Membership sites... Are they REALLY such a hard sell?

9 replies
Hey everybody!

Was having a discussion with my buddy last night and we're thinking about setting up a membership site... Not a service (that's a completely different kettle of fish), but a website with a forum and a boatload of really cool content basically.

I just can't get past the thinking that they are a VERY hard sell, I guess it's got something to do with the fact that I personally don't like them much.

Just interested to know what your thoughts are, do people actually like them... or do conversion rates really suffer because it's recurring billing?

George

P.S. We would probably set it up as the usual $1 7 day trial then monthly re-billing after that.
#hard #membership #sell #sites
  • Profile picture of the author LMC
    George,

    Our model is to use members as a way to acquire users "real" information such as mailing to their home address and followup calls.

    Thus, we offer free members and low cost membership around $4.95-$9.95 per month.

    Once they are in... they hit that marketing funnel.

    We give them all the content but then provide upsells and products that can eithier:

    - Automate the Process
    - Goes into more detail about one specific process

    We use the membership to segregate what people are interested in and market to them accordingly.
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  • Profile picture of the author Johnny Slater
    Considering you personally don't like the membership business model I personally would suggest you not try to run a membership site.

    If it is something you don't really like or have a problem with then you will find it very difficult to run a site using this model. Memberships require more work than a standard one off product sell and if you have a problem with the model then you will find yourself tempted to neglect the site.

    This will end up hurting you more than helping in my opinion.

    Originally Posted by George Montagu Brown View Post

    I just can't get past the thinking that they are a VERY hard sell, I guess it's got something to do with the fact that I personally don't like them much.


    George
    Signature

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    • Profile picture of the author Pete223
      Hi George,

      To answer your question bluntly, they shouldn't be!

      If they provide high value, if they're maintained and
      updated, if they provide information you can't get
      anywhere else, if your subscribers have no problem
      finding their "what's in it for them", there is no
      reason why they should be a hard sell providing
      that there is a proven market for them.

      But, I'm a bit with Johnny on this one, if you don't
      believe in the business model yourself, eventually,
      that will show and it's going to be hard to sign-up
      and retain your members!

      Kindest Regards,
      Pete
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  • Profile picture of the author Desmond Ong
    Hey George,

    You might wanna exclude forums. Forum is just a place for people to complain about your product no matter how good your product is. Customers tend to see a slight mistake easier than you think.
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  • Profile picture of the author jsmith2482
    I think membership sites are a tough first time sale but when packaged as part of a recurring revenue program, they usually work well.
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  • Profile picture of the author bizideas
    Originally Posted by George Montagu Brown View Post

    Hey everybody!

    I just can't get past the thinking that they are a VERY hard sell, I guess it's got something to do with the fact that I personally don't like them much.
    Have you considered why you don't like them very much? There are thousands of highly successful membership sites out there and millions of people that do like them. If you're providing a quality service/product and have the quality traffic to match it then generally the success will follow. No denying it though. It's definitely going to take some work. This is actually an advantage if you think about it. Most people don't really wanna do the hard stuff in this business.
    It's all about that fast easy money...

    Ya know what I mean? :rolleyes:
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  • Hey everyone,

    Thanks for all the feedback. No, I don't mean I dislike membership sites or that I'd resent running one, I know I'd really enjoy it. I love helping customers.

    I meant buying them personally. Personally, I need A LOT of convincing before I sign up to a recurring membership site, whereas not so much for a one time purchase. That said I am certain that the content we provide would be extremely valuable.

    But I think I'm overthinking this, there really are millions of membership sites out there, so there clearly is demand you're right lol.

    Georgey
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    • Profile picture of the author bizideas
      Originally Posted by George Montagu Brown View Post

      Hey everyone,

      Thanks for all the feedback. No, I don't mean I dislike membership sites or that I'd resent running one, I know I'd really enjoy it. I love helping customers.

      I meant buying them personally. Personally, I need A LOT of convincing before I sign up to a recurring membership site, whereas not so much for a one time purchase. That said I am certain that the content we provide would be extremely valuable.

      But I think I'm overthinking this, there really are millions of membership sites out there, so there clearly is demand you're right lol.

      Georgey
      That's the spirit George!
      Helping people!

      In doing so you're helping all of us, including yourself.

      Best of luck to you man!

      Eric
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