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How to name your membership site and subscription levels

Not sure what to name your membership site? This guide is for you. Learn how to choose the right membership names for your site and subscription levels.

When you create a membership site, you can build an online community of people focused on accomplishing the same goals, supporting one another, and benefitting from your valuable expertise.

But before you can sell memberships, you need to choose the right name for your membership community. When you have the right name for your membership site, you can bring in more new members and show off the value of your membership community.

Plus, if you offer multiple membership tiers, each one needs its own title. And you don’t have to stick to “Bronze, Silver, and Gold” or “Basic, Standard, and Premium”.

Your membership plan names are an opportunity to show off your brand personality and help your audience figure out which tier is right for them.

So if you’re not sure what to name your membership site and subscription levels, this guide is for you.

We’ll cover how to choose the perfect name for your membership community, tried-and-true strategies for naming each tier, and real-world examples to get your naming gears turning.

Let’s dive right in.

Choose the perfect name for your membership site

Your membership name is the first thing visitors see when they visit your membership site. And that first impression matters — it takes just 0.05 seconds for visitors to form an impression of your website and decide whether they’ll stay on your page.

Your membership name — a.k.a. your headline — is also one of the few pieces of copy that visitors are likely to actually read, making it even more critical to get right.

So, how do you come up with a name that grabs potential members’ attention and captures the spirit of your membership?

First, you need to know your membership’s unique value proposition (UVP).

Your UVP is a critical piece of your entrepreneur branding. It clearly explains your offer’s benefits, how you solve your customer’s problem, and what makes you different from the rest.

Ask yourself:

  • Who’s the target audience for your product?

  • What problem does your product solve?

  • What makes your membership stand out from the competition?

  • What benefits do you offer that members can’t find anywhere else?

  • How can this strength be included in your product name and messaging?

A specific UVP is especially important if you’re in a competitive niche for online courses and memberships.

Take entrepreneur and creator Jay Acunzo, for example. Jay’s most popular digital product is his membership group, Make What Matters.

There are plenty of online groups for creators, but Jay built a membership community with a specific UVP in mind: A space for ambitious creators looking for the knowledge, accountability, and connections to create truly meaningful content.

And the name of his membership, Make What Matters, reflects exactly that.

Once you know your UVP, follow these remaining four steps to decide on a product name:

  1. Conduct market research and study how your competitors name their products.

  2. Brainstorm a list of potential names. Focus on quantity over quality — you can narrow down your list later on.

  3. Categorize, prioritize, and narrow down your name ideas to your top choices.

  4. Test your new product name and get feedback from your audience as you launch and market your membership site.

For more in-depth tips for each of these steps, check out this guide to naming products.

Now that you know how to name your overall membership, let’s dive into how you can pick the best membership level names for each tier.

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4 tips for naming your membership levels

1. Find the right balance of simplicity and creativity

There are two important components to keep in mind when naming your membership tiers:

  1. It’s on-brand.

  2. It clearly shows where that tier falls in your hierarchy of membership options.

If you have fun, unusual name ideas that fit both of those criteria, don’t be afraid to choose creative names. But your membership tier names shouldn’t confuse potential new members.

For example, a membership focused on teaching home cooks to level up their skills in the kitchen could name their membership tiers:

  • Level 1: Line cook

  • Level 2: Sous chef

  • Level 3: Executive chef

Chances are that this membership’s target audience — home cooks who are passionate about cooking — is familiar with these titles.

You can (and should) also use the product descriptions for each membership level to explain more about what each option includes, so potential members understand exactly what they’re signing up for.

For example, virtual life coach Rocky Garza explains what each of his Be Known membership tiers includes:

In addition to creative names that reflect his niche — life coaching is all about “transformation” — Rocky tells potential members what content is included in each level.

Incidentally, highlighting different levels of content access is what our next tip is all about.

2. Highlight content access

One of the most popular membership site models is the “pay more, get more” model.

This structure is popular on Patreon, where subscribers can choose sponsorship levels that correlate with different rewards. The higher the subscription price, the more membership site content someone gets.

When it comes to pricing, this is also known as the “good, better, best” approach.

Your “good” price is your most inexpensive tier. It’s a basic price that makes your product accessible to more people with a wider variety of budgets.

Then there are your “better” and “best” packages. These cost more and may be accessible to fewer people, but they offer many more features as a result.

That’s how Tracie Kiernan structures the membership tiers for her Step-by-Step Painting Membership:

Tracie’s “good” plan, which she calls “Basic,” still includes plenty of valuable content for aspiring painters.

Subscribers who are willing to spend $5-$10 more per month will receive access to bonus content at the “better” (“Bonus Tutorials”) and “best” (“Club VIP”) levels. And members can always upgrade to a higher tier if they love Tracie’s content and want even more of it.

If you plan to sell memberships that give subscribers unlimited access to your content, your membership name should highlight just how valuable that volume of content is. Take Whistle and Ivy’s Endless Bundle, for example.

