Here’s 3 reasons to start a membership site:
- 1. Monthly memberships mean residual income. You sell a membership once and you get paid for it month after month until the customer cancels.
2. Selling a membership generally isn’t any harder than selling a one-time product, yet you can get paid a whole lot more for the same effort.
3. If you offer a trial membership, it’s even easier to get new subscribers. In fact, it can be easier than selling a regular one time product. Yet you can make a LOT more, as this case study will show.
Michael Hyatt has a membership site called Platform University. Twice a year he opens the site up for enrollment. Of course, you can take new enrollees into your membership site as often as you choose, but Michael likes to do it just twice a year – probably because it seems more exclusive that way.
Membership costs $37 a month.
But when his recent launch ended, he decided to offer a $1.99 trial membership to anyone who didn’t take the full $37 a month membership.
So after the one week trial period ended, he sent out an email to everyone who didn’t become a member.
In the email he offered a 7 day trial for $1.99, but the catch was they only had 24 hours to grab it.
That email went out to 40,000 people. 819 signed up for the trial offer.
(If you’re going to do the math to see how much 819 times $1.99 is, you’re going to miss the point. But it’s $1,629)
Of those 819 people, 292 cancelled the membership before it rolled into the $37 a month auto payment.
That sounds bad, doesn’t it?
It’s not. Because that means 527 new members paid their first $37 a month.
At $37 a month, that’s an additional $19,499 of monthly recurring income that Michael never would have had if not for the trial membership.
And things get even crazier, because the average member stays for 17.3 months, which is a lifetime value of $640.10 per member.
Which is to say, that $1.99 trial offer resulted in over $300,000 of possible future revenue.
Really, it makes you wonder why he doesn’t just offer the trial membership.
But here’s the thing: By spending a week or even two weeks selling the membership at full price, he really builds the value.
So when he does offer the one week trial for just $1.99, it is such a no-brainer that people sign up in droves.
The campaign to get new $37 members is really a campaign to show people how valuable the membership is, and set it up so that the $1.99 is just too good to pass up.
If he had ONLY offered the $1.99 membership, he would not have properly established the value of the membership, and I don’t think his results would have been as good.
And all of this isn’t even counting the members he did sign up during that week long campaign at $37 a month each.
So how can you use this in your own membership?
First, you want to provide plenty of value inside your membership so that new members stay for a long time. Find out exactly what members want and give it to them. Have a place inside your membership where members can actually request new features to be added to your membership.
Next, really establish the value to prospects. Use lots of testimonials to show how your membership helps members to achieve their goals. You want to build the value so high that the cost of membership seems low by comparison.
Lastly, offer your trial membership for only a day or two before closing it. This gets people off the fence and grabbing the trial before it’s too late. You can always open the trial back up again in a month or two, as you see fit.
Finally, track your numbers. See how many people sign up at the regular rate, how many sign up for the trial, and how many convert from the trial to the regular paid membership
Of course, keep track of how long members stay. Find ways to get them to stick around longer and you will consistently increase your monthly income for even bigger paydays.
One more thing – imagine working your tail off to get your membership up and running. You might invest, say, two months into finding out exactly what people want, setting up the membership and filling it with content, software, etc.
Then imagine four months beyond that – you’ve got hundreds or even thousands of members with more joining. You’re making residual money on people who joined months ago. In fact, every month your income increases. You invest part of that money to continue to provide the content, software or services that members get, and the rest is yours. And life is sweet.
If you haven’t started a membership site of your own yet, what are you waiting for?