How do you make your membership site "Sticky"?

by Dayne Dylan Banned
14 replies
Hey Warriors, I'm looking for some advice on creating a successful membership site. I know many of you run them here and was looking for some pointers, advice and tips on how you keep members active month after month.

Basically, how to you make your membership site "sticky"?

I need advice for a membership site that will not necessarily be drip-feeding info. It will be more of a repository of products, and will also include an exclusive, members-only monthly report with fresh content. I'm just trying to think of other things to help keep retention rates high.

Other things I've thought about once I have members is a forum.

Any other ideas or tricks to keep them on board?
#make #membership #site #sticky
  • Profile picture of the author KarenDeHaan
    Tiered bonuses delivered at 3 month intervals (rewarding them for staying).

    Just make sure to "tease" them that it's coming so they stick around for it.
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  • Profile picture of the author dougp
    Originally Posted by Dayne Dylan View Post

    Hey Warriors, I'm looking for some advice on creating a successful membership site. I know many of you run them here and was looking for some pointers, advice and tips on how you keep members active month after month.

    Basically, how to you make your membership site "sticky"?

    I need advice for a membership site that will not necessarily be drip-feeding info. It will be more of a repository of products, and will also include an exclusive, members-only monthly report with fresh content. I'm just trying to think of other things to help keep retention rates high.

    Other things I've thought about once I have members is a forum.

    Any other ideas or tricks to keep them on board?
    Is this an internet marketing membership site? If so I would recommend offering free hosting as this is something all webmasters need.
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  • Profile picture of the author website design
    Gamification - offer points and rewards. Get people to invest time into their profiles... similar to warrior forum with 'thanked' posts. Depends on your site but there's tons of other ways to offer incentives and point based systems. If you really want to get them involved offer a prize (eBook, special member feature, money, etc) for a certain amount of points.

    Tie in with social/facebook/twitter to get the comments and sharing happening. Have content that they want to share - viral content.

    And the most obvious is to have new amazing content published multiple times a day to keep them coming back. Start the conversations and ask for comments... stir up controversy.
    Signature
    no sig needed.
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  • Give a give away right or free ebook so that they will still loyal to you and also they will go back to your site once you have another set of offering to them.
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  • Profile picture of the author benzwm02
    Originally Posted by Dayne Dylan View Post

    Hey Warriors, I'm looking for some advice on creating a successful membership site. I know many of you run them here and was looking for some pointers, advice and tips on how you keep members active month after month.

    Basically, how to you make your membership site "sticky"?

    I need advice for a membership site that will not necessarily be drip-feeding info. It will be more of a repository of products, and will also include an exclusive, members-only monthly report with fresh content. I'm just trying to think of other things to help keep retention rates high.

    Other things I've thought about once I have members is a forum.

    Any other ideas or tricks to keep them on board?
    Deliver great content to begin with, then make sure all members know there will be even better content in the future.

    You can try monthly or weekly webinars, forums, personal Skype sessions/calls, even try sending content or DVDs through the mail.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    Originally Posted by Dayne Dylan View Post

    . . . how to make your membership site "sticky"?

    DD,

    Here are a few thoughts . . .

    1. Remarkable content. Not just good quality content, but the very best available in your niche. If you can't provide it, go out and get it. Make it so good that your members would see anyone else's content as inferior.

    2. Simple, clean, intuitive site navigation. Surprisingly maybe, but the user experience has a lot to do with customer satisfaction at a web site.

    3. Make the site interactive. You want to engage your members and invoke a response from them. A forum is one tool that allows interaction. Polls, games, apps, chat room, and other such things could work magic in keeping members on your site longer. I would suggest that if you implement any of these, you make them relevant to what your site is all about - not just randomly thrown in.

    4. Make your members feel comfortable. Some sites provide a "guided tour" approach so that members understand all the cool stuff you offer and how to easily access it. Usually, "surprises" are not good!

    5. Be personal and encourage your members to do the same. You are building a community and in most successful communities people that engage with one another are happy. Encourage members to tell their story, share fun things, spotlight their own experiences in the niche, etc.

    6. Give personal recognition. Member of the month or week or day could be spotlighted. Recognize achievement and accomplishment - longest subscribing members, founding members, new members, oldest, youngest, etc. People like to be stroked! Show your appreciation for them.

