Membership sites are a growing business model these days, and a great way to build residual income. Not sure what a membership site is? I bet you actually belong to more than one of them. Here are some examples: NYTimes.com, Netflix.com, Amazon Prime… all of these sites require a monthly or annual payment to access content or exclusive benefits.
And, because this is such a smart business model, I recommend it to But how the heck do you attract new members?
There are a ton of ways to market your membership site, but let's start with some basic ones…
#1: Focus on the Benefits
When you focus on the benefits of the continuity program, it's a lot easier to get people to get “what's in it for them.” Yes, the features of your product, membership, or service are important, but when asking them to sign up for ongoing payments, you really need to let them know the benefits. For example: save time, save money, excel at a skill, ease stress, have more stamina, etc.
#2: Give Low-Cost Trials to Get More People to Buy
Even if your subscription offer can be cancelled at anytime, people are often weary of getting hooked into a subscription of something they’re unsure of. You can offer a free or a very low-cost trial to try it out. For example, Ron and Alice offer a $1 10-day trial to our Elite Writer's Lab program.
#3: Offer a Satisfaction Guarantee
A guarantee can go a long way into instilling more confidence to buy from your prospects. In the case of membership sites where you are delivering digital content, there are minimal costs per member that offering a 30-day money back guarantee, for example, is easy enough to do.
#4: Let Them Cancel Anytime
In addition to giving them a guarantee, make sure they know they can cancel anytime. If you feel your offer requires a time commitment (ex. 6 mo. contract on services or coaching), it’s up to you, but in most cases there is no reason to make people feel tied to a subscription. They will more likely give it a try if they know they can get out easily. Then you just wow them with your content, so they'll stay.
#5: Get Your Customers to Promote
Set up an affiliate program that your customers are aware of. Yes, you'll be recruiting website owners to your affiliate program, but make sure it’s also accessible by every day people who enjoy your products and not just affiliate marketers.
Make the concept of the affiliate program easy for your non-internet marketing members to understand – it’s simply a referral program where they can refer family and friends. Make it attractive by telling them they can earn enough cash to pay for their monthly membership, or even more.
See How It All Comes Together
It's all and well to describe it here, but it's even better to show you. Check out how it all comes together on my DIY Digital membership site.