For a fixed price of $87/year, Whistle and Ivy’s “All-Access Crochet Pattern Pass” offers subscribers:

  • The entire Whistle and Ivy patterns library

  • Full video pattern tutorials

  • Graphics and worksheets

  • A community of like-minded crocheters

  • Private VIP Facebook group

Using words like “endless” and “all-access” emphasizes how much value members get at a great price. Plus, that yearly plan creates a near-guarantee of annual revenue for Whistle and Ivy.

That brings us to our next tip: Structuring your membership tiers based on payment frequency.

3. Break it down by payment frequency

If your membership model is based on monthly vs. annual pricing, you can make that part of your naming structure.

This is one of the most common ways to structure and title your subscription options. And for good reason: It’s simple, straightforward, and offers an option that fits different members’ needs.

For example, Tara Leaver offers both monthly and annual plans for her Happy Artist Studio Membership. At checkout, customers can choose to pay monthly or annually, and Tara highlights the cost savings of the latter.

We recommend offering both monthly and yearly subscription options.

Here’s why:

Monthly pricing lowers barriers to entry by offering a more accessible price. It’s also a great option for memberships that immediately prove their value, such as existing content libraries.

Yearly pricing heightens barriers to entry by requiring a higher upfront price, but is cheaper for creators. For example, Stripe takes 2.9% + $0.30 for every transaction, so the fewer transactions you have, the fewer fees you pay.

Annual billing is also better for memberships that take a while to prove their worth, such as path-to-result types, or subscriptions that regularly update with new content.

To make the commitment to an annual plan worth it, cut down the cumulative price when paid in one lump sum vs. paid monthly. For example, Jay Acunzo’s annual membership is $800 cheaper than paying month-by-month, even though it includes all of the same perks.

(Not sure how much to charge your members? Check out our guide on how to price your membership site.)

You can also structure your memberships so that members pay once rather than making recurring payments. For example, InPower Coaching offers a Lifetime InPower Membership that gives members unlimited access to their community, courses, and content.

Learn more about the pros and cons of this membership structure, including how it affects customer loyalty and retention, in this guide to lifetime memberships.

That aside, no matter how often you charge your members, they join your membership community because they believe it can help them reach their goals. Your membership tier names should reflect that.

4. Show that you understand members’ goals

People join memberships because they believe it will help them achieve their goals, whether that goal is building a business, learning yoga, becoming a better activist, or anything in between.

Your membership names should reaffirm that, by joining, members will be one step closer to reaching those goals.

For an example of a creator helping members achieve results, look no further than Natalie Sisson. Natalie’s digital products all tie back to her central mission:

“To lead 1,000 women to earn $10,000 a month and contribute at least 1% of their revenue to a cause that’s dear to their heart, and in doing so create a ripple effect in other girls’ and womens’ lives.”

Her membership site, $10K Club, is dedicated to helping women reach that $10k/month goal. And instead of calling her membership something like “Women’s Entrepreneur Group,” Natalie gave it a name that matches specific results.

From the name alone, potential members know that joining Natalie’s membership can help them meet their revenue goals.

(Learn more about how Natalie went from a 9-to-5 to successful entrepreneurship in this case study.)

Your membership names can also highlight not only what your customers want to achieve, but who is trying to achieve those goals.

The title of Becky Mollenkamp’s membership, Gutsy Boss Club, tells visitors precisely who her membership is geared towards.

Accordingly, the copy on her membership site hits an emotional note with her audience by affirming their hopes and goals.

Visitors might land on Becky’s site and think, “You’re right, I am ready for more. And it looks like this membership can help me get the ‘more’ that I’m looking for and become a ‘gutsy boss’.”

Podia makes it easy for creators like Becky to build a membership site, add unlimited plans, and sell more memberships.

When you set up a membership site with Podia, you can name your plans, set up monthly or annual pricing, and choose whether you want to offer members a free trial.

From there, you can select which products to include in each membership level, add membership posts to engage and get to know your audience, share exclusive content with members, and much more.

Easy as that.

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Choose a winning name for your memberships

So, what’s in a name?

When it comes to our membership site and subscription tiers, it’s an opportunity to draw in new members and help your audience figure out which plan is right for them.

To recap, here’s how to choose the best membership names for your membership site and plan levels:

  • Think through your UVP, then brainstorm names that showcase your membership’s unique benefits.

  • Narrow down your list of names to your top choice, then test it out and get audience feedback.

  • To name your membership tiers, keep your names simple and make sure they align with your brand.

  • Highlight the content access available at each level.

  • If you have monthly, annual, or lifetime memberships, you can break down each tier by payment frequency.

  • Show potential members that you understand their goals and can help them achieve results.

At the end of the day, every membership community is different. Find the name that works for you and yours, and you’ll be selling more memberships and building your community in no time.

A portrait of Rachel Burns

About the author

Rachel is a content marketer for Podia, an all-in-one platform where online courses, digital downloads, and membership websites – alongside their creators – thrive. When she’s not writing, you can find her rescuing dogs, baking something, or extolling the virtue of the Oxford comma.