One of the biggest decisions you have to make when creating a membership site is how much you’re going to charge for memberships. All too often, business owners find out too late that they’re charging too much and are forced to change their subscription model. This can have the effect of devaluing the membership and altering the image you want to present. Here are a few considerations when creating your membership fees.
1 Who is your audience? Your audience is an important element in your membership fee decision. If they have a large amount of disposable income and readily spend it online, then you can likely bump your fees up. If your audience is frugal or doesn’t have a tremendous amount of income then you may benefit from offering a tiered system with the most basic membership being free. You can then upsell them to a paid level once you’ve proven your value.
2 What are you offering? Some products or memberships offer more exclusivity and value than others. For example, if you offer a membership site where you only take the first 50 people who sign up, then you have room to charge more because you can market the exclusivity of your site as value. Many people enjoy being part of an elite group. A coaching or training program might be a good example of this type of offer. However, if you’re offering an information site then you want as many people to join as possible, right? Again this may be an opportunity to offer a free membership as an introduction and then upsell to a paid membership.
3 How often do they have to renew? There are various strategies you can work with here. One option is to provide your prospects with choices. They can sign up for monthly membership fees and automatic renewal with the choice to choose an annual membership for a lesser cost. If you’re offering training programs or coaching however, then you may want to consider a micro continuity membership fee where members pay for a specific period of time, say six months, until the training or coaching program has been completed.
4 Competition. Do you have any competition and if so, what are they charging? Knowing what your competition is up to can help you differentiate yourself from them. Increasing your value or lowering your fees will help set you apart from your competition.
5 Value. Finally, what is the value of your membership? Take an honest assessment of what it will cost you to produce your membership site products or services and their market value. Membership sites offer many things to prospects including convenience, a sense of community, exclusivity, and loyalty promotions and rewards. Weigh all of these factors and create a realistic and marketable fee.
Consider testing your membership fees on a small scale before launching your site. This way, you can make any adjustments ahead of time and save yourself the hassle of having to modify fees once you already have members signed up and in the loop.
Your membership site has the potential to produce a fantastic revenue stream. Take your fees and your price strategy into careful consideration before launching. You’ll be glad you did.