11 Must-haves for Your Membership Website

You've been working hard to create your online course. Now your content is ready to rock.
But is your website?
One of the main things for you as a creator is to please your subscribers. Convenient interface and great features should come along your genius idea. To be among the first, you need to create the best experience possible.

Here are several tips to bring your course to life in the way it deserves it.

1. Great onboarding

Not every creator think of a smart creative onboarding. It could seem that using a platform is a piece of cake. But not for everyone.

The aim is to explain to people how your site works understandably. Onboarding increases your chances to get more clients. Just look at these numbers — only 21 percent of app users stay after the first usage. Of course, an app and a website are not the same, but you only get one chance to make a first impression!

Look at the graphic below. Here's a visible growth after an onboarding feature was implemented. So, don't waste your time and introduce it immediately during the first release.
Onboarding should not be boring. Remember, your goal is to attract people. Be creative as much as you can. Probably even more. To take some inspiration go to Pinterest or Google Images and get your portion. Onboarding surrounds us everywhere — take a look at the services you use, and you will notice many great examples.
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Keep in mind, onboarding is not a one-time action. You need to support and guide people constantly, every time you implement something new to your membership site. Keep it simple and interactive, people will love it!

2. Importance of UX and UI

UX and UI are like a family — they need to stay together to make your membership site strong.

UX stands for user experience, while UI is a user interface. Basically, UX and UI complement one another. Both are super important to attract more users.

Today, people buy with their eyes. In the era of Instagram and Tumbler, nice images are as essential as the modern tech features.

But UX/UI are not only about beauty. A nice product is not enough. Convenience and functionality matters even more. It's proven every dollar spent on UX brings up to 100x in return. Kind of impressive!
Marketing and promotional activities are worth nothing without high-quality UX features. First, create a well-designed site with clear-to-interact pages, and only then set up all the promo campaign.

3. Various member plans

It's very likely your product is not created for a single target audience. Aiming at only one group is risky. So, why not create several tariffs and plans for different people?

Go and set up several membership levels. The basic model is a three-tier pricing one. It means defining three major product levels. Every next step here has more and more additional premium features.

Three-pronged pricing is based on intriguing people. There are three options: basic, advanced, and expensive. The first option should be a bit smaller size than people need for a comfortable use. The middle one is just right to two parties — you get the money profit, and the followers get the content profit. And the most expensive option is for super professional usage or the most luxurious audience.
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So, keep it simple. Create three different entrance levels. A small growth hack here — make middle level the most optimal both for you and your subscribers. The lowest level should include the core elements of your service. But make the higher levels desirable, adding the features which stand out and make the service better and more convenient to use.

People don't usually choose the cheapest or the most expensive options. Aim in the middle — and you will strike right in the target!

4. Planned emails or notifications

The fact that people have subscribed to your site doesn't mean they will stand with you forever. Re-engage, re-engage, and re-engage. It should become your mantra.

You cannot follow up with everyone. But email automation may help you here. Nurturing emails are a great way to establish strong connections with your beloved subscribers. If you have a membership app, don't forget about the push notifications.

Omnisend says order follow-up emails have 275% more opens. Difficult to imagine such a percentage!

However, automation is not the only thing to consider. You need to segment your clients. It's always pleasant to believe that an email is sent personally and exclusively to you. Even if it is sent to millions of others.

Analyze your subscribers and make email lists. You should divide them into several groups. Let's say, some of them have just subscribed, but some are using your long-standing admirers. Obviously, the messages are to be different for two of them.

Another crazy number — email segmentation increases your email open rates by 203%. Don't waste your time, set up segmented automated emails right now. It's worth it!
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Personalized offers and texts always work better. They are more emotional and catchy. Think of addressing specific people needs and problems. They will appreciate your care!

5. Integrations needed

It's impossible to create a service today apart of the others. Even to send emails, you need to integrate your website with an email automation service.

Third-party email tools like Mailchimp come in handy. Such integrations help you to track all the actions done via your email — a purchase or link clicking. Such data is making your marketing stronger!

Integrations keep your data organized. You won't lose any valuable information as everything is in one place.

In fact, a lot of website aspects can be integrated. For instance, people decide to log in to your membership site. So, they need to pay. To do this, you have to provide them with such an opportunity. Here are only some of the examples of necessary integrations:

  • Analytics — Google Analytics, Hotjar

  • Payments — Paypal, Stripe, Qiwi or any other online payment service provider

  • Promotions — Facebook Business Manager, Google Adwords, Manychat (to create chatbots)
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Such integrations will make life easier for you and your subscribers. An ideal win-win situation!

6. Affiliate programs

Affiliate marketing works perfectly to attract more clients to your website. The mechanism is straightforward: people already registered can send invitations to their nearest and dearest, so they join your site. Inviting people gives them some bonuses. The invitees get a discount for the first purchase. Everyone stays happy and satisfied!
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Moreover, affiliative programs turn your customers into brand advocates. There is no better advertisement than your happy existing clients. About 15-30% of all e-sales come via affiliative programs.

