Most people launch their new membership site with a bang. They have a long lead-up period where they tease out content and trailers, they rally their contacts to help spread the word, do some PR – basically pulling out all the stops to let people know about their new venture in an exciting way. But after the launch? Nothing…
It can be extremely difficult to continue to say 'sign up for my membership site' in new and interesting ways. People will zone out if you carry on saying the same thing in the same way, over and over, and your new sign-ups will dwindle away to nothing.
But it doesn't need to be that way! Here are three fresh ideas that you can use to keep your marketing interesting, and keep those members signing up long after your launch day is over.
Treat new content within your membership area as a 'mini-launch'
Obviously, you'll be posting new content in your membership area on a regular basis to keep your existing members engaged and coming back for more. But did you know that you can use this content to generate new members as well?
Let's say you post a new video for your members once a week. Obviously, you don't want to give this valuable piece of content away for free, but you can:
- Write a blog post covering a 'lite' version of the content, and encourage new member sign-ups by mentioning that you go into more detail in your latest membership video.
- Send an email out to your mailing list announcing new content in your membership area (don't forget to include a call to action for them to sign up to access it)
- Share behind-the-scenes and 'coming soon' snippets on social media – a photo of your computer mid-edit, for example, would look great on Instagram. Or perhaps a 2-minute trailer of the new content on your YouTube channel. Don't forget to add calls to action as well!
- Reach out personally to people you think would really benefit from your new content, and tell them about it. Maybe include a link the trailer or blog post you made.
- Reach out to your business besties and ask them if they would share your teaser content on their social media feeds.
- Reach out to some top blogs and podcasts in your industry and tell them about your new content – offer to do a guest post or featured interview for them. You can talk about your membership site in general terms, but also 'hook' your post/interview with your latest piece of content.
You don't have to do all of these tasks every time you release new content in your membership area, but I would suggest that you pick two or three to do each time. This will keep your marketing interesting and keep people signing up.
Share a sneaky peek
What actually happens in your membership area? Is there anything there you can tempt people in with? Sharing a peek behind the paywall can be a great way to attract new members. Keep your eyes open for particularly juicy discussions in your forum, or insightful comments and questions you can share on social media or your blog. Perhaps you could do a weekly or monthly round-up of everything that happened for your potential customers? For example, you could include:
- Your top forum discussion
- Questions asked (and answered)
- Member wins – i.e. a weight-loss goal reached by one of your members
- Any new content you posted
- Any other updates you made
Keep it short and sweet, with just enough information to make your non-members wish they could join in the fun. The primary focus here is on showing off your community engagement – most people stay signed up to membership sites, not for the content, but for the community and the friends and support they find there.
If your community isn't engaging as much as you'd like yet, then stay tuned. We'll have a blog post on increasing member engagement coming up soon.
Hold an Open Day
You know how when realtors are trying to sell a house, they'll stage it so it looks beautiful, bake some cookies to make the place smell nice, and then invite the public in to take a look around? You can do that with your membership site too.
For one day only (choose a time period when your target audience is likely to be online), you're going to take down the paywall between your amazing content and your potential audience. The idea is to give people a real idea of what it would be like to be a member of your site. They can have a look through your content, speak to some of your members, ask questions etc. You want them to be so utterly bowled over by what you offer so that they whip out their credit cards immediately.
How can you achieve this? Preparation, preparation, preparation. Treat your Open Day like an event and plan it out accordingly.
- Timing is crucial – do these too often and they lose their impact. I suggest no more than three or four times a year.
- Pick a day or time when your target audience is online. For example, if they're 9-to-5-ers, then a Saturday might be best, or an Open Evening during the week.
- Make sure you're available to virtually show people around and answer questions. I suggest you host a free webinar during your Open Day (or two if you're planning a whole day), where you go into detail about your content, pricing tiers, benefits and features – everything a potential member would like to know. You can have a Q&A session at the end of your webinars as well.
- Ask a few of your top members if they're willing to be interviewed via video during the day, you can get them to describe the benefits they get from membership and why they love it. If you record these interviews you can use them as testimonials on your site later as well (with permission, of course).
- Promote, promote, promote – just like you would for an offline event. Tell the press (blogs and podcasts in your industry as well), post on social media, blog about it, email your list. All your usual promotional activities.
How do you keep your marketing fresh?
If you've already got your membership site up and running, how do you keep your marketing fresh and engaging? Do you use any of these ideas in your business already? Let us know what you think by sending us a tweet – we're @subhub on Twitter.