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I May Not Be A Membership Site Expert But I Might Know A BIT More Than You

So you might have heard of membership site is the quickest and most profitable way to generate recurring income. Traditionally, this is how a typical membership model works:

  • Members subscribed and registered your membership site
  • You charged their card and obtained payment information
  • You delivered the paid content inside your member’s area
  • You charged their card month after month for future content
  • You enjoy a steady source of income from the membership

Yeah, it sounds good but who says that a membership site must be recurring? Did you know that there are more than one membership model that can be used? Many times, people are very particular on WHEN and HOW LONG their credit card will be charged.

In addition to a recurring membership site, have you ever thought about offering an option that is non-recurring? I mean like a…

One-Time Membership Model (Huh?)

Think of the shift from “buy my product” to “become a member” with an easy one-time payment. Your members would be able to consume the content in the member’s area on a monthly basis (3-month, 6-month, 1-year), but they only pay ONCE.

This will give you a chance to get more members who would have otherwise turned you down. Maybe they do not want to make a commitment to subscribe monthly or, they can’t commit for some reason or other. But this doesn’t mean that they aren’t interested.

{TIP: When a member agrees to a non-recurring membership model and likes your product, it’s much easier for you to upsell your recurring/upgrade option at a later stage.}

If you look closer at it… with either option, you will still get income from members who would not have agreed to the recurring model in the first place. Right?

Fixed-Term Membership Model

Another type of option that you can offer is the fixed-term membership model. Instead of a lifetime monthly subscription, people pay at specific set intervals with a finite number of payment cycles. E.g. 12 total payments of $19.95 spaced 30 days apart.

People are much more willing to stick with a fixed-term rather than a no-expiration membership site. I knew that because I’ve made a BIG mistake, offering a lifetime model for my first membership site and later found out members will cancel anytime they want.

It’s easy for people to buy into the member’s area and stick if they can see the finish line.

A Better (Proven) Approach To Get Your Members Pay You Month After Month And Skyrocket Your ROI

It’s NOT advisable to offer a recurring subscription upfront to people. You should sell a one-time payment first, and then offer the recurring option (upsell) in the member’s area.

Also, you should start using scarcity to market your continuity program – to get your members act immediately to sign up and take advantage of the incredible offer (Limited).

E.g. “Limited to members of _______. Normally $29.95 per month, act within [Duration] you can get it for $14.95 per month. You’ll only see this ONCE!”  [Add a countdown timer]

All this depend on your ability to supply content that is filled with top notch information.

Offering A Few Bundle Options To Choose From

You customers would appreciate if you could provide various pricing options. It offers them more control over their money, which will indirectly generate you more revenue too.

E.g. 1-month is normally X. That’s what we usually offer. However, you can buy 6-month at Y, or even 1-year at Z. ($19.95 per month, 6-month for $89.95, and 1-year at $119.95)

One of the biggest rewards of owning a membership website is that you can build up a strong relationship with your members in the long run. The longer they stick with you, the more open they will be to purchase future offers and recommended products from you.

by KM Lee

KM Lee has been a self-employed geek since 2008. Currently he's working full-time from home online. You can also connect with him:

Comments on this entry are closed.

  1. KM,

    This is a great article. Sometimes, the recurring monthly membership can appear greedy. I do think that it’s appropriate when tons of content should be learned in over a longer period of time. I like your idea. It makes sense and makes you more credible.

    Keep up the great work and help lots of people.

  2. Hi, just wondering whether this membership site model works for all niches. I’m working on building an email list in the language learning niche at the moment, and I’m still wary about spending more money on advertising and solo ads to do so, or whether I should try building a membership site.

    1. hi Brenden,

      Thanks for your comment.

      Membership site works in all kind of niches as long as you’ve an audience/followers that willing to learn from you (you may start with small audience).

      I do have a client where he owns a membership site offering Japanese a few English courses. The membership site currently has over 250 paying members.