Membership site - which is better, drip or full access?

9 replies

I'm in the process of starting a membership site. I plan to offer various courses. For now I'm just starting with one level, and I have plans to add another level or two down the road.

Is it better to drip the course information to my students, or should I give them full access to all courses in their level up front?

I'm just wondering which way might get them to stick the longest. I wouldn't want them to drop out because they aren't getting things done - they haven't finished the last module and now they've got another one to do. I'm thinking if they had access to everything on their level they could go at their own pace and not feel overwhelmed.

But, I've never created a membership site. So, I'd like to hear from others who have. What has worked best for you?

#access #drip #full #membership #site
  • Profile picture of the author jsylvia

    I've only briefly owned one membership site before I flipped it. The site offered all the marketing services at one level. The new member paid a one time access fee which gave them lifetime access to the site. I simply added services using my referral ID for the suggested marketing sites. I also added marketing ebooks to the bonus section to give more value to the site. The site also offered a good affiliate program that paid 50% of the membership fee to affiliates that referred a new paying member.

    Your concept of offering multiple levels to keep members active sounds like a good idea, especially if you are charging a monthly fee. Unfortunately, I can only give my experience with running a single level membership site. I think if you are not going to offer ongoing products and services, then a single level, one time membership fee might work best.

    Take care,


    Jon Sylvia
    Real Website Visitors

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  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    There are both pros and cons to each approach. IMO, your approach should depend upon the market you're in and the types of things that are going to be featured in your membership site.

    When everything is available from the start, you might end up with people who pay the first month, download as much as possible, then bail on you.

    Drip feeding, as you pointed out, can have its own set of challenges.

    Some membership site owners charge a higher fee to join (which supposedly covers the acquisition of past materials) and then a flat rate fee after that on a monthly basis. That may or may not work for you.

    I have seen some memberships set up with a fixed ending spot. So you sell monthly access but give out all the material in 12 months time, or 6 months, or whatever you choose.

    I've also seen membership sites with decreasing monthly charges as an incentive to stick around until the monthly fee is at its lowest - whatever that might be.

    You choice should be predicated on what you're offering, what is the best way to deliver it to the members, and what method will give you the income goal that you set.


    Steve Browne, online business strategies, tips, guidance, and resources

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    • Profile picture of the author Imamarketer2
      Thank you both for your replies!

      I guess there's nothing set in stone, so I can try giving full access and then change it if I feel it's not working.

      I'm thinking I won't allow downloads. I'll offer audio and/or video directly on the site which can be accessed anytime by members, and there will be materials which can be printed out from the site.
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  • I have had both about 3 or 4 drip and lots of people get annoyed with drip, what helped was telling them in the sales process that it's drip. The one downside with giving everything is I had people say they are overwhelmed and dont' have time to go through everything. So it's a pros and cons on each decision.

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  • Profile picture of the author agmccall
    Drip until refund period is over, or if it is a recurring monthly fee


    "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." Thomas Edison

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  • Profile picture of the author Samuel Adams
    Some subscribers will hit your site hard and download everything you have in just a few days and then just cancel for the next month. For that reason, if you plan on offering a free for all style membership site, you need to figure out how much money you want (minimum) from each customer and treat them as a one time only sale. And, then any customer that sticks around to the second month is just a bonus.

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  • Profile picture of the author Imamarketer2
    Lots of things to think about!

    I don't plan to allow any downloads from the site. Information can only be accessed from the site. There will be some worksheets and forms which can be printed out from the site, but the files won't be downloadable. This would prevent people from downloading everything and canceling. That's my idea, anyway. Is it unreasonable?

    If I did offer anything as a download, it would be a bonus for them, such as a free ebook or report or something like that. But, the main information on the site would not be downloadable. Users would log in, click on the course they want, and then see a video or listen to an audio, and they could print out their worksheets or forms to fill out.

    I plan to keep the site fresh by updating it with new courses from time to time, based on user feedback and suggestions.

    There would be a clear path to follow to help people know which course to take when. Hopefully that would help with the "overwhelm" factor. I would let people know in my advertising that they would have access to everything on which ever level they've paid for, plus all the levels below them, and that they can go at their own pace. I'm betting alot of people would get a running start and then sluff off after a bit. But, because they plan to go back to it at some point they would continue to pay for it. Am I being unrealistic with this expectation?

    If I did the drip method, I would want to give them a month's worth of materials at a time. But, if they finished early and wanted more they'd have to wait. If they didn't get it done and then another set of material was delivered to them, and then another it would pile up and they'd be frustrated.

    I offer a free, 15 day ecourse and I've had people write to me asking if they could get all the information at once. These were just little emails I created through Aweber. So, I can anticipate some members on my site wanting to go at a faster pace than a drip might allow.

    Here's a thought. Don't know if this is possible, but maybe people could choose how often they get new information from a set of choices such as weely, bi-weekly or monthly?
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  • Profile picture of the author Rich Struck
    I hate dripped content. I joined a site once and it was bogus having to wait each week for what I needed so I quit before the first rebill.

    In my mind, it is simply good business to give them full access PLUS new material. You have to do whatever you can to keep them happy and keep the rebills flowing.

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    • Profile picture of the author Imamarketer2
      Hi Rich.

      I'm with you! I think I would feel the same way. And since posting this question and having time to think about it and see the responses, I think my market would want full access too.

      Thanks for your response!
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