10 Ways to Improve Profits for Membership Websites
Membership websites are becoming more and more popular as businesses discover the
profit potential that can be achieved by offering memberships. If you have just started evaluating the money-making potential of membership websites, this high quality article by Sean Smith that discusses the benefits of website memberships will help answer some of your questions. Sean Smith, like other marketers and business professionals, has caught on to a trend that affects the way businesses interact with their consumer population. Because so many businesses are becoming more and more impersonal in the face of increased online socialization, consumers are rejecting cold and distant brands in favor of intimate, relational brands.
If you truly want to make your customers feel like they belong to something important, you can offer membership to your website or brand. This membership accomplishes two very important things. First, your consumer population will benefit because they will have continual access to high quality information, services, and products within your industry. Second, your brand will benefit because customer membership will generate continual, passive income every single month. For those who want to improve their membership websites and start generating more profits, I’ve created this list of ten great strategies for boosting income and securing more customer memberships.
Provide Better Than Average Customer Service
First, it’s important to understand that a membership website must take customer service to the next level. In a “traditional” business, a customer pays money for a product or service. While customer service may dictate whether or not the customer interacts with that business in the future, the real measure of value comes from the quality of the product or service that was purchased. If, for example, a customer buys a shirt online, as long as he receives the promised shirt, the transaction is considered valuable. With membership websites, however, the product is customer service. Customers who invest in a membership wanted to be treated differently than other customers. They demand special treatment and attention from your business. If you want to increase profits for a membership website, start treating your members like royalty and start building long term valuable customer relationships.
Invest in High Quality Web Design
One of the simplest ways to improve membership website profits is to invest in a new design for your membership website. Customers who are seeking a business or brand with which to engage on a regular basis are looking for quality and authority. If your website is poorly designed or looks dated and unprofessional, the customer will make an assessment about the quality of your offered membership. If, on the other hand, your website is modern, visually impressive, and well-designed, customers will assume that a membership will offer something of real value.
Know Your Product or Service Backward and Forward
It is crucial to know your product or service backward and forward and to have confidence in what you are offering your customers. If you feel embarrassed by your brand’s membership benefits, it will be impossible for you to encourage consumers to become members with any integrity or honesty. You’ll be forced to use dishonest practices and make false promises because you don’t believe in your product. Unless you would be willing to become a member of your own brand, you can’t expect customers to turn out in droves for a membership.
Earn Promotion from Current Members
As long as you are providing a high quality product through your membership website, you will start earning promotion from your current members. If a consumer is reaping benefits from a membership, he or she is quite likely to share those benefits with a social network or by word of mouth.
Ask for Referrals from Current Members
You can also ask for referrals from current members and offer something of value to members who bring on additional consumers. For example, you can offer a month of free membership, a free product or service, or even substantial discounts to consumers who sign up new members. While you will be sacrificing profits for the current member, the value of a new members will more than make up for the deficit.
Commit to Publishing an Authoritative and Conversational Blog
Blogging is a great way to communicate both authority and personality. Because consumers are looking for both in a brand or business, regularly publishing informative, engaging, humorous, or interesting blog posts is a great strategy for improving profits for your membership website. Be sure, of course, that the content of your blog posts directly reflects the content and benefits offered through the membership process.
Create Different Levels of Membership
One way to increase profits for a membership website is to create different levels of membership. This is a purely psychological strategy. Consumers almost always choose to sign up for a product or service that is priced in between other products or services. When you offer three different membership levels at increasing price intervals, customers will actually feel like they are saving money by signing up for the middle offer.
Implement a Trial Strategy for Membership
If you are having trouble encouraging consumers to sign up for a membership, you might be able to make some headway by offering a trial membership for first-time customers. With a trial membership, customers can discover exactly how they will benefit from a membership with your brand, and they don’t have to spend a dime.
Pay Attention to Ad Copy and Onsite Language
The language used on your membership page and on any advertisements you create for your membership website is crucial to the effectiveness of the site. If your copy sounds too sales-oriented or promotion-heavy, customers may feel like a membership will only benefit your business rather than offer mutual benefits.
Develop a Brand Concept Rather than a Business Model
Finally, instead of focusing on developing a business model for profitable success, you should focus on creating a brand image and reputation. Consumers want to interact with brands, today, the same way they interact with friends and colleagues. When you invest in branding, you will create a solid and identifiable image in the mind of the consumer, and customers will want to interact regularly with this personal image.
These ten strategies will help to improve the profits that you can achieve through your membership website.
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