|10 Secrets to Building Profitable Membership Websites
While membership websites vary in content and structure, there are elements that are common to most successful membership websites. By identifying these elements, and applying what you learn, you will be well on your way to building a highly profitable membership website of your own.
Knowing what you will offer, and who your customers will be is the first, and most important step you will take.
- What talents do I possess?
- What do I know that will help others?
- How can I improve another person's life?
Have a clear picture of your typical subscriber. The more vividly you can describe them, the more focused the content you create will be.
2) Marketing Method
Every marketing method is not right for every business. You will need to consider which methods fit your marketing budget, and which methods are best for your particular website. Take some time to experiment, and then commit to the marketing strategies that work.
3) Marketing Funnel
A "marketing funnel" is a process of gathering new members. It is a process of "catching" target market leads, and guiding them toward the decision to become long term subscribers.
Your marketing funnel might look something like this:
- Stage 1 - Visitor signs up for free resource auto-responder newsletter
- Stage 2 - Visitor receives free resource auto-responder newsletter #1
- Stage 3 - Visitor receives free resource auto-responder newsletter #2
- Stage 4 - Visitor trusts the quality of your resources and subscribes to your membership website
Very few visitors will subscribe on their first visit to your website. Providing them with an opportunity to consider the idea, and giving them a sample of the quality of your resources will convert many prospects into paying members.
4) Limited Time Offers
Time sensitive offers encourage action. Consider offering your prospects an opportunity to subscribe at a discounted rate, or receive a free download before the offer expires.
5) Free Content
Offer free content to visitors to allow them to sample the quality of your resources. Offer more free content to visitors that enter your marketing funnel, by subscribing to your auto-responder emails.
Find ways to automate you online business whenever you can. Your goal is to create "passive income", but it will be difficult to do it you don't spend the time to set up systems to manage certain tasks.
7) E-Mail Newsletter
E-mail marketing is a dynamic tool for converting prospects into subscribing members. A "Tip-of-the-Week" newsletter will provide you with an opportunity to build long-lasting relationships with subscribing members, and help gently lead potential members through the marketing funnel to become a paying members.
A good way to see what is working, and what is not, is to review your website statistics. An analytics solution will help you discover which pages are leading your success, so you can create additional pages that meet similar needs.
9) Unexpected Value
Within your target market you will compete for the attention of each consumer. With so many offers and promises, it will be difficult to get your prospects attention and earn their trust. By adding an unexpected guarantee you will serve both your customer and yourself.
Providing unexpected value gives you a distinct advantage, because:
- It shows that you are willing to take a risk too
- It shows that you have confidence in your product
- It gives your prospect specific expectations
Remember, the promises you make are the promises you must keep. If you can stand behind these promises, it may be just what your membership website needs to take things to the next level.
10) Build Relationships
Building trust will establish your membership site as a leader in your marketplace. Respond quickly to visitor/member questions and concerns, or offer unexpected values from time to time. Let people know that you are a real person, and that you know that they are real people too.
by Andrew Fling
Collecting Subscription Membership Fees