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Why Membership Sites Work to Make You Money – Part 1

April 18, 2013

People in circleEveryone is looking for a website that works.  And a membership site is considered by some to be the ultimate website that works.  

I plan to take you through the ways that membership sites work, and examine each aspect in depth.  Today I’m going to delve into client retention.

When you have a service-oriented website (in other words, if you are a coach or change agent of some kind), one of the most difficult aspects of your business is finding clients.

Once you obtain clients, the most important thing to accomplish (besides, of course, helping them get the results they desire), is to assure that they stay long enough to get all the benefits that you have to offer.

This is client retention.  It’s much easier to keep a client than to get that client in the beginning.  So truly, a tremendous amount of your focus should be on following-through on techniques for client retention.

Membership sites are a fantastic way to retain clients.  The main reason is that people register for membership on your site knowing that their credit card will be charged monthly.  In order to stop being a member, they must take some action.

It’s so much better to require an action for leaving than to require an action for staying.  

Automatic recurring income is the rocket fuel that propels client retention.

I’m not talking about those tricky sites that give you a month free and then start charging you, hoping that you won’t notice and you’ll forget that you signed up (then you can’t figure out how to unsubscribe).

Your membership site should be the kind in which people are happy to have the monthly decision to re-enroll taken off of their shoulders.  They enjoy the site, get value from it, and want to stay.  And on your site, it will be clear and easy to stop being a member.

Let me tell you a story.  

My membership site (which is how I originally figured out how to create my Finish Agent membership site software) was not on recurring billing.  Each month, I’d come up with another idea for a monthly membership, rename it, and invite people.

I was scared to make it recurring billing.  Afraid that people would be mad at me.  Don’t ask me why.  I never said I make sense all the time.

Luckily, my brilliant coach, Andrea J. Lee, gently nudged me until I finally did a re-launch, raised my prices (gulp!) and let my members know that we were moving to recurring billing.  Then I waited for the avalanche of complaints and the deafening quiet of nobody signing up.

And waited..  And waited…

Wait, what? More people signed up than ever!  And (sigh of relief), old members signed up and continued to stay!  

I earned about 30% more that month than I had the previous month!  Just think of all that unearned income while I futzed around and worried.

To sum up: membership sites can be a good way to leverage your time because they increase your client retention through automatic recurring income.  And if there’s one thing that’s easy to love, it’s automatic, recurring income.

Stay tuned for more about membership sites.

Have you ever belonged to a membership site?  How did you feel about the recurring billing? What did you like and not like about being a member?

I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences —  Enter your comments below!


2 thoughts on “Why Membership Sites Work to Make You Money – Part 1

  1. Gina this is a great article – I can so relate to the cycle of continuously trying to put something NEW together thinking that will be the best way to serve people and I appreciate that it’s more about the continuous connection to the same potent and powerful material and practices that actually DOES make a difference!
    Amethyst Wyldfyre recently posted..Feel GREAT Speaking, Part 1My Profile

    • That’s a profound comment, Amethyst. I love it, as a matter of fact:

      Membership sites work because of “THE CONTINUOUS CONNECTION TO THE SAME POTENT AND POWERFUL MATERIALS AND PRACTICES.” Brava, woman.

      I’ve experienced that myself, as a 3-year member in Lisa Sasevich’s Sassy Mastermind program. Although not an online membership program per se, it has that same element of continuous exposure to the same materials and practices. I think of myself as a reasonably smart person, but I’ve been amazed at how much I didn’t take in the first two years. Either I wasn’t ready to hear, or there was something else going on that made me not realize that what I was hearing actually DID apply to me. Very interesting. I feel a future blog post coming on…
      Gina Hiatt recently posted..Consistency is Queen — 4 Steps to Consistent ActionMy Profile

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