Customer testimonials work perfectly as people tend to believe their friends more than an ordinary Facebook orInstagram ad. Don't underestimate the power of recommendations — a lot of businesses are built on this model.

Gurucan platform makes it easier to create an affiliative program on your membership website or app. In fact, choosing the right platform for creating a membership business is a must to succeed.

In a nutshell, affiliative programs make your customers sell for you. You don't need to beg everyone to buy your product. The others will do it for you!

7. Discounts and bonuses

People love free things, especially worthy and useful stuff. So, discounts, free trials, and bonuses can do magic for your sale rates.

A free trial is one of the most promising options. Give people the opportunity to get familiar with your product and make them love you. It's a direct way to a paid membership. People won't refuse to pay for something they truly like.

What's interesting, the conversion rate from a Free Trial without a payment method is lower than with a payment. 18.78% vs.69.66%. Crazy numbers! So, don't be afraid to include a payment method to your free trial program.

Another great idea is to create a free content — video or text manual — to attract people. You can promote this free content via social media networks. But there should always be a link leading to your membership site! People will appreciate the possibility to try out your product before paying money.

Gurucan helps to create free trial programs. Also, it is possible to create discounts for an already signed-up audience.

Not only newcomers deserve something sweet. We all know about the Black Friday hype. So, you can be a part of it. Every year people spend more and more on Black Friday, Thanksgiving, and Cyber Monday.
Also, you can give out free content for personal holidays like a birthday or a year from the first subscription day. It makes connections with your brand stronger and more emotional.

Don't be very greedy for your content. Try to give something for free — and you will get back a way more!

8. Analytics and metrics

We talked about integrations before. Analytics is a very important thing to consider while creating a membership site.

With the growth of your product, you get more and more data. And you need to learn how to take advantage of all these numbers and graphics.

Google Analytics gives you a lot of information about website performance. It allows keeping track of traffic, retention rates, engagement, newcomers to your website. It gives you a vision of your perfect persona to tune all the marketing activities even better.
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More valuable information is hidden in Facebook Business Manager. It's an excellent tool for promotions via social media accounts, including Facebook and Instagram. You can see what ads perform better and when people engage the most.

Facebook Pixel is another snippet for getting more data and analytics. It is merely the code you place on your website. But it's very powerful — it reveals how people interact with your page, shows you conversions on Facebook ads and allows remarketing and re-engaging people already visited your website.

It's essential to choose a platform that will present you all the data in an easy-to-understand manner.

Remember, getting information is not the same as understanding it. Make sure that you interpret and apply it smartly.

9. Multiple payment gateways

It's impossible to imagine e-service without online payment possibility. A membership website supposes that people will directly pay via a website. Then you need to integrate payment tools to make it convenient for both of you.

Choose a payment processor that you'd like to use. Today the most popular ones are Paypal and Stripe. The inability to pay online can reject a lot of potential clients. So, take care of it!

By the way, introducing direct payments to your platform gives you all the financial data. It's simpler to track the data when everything is stored in one place.

Don't forget about mobile payments. It's a real trend now. It's predicted that people will spend around $60 billion using mobile payments in the US. And a general tendency for spending more via mobile phones is already here.
So, make sure a platform you use allows you to accept direct payments via your website. Also, don't forget it should support several payment gateways to make it comfortable for people from different regions.

10. Mobile optimization

Today a mobile kingdom is growing enormously. Even though desktop computers still dominate worldwide, the mobile sphere is stepping on its toes. In the US, more than half of all web visits are done via mobile devices.
So, the necessity to optimize for the mobile devices is clear. Being mobile-friendly will make people love you even more. Check out that:

  • All the texts are readable on mobile site version

  • People won't scroll horizontally

  • All the buttons work perfectly and their sizes fit the screens

  • Check Safari and Google Chrome browsers as they are the most used ones
Take care of your mobile adapts — don't let them get a bad experience using your website. It can damage all your brand image.

The best way to please mobile geeks is to create an app for your membership content.

11. Choose an easy-to-use platform

Actually, this should be the first point being the most important one.

Usually, bloggers are not tech people at all. They don't know all the nuances of integrations and payment methods. All-in-one platforms come in handy for them.

A platform should be understandable and clear to everyone. Pay attention to the dashboard as it's the main workplace for you. Via the dashboard, you will take control of all your actions, content, sales rates, and subscription plans.

Also, check out that the platform supports all the types of documents you would like to upload — from PDFs to video content. So, choose the one offering a lot of options. It's perfect if your platform has no limits to posting your content.

Remember about going mobile. If the platform offers you creating a mobile app, you should try it. Mobile apps are trendy, so take advantage of such an opportunity. For example, a Gurucan team helps with developing an app — no need to go to the digital studio to create it separately from your website.

Hope now you have no panic about releasing your membership website and ready for a rockstar launch. Just don't forget to check on every point in our great website list!
15 July / 2019