Memberships are a great way to establish a solid source of recurring income from your website, and if you’re in the process of brainstorming for products to offer your customers, here are some important points you need to consider to ensure a successful membership website, and not just a successful membership launch.
Don’t let the well run dry.
The rush and hustle to launch a website can overshadow the fact that you need good content to come out on a regular basis so customers will keep coming back. Starting out with a bang won’t do any good if you create a product that you can only sell one time. That’s the trick to re-purposing good content, see. People learn in different ways, and there are always those who will pay more to get the value they want in the way they want it.
Personalization through packaging and different formats are a great help here:
- You can use content and re-format the information by condensing its essence into infographics.
- You can offer helpful niche-specific templates, e-guides, and PLR.
You can collect your articles and refine them into an ebook, or outsource the material to make an audiobook for people on the go.
- You could collect and expand your most popular articles into a series of short niche ebooks.
- You can package your video lessons or collection of related webinars into a video course — and aside from that online course, offer to bundle transcriptions, audio-files, PDF’s and templates with that course and present it as a premium package, with premium prices.
Value is a matter of perception.
Don’t sell yourself short by only seeing your product as available in one way, especially if it’s an information product. People are busy. The ones who would be your best customers are the ones who recognize the value you communicated to them about your product, and get it because they believe you when you say it will help them solve their issue.
- Your product saves them time? That’s valuable.
- Your products let them do their work in an better way? That’s valuable.
- Your products helps make them empower and educate themselves? That’s valuable.
Learn to present that value into different forms, and you add value to your brand, as well as better serve the audience to which you market your products.
You also need to plan for a steady relationship with your customers.
Aside from the products you intend to sell, you can also plan for more personalized services: consultations, coaching sessions, webinars, etc. Again, this adds more work, but also adds more layers of value to customers who are willing to pay top dollar for personalized attention.
Aside from the usual members-only content, tools, listings and forums, or physical products, you can support online content with physical products, and vice versa. Purely digital products need no warehousing, can be ‘delivered’ instantly, and are easier to manage, but if you can consider physical products as part of your marketing strategy, by being smart about it, you can leverage physical products to support the branching out and growth of your business.
For example, you can post cooking lessons online, but if you can support that with a template of shopping lists for meal plans, plus the meal plans themselves, plus tie-in online orders of prepared, packaged ingredients for those cooking lessons, well, that kind of all-inclusive service is just one example to think about, right?
You need to have a customer support system in place for all your customers, old and new.
Customers are the lifeblood of a business, and with the competition you face, you need to continuously reconcile the need to take care of your ‘old’ and current customers while continuously trying to get new ones. As with the first issue of a steady stream of content, you need a steady stream of customers as well, and have to have a plan in place for that too.
What are you doing to keep you customers interested? What are you doing to get new customers?
Rolling campaigns out to keep the fields open and get new customers, promotions, recommend-to-friends, referrals, etc. are just a few things right off the bat.
What are you doing to take care of old and current customers?
Putting aside the perception of loyalty programs warring with no loyalty, customers stay for a reason: they trust your products. Think of ways to go from there. Value and quality service are also part of the overall experience.
You need to have a system to keep customers.
Change is the norm. People get bored, they develop new interests, they move on…so you really can’t expect all your customers will stay with your for keeps. But, there are practices you can put into place so you can encourage them to stay, and you have to be strategic in using these practices. One example is adding value at no extra cost for your long-term members. Another example is grandfathering.
One of the best ways is to grow and promote a community, on whatever social media platform or method is relevant to your customer group: Facebook groups, online forums, blogs, webinars/Google hangouts, YouTube clips etc. can help engender support, interaction and comments, which helps in building a fan-base and community.
So, good luck on your website and your membership goals, and we hope the advice we shared can help towards your success. It’ll take a lot of work, but we’re confident you can stay on the right track.
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