A.k.a. The Three Deadly Turnoffs of Membership Sites
I’ve been a member of numerous membership sites over the years, and have run a few of them myself. For my own businesses and for clients alike.
I recently took a look back at my experiences and found three things that can definitely risk your membership site’s retention figures.
In other words, if you allow any of these to happen, people start dropping out.
Here goes, atteeen-shun!
- Provide only one way to serve the customer (even for hundreds or thousands as members) – sure, you may have a model that’s worked very well for you and even your customers… but if you keep telling everyone only this, two things will happen eventually:
One, the members who need a different kind of model or approach will notice they’re not being served and go away.
And two, your method becomes outdated and you no longer serve even the most dedicated members. If that happens, it’s game over unfortunately.This can go as far as some of the members joining the cult mentality and ganging up on people (present or not) who are doing things differently. That’s when you know it’s time to leave.
- The owner seems to be just coasting (or not even there) – this is downright deadly… and maddeningly common. Once you log in the first time, maybe there’s a short welcome greeting, but nothing more. Owner nowhere to be seen, except perhaps a monthly comment or two, or even – gasp – a webinar.
I don’t know what goes on in the minds of such owners, a little too enamored with the ‘passive’ part of passive income, I guess. But it sure doesn’t bode well for the membership site in the long term.
This may even be too obvious a mention, but… think of Trump University. Obviously, this was ever Trump in name only.
- Negativity. For any reason. By members, owners, moderators… doesn’t matter. Life really is too short, and business too precious, to allow negativity to seep into it from a toxic community.
I’ve even seen a community that actually has dedicated places for vitriolic threads where people let loose. I guess that can be therapeutic and generate a strange kind of belonging, hating on something or someone together, but… ultimately I have to say it does nothing good for the community.
Certainly doesn’t make anyone recommend the place more. Or did you ever hear anyone say: “Hey you gotta join this site, you should see all the hatred going on, it’s awesome!”. Yeah, not likely.
In short, if the site’s owner cannot or will not empathise with what their members and paying customers are going through, both in their lives and on the site… it’s not going to last very long.
Even through constant promotion, these kinds of membership sites never last long, or start experiencing retention issues.
Recurring revenue is a huge motivator, but if you don’t build things right and keep an eye out for these things… they can trip you up. Even very high level people have committed these blunders, so keep your chin up and go forth boldly! 🙂
PS. Are you planning to add a membership site or some other recurring billing model to your online business mix? I built my first membership site in 2005, and coach other entrepreneurs hands-on to build their own today. If you’re interested in having me hold your hand while you do it, making sure it goes smoothly and makes you money, shoot me an email: info(at)juhotunkelo.com.