Now that you have set up your membership site, most of the heavy lifting is behind you. Your next focus point should be attracting as many people that might enjoy your product as possible. People can stay in their corner of the Internet and talk about the benefits of their service till they’re blue in the face, but if the people that would buy it aren’t there, it’s all for nothing.
So how do you reach out to the right people all over the world and convince them to become members? We’ve compiled a list below of our favorite and best-performing marketing strategies of the digital era, so read on if you want to turn your membership site into a top performer!
To get the most out of each of these solutions, use them in combination with the others.
Think of it like when you are trying to lose weight – sure, going for walks, sticking to a diet, or going to the gym are already great on their own, but put them all together, and you have a real transformation on your hands.
Use your email list to promote your site as much as possible. If you don’t have an organic list yet, don’t be tempted to buy one. The people there will be disengaged with your content or downright report you for spam, so your money will surely go to waste. It’s better to start from scratch right now and build one yourself. A “freebie” is the perfect tool to start with here (but we’ll talk more about that in just a bit).
An email list is an especially powerful resource when it comes to promoting membership sites since they are both, ideally, gatherings of like-minded individuals who are already familiar with your service or product. Thus, getting a part of your email list to become members on your site will be a lot easier than convincing completely new people to join, and they can act as the core base of your community and provide social proof, which will get you even more sign-ups in the future.
As soon as you have your membership site up and running (or even while you’re building it), you should produce a piece of content that you can offer to people for free to confirm the quality of your products and generate interest in your bigger projects. These are usually called “freebies,” but our favorite name for them is “lead magnet” since it demonstrates the potential they hold. Put it out into the world and, more often than not, it will be the thing that attracts customers to your products. The best lead magnets are those that flow naturally into the paid content. Think of it like trailers and movies. The trailer gets you excited about the movie and lets you know what to expect so that you are much more confident in buying a ticket than if you had gone in blind.
A lead magnet is a great thing, especially if you’re not already using one, but it only truly shines as the centerpiece of a robust, well-thought-out sales funnel. As the name suggests, this system is meant to guide people from the point they discover your product all the way to the purchase (this customer journey is usually described as Awareness > Consideration > Decision). This all starts with that point of discovery, which comes (if set up correctly) when they receive your freebie, which is why it is essential to design it properly. Don’t treat it as an afterthought or just pull a piece of content out of your existing product (e.g., a course) without any context.
Sales funnels are all about conceptualizing as smooth a ride for the consumer as possible, so put yourself in their shoes to create engaging promotional materials and find a rate of exposure that won’t be annoying or forgettable. Also, make sure your technology is up to the task and won’t have your prospects running for the hills because it takes ages to load the landing page! If you need help in this area, we would be more than happy to help you out! You can contact us here and we’ll set up a talk.
Think about how, when you buy things online, the scales tip significantly in favor of you pulling out your credit card after reading what other people had to say about that particular product. Use that power for yourself. Since they are usually written in the same way people search online, testimonials are naturally filled with keywords, thus strengthening your SEO efforts. You don’t need to make a dedicated subpage for them. Just place them strategically throughout your membership site’s landing pages to sway on-the-fence people. Don’t forget to use pictures, as it helps others resonate and connect with that person’s experience more.
Social media is a way for people to gather around shared interests. The thing they gather around should be related to your business. The way you do that is through events like Reddit AMAs, Q&A videos, live streams on Youtube, behind-the-scenes blog posts and videos, etc.
Make sure the overall message of your promotional material is, “We have some fantastic things planned for the near future, and it’s all happening over here! Come join us!” Use platforms like Facebook, Youtube, or Pinterest. Diversify your reach as much as possible so that you can take advantage of each platform’s specific strengths. For example:
Facebook has a huge user count, with almost half the world on there. A substantial percentage of your target audience is guaranteed to be active on this platform, so you can target them with your ads and show them what your membership site is all about.
Pinterest has a lifespan of months and sometimes even years for its posts, making it a safe investment of time and resources, ensuring your content keeps generating leads in the background for a long time.
YouTube, Wistia and Vimeo are great ways to have people easily consume your longer content. You could make small tutorials or videos explaining and promoting certain aspects of your site, or host livestreams to directly interact with your audience.
You could also deploy a campaign of Context/Search Ads on some of these platforms. These allow you to target specific demographics by their specific search intent, age, location, interests, and many more, giving you a leaping head start in trying to bring them further along in your sales funnel! Since you know who you’re talking to, you can tailor your messages to be more effective.
These Ad Campaigns can also provide you with valuable information if you have a conversion tracking system set up (you can do it in under 20 minutes with our conversion tracking guide). That knowledge can help you supercharge your marketing campaign by making strategic choices in where and how you present and promote your product.
And finally, speaking of making informed decisions, make sure your marketing strategies and promotional materials are designed to suit your membership site’s specific type, be it resource cache (courses, product bundles), mastermind group (meeting place for like-minded individuals with the same agenda) or drip feed (monthly subscription).
If your site offers content every month, then you should emphasize to your prospective customers how much value they could be getting each month and how that value can stack up the longer they stick around.
On the other hand, if you offer more of a community-oriented site, your focus should be on what can be gained from different perspectives and solutions or point out famous people from that particular sphere of interest who are already members of your site. Your site structure can drastically change your marketing strategy, so take it into account right from the start.
Marketing your membership site
Thinking up a marketing game plan can be an opportunity to let your creativity run wild. Look around you for things to take inspiration from. Your inbox is a good place to start. You’re most likely subscribed to a few services, so take them as an example and see what kind of promotional materials they sent you and how their emails are worded. They must be doing something right; at the very least, they captured your interest and convinced you to subscribe. If this sounds like it is too much to handle, you could always outsource the marketing tasks to a team of professionals.
If you don’t already have a membership site, we highly recommend MemberMouse!
We hope we have demystified the marketing process a little bit and given you the right tracks to make your membership site gather enough steam to propel it to the top.
If you need any further help, contact us today and our team of professionals will make sure to solve any and all problems you might have!