Growing a successful membership business is no easy task – but sources say that the right kind of membership site has the potential to make you upwards of $100K per year. If you focus on your membership retention and engagement rates then you too could be making those figures? Interested? Then let Brilliant Directories talk you through attracting (and keeping!) active members on your membership site.
Membership Sites Need To Do One Thing Well
The bad news is that making a good sum from a membership site is no easy task. The good news is that a well-paying membership site needs only one thing to be successful – and that is members that buy, watch, or otherwise consume content. If you can’t attract or keep those members then you are doomed to failure – but don’t panic! We have plenty of hints and tips to keep you on the right track and turn your site into a success!
The first thing you are going to need is a very clear outline of your chosen customer profile. Just like any business: if you don’t know who you are selling to then you aren’t going to be able to attract them to your brand.
Finding The “Right” Members
Certain types of customers are more likely to stay on your page and engage with your content. The trick to finding those customers is to build a thoroughly accurate Customer Profile. Building a customer profile is fairly easy and helps you build an accurate picture of the members you are trying to attract. Why do you need it? If you can use your current analytical data to identify exactly who you are selling to, you can target any advertising to certain demographics to attract more people from that customer group.
The right members will be interested in your content, will share certain traits or attributes, may have similar lifestyles or maybe just share interests. For example: if your membership site shares crochet patterns the chances are that the majority of your customers will all share a similar age group and a strong preference towards purchasing other craft supplies. A little more research could tell you what else they do buy – and before you know it you are able to increase sales or membership rates by including some of those products or some related content.
Outline your customer profile if you haven’t already, and then you will know who you are aiming to attract. This will save you time pitching to people who won’t be interested and will narrow down your marketing goals. You can learn exactly how to set up your own customer profile through the Balance Small Business… but make sure to come back here for the next steps.
Expanding the Search For New Members
No matter how hard you try, you won’t attract new members without a little legwork unless you have developed the next Google; so let’s talk about how you are going to find those new members. Brilliant Directories already have a brilliant article about how to connect with more potential customers online – and for the purposes of membership driven sites a member is, essentially, a customer.
You can find potential new customers through a variety of sources, some of which are as follows:
- Raising your page rank – the more people can see you, the more people can follow you, Strong SEO content and adherence to search engine rules can really help.
- Offering membership at reduced rates, or free, for a limited time – this will give you a higher chance of catching those accidental visitors that the increase in traffic brings in.
- Using Social Media – use social media to your full advantage. It is free advertising and a great way of getting some free analytical information cor your customer profile.
- Customer service – just because your business is online doesn’t mean you can ignore your customers. Be visible, be active, be responsive and be transparent. All of this will help you keep the customers that you do have.
- Join a Directory Service – this will help new customers to find you, over and over again.
You can read about each of these in depth over at our article on connecting with potential customers.
The Best Way to Attract Qualified Website Visitors
There are three primary avenues to take with regard to attracting qualified website visitors who have the potential to turn into conversions (i.e., paying customers)…
The first is a content-heavy approach – publishing as much high-quality, useful content as possible in order to add SEO value to your website and appear in a greater volume of search results. Second is to allocate capital to delivering online ads targeted at a broader audience. The final tactic is to implement a multi-faceted approach that includes content creation and online ads (especially if you have a limited marketing budget).
Mark Ritson, Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Melbourne Business School and renowned private marketing consultant, has this to say regarding how best to allocate your marketing resources in today’s congested online environment:
Members Who Buy vs. Members Who Don’t
It may be that you already have a million members, but that none of them buy or engage with your services. This is actually reasonably normal and there are things you can do to fix it. First of all, engagement rates mean twice as much as followers or members because the engaged consumers are the ones willing to spend.
So… If you have 100 members and only five of them buy your new product or engage with your new blog, then your engagement rate is 5%. Although this seems low it is actually considered to be high – especially in the social media marketing world. If you applied the same engagement rate to a 1,000 member site then you would actually be selling quite a lot.
How do we increase your engagement rates? First of all, you watch this video courtesy of the team here at Brilliant Directories, then you come back here and follow the pointers below.
Driving Membership Engagement Rates
There are a number of ways to drive membership engagement rates. One example might be to run regular quizzes, offer prizes, run pols or to ask your audience about which direction they would like your site to head in. You might also try to keep those members active by:
- Drip-feeding particularly sought after content.
- Promoting membership profiles and the benefits customers can reap by taking interest in them.
- Giving membership badges and accolades to your clients.
- Focus on improving reviews (more on this here).
- Monitor and respond to analytical data.
If you follow these guidelines and check back in regularly here at Brilliant Directories for more information; then you should find yourself on the path to better membership numbers and higher engagement rates, across the board.
The Elevator Pitch:
Why Choose Brilliant Directories
We'll make it short and sweet:
- We Know Membership Sites — We've taken care of all the heavy lifting so you can focus on growing your membership community and getting users signed up.
- Access to Expert Support — We know you have questions... Our dedicated support team works 'round the clock to quickly resolve any technical issues.
- Trusted by 20,000+ Websites — With over 10 years of experience, we understand the unique needs of online membership communities.