How you name your membership levels has a huge impact on the success of your membership site. Thoughtfully named membership tiers create a more appealing and engaging experience for your members, which can ultimately lead to increased sign-ups and member retention.

In this post, I’ll talk about how to evaluate and test names for your membership levels, some classic membership site structures, as well as some examples for naming levels or subscription options for each case.

When you’re done, try our tool to generate level name ideas using AI. Powered by the GPT API, this free tool prompts you for the number of levels you offer, general topic of your site, and a brief description of your location and goals.

How to Name Your Membership Levels and Subscription Plans

Why is naming your membership levels so important?

There are a few key reasons why choosing the right names for your membership levels is a crucial part of running a successful membership business. Well-named levels can:

  1. Give clarity to potential members. Giving each membership level a unique name highlights the differences between each tier, and helps potential members understand the value proposition of each level. This makes it easier for them to decide which one suits their needs best.
  2. Communicate value. A well-thought-out name for each membership level can help convey the value and benefits associated with that tier. For example, using names that imply exclusivity or prestige, such as “VIP” or “Elite,” can make those membership levels feel more valuable and appealing to potential members.
  3. Strengthen your branding and identity. Naming your membership levels also plays a role in reinforcing your brand identity. By choosing names that align with your brand’s tone, messaging, and overall theme, you create a cohesive experience for your members and strengthen the connection between your membership site and your brand.
  4. Create an emotional connection. Creative and memorable membership level names can help create an emotional connection with potential members. When they feel a sense of belonging or excitement about a particular membership level, they are more likely to sign up and remain loyal members.
  5. Make communication easier. When membership levels have clear and distinct names, it simplifies communication with your audience. Members and potential members can easily refer to a specific membership tier, making it more straightforward for them to discuss and compare the benefits and features of each level.

Evaluate Your Existing Membership Levels

I work with thousands of membership sites and I’ve seen a surprising lack of clarity and creativity when it comes to naming membership levels. This is a huge missed opportunity.

If you’re evaluating, thinking about renaming, or still need to choose names for your membership levels, here are a few things to think about:

  1. Membership level names should make it clear what the member is getting for their money. The more you reduce confusion, the happier your customers will be—and the fewer refunds you’ll have to deal with.
  2. An aptly-named level can even be a badge of pride for your members; Certain associations can elicit a sense of belonging, turning anonymous “visitors” into members of the “in-crowd”.

Membership level names appear throughout your website and marketing materials, so it’s important to make sure they “read well” in different contexts. At the end of this article, I’ll link you to a specific tool that you can use as a litmus test for your level names within the key system phrases in Paid Memberships Pro.

Membership Site Structures Covered In This Guide

Webinar Replay: How to Name Your Membership Levels

Tiered Membership Levels

This type of membership site offers more (or fewer) features based on membership level. For example, a basic membership may provide access to standard content, while premium memberships offer exclusive resources, advanced tutorials, and personalized support. 

Our site at Paid Memberships Pro has four membership levels: Free, Standard, Plus, and Builder. These levels are organized in a hierarchy, with Builder being the top tier. The names also help show who each plan is meant for.

Name Ideas for Tiered Membership Levels

Tier 1

  • Basic
  • Beginner
  • Starter
  • Primary
  • Bronze

Tier 2

  • Intermediate
  • Enhanced
  • Standard
  • Secondary
  • Gold

Tier 3

  • Advanced
  • Ultimate
  • Extreme
  • Professional
  • Platinum

Price or Payment Term-Based Levels

Use this naming structure when all membership levels offer the same package of features, but differ in price or duration. First, come up with a creative name related to your brand or website theme.

For instance, if your membership site represented a sports team, what would you call the fans?

Consider creating a unique membership brand, such as “Trekkies,” “Bronies,” or “Cheeseheads.” Then, you can use your level names to indicate the price or payment term.

There might still be a sense of hierarchy in this structure, such as a Foodie Box site offering 3 Month, 6 Month, and Annual subscriptions, with an optional dessert box add-on. For this case, I’d suggest reading through the post on how to modify the price at checkout based on user fields to set up a field that modify the level price at checkout. Easy as pie.

