5 Reasons For A Membership Site
Here are 5 great reasons for a membership site.
I think we can all agree that going after one-off sales means that you’re constantly fighting an uphill battle for sales revenue.
That’s the primary reason why a membership site may be exactly what your business is crying out for – but it’s not the only reason.
From the experience of working with membership sites and helping to convert businesses from a pure customer acquisition model to focus on customer retention too, we have boiled it down to five great reasons for a business to build a membership site model.
These are shared below.
1. Recurring revenue is liquid gold
Let’s get the obvious one out of the way first: recurring revenue is liquid gold for a business.
The growth of recurring revenue is reason enough to convert to a membership model as it provides several important advantages over a one-off customer acquisition model:
- The pressure to get new sales is reduced
- One-time sales become repeat sales without any more effort
- You are able to sell to an existing database of clients who know, like, and trust you
- You can increase the lifetime value of each customer
Even if you offer free membership for access to some areas, you can monetize various sections of your site by providing paid access to members prepared to invest in the extra value you can provide.
There are a few ways to arrange this:
- Charge monthly or annual access to the “locked” areas, like specific courses, programs or other resources
- Ask members to pay on an ad hoc basis as required to access the paid information or resources
- Combine the two: charge a base membership fee with limited access to some resources, with additional content available for a higher monthly fee
2. It can help you increase demand for your services
People won’t pay for anything that they don’t perceive value in. However, most are prepared to invest in things that add value to their lives.
They will go out and purchase a top-of-the-range iPhone rather than a cheap local or generic smartphone. Apple wasn’t just able to charge their prices from scratch, though. It took years and years of demonstrating value first.
It won’t take your business that long – but neither will you become the world’s most successful tech company (probably)!
The point is this: demonstrate value with free content and you can increase demand for your services by asking people to pay.
Limiting access actually increases demand if people perceive value in your services.
So, provide a taster of the value you provide in your free resources. Then it’s not only easier to request payment to unlock other resources but it increases their perceived value (and therefore demand).
Customers are thinking “So, I got this for free. Imagine what I’ll get by paying for it!”
When they discover great value in the paid-for resources too, they will spread the word: through word-of-mouth, social media, chat, and all the platforms we use in our day-to-day lives.
If you have a high-quality product that provides great value to people, the potential for increasing demand around the world is huge.
Apple did it with products that everyone uses. Yours is more likely to be a niche that certain sectors of the population find value in. You have all the tools through social media to target them.
3. It can help you get your life back
The idea with a membership site is that you take the time upfront to create original, valuable content (e.g. online courses) for your target audience.
This is preferably “evergreen” content that they are willing to pay for.
You set up a site that allows you to showcase this content and start marketing it so that more people come, persuading as many people as possible to access (and pay) for this content.
So, once you’ve created the asset (the content) it keeps paying you again and again in recurring revenue without requiring any more effort.
I see small business owners getting bogged down in their businesses, thinking that the more hours they put in the more successful they’ll be.
While there is much to be said for hard work, surely that’s not why you started your business? To be chained to it and have no family life?
Setting up a membership site and being able to automate most of the work helps you claim your life back.
You can increase revenue without increasing the time spent working “in” your business. That’s a revelation for many business owners.
It’s possible because business owners can automate all of the following using software like Infusionsoft and associated plugins:
- Registering for the site
- Making purchases
- Communicating with members and prospective members
- Arranging permissions for different levels of member
- Refunding payments
- Marketing your site using multiple platforms
This removes most of the heavy lifting from the day-to-day running of the site, meaning that you can still earn your money while you’re away on vacation with the family. You don’t have to be babysitting your business all the time and burning yourself out.
4. It can reduce costs
Say your business currently runs in-person training courses around the country.
It’s likely that:
- Overheads are very high, reducing gross margins
- You’re not meeting your customers’ desire to “learn on-demand”
- Staffing costs are very high
- Logistics is extremely complex
The high costs and changing customer expectations with learning mean that running offline training courses is increasingly challenging.
Converting to a membership site has saved many training businesses – and it can be the same for your business if overheads are high but potential demand is also high.
If you already have a membership site but haven’t updated it for years, the advances in technology may help you make improvements that can also reduce costs and help your business grow.
5. It’s better for your customers
Okay, so membership sites are great for you and your business. But what’s in it for your customers?
That’s the real reason why it will help your business grow.
To be frank, they couldn’t care less about how it benefits your business. How does it benefit them?
Well, they get the benefit of your knowledge and experience in your niche, of course. That’s the principal reason why they are there and prepared to pay for it – to go deeper and not to just get a taste of what you offer.
However, a well-run membership site can become more than that. It can be a valuable resource that they return to again and again as a type of “guiding light” for their own success.
Rather than receiving a one-off product or service and hearing from you on an ad hoc basis (normally via email marketing or social media campaign), you are always there for them.
When your membership site incorporates 24/7 live chat and support, it further improves the customer experience as it creates an always-open communication channel.
Gamifying content is another great way to improve the experience of membership sites.
If the customer experience on your site is informative, convenient, and engaging, they’ll spread the word.
Not a magical cure: just good solid business sense
Membership sites are not a magic pill for your business.
You still need to put the work and investment in upfront to develop an effective site and to market it to your most valuable customers, as well as to new customers.
However, it results in a slicker, more profitable business that better engages your target audience and grows without you being chained to it and working more hours every week.
Infusionsoft makes it possible to manage a powerful membership site that improves the experience for your best customers and adds recurring revenue – without it taking up precious time.
That’s something that almost every business owner and entrepreneur will find great value in.
Reasons for a membership site
You might also want to read this article 10 Membership Site Mistakes Your Business Must Avoid