    7. Give unannounced "goodies" in the niche. It could be anything and everything. Content, videos, graphics, ebooks, reports, hints, helps, you name it. Everybody likes to be unexpectedly and pleasantly rewarded for membership.

    8. Keep the appearance of activity. No one likes a stale site. Keep blogs, content, news, . . . everything . . . updated and fresh as much as possible.

    9. Keep all your content in a vault that is easily searched and accessed. Members will return to your site just to "find" tips, articles, ideas, etc that they remember they saw on your site but didn't download at the time.

    10. Listen to your members and incorporate things into your membership site that they request. Features, sections, media, whatever they ask for. Sure, not everything is possible (especially for the money) but if your members feel you are listening to them and trying to satisfy them, they will stay with you longer.

    11. Develop trust. People buy from folks they know, like and trust. Likewise, they will stay with you longer if they trust you. Give them reasons to trust you. Show them that they can trust you. Put testimonials on your site from members that trust you.

    12. Case studies. Are there some common wants or problems that your members are having? Start a case study and ask your members to help solve a common problem. Then give a blow by blow account of how to solve the problem based on the combined ideas and suggestions of both you and your members. Post all these case studies in one area. Let you members post their own case studies that others can benefit from reviewing.

    13. Give links to other great content. You will never have a corner on great content. Stay abreast in your niche and refer you members to articles, reports, books, videos, etc that are excellent in the niche. Some hesitate to do this for fear of sending members off-site. But I think the advantage of you being seen as an authority and expert, even outside your site, will pay great dividends.

    14. Follow your reader's actions on your own site. Track what they view, where they browse, etc. to learn what appeals to them, and maybe what doesn't. Then fix or get rid of the "dusty" places and beef up the heavily trafficked areas.

    15. Interact by setting up Social Media links. Make it easy to incorporate Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other sites so that you can recommend things, offer specials, link to social media pages, etc. By making communication between your site and the social sites easy, it will encourage members to interact.

    Here is an article that will give you 21 more ideas:

    Darren Rowse at ProBlogger.net

    Good luck to you,

    Steve
    Signature

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

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    • Profile picture of the author shawnlebrun
      Originally Posted by Steve B View Post

      DD,

      Here are a few thoughts . . .

      1. Remarkable content. Not just good quality content, but the very best available in your niche. If you can't provide it, go out and get it. Make it so good that your members would see anyone else's content as inferior.

      2. Simple, clean, intuitive site navigation. Surprisingly maybe, but the user experience has a lot to do with customer satisfaction at a web site.

      3. Make the site interactive. You want to engage your members and invoke a response from them. A forum is one tool that allows interaction. Polls, games, apps, chat room, and other such things could work magic in keeping members on your site longer. I would suggest that if you implement any of these, you make them relevant to what your site is all about - not just randomly thrown in.

      4. Make your members feel comfortable. Some sites provide a "guided tour" approach so that members understand all the cool stuff you offer and how to easily access it. Usually, "surprises" are not good!

      5. Be personal and encourage your members to do the same. You are building a community and in most successful communities people that engage with one another are happy. Encourage members to tell their story, share fun things, spotlight their own experiences in the niche, etc.

      6. Give personal recognition. Member of the month or week or day could be spotlighted. Recognize achievement and accomplishment - longest subscribing members, founding members, new members, oldest, youngest, etc. People like to be stroked! Show your appreciation for them.

      7. Give unannounced "goodies" in the niche. It could be anything and everything. Content, videos, graphics, ebooks, reports, hints, helps, you name it. Everybody likes to be unexpectedly and pleasantly rewarded for membership.

      8. Keep the appearance of activity. No one likes a stale site. Keep blogs, content, news, . . . everything . . . updated and fresh as much as possible.

      9. Keep all your content in a vault that is easily searched and accessed. Members will return to your site just to "find" tips, articles, ideas, etc that they remember they saw on your site but didn't download at the time.

      10. Listen to your members and incorporate things into your membership site that they request. Features, sections, media, whatever they ask for. Sure, not everything is possible (especially for the money) but if your members feel you are listening to them and trying to satisfy them, they will stay with you longer.

      11. Develop trust. People buy from folks they know, like and trust. Likewise, they will stay with you longer if they trust you. Give them reasons to trust you. Show them that they can trust you. Put testimonials on your site from members that trust you.

      12. Case studies. Are there some common wants or problems that your members are having? Start a case study and ask your members to help solve a common problem. Then give a blow by blow account of how to solve the problem based on the combined ideas and suggestions of both you and your members. Post all these case studies in one area. Let you members post their own case studies that others can benefit from reviewing.

