For every business owner, publishing their own website is one of the most exhilarating highlights of their business. However, for a membership website, the task of launching the website needs to be carefully carried out, because of the exclusivity of the content on it. Today, the trend of launching a membership website is at an all-time high, and therefore, bringing more people into the scene.
For those still wondering about membership websites, it is a website that allows access only to its paid members based on the chosen monthly subscription charges. But that’s not all. Membership websites can be trickier to manage than other websites in the domain, in terms of understanding the technical aspects. And since there’s already a price sum included with access to your content, it may keep your audience at bay who may not be keen in general to purchase something that’s otherwise available for free.
Therefore, to avoid such circumstances and be more confident as you set your website, it’s better to stay prepared beforehand. Here’s how you can get started:
1. Choose the right niche:
Deciding on a specific domain for your website is the bare minimum for every website owner, all the more for a membership website. If you already have brimming ideas for your membership website, it’s always a good call to get those ideas validated and thought-through before investing your time, money, and resources on it.
We’d also suggest you get help from professionals or industry experts on this. You may also choose to design a mini-version of your ideas and experiment with the engagement it gets. Because of the cut-throat competition in the market, you’d need to dig a little deeper to discover the middle-ground between your content and your audience preferences. Even though many of them might be interested in your generic content, it may not be good enough in the long run. Instead, a well-grounded approach, with meaningfully rare, hyper-focused content may bring a massive audience to your website, and increase signups.
2. Focusing on building a community
Just like any other case, the prerequisite to launch a website is to identify, reach out, and engage your fans and followers base. Having such supporters in the queue beforehand not only gives your website a strong foundation but also defines the type of people your website is going to experience.
You can also choose to design a ‘coming soon’ page to keep your viewers intrigued and provide them updates on your progress. You may also notice that the buildup is going as expected since these will be the very same users who may chomp their way in as soon as you launch the website.
3. Publish enough high-impact content
Unlike popular belief, there are many membership websites up and running in the market that provide less content to their users than other free channels. However, if that content that comes less often is low quality, it may upset your users and cause them to cancel their subscription. Therefore as a membership website, you’d need to up your content game in terms of quality, publishing, and notifying your users, so they can come in as soon as you put up a fresh piece of work.
Since generating content can take serious grit, you can’t speed things up once your website launches. Therefore, we would recommend keeping a solid database of engaging content lineup ready and available in the pre-launch stage.
However, that’s only half the task, as you’d need to keep adding fresh batches of content each day to bring newer recruits to your website. In today’s time when billions of content pieces are churned out every minute worldwide, generating new and fresh content pieces would again require a robust system, in-sync with the website and audience.
4. Pre-Launch Publicity and Marketing Planning
People don’t find or stumble upon great websites overnight. Sometimes, it can take them years to reach your website and be wow-ed by it. All of those years that you missed out on their attention is a loss you can’t afford to have as a membership website. Therefore, you’d need to rethink and invest in your pre-launch marketing for garnering maximum attention and buzz.
Simple tasks like guest posting, releasing press releases, or posting actively on social media isn’t just enough. You need to go all out on this. You can start with actively making podcasts about it, or featuring as guests in some of the most-loved podcasts in the world. You can also engage social media influencers, celebrities, or relevant individuals from your domain respectively to let their followers know about you.
Remember, the more curiosity you build before the launch, the more chances of people signing up for your website!
5. Deciding on the subscription pricing and add-ons
Yes, we were saving the hardest for the last, and this is where you’d need all hands on deck. As a membership website owner/partner there can be at least a dozen factors that’d affect the pricing of the subscription models for your users, but then you’d need to think about it from their shoes too. Research shows that the most preferred price range starts from USD$5 up to $20 monthly for average subscribers, so you can build your strategies around that.
Also, in order to spark more interest, you may also add a few goodies to the packages. For example, you can give your subscribers a month’s free subscription to a renowned luxury self-care brand with your yearly subscription, etc. This shall also create value in your customer relationships.
Launching a membership website isn’t as tedious as you assumed previously, but needs serious thinking. No matter which domain you cater to, your store needs to be accessible as well as rich in terms of customer experience for getting them to subscribe. If you already own a website and are looking for a membership app, we have some suggestions.
1. MemberMouse– A membership website suite for WordPress, this plugin has everything you need to set up membership support, and has great reviews, though unlike the other two mentioned below does not include a page builder.
2. Subbly– A website builder focused on subscription customers, Subbly has everything you need to make your website live and support it on your own, they take care of all of the hosting.
3. Unify Checkout – The Unify suite is a non-traditional subscription website builder. It works with WordPress and sticky.io, and gives you a member management portal out of the box, all on their free hosting.