MarketingMany industries feature membership and subscriptions sites because it is a great way to create a private area for customers and to demonstrate your knowledge within an industry. You can find subscription sites for services, dating sites, niche internet sites, and more. There is a lot of variety when it comes to the scope of subscription sites but to be successful, there are a few key elements you should have, no matter what business model you follow.

1. Do What You Say You’ll Do

This is of top importance for any website, but especially for subscription sites. Members join a site or subscribe for a reason, usually because there is a benefit to themselves for joining, such as special offers, secret tips, or just belonging to a community. If people are not converting from visitors to members, this could be the reason. It is easy to over-promise, so you need to make sure you can deliver on what you offer. If they feel misled or cheated in any way, they will leave and your site loses out. Focus your content and offers on what you can provide and not what you want to provide, and then follow through.

2. Quality Content

The focus of your site is not as important as the content. You need to deliver engaging content for your target audience. Do not rush the content as your readers will wait if the quality of the content is always high. A quality post each month is better than weekly irrelevant updates. Monitor how your customers respond to content you post to determine what is quality content and what they do not care for. If videos are losing most of the viewers within the first few minutes, find out what and make necessary changes. Also, track which formats your viewers prefer, be it listening, viewing, reading, and create content accordingly.

3. Make All Members Feel Valued

Members at a free level or high-tier subscription level should all be treated the same. You want to get as many high-tier subscriptions as possible but also don’t want the lower levels feeling undervalued. Content at every level should be designed to retain customers first, and secondly to convert them to higher tiers. Those at a lower level have already joined and expressed interest, so are more likely than any other group to convert. They deserve quality content too.

4. Combine Free and Paid Subscriptions

Free content can lower the value of your brand, but it is also a good idea for attracting new customers. You can then work to convert them to subscriptions through content and additional offers. You want to offer a mix of free and paid subscriptions to achieve this. Blogs are the best way to convert new customers that have shown interest through a free subscription. Blogs help your site rank higher and increase your site’s authority too.

Free content is a powerful way to get new members to sign up. You start with public content that all can see and then, lead to the first tier of free subscription content. Once they are signed up, you can funnel them towards pain subscriptions through higher-tier content. Beware of paywalls that create barriers to content halfway through, as this will often push the reader to leave rather than subscribe.

5. Free Trials

Offering free membership or subscription along with free trials may seem like overkill. But, most people decide on subscriptions after a trial period, and when this is free, they are more likely to give it a try. Show them accurately what they will be getting for their money so they will be persuaded to get a paid subscription when the trial runs out.

The length of the trial period will depend on how much content is on your sire and the average time it takes to look through it. Two weeks is a standard timeframe to use but you can adjust this so they can see what you have to offer but not everything. For trials, do not request payment information upfront as this is a turn-off. Try and set up a reminder to let clients know the trial is expiring and to prompt payment.

6. Include Social Elements

Interaction with members makes a website stand out from the rest, which makes social media a must for any subscription site. Social connections will help keep you in touch with your members and developing a relationship in this way keeps them coming back to you. You need to take care not to send your customers away to another site like Facebook and keep them within the member portal. There are several systems that can help you create social areas within your site and when you post new content, encourage your members to comment and interact. Hosting Q&As is a great way to set up social interactions and help membership grow.

7. Keep Things Simple

Possibly one of the most important tips to remember for your subscription site is to keep it simple. A site that is confusing and difficult to navigate will not be popular. Content needs to be easily accessible and clearly laid out, with navigation tabs that take a customer right where they want to go. Keep things neat and tidy, by regularly checking through content, tagging posts, removing redundant content, and placing the most valuable content at the forefront. It also helps to include a quick-start guide if your site has a lot of detail to help customers get around.

These 7 tactics are essential if you want your subscription site to be a success. Remember that success depends on your subscription numbers and this includes attracting new members and retaining old ones. With carefully planned content, website structure, and these top tips, you can build your subscription site and your success.

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