You hear about it everywhere: A membership site is your ticket to passive, recurring income. It looks easy, but you’re quickly learning that the “if you build it, they will come” method isn’t cutting it in the gated content space.
Maybe you’ve built a membership site, but you don’t know how to attract customers to it. The sales and order pages you have for promoting your membership offer are getting frustratingly low conversions, even after driving traffic to them with targeted ad campaigns. Leads are seeing your sales page, but they aren’t buying your product.
The leads who do become customers for your members-only product drop off after the initial excitement wears off. You don’t know how to keep them subscribed and making regular payments, which is the most important aspect of creating a passive, recurring revenue stream for all your hard work. Sometime after they purchase and before they cancel, something is going wrong — but you don’t know what.
Perhap most frustrating, a disconnect between your CRM and membership site makes it hard to manage your subscribers, cross-sells, upsells and product engagement. Customers who already have your core product might still be receiving offer emails to purchase it, brand new leads might be getting upsell offers for a base product they haven’t purchased yet, and you have no way to keep track of it all. As a result, your follow-up is inconsistent and unsegmented and leaves you constantly scrambling to provide your users with information that’s useful to their unique needs.
Isn’t one of the known benefits of running a membership site supposed to be earning passive income?
Entrepreneurs Everywhere Are Going Through the Same Thing
In the 2016 Membership Marketing Benchmark Report, more than 30% of respondents said that communicating their membership site’s value and benefits is their greatest challenge. When leads and members are missing the point of your membership site, they’re not likely to stick around for more.
With nearly a third of membership sites also reporting a decrease in subscribers, there’s no doubt that it’s time for change. Finding a winning strategy for membership conversion and retention isn’t easy. When done from scratch, it can take years of experimenting with design, copy, layout and follow-up strategy before getting it right.
Your Ticket to Passive Income
Instead of playing guessing games or using a long, painful process of trial and error to find the right formula for a profitable membership site, the solution is to use proven standards and tactics for every element of your membership site. By following these well-established best practices, you’ll get back on the fast track to the recurring revenue you hoped for.
Although creating a sales page or laying out your membership site’s content map may seem simple, there are many small factors that can make the difference when it comes to earning a new customer or driving member engagement. When it comes to creating sales and order pages that convert, things as simple as ensuring you explain the benefits of your product, rather than just your features, can make the difference in terms of converting a new customer or retaining an existing member for longer. Even the types of images and headlines you use can affect your leads’ decision to click the buy button or leave your page completely.
The same goes for your content pages within your site – the way you write and design them, and the elements you include on them should be done with great care and an eye toward following proven retention tactics.
Building a successful membership site doesn’t have to feel like reaching in the dark. Having a set of proven standards and tactics for each page that eliminates guesswork can put you on the fast track to passive, recurring revenue.
Improve Conversion and Retention Rates With Proven Standards and Tactics
Implementing proven standards and tactics in your business is essentially taking a shortcut to success. As entrepreneur and innovator Stephen Key once said, you should strive to “reinvent a product, not the wheel.” Learning from the membership site successes of entrepreneurs before you allows you to focus your time on moving your digital product forward.
Membership site owner Matthew Kostanecki firmly believes in using a series of tactical steps to grow businesses and actually has used this method to grow several multi-million dollar businesses. He says, “As an entrepreneur, you want to limit the complexity of your systems as much as possible. The less complex, the less likely it is that something will go wrong.”
Simplicity doesn’t have to mean doing less; when it comes to opt-in pages on your membership site, it just means making your offer crystal clear to leads. According to tests run by online marketing guru Neil Patel, highly specific pages outperform generic pages and increase form submissions by 115%.
Just as users bounce when they can’t figure out your offer, they won’t want to stick around on your sales or opt-in pages if your layout is confusing or counterintuitive. According to ConversionXL, “It takes about 50 milliseconds for users to form an opinion about your website that determines whether they like your site or not, whether they’ll stay or leave.” Even if your content is the exact solution they need, all it takes is a confusing layout to deter a potential customer.
Bottom line, for every element of your site, there is a proven set of things that work and things that don’t. Other entrepreneurs have gone through this same process before you, and you don’t have to make their same mistakes. Over the years, ONTRAPORT has guided countless clients towards success with their membership sites. After working with a variety of entrepreneurs’ sites in a wide range of industries, we’ve found that, across the board, there is a set of universal ingredients that make up a great membership program. These are just a few of the many standards that should be followed to engineer a profitable membership site.
Building your membership site based on proven standards and tactics will give you the tools you need to:
- Avoid common web design errors like clutter and disorganization so you can create a top-notch experience for your customers that’ll keep them subscribing to your product.
- Create high-converting sales pages to make your membership site more profitable.
- Build your customers’ confidence in your brand and nurture your relationship with them to secure long-lasting loyal customers.
- Keep your members constantly coming back for more by creating a stellar customer experience that takes less work and less time for you to manage.
- Link up your CRM to your membership site so you have the time and freedom to focus on expanding your business, rather than just maintaining it.
- Make an impact on your customers by reaching out to each group with personalized and meaningful information so you can turn them into loyal customers and referrers.
If you’re ready to get started creating and building membership site pages that convert, check out, The Membership Site Conversion & Retention Checklist.