Top Membership Site Models

by | Nov 28, 2010 | Marketing & Selling

membersContinuity programs and membership sites are becoming quite popular — both to business owners, as well as consumers. Consumers like it because they can become part of a community and gain access to high-quality information. Business owners like it because it helps level out their income and make it a bit more predictable.

There are essentially two types of membership site: the paid membership and the free membership. Now, you might say, I’m a business owner, why would I want to run a free membership site? So, I’m going to talk a little bit about this before I go into the different kinds of continuity programs you can run to earn a predictable income. (Besides, I’m going to go more into the difference between free and paid sites next week.)

A membership site produces one of the most sought after goals of any business owner, and that is trust. A free membership — as well as a paid one — can established you as an expert in your field, especially in the eyes of your membership. But, with a free membership site, you have created a group of people who are more likely to buy from you later. Think of it as an ezine on steroids. And, you always have the option of having a multi-tiered membership site that has a free level. Then you can market the paid levels repeatedly.

Now let’s talk about the different models you can use for your continuity program. Because this is a blog post, I really can’t go into depth on each one, but I think I’ve provided enough to get your creative entrepreneurial juices flowing!

Website Model

You provide membership benefits via a password-protected website.

Setup:
Sales Page -> Payment Processor -> Thank You/Login Page An autoresponder may be a part of this process, as well.

Pro:
Your membership content and services can be very robust, incorporating information, downloads, a forum, and more.

Con:
Requires software to manage the membership levels.

Offline Model

You provide membership benefits via telephone and mail.

Setup:
Sales Page -> Payment Processor -> Thank You Page -> Mail Box

An autoresponder should be a part of this process, as well, especially if telephone calls are a part of the benefits.

Pro:
No fancy software necessary.

Con:
Postage costs! And, there are all the logistics that go with shipping.

Email Model

You provide membership benefits via email.

Setup:
Sales Page -> Payment Processor -> Thank You Page with Opt-in Box -> Autoresponder

Pro:
Easy to set up and you can provide content that is in text, audio, video or PDF format. It is also very easy to set this up on autopilot.

Con:
You may have to manually unsubscribe members if they cancel their membership. Also, your content needs to be relatively evergreen.

In Conclusion

Of course, this short blog post only scratches the surface of what you can do to offer value through a continuity program. If you’ve had any “aha”s while reading this, be sure to jot them down and act on them as soon as possible!

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