All membership management companies would agree that memberships aren’t a new idea – guilds were doing them back in the Middle Ages. But the online world has brought a new dimension to the concept that allows people to be members of something even if they aren’t on the same continent. The speed of accessing content via the internet, ease of chat with other members, these are all facilities that a membership model can bring – but does that make it the right choice for your business?
Membership management companies, such as Decisions, know all about the membership model and so here we will explain the pros and cons.
Pros and cons of a membership
A member-based business is different to other types of businesses and that means there are some unique pros and cons that apply to it.
On the plus side, you can get recurring revenue with good profit margins – let’s say you have 10 members paying £30 a month, that’s an instant £300 a month revenue or £3,600 a year. You have continual traffic to your site as those members log on to use the membership facilities and this enhances the ranking of your site, meaning it will show up to more people.
Members are loyal customers and you will quickly grow an email list to then offer more products and services. They are also more likely to recommend other people to the membership when they find it good value – social proof at its best.
On the downside, you need to make sure you can give enough value for money for people to continue to give you money each month. Sometimes retaining members over long periods of time can be challenging – they learn what you offer and once they have finished everything, they just stop their membership. One bad experience can lead to negative reviews that spread.
Questions to ask
If you think that the benefits of a membership model might outweigh the potential downsides, then the next step is to ask a few key questions to help you solidify the plan.
Who is your target market?
This one is a key one – you need to know who is going to join your membership site and therefore use this to market it to them. You want to ensure that there is a market for what you are offering and how you are going to reach them before you start.
How are you going to run it?
Running a membership site is a specialist area and there are membership management companies who can handle the whole process for you. This includes creating the membership website, creating processes to add people to it and keeping it running in top condition for you as well as making it easy for you to deliver new content to your members.
Do you have time for it?
Even using a membership management company to run the site, you still need to have enough time to dedicate to it. You need to be present in it, interact with your members and keep creating content that will ensure they remain members – just getting them to sign up can be the easy part.
Can you scale the business?
If you start at a certain monthly price, can you scale the business to increase your earnings at the later date? This will mean adding something to the site to keep people involved or finding new ways to get new members at the new price point if you don’t raise it for existing members. You may want to find other ways to add extra revenue rather than just price increases but have an idea what these are before you begin.
The membership model isn’t going to work for everyone but there are a lot of advantages to it for the business that it does suit. By getting the right help in place and working with the right people, you can create a beneficial and thriving membership that makes you a good profit.
If you are looking to invest in membership management companies to take control of your system, or if you are looking for membership software for your business, Decisions can be the company for you.