To put it mildly, owning a membership site can be a powerful revenue-generator.
Whether you want to launch a site dedicated to subscription tutorials or a community site dedicated to a lifestyle product, there are plenty of options available to you.
But at the end of the day, the membership site model is a remarkable avenue for profit and promotion… if done correctly.
Yet, it seems that so many membership sites struggle when it comes to growth strategies.
Sure, there are some amazing examples out there of sites that are really hitting it big.
Amazing Prime, for example, has an estimated 54 million members in the US alone.
The same data also shows that the average member spends $1,100 shopping at the site as opposed to the $600 a year that non-members spend.
That’s a serious boost in revenue, even outside the membership fee itself!
So certainly, while being part of a membership site offers a host of benefits to consumers and clients, owning a thriving site is a big plus.
With that in mind, what ways can we grow and expand our own membership sites?
What strategies can we use to get the most out of our sites while giving back to our members?
These are great questions that we’re going to find out the answers to right now.
Ensuring That They Love Joining
Let’s start at the very beginning for your membership site– the signup process.
After all, if we haven’t gotten it right, our potential members won’t even be getting through the door.
When that’s the case, all our marketing efforts to attract new members will appear to be a waste.
And at the same time, enrolment numbers will stagnate, or worse yet, drop off.
- Lower the Barriers Considerably
When a user hits a website, whether it’s to sign up or check something out, the experience shouldn’t really be about jumping through hoops. Even though “counting clicks” isn’t the best way to measure the process, it still remains true that less is more during the signup process. Forget about long, complex forms and page after page of info. Make it incredibly easy for your new members.
One way to do this using ClickFunnels is only making the user fill out a name and email form so they can access the membership area or opt in to receive information about it. Here’s what a basic optin for might look like:
- Simple, Straightforward Pricing
Along those lines, your membership pricing shouldn’t be confusing. When a potential member has to juggle a bunch of pricing options… often they’ll just give up. Personally, I recommend a 3-tiered pricing structure that you can comprehend in a flash.
The ClickFunnels editor makes it really simple to add your pricing to any sales page. Using the pricing table element under “New Elements” you can create a new pricing table with the price total, featured, rebill period etc.
Here’s an example below:
- Provide a Mobile-Friendly Signup Form
We’ve seen before how vital mobile is in today’s world. And with facts like 42% of Americans owning a tablet computer, you can imagine how many people are coming to your membership site on mobile. While you want your site to be mobile-friendly, you also want to make extra sure that your signup form is easy to navigate and fill out on a smartphone or tablet.
To achieve a mobile friendly sign up form when building funnels in ClickFunnels, simply enable the “All Deviced” selection from the editor. If however the page doesn’t look right, you have the flexibility to choose where you want specific sections or elements restricted to desktop or mobile only.
You can find this in option for every element in the editor:
Protip: Have you ever tried to sign up for your own membership site to see what it’s like? Take 10 minutes and run through the process to see what you might find yourself.
Managing Your Everyday Tasks
There are just 3 words you need to know here: automate, automate, automate.
But what do automating tasks have to do with growing your membership site?
A few number of things, more than most people realize.
Not only will you be freed up to take care of more important matters, but the site will also run more flawlessly, which in turn, makes users happy.
There’s also several good tools out there to do this.
- Taking Care of Member Records
More and more, organizations realize how essential it is to oversee their information and records in the best possible way. So let’s say that a user updates their last name in your system… but you don’t have an automated process in place to also update their name for email blasts. Guess what happens? They get an email with the wrong last name, which results in a missed connection. Consolidate and automate your records process to avoid these sorts of issues.
- Turning Cancellations into Renewals
Now, let’s say a current member goes to cancel. Oh no, our membership numbers are shrinking just as we got a flood of new members recently! Never fear. By automatically serving them an awesome discount on the cancellation page, we can entice them to stick around before they leave.
- Locking Accounts that Violate Sharing
Too often, we see membership sites that don’t automate this process or even look for it at all. Sharing login information among friends, to avoid membership fees, is all too common. This can, in turn, greatly impact your membership numbers.