Name Ideas for Price or Term-Based Membership Levels

  • Hourly
  • Daily *
  • Weekly
  • Monthly
  • Quarterly
  • Yearly
  • Annual
  • Per Annum
  • Bi-Weekly
  • Bi-Monthly
  • Semi-Annual
  • Half-Yearly
  • Perennial
  • Lifetime
  • Forever
  • Eternal

* Note that not all integrated gateways for Paid Memberships Pro offer “daily” subscriptions.

Content Vertical or Category-Specific Structures

In this membership site model, levels vary by content type or “vertical” rather than features. This is common for stock or investment sites, nationwide membership chapter sites, or online dating sites where the member’s interest is defined by their chosen membership level.

Name Ideas for Content Vertical or Category-Specific Structures

Stock or Investing Sites:

  • Consumer Products
  • Technology Sector
  • Gas and Oil
  • Retail
  • Pharmaceuticals

Member Chapter Sites:

  • Country Name
  • Region Name
  • State Name
  • County Name
  • City Name

Online Dating Sites:

  • Man Seeking Woman
  • Woman Seeking Man
  • Man Seeking Man
  • Woman Seeking Woman
  • Other

User or Type-Based Membership Levels

This membership category offers different levels, prices, or packages based on the member’s user type. If you need a membership level that provides parent/child account relationships, take a look at our Sponsored/Group Members Add On.

Name Ideas for User or Type-Based Membership Levels

  • Corporation
  • Military: Active Duty and Veterans
  • Non-Profit
  • Family
  • Parent
  • Senior
  • Individual
  • Student
  • Teacher
  • Volunteer

Content Delivery or Subscription Type Structures

In this membership site model, levels vary based on the method of content delivery. This model is often used when content is available in different formats (online, print, email), with the chosen level determining the member’s preferred content delivery method(s).

For this case, you can use the same membership branding ideas discussed in the Price/Payment Term Structured Levels section earlier, and then use the level names to specify the content delivery method.

Name Ideas for Content Delivery or Subscription Type Membership Levels

  • Email Newsletter
  • Online and Print
  • Online Only
  • Print Only

Sponsorship or Benefactor Membership Levels

If you run a non-profit organization, you might think about membership a bit differently than most other site types. In your case, membership level is actually sponsorship level, and you can get really creative in how you name your tiers.

A great approach to level naming is to pull ideas from the goals of your organization, your location, the group or cause you represent.

For example, check out the list of nonprofits and their benefactor/membership tier names below:

If you’re a non-profit organization, you most likely think about membership a bit differently than most other site types. In your case, membership level is actually sponsorship level, and you have a chance to get really creative in how you name your tiers.

The Franklin Institute’s Benefactor Society

  • Pendulum Partners
  • Baldwin Circle
  • Celestial Circle
  • Ambassador Circle
  • Kite and Key Circle
  • Franklin Fellows
  • Inventors Circle

Colonial Williamsburg’s Donor Societies

  • Duke of Gloucester Society
  • Capitol Society
  • Colonial Williamsburg Assembly
  • Colonial Williamsburg Burgesses
  • Colonial Williamsburg Associates
  • Raleigh Tavern Society

The Kimmel Center’s Founders Circle

  • Partner
  • Benefactor
  • Artists Circle
  • Leadership Circle
  • Presidents Circle
  • Chairmans Circle

AI Tool to Generate Membership Level Name Ideas

Use the Level Names AI Generator below to come with ideas for your membership level names using the GPT AI.

A great approach to level naming is to pull ideas from the goals of your organization, your location, the group or cause you represent.

Go Name Your Membership Levels!

I hope this post has given you some ideas as you brainstorm level names for your new or existing membership site. Keep in mind that if you operate an existing membership site, you can still rename your membership levels.

With Paid Memberships Pro, you can easily update the level names by navigating to Memberships > Settings > Levels from the admin dashboard. All members with the updated membership level will automatically have their membership level name changed accordingly.

Do you already have your membership level names ready to go? Get your membership site up and running today with Paid Memberships Pro.

Cheat Sheet and Naming Exercise Cover for How to Name Your Membership Levels


Grab the free cheat sheet and exercise book for how to name your membership levels. This guide and the companion naming exercises will help you understand the most common level naming structures and brainstorm your own site’s level names.

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