Free Lifetime Membership? or monthly fee?

10 replies

I have been working working working and now am at a point where I need to make a decision...

I'm getting a new product up and ready and the question has come up among my team - should we actually charge a small membership fee for access to our new product site or just let everyone in with a one off purchase.

The question in my mind is ongoing content. I do think we will have some and provide some updates in the future, but I'm not sure if it'll be enough to warrant an ongoing fee.

On the flip side, if it's free lifetime access, I think a lot of customers, if it's a one time sale, will lose interest in the site and simply stop coming once they have consumed the initial material.

The membership fee would provide a reminder to "come see whats new". (assuming there is anything new)

So we are having this argument and I thought I'd put it out here on the forum to get some opinions...

So what's your opinion on very small recurring billings? I'm talking $7/month.

How much new content should there be every month at this price level?

Or would that suffice as a minimum "support" level type fee?

Your thoughts?
#lifetime #membership
  • Profile picture of the author Andy Fletcher
    For any kind of recurring membership fee you need to deliver high quality content every month (or whatever the charge period is). Charging for intangibles like support etc can work for software products or if its insurance where it covers a specific period but its not really enough to warrant a monthly charge unless you're just relying on people not to cancel because the fee is so low.

    Given what you have described above I would make it a one time fee and provide the additional content to keep the mailing list active and interested and encourage them to visit the site.
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    • At a $7./per month pricepoint I think that one well written relevant, short report would be enough.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jacer
    The best and quickest way to find out what consumers will purchase is ask them. If you have a mailing list, send out a survey. If you don't, get a list and send out a survey.

    Also look at what is the competition doing. Are there successful examples of both membership sites and product sales in your niche? How often will new information/updates be released?

    Your price of $7/mo for a membership site seems really cheap. As a consumer I might wrongly assume that it has little value. I would rather pay $77 for your product than $7 a month because I perceive it to have more value. Something to think about.

    I belong to several membership sites. The least active site updates 1-2x month and I happily pay $29.99 every month. The most active updates twice or more each week(I pay $39.99/mo and would be willing to pay much more).

    If you stick with $7/mo, I would only expect one or two updates a month.
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  • Profile picture of the author Zeus66
    Put me in the one-off payment lifetime membership camp. It'll build good will with customers and you can charge a bit more up front. Obviously you'll make less over time, but the flip side of that is not having the customer service headaches that forced continuity elicits. If you're thinking $7/month for that scheme, maybe try a lifetime membership for $29 or thereabouts.

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    • Profile picture of the author JoshuaG
      One benefit of a small recurring fee is that people often don't bother to cancel even when they are done with the service. They just keep putting it off. Sure this isn't "true" value based business, but if your a bit greedy like me a move like this is OKAY

      If you give people 1 nice thing every month that would cover the cost. What you give people would depend on the nature of your service. News letters, ebooks, maybe even some direct mail stuff ievds, guides, etc.

      Calling that $7 a support fee greatly depends on your business. Some require more updating then others.

      Over all, as we all know, if you can provide $7 of value (some in the form of updates) then for sure you can charge membership fees.

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  • Profile picture of the author Lou Diamond
    I like the monthly price point,
    after the billing it reminds the customer to come back
    to the website for some new downloads.
    The lifetime membership is a forget about me type of thing.

    Something new soon.

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  • Profile picture of the author pcpupil
    Theres someone doing this style right now.Probably a lot but i only know of a couple because im on there list and they want me to join.[but im not].
    Its a monthly membership site,but each month they recieve an email telling them that there monthly download is ready.

    They say its online and that they should login to there account and go to there members area and click on the free download link.
    Then they say if youve forgotton your membership info here it is again.
    Then they have it posted.

    This is easier i presume,and i agree and would do this,because you dont have to send large files through the email.
    And,once there on the site to download there free monthly product,they have a couple widjets in the sidebars for extra revenue.

    I think a few of the sites are the PLR sites.
    I will be your Digital Assistance for cheap.PM me.
    I can help relieve your work load.Pm me

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    • Profile picture of the author IMnwxlh2
      I prefer the one time membership fee. This way, your members stay as members for a longer time period. I believe for the continuity membership, the length of stay is typically about 3-4 months.

      Along the same line as pcpupil's note above, you can send monthly reminders to your members each month announcing new downloads on the site. At the same time you can take the opportunity to pre-sell other stuff as well to your members (think backend sales).

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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    I do both, and it works well.

    It's easy enough to do and then you will appeal to both types of customers.

    In their minds they will see it as a choice between a monthly or lifetime subscription. If you give them one option, then their choice is to subscribe or not.

    Plan 1
    A: Monthly subscription
    B: Lifetime enrollment
    C: Don't subscribe

    Plan 2
    A: One type of subscription
    B: Don't subscribe

    By implementing Plan 1 there are 2/3 choices that result in a purchase; with Plan 2 it is lowered to 1/2.

    Of course that math assumes all other things are equal.

    Something to consider, IMHO.

    All the best,

    "Ich bin en fuego!"
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    • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
      Why not have a tiered membership?

      A purchase gets you a basic level of membership.

      A premium membership gives you additional benefits.

      Once you have the two tiers clearly defined, you could also do promotions where a purchase will get you x months of premium service. After that, you can renew for a fee (regular or discounted for new members) or drop down to the basic level.

      You could do three levels of membership too.

      1) Free. No purchase required.
      2) Basic. $x/mo. or y months included with purchase.
      3) Premium. $xx/mo.

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