A previous article that I wrote, Making Money with Membership Websites, explained that paid membership sites are one of the most guaranteed ways to earn a regular cash flow on the internet. The article stated that one of the reasons for this is because "membership websites are informational hubs that provide dedicated knowledge in a well-packaged form." The attempt of this article is to be more specific with the sequence and steps needed to make cash with a membership site.
The first point to consider is, branding your name. "Why?" you may ask. It has been found that branding on the Internet, no matter what niche you're in, establish you as an authority in your market. People trust right figures as a source of integrity and provider of good quality. As a result they will trust your recommendations and this will help create not only a long term relationship but a stream for continuous sales.
Now that you've established credibility with your membership consider bundling products or services that you have already sold from individual sales. Just repackage the items and reconfigure it in your membership offering. These products and/or services have already proven their worth and demand through previous sales. There will be no guess work involved and these valuable products are now reconfigured for the membership format.
To heighten their senses use audio programs in your membership site and add the transcript of the audio. The research has proven that your membership sales rate will increase 35-40% when you offer the blend audio and transcript. I recommend outsourcing the transcript and you can have it back within a couple of days. The cost is usually about a dollar per minute so a 50 minute audio will translate into $50 cost. Consider using elance.com or rentacoder.com, there are others but I have found good success through these sites.
Giving subscribers a resell product will supplement membership signups and will help keep them in the program longer. Statistically, the average member will last about twelve months with good content. Offering a resell product where they can resell and keep 100% of the profits not only adds value to your membership site but gives the member greater justification for that membership. Always remember, give a high value product that needs little effort and you will keep them within that statistical average.
If you offer tools every month you are offering instant gratification and that will translate into better membership site retention. By tools I mean, SEO optimization, PPC tools, keyword programs and the like. There are many available and if you have a monthly theme it will all flow together. People like organization and direction. This will help reduce confusion and attrition.
To be successful with your membership website you should offer multiple reasons to buy. Offering eBooks, audio with transcript, video, PLR (private label rights) offers not only variety but more excitement as to the promise. Then you add in a value-added feature such as a tool enables you to bridge the gap of doubt that keeps people from taking action to act on the initial offer or unsubscribing.
Maintaining active members to your site calls for a personal acquaintance with them. Add your personality by interacting with the members through a newsletter, forum or video. This will add to the preservation of your membership site and will personalize it to both you and the members. The secret here is to provide a focused, personality-driven and emotional contact creating a bond that validates your role as expert and mentor.
"Make an offer they can't refuse."
When it comes to membership sites you must deliver more upfront to entice them to buy. Not only do you offer a guarantee of your product but add bonuses that they will receive for free just for joining up. An alternative is to offer $1200 added bonus items for a $1 sign up fee. Offer a trial period for that $1 before the monthly payment fee begins. I've seen many allowing anywhere from 1 week to 1 month using this type of offer. Not only are you attempting to attract them as members but you must think of back-end offers. As the members become more acquainted with you, receive real good content and experience results they are more willing to purchase bigger items. In other words, you don't sell them a $1997 program without the free item, then the $47 item to the $97, etc. There are chronological steps that must be taken to earn their trust and loyalty.
These are some basic, structured steps that you can and should take to make your membership site successful. One point that you should keep in mind, your most difficult task and most costly one is getting someone to become a customer the first time. However, as soon as they experience what you have promised them they will become better buyers than customers. You will have a under attack list to promote to and they will buy again and again and again. Your membership site will become a continuous stream of income for you. However, always provide the solution to their needs and over deliver in the content of your offer.
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