Suppose you are interested in creating an online community around the content that you create. In that case, launching a membership site is the right idea for you.
A membership site is where customers get access to content for members. Often, the access to it must be paid, and the content is exclusive. The great thing about it is that you can add it to your existing digital business and make money for your content without advertising. Most importantly, you can use your membership site as a tool to build loyalty, establish authority and stay connected with your customers.
Read on to see how you can create a successful membership site.
#1 Pay attention to the site's design and functionality
The design and functionality of your membership site play a vital role in the overall experience that you create for your members. That being said, there are a few things to consider when it comes to creating your website:
- Opt for a WordPress membership management plugin to help you make membership management easy with tag-based control and deliver content on any schedule you want. Look for a plugin that can be integrated with your CRM and offers you flexibility in the design and structure of your membership site. Remember, the whole point should be to enhance your membership growth and make membership management easier.
- Site navigation is critical since you want your members to find what they need quickly and easily. If they struggle to navigate through your website, it will negatively impact their overall experience as a customer.
- The experience your customers have on your membership site should be compatible with the one they have with your business. Your membership site, the main website, sales pages, downloadable assets, and social media profiles are extensions of your brand. Ensure the style and design are aligned.
- Social proof is everything. Collect positive testimonials from your members and use them in your marketing materials and on your membership site sales page. When potential members see that other customers have already joined your membership site and had a positive experience, it will give them confidence that they can also benefit from it.
#2 Consider ways to boost membership engagement
Getting people to join your site is excellent, but it's just the start. Making sure that your members are engaged, participate in your content, and receive the value they are paying for is a big part of growing your membership. Therefore, member retention is vital to your membership site’s long-term success. That being said, here are a few ways how you can increase it:
- Get members' feedback by using customer engagement software so you can improve their experience. Inquire about their opinions and answer them promptly. Hold regular polls and surveys, and show your customers that you care about what they have to say. Use the gathered insights to improve the end-to-end experience and increase engagement.
- As community plays a large part in improving engagement, try to make it an integral part of the member experience. Encourage members to interact with each other. Membership sites, like online forums, are frequently built around a shared culture. Use things like progress tracking, member logs, and accountability sections to encourage members to participate and engage.
- Your membership site should include a wide range of content related to your membership model. It can include blogs or videos, perks such as digital products or even physical merchandise, a community section or forum where members can interact, or exclusive downloads. Importantly, when you write your free blog posts or add updates on social media, mention your membership site and post a link to the signup page. To increase your visibility, consider guest posting on other people's blogs. You can also work with influencers, use email marketing to spread compelling content, and get involved in niche forums.
#3 Define your target audience, pricing, and membership levels
Before you start, it is necessary to have a clearly defined target audience with a precisely defined problem that you are aiming to solve. Understanding your target market will help you with determining your ideal member.
Then, consider pricing and membership levels. You can either opt for a one-time payment or a recurring membership payment model. Many entrepreneurs love recurring subscriptions because it is revenue you can bank on down the road. However, when it comes to your rate, it will depend on the type of membership you are offering.
Lastly, make sure you combine free and paid membership levels. The key to using free content successfully is to increase your visitors' appetite for more and drive them toward a paid membership.
Begin with free content such as blog posts visible to everyone, then lead into the first free membership tier to access more. Once a member signs up for your site, you can build a sales funnel to encourage them to sign up for a higher level.
Creating a successful membership site is a long-term project that takes persistence. It will take time to build up your audience and platform and find a content mix that works, but you will get a sense of what your members need and want over time.
Remember, your customers will expect to receive regular, valuable content, and that is the most important thing you need to deliver if you want them to stay.