transforming a membership site into free site? Good idea?

by rehuxley 12 replies
I am considering changing my membership site of 10 years into a free site due to lacking sales (recesssion?). Does anyone have any thoughts on the pros/cons of doing this? I understand some of the ramifications of people that paid for the site access (one time fee) and now others get in for free. That does stink but it would be better than having to close it due to no sales too! My site is ????????????????????????????????????????????? if anyone wants to check that out. Thanks for the feedback.

Ron
#main internet marketing discussion forum #free #good #idea #membership #site #transforming
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  • Profile picture of the author xmx
    Perhaps you could use a 2 levels membership model
    for your site?

    A free level with limited features/benefits that could
    be used to promote the paid/full features level.


    Gian
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  • Profile picture of the author Scott Ames
    Originally Posted by rehuxley View Post

    I am considering changing my membership site of 10 years into a free site due to lacking sales (recesssion?). Does anyone have any thoughts on the pros/cons of doing this? I understand some of the ramifications of people that paid for the site access (one time fee) and now others get in for free. That does stink but it would be better than having to close it due to no sales too! My site is ????????????????????????????????????????????? if anyone wants to check that out. Thanks for the feedback.

    Ron
    It looks like you have a one time lifetime fee. That's ok, but that means you have to keep getting new customers for cash flow. If it were mine I would be tempted to keep the existing members as they are, but introduce a new $5.00 a month membership plan perhaps with a $1.00 first month trial. Even though $49 is cheaper long term, it looks like a lot more upfront.

    Something to test.
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    Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. -Winston Churchill

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    • Profile picture of the author Sirius Lin
      Originally Posted by Scott Ames View Post

      It looks like you have a one time lifetime fee. That's ok, but that means you have to keep getting new customers for cash flow. If it were mine I would be tempted to keep the existing members as they are, but introduce a new $5.00 a month membership plan perhaps with a $1.00 first month trial. Even though $49 is cheaper long term, it looks like a lot more upfront.

      Something to test.
      It's a good idea, Scott, but recurring fee means the need to constantly provide new content. So the OP must first be willing to do that.

      ~ Sirius
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      • Profile picture of the author Jelasco
        Originally Posted by Sirius Lin View Post

        It's a good idea, Scott, but recurring fee means the need to constantly provide new content.
        ~ Sirius
        Not necessarily. If he has a lot of content already, and the monthly fee is low, he doesn't have to add more content all the time. Especially if the content is not organized by month, which I assume it's not since he's been charging a one-time fee.

        Without knowing what's inside the site, it's hard to say.

        I like the idea of adding a free level, as well as testing the low monthly fee.

        I wouldn't give away full access if people have paid for it. There's enough of that nonsense going on already.
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        • Profile picture of the author innocent07
          Banned
          Why not concentrate on driving more 'targeted' traffic to your membership site, rather than change it to a free site?

          This will take time, but is better in the long term.

          Does anybody else agree ?
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          • Profile picture of the author Johnny Slater
            Instead of taking the entire site free I have a few other suggestions.

            First, drop the one time fee and make it a monthly subscription model with a fixed term payment. This means instead of a one time payment of $49 they pay 6 payments of $9.95 then billing stops. You then break the content up into 6 parts and drip feed the content once per billing cycle. So you charge $9.95 for 6 months and drip feed the content once a month for 6 months.

            Second, set up the subscription to have a 1 week free trial. This allows you to give out some content for free for a week then if the member stays they automatically start the billing cycle mentioned above. You will have some people cancel before the week is up but some wont.

            Using the model outlined above you lower the cost of joining but raise the profit per customer as well as set up options for customers to opt out if they choose.
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        • Profile picture of the author rehuxley
          Thanks Jelasco for the common sense reply. If anyone wants to take a look around the "inside" of the site, the url is ????????????????????????????????????????????????

          This is for any feedback on restructuring the content to make it more ameniable to monthy fees or split level organization. Thanks!

          Originally Posted by Jelasco View Post

          Not necessarily. If he has a lot of content already, and the monthly fee is low, he doesn't have to add more content all the time. Especially if the content is not organized by month, which I assume it's not since he's been charging a one-time fee.

          Without knowing what's inside the site, it's hard to say.

          I like the idea of adding a free level, as well as testing the low monthly fee.

          I wouldn't give away full access if people have paid for it. There's enough of that nonsense going on already.
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    • Profile picture of the author rehuxley
      I like this idea. Click is now offering this option and would be easy to implement. Do you think offering both the one-time fee for life (at a cheaper rate) and the $5 a month membership plan? Would this increase the liklihood of folks canceling after the first month or so...I would also have to keep content fresh and growing, offer teleconferences or something like that to keep them engaged. I have tried this in the past and had trouble getting and keeping parents engaged. Most come to the site with a desperate need to answer a parenting question and do nothing from that point on...that is why I went with the one-time fee.

      Originally Posted by Scott Ames View Post

      It looks like you have a one time lifetime fee. That's ok, but that means you have to keep getting new customers for cash flow. If it were mine I would be tempted to keep the existing members as they are, but introduce a new $5.00 a month membership plan perhaps with a $1.00 first month trial. Even though $49 is cheaper long term, it looks like a lot more upfront.

      Something to test.
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