Protip: Many membership site software packages come with automation tools integrated right in. If you haven’t tried yours yet, now’s the time to find out what they’re capable of!
Create Unquestionably Engaged Members
Our next strategy is another area that’s often overlooked, and that’s creating members that love being a part of the site.
How can this grow your membership rates?
In the example of Facebook, we’ve seen how engaged members are more likely to stick around and invite more people.
- Sending Non-Automated Followups
I know, I know… I said earlier that we want to automate our processes. But there’s one area that you’ll want to try a different strategy occasionally. Depending on how large your lead database is, sending out personal, non-automated emails can really get people feeling like you’re connected to them. This is especially true of anyone who may have shown interest in your membership or had once been a member.
- Providing Sharable Milestones and Awards
Another great way to get them engaged is to provide different member trophies and levels. When they reach a certain stage, whether it’s a number of posts or watching a certain video, you give them an award. And you make it shareable. They feel good about their accomplishment, and so they share it for all their friends to see.
- Marketing True Insider Content and Offers
This strategy works especially well if you have a free basic membership to tempt new members into actually joining the paid membership. But no matter what, it’s vital that you’re offering members quality insider access, whether it’s special coupons or exclusive content. And it’s essential that these are marketed to your leads.
Protip: Your membership site goes beyond merely having subscribers. When you focus on using it to build a community or lifestyle around your brand, you’re making it super attractive to potential members.
Provide Great Customer Service… Before They, Sign Up
When you think of potential members in the same light as you do your existing customers, you’ll find that more people will be drawn to your site.
I’m not talking about just saying the right things to make the sale; I mean giving that same award-winning level of help and support that you’d give to an established member.
Hands down, this is a great way to get more members.
- Make Finding Contact Info Easy
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been interested in a membership site, only to have to dig through pages and pages to find their contact info. Whether it’s just to find out a simple answer to a question or to sign up for a new account, people want to reach out. If they don’t know how they’ll likely move on to the next site.
- Include a FAQ Page on Your Site
Although a FAQ sounds like it wouldn’t be a big deal, in a way, it functions as social proof for your membership site. By including one, you’re broadcasting how committed you are to understanding and supporting your user base, which in turn, attracts new members.
- Strip Out or Clarify Any Jargon on Your Support Page
It’s not widely known, but many potential members will often browse the support page of a site before joining. It’s a sly way of finding out just how helpful the member site is. To make sure these pages are accessible and easy to understand, make sure they aren’t loaded down with member jargon.
Protip: Hiring a dedicated customer service associate who’s professional and experienced is an excellent way to make sure that someone is always available to lend a hand to your members.
Becoming A Heavy Hitting Membership Site in Your Niche
Our final method for growing your membership site relies on one simple fact: the bigger you are… the bigger you get.
It’s very hard for consumers not to notice websites like Amazon or Facebook.
These sites, both membership-based mind you, continue to attract more and more members.
Positioning yourself as the heavy hitter in your niche means more potential members notice you and your efforts.
- Starting a Thought-Leader Campaign
What is a thought-leader? Basically, a form of marketing that puts the hard questions in your niche to the grindstone. We’re not talking basic content marketing here. Instead, a thought-leader campaign looks to be deep, smart, and in-depth with the same content marketing you know and love. This is one area that hiring a professional can go a long way.
- Collect and Show Off Your Testimonials
There’s little doubt that testimonials are a knockout way to draw people in and get them to commit. And in reality, that’s the whole point of your membership site, right? Don’t be afraid to ask your current members for some positive testimonials. And then spread them far and wide for all to see.
Protip: Becoming the heavy hitter in your niche isn’t an overnight process. But by pushing past your competitors, you’ll be pleased with the results regarding exponential growth.
We’ve mentioned Amazon Prime and Facebook, but from your experience, what membership site gets it totally right?
What strategies have you learned from them that have helped you most?