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Minggu, 03 Februari 2008

Harness The Power of Membership Websites

Harness The Power of Membership Websites
by: Jeremy Gislason

Look through the eyes of your members and you might be surprised. You might find new ways to meet their needs. You might find new ways to offer benefit. Heck, you might even be able to anticipate there needs – there’s no better money maker than that!

What do members want?

The best way to answer that question is to ask yourself. What do you want from a membership site?
Take a moment and write down 10 things that you want from the membership sites that you belong to.

Go ahead...we’ll wait.

Okay, you have your list? Let’s see if it matches any of the items that we came up with.

Presumably you want:

A trusted source of information, products, and resources.

A wide variety of resources that meet your needs with multiple price points

Easy to use website

Easy to process transactions

Membership policies that make sense

Subscriptions that are worth their price

Subscriptions that are easy to renew or cancel

Updated content

Updated resources

A way, or many ways, to communicate with members and website staff

An efficient customer relations protocol

An easy way to return products

Clearly established terms of use

A website that protects your privacy – and doesn’t sell your information

Communications, via email or newsletter, that are frequent enough to keep you in the loop but not so frequent that you feel hassled.

A website that is fitted specifically to meet your needs

Does that cover it? Not likely. That’s just a short list of the things you probably want from a membership site that you belong to. You may also want to be able to use the site, products, and contacts that you make to generate profits. You certainly want to belong to a membership site that you can be proud of and that is recognizable – this means you’ll more likely be a loyal and frequent visitor if not a frequent purchaser.

Now comes the second question…

What can you do to make your membership site meet the needs listed above, and any others that you came up with?

Many of the needs are fairly easy to fill. Customer relations can be automated. Billing, renewals, and auto responder thank you messages can be automated. Content, much of it anyway, can be outsourced. Terms of use and policies can be posted on your website and handed out in the form of a report when members subscribe. Affiliate programs and other wealth building tools can be automated. That leaves a few things: making sure that your customers know that you’re an upstanding site with their best interests at heart, keeping the quality content, resources, and products up to date and quality, and tying all of their needs together into a cohesive website. Not too hard, right?

It doesn’t have to be. Use the resources that you have, such as those at, to make your membership site the absolute best that it can be for you and for your members.

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