This is part 3 of 4 of a series on Membership Sites & Recurring Income.

OK, step 1 is to build your membership site. Step 2 is to populate it with some content. Step 3 is…. (drum roll)….

Selling it.

The question is – how?

Creating An Automated Marketing Funnel For Your Site

You have your blog, yes. But, you must also build a more robust marketing funnel which consists of a squeeze page, perhaps an autoresponder sequence, and a stand-alone sales page. Here’s a diagram to show what I’m talking about:

So, let me walk you through those components:

  1. Your blog promotes the membership directly as well as converts people into your email list.
  2. You also develop a squeeze page which is designed to put people onto that same email list. Squeeze pages typically convert at LEAST 10-20X better than the typical blog, so it is an absolute no-brainer. While I’ve recommended Optimizepress for your membership site portal, it also makes GREAT squeeze pages.
  3. Once people get onto your email list, they get a series of pre-written emails as part of your autoresponder sequence. Aweber makes this really easy. Those emails should ideally be written as content, not pitches. Help subscribers with a component of what they’re looking for, with your membership a logical step for further action. Another way to go about it is using what’s called an “evergreen launch”. This is essentially a product launch on replay. So, you use the email sequence to build buzz, build pressure, then finally offer them the product. There are a lot of creative things you can do as part of that.
  4. You also need to have an actual offer page for your membership site. This page does the selling and points to the sign up. Ideally, your prospects will be a warm prospect by the time they get here (via your list, etc). The page will convert better that way.

A system like this is more robust, gives more selling opportunities, and is more automated. You’re constantly feeding content into the main blog (which attracts leads). You’re putting people onto your list which provides multiple automatic selling opportunities.

So, you keep fueling the system. It keeps sending traffic into your membership site. Your job from there is to have a good enough offer and communicate it effectively such that people who arrive actually want to enroll.

Having A Front-End Offer

One of the things I’ve realized and learned from is that it can sometimes be difficult to sell a monthly membership. There is a fear of commitment there, even if they logically know they can cancel.

A solid (and common) way to get around that is by selling a front-end offer. So, you have some concrete product that they’re buying rather than an ongoing membership. Then, you…

  1. Deliver that front-end offer by way of the membership site. So you position it as something they’ll get right away as a reward for enrolling.
  2. OR…. Offer the membership as an upsell. I do not recommend “forced continuity”, where the rebilling is automatic. You need to always be VERY clear with your prospects that it is a monthly program and give them the option. So, either be very upfront with them about the rebilling before they buy the front-end, or make the upsell completely optional.

So, as an example, if you’re selling a membership site with ongoing tutorials about widgets, a front-end offer might be a 10-video training course showing them how to create their own widgets. So, the idea is that they get the training course – they’re BUYING the training course – then they can stick around for more value in the monthly program.

Last Minute Tips

You can also use your membership site as upsells or cross-sells during purchase of any other products you might have. So, for example, if they buy an ebook from you, you can offer the membership site as an upsell. You can even put a pitch for your site INTO the ebook they purchased.

Always consider how you can leverage one product to market another.

Lastly, open your membership site up to affiliates. Empower your members and blog readers to market your site for you (for a commission). You can’t do this if you use Paypal as your payment system (not without buying yet another script). So, this is a good reason to use a real shopping cart like Nanacast or, perhaps, Clickbank.

OK, last in this series, we’re going to talk about member retention. In other words, how to KEEP your members once they’ve signed up. So, stay tuned!

This is part 3 of 4 of a series on Membership Sites & Recurring Income.

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