really well for memberships that offer different levels of access. The membership experience will be different depending on how much customers pay. The more they are willing to pay, the more access they have or the better service they receive. This kind of system works great if your membership offers entertainment, music, content or something similar.

To illustrate, a sports club might offer membership plans with names like Rookie, MVP, and, the highest membership level, All-Star or something similar.

Two examples of sites with creative tier names are Topps and Book Riot.

Topps is a sports memorabilia site. The Now Rewards program membership tiers start out at Rookie and then go on to All-Star, and finally, Hall of Fame.

Book Riot is another great example of creative membership-level names. This popular book blog website offers three types of subscription plans to get access to book reviews, author interviews, podcasts, and more. The subscription tiers are called Epic Insiders Subscription, Novel Insiders Subscription, and Short Story Insiders Subscription. The names are not only perfect for the industry to which they belong, they have also been key in attracting new community members.

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Different-Groups-of-People Membership Level Names

Another thing to think about regarding the naming of your membership levels is whether or not to choose a name based on user access or content access. Choosing names based on user access is about who gets access, not what they can access.

Spotify is a great example of this.

They provide four subscription plans. Each one is directed towards a specific user or a select group of users. Each plan, Individual, Student, Duo, and Family, are easy for users to determine which plan is best suited for them. Each one can also be used to communicate a specific pricing system.

Patrons or Different Supporter Levels

What’s known as the patronage model is a membership program designed so that members can support you and your work.

This kind of membership program is increasingly popular. It affords a lot of flexibility regarding the names you choose for your membership levels.

A good example of this is the Smarter Every Day Patreon account. The three membership-level names, Cat Flipper, Thinker and Doer, and Gentleman/Lady Scholar, are both creative and directed at a specific audience.

Another good example is the Smithsonian Institution. This group is made up of museums and research and education centers around the U.S. Membership give you access to a vast library of research papers and other articles on a wide variety of subjects. There are a total of nine types of membership levels. The membership-level names include Associate, Promoter, Champion, Advocate, Patron, Contributor, Sponsor, Partner, and Benefactor. The names explain clearly the purpose for which they are intended without overcomplicating matters.

membership level names

Following this example, you could name your membership levels something like

  • Supporter
  • Patron
  • Benefactor

The names should reflect the value of each membership level and give people an idea of what they can expect in return for supporting you.

Membership-Level Names Based on Content Delivery

If you offer different levels of access for each membership level, it could be useful to choose a naming structure based on content delivery. Structuring your memberships in such a way is an effective way to inform subscribers of what they will have access to in each plan.

You can always stick with a basic naming structure, such as

  • Free
  • Paid
  • Full-Access

The Wall Street Journal is a good example of this kind of naming structure. Each of their four distinct membership-level names (Basic Digital, Print Edition, All Access Digital, and Corporate Subscriptions) corresponds to how much members can access.

Of course, you don’t have to limit yourself to traditional membership-level names. You can even borrow ideas from other markets. If you got inspiration from an ice cream shop, your membership plans might look like

  • One spoonful (free option)
  • One scoop (first tier paid plan)
  • Ice Cream Sundae (all access)

Another idea could be to name your membership levels after a buffet:

  • Sampler (free option)
  • A la carte (access to specific content)
  • All-you-can-eat (full access)

In the end, it will come down to the kind of content you offer and your target audience.

Category-Specific Levels

You could also base your membership levels on a “services-offered” naming convention. That means you organize each membership level based on the services you offer to specific people. Each subscription offers different services, products, etc to certain member demographics. For example, an advertising agency might tailor each of its membership levels to the client. Then they adjust the content depending on if they are dealing with an agency, an educator, a student, a freelancer, or an established vendor.

For example, subscription plans directed toward business people might categorize member type levels by Executive, Affiliate, Strategic Partner, and Supporter.

A perfect example of a group that uses this naming convention is The Design & Technology Association. They provide support, training and advice for teaching design, technology, and engineering. Their membership levels are as follows:

  • Primary Membership Options
  • Secondary Membership Options
  • Corporate Membership Options
  • Consultant Membership Options

Although each membership level offers similar support and services, it is also tailored to specific members in each group.

Skill-Based Learning Memberships

Lots of membership plans are designed for people who want to learn or improve new skills. Some examples of this kind of membership are professional development, language learning, music, writing, coding, gardening, and sports. To start the naming process, try organizing your services by proficiency levels or topic.

For instance, a membership program for martial arts might use the following tiered structure:

  • White belt
  • Green belt
  • Black belt
  • Black belt master

This is a fun idea for membership-level names, and using this method conveys to the subscribers the skill level for each tier.

Another idea might be to use a system from apprentice to master, or beginner to expert.

Conclusion on Membership-Level Names

When you are creating a membership level names strategy, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • You need to keep your membership names consistent with the membership club.
  • When naming your membership levels, you need to have clearly in mind the differences between each subscription level.
  • The names you choose should nudge members in a certain direction.
  • When you set up different membership levels, choose names that identify the different membership tiers and draw people in.
  • Keep things simple. Although you want to choose creative membership tier names, long or complicated names will deter people. Choose names that are simple and easy to remember.

Remember that the naming process should be fun for you too. Play around with different ideas that fit your membership site and see what jumps out at you.

Choosing membership-level names

Choosing membership-level names is a powerful part of marketing strategy. With a little time and thought, the right membership tier names will not only draw in new members, it will also make current members feel appreciated and valued.

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