If you run a membership site, don’t do this

Some people say that the latest craze is membership sites. Sure, there are tons of advantages to them for the owners — reoccurring monthly payments (more steady cash flow), active lists of customers, easy way to have a great connection with them, easy access to affiliates, plenty of opportunities to sell other related products or upsell, etc..

As a customer, there can also be several advantages to joining a membership site as well — usually monthly downloads or services, active support (usually), tightly knit communities to participate together on common goals, usually cheaper monthly prices compared to a high one-time charge, etc..

A lot of internet marketers are coming out with new membership sites. Heck, even I have a few in the works! However, one thing that many people need to realize is that membership sites take work, and you need to encourage your members to stay, as they can cancel whenever they want.

I’ve seen one too many marketers create a good initial package, but they then slack on the membership part. It almost seems as though instead of creating a simple one time product, they try to throw on a membership to it as well just for the heck of it. It doesn’t work like that, and they are losing even more sales by being stupid about it.

Sure, their initial greed might get them some extra money to start with for the first few months, but most customers are smart and will unsubscribe later and run away from any other site or product that person might ever sell.

Recently, I joined a subscription based membership for a few reasons — it was run by some well known internet marketers, it had some good products, the bonuses were actually useful (unlike other worthless bonuses that many sites give out), and it promised new products on an ongoing basis.

This site also got a ton of publicity at first. Well, to be honest, I thought two of its main products were okay at best. Other competition out there had done a far better job. However, I stayed on because they had several other smaller tools that I found useful, as it would save me time in my own efforts.

So although the start of it was a bit disappointing, I thought I’d hang in there to give them a chance. First month — nothing new. Second month — still no more promised products. Third month — nada. And this whole time, I’ve been receiving e-mails from them about their new launches. The funny thing is that this membership was suppose to include most new product launches?!?! I haven’t seen one yet.

Fourth month — still nothing, and I called it quits and was quite disappointed. If I was a normal customer, I would have been long since gone after the first or second month, but I stayed on just for kicks to put them to the test. Sure, the membership wasn’t all too expensive, but the point is that they were practically stealing money from me without giving me anything in return but broken promises.

Now they not only lost me as a customer, but I won’t be even looking at any of their future launches. There were one too many broken promises in their one here. On top of that, they have a zero chance of ever getting me to promote their products or give them a favorable review. If they just followed through on their promises, I would have put in a good word on at least some of their products (because some of the smaller ones really were useful, despite the two main ones being mostly useless compared to other products out there).

So, if you plan on creating a membership site, follow through on your promises, give them a reason to stay a member, and make them feel that they’re getting far more than their money’s worth. You can’t just view them as money bags, or your site will die faster than a fish out of water.