      13. Give links to other great content. You will never have a corner on great content. Stay abreast in your niche and refer you members to articles, reports, books, videos, etc that are excellent in the niche. Some hesitate to do this for fear of sending members off-site. But I think the advantage of you being seen as an authority and expert, even outside your site, will pay great dividends.

      14. Follow your reader's actions on your own site. Track what they view, where they browse, etc. to learn what appeals to them, and maybe what doesn't. Then fix or get rid of the "dusty" places and beef up the heavily trafficked areas.

      15. Interact by setting up Social Media links. Make it easy to incorporate Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other sites so that you can recommend things, offer specials, link to social media pages, etc. By making communication between your site and the social sites easy, it will encourage members to interact.

      Here is an article that will give you 21 more ideas:

      Darren Rowse at ProBlogger.net

      Good luck to you,

      Steve
      Wow, now that's what I call adding value to this forum.

      What a kick butt post, Steve. Imagine what this forum would be like if every poster here did what Steve did. Kudos!
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  • Profile picture of the author shawnlebrun
    Dayne,

    Not sure if this would help.... but I've heard great things about this course...

    Membership Site Strategy - Products - Psychotactics - Big and Small Business Ideas

    Now, I haven't gone through it, but I have bought and read Sean's Brain Audit ebook and it was literally one of the single best books I've EVER read on copywriting and marketing.

    And Sean's $2500 copywriting workshop sold out last week in 20 minutes, so he puts out amazing stuff.

    Anyways, when I saw your post, I remembered seeing this program last week and thought maybe you'd want to check it out.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve Wells
    Originally Posted by Dayne Dylan View Post

    Hey Warriors, I'm looking for some advice on creating a successful membership site. I know many of you run them here and was looking for some pointers, advice and tips on how you keep members active month after month.

    Basically, how to you make your membership site "sticky"?

    I need advice for a membership site that will not necessarily be drip-feeding info. It will be more of a repository of products, and will also include an exclusive, members-only monthly report with fresh content. I'm just trying to think of other things to help keep retention rates high.

    Other things I've thought about once I have members is a forum.

    Any other ideas or tricks to keep them on board?
    Check into Andrew Hunters products............ I believe he covers these type of questions in at least one of his courses. If they are still available.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tim_Carter
    My memberships are all incredibly sticky. Most of my members of my oldest site have been paying monthly for six years plus. This includes some of the highest profile names you have heard of in the IM world. My next oldest most have been paying monthly for almost four years. And the other one for two plus years.

    The secret is - QUALITY Fresh content every month. No drip feeding. Must be freshly created, not just some more content added that can be obtained elsewhere.

    And - exclusive member rights. Members have to have better rights than anyone else (in the case of resale rights or plr).

    Those are the things that really count. Everything else is secondary.
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  • Profile picture of the author kazisdaman
    Provide valuable content on a regular basis, or have some type of lock-in where they "need" your membership service in order to run their own business.
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  • Profile picture of the author commerce cat
    Don't forget community. The most stickiest sites are where you feel you're part of a special club.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve B
      Dayne,

      Another thought I had relates to pricing your membership. Of course you want to make your site "sticky" to develop an active community but you also want to keep paying members as long as you can.

      I don't have an empirical evidence to support this, but I have heard that many membership sites keep paying customers about 3-4 months on average. That's not really a very long time.

      Wouldn't it be great if you could keep them an average of 12 months thereby increasing your average "stay" by 300-400%?

      Let's say you normally charged $10/month for membership. $120/year.

      What if you raised the normal price of your membership to $20/month but offered a "longevity" option of 12 months for $120? That's a 50% savings for those who commit to staying a year.

      You would get paid up front, provide some real value to members committing to stick around for a year, and you would reduce the "churn" of always having to replace members that left in the first few months.

      Just a thought.

      Steve
      Signature

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

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  • Profile picture of the author jbsmith
    Steve's point is accurate - I started my membership sites offering only monthly subscriptions, then went to monthly and quarterly - most went with the quarterly option. I then added an annual option which now more than 30% of my subscribers use. It is good to get as much up front as you can.

    I have also found that adding a bi-weekly or even monthly coaching or Q&A call helps with stickiness as it gives your members a way to access you "LIVE" rather than always through the site.

    Jeff
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