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Creative Ways to Offer Memberships

Written by Amanda Nadhir on
Two woman of color smiling wearing sweater sitting on couch, one holding a tablet and the other holding a credit card

Memberships are the gift that keeps on giving by offering up new, exclusive content and engagement opportunities. The secret to creating a compelling membership program is offering something people actually want. To help you out, we’re sharing seven creative ways to offer memberships.

7 Ideas for Offering Memberships

Everyone knows about retail perks memberships like Amazon Prime, but entrepreneurs have incredible success with sites built specifically for their members and based on their expertise.

Not sure where to start with a membership program? See if one of these ideas could work for your business.

1. Mystery Boxes

Anyone with an Instagram account probably knows how popular and photogenic subscription boxes are. The most successful subscription boxes rely on themes and surprises. For example, a summer box with essentials like skin care, a beach towel, and sunglasses. These boxes offer a handful of surprises each month. Customers like these types of memberships because who doesn’t like to get a surprise gift in the mail — even if you had to pay for the gift yourself? For businesses, it’s a great way to let customers sample new products. Hopefully, the customers return to purchase the items they tried in their mystery box.

2. Crafts and Hobbies

People are passionate about their hobbies. Your hobby could be the key to building a new membership website. If you love to cook, offer a membership program for recipes, meal plans, or cooking videos. Crafters can sell patterns and classes. People are more likely to pay for something they enjoy. Building a membership program around hobbies is more exciting than selling a membership for auto-delivery of toothpaste.

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3. Social Connections

Do you have a large audience in a specific niche? From professional groups to hobbies, people like to interact with others who share the same interests. Create a members area for people to connect. You also could bundle the social part of the membership with access to premium content or classes.

4. Premium Content

Speaking of premium content… content creators can create membership programs with access to members-only content. Many publications use a freemium approach where people can access some content for free or a limit of so many articles a month and then must join the membership program to see everything.

5. Education

If you create training or educational content, a membership program is a no-brainer. Put your courses and content behind a paywall. The key to a successful course-based membership program is updating your content. You need to provide a reason for people to keep paying after they complete their first course. Regularly adding new content keeps members engaged and increases your renewal rate.

6. Personalized Coaching

Coaching business owners can sell coaching packages as a membership subscription. Members get a set number of coaching sessions a month or year. This approach works for both life and professional coaches.

7. Health and Fitness

Health and fitness companies can combine many of the ideas on this list into a comprehensive membership offering. A fitness membership could include online workout videos, personalized coaching sessions, and premium content like recipes or meal plans.

Best Practices for Offering Memberships

A successful membership program adds a lot to your bottom line. Recurring revenue helps even out big swings in your month-to-month sales. To increase your chances of success with a subscription offering, follow these best practices.

Focus on Your Value Proposition

What value do you deliver to your customers? Membership programs can offer time savings, convenience, or premium access. The value you provide is the reason someone would be willing to pay for the membership. Identify your value proposition and focus on making sure your product and marketing clearly communicate and deliver that value.

Offer Something Unique

People want something unique. Something everyone else doesn’t already have. Something that delights them. If you include products in a membership package, try to look for interesting boutique brands or higher-quality products that stand out. Excellent products packaged in a fun way makes members happy.

Price It Right

Pricing strategy is vital for building a membership program. Price it too high, and people won’t sign up. Price it too low, the margins will be off, and you could lose money on the program. Evaluate what your target market is willing to pay with the costs of the products or services included in the program. Read this guide for more help deciding how to price your membership program.

Adding a Membership Program to a WordPress Site

When you add a membership program to your website, you’ll need a way to process sign-ups, collect payments, and restrict content access to paying members only. Our friends at Paid Memberships Pro have an awesome plugin that will do all that and more.

One of the reasons we love Paid Memberships Pro is their free version includes all the features you need to launch a membership program. You can upgrade later if you need some of the premium features, but you could start by launching with their free version. Learn more about the features here.

Let Pressable Host Your Membership Site

Consistently delivering top-notch service makes a membership program stand out. One of the ways to improve your experience is to improve your website’s speed and performance.

Pressable’s managed WordPress hosting plans deliver fast and reliable service your members will love. Sign up for a demo today to learn more about making the switch to Pressable.

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Amanda Nadhir

Amanda serves as the Head of Sales and Enablement for Pressable. She's worked in the tech space for well over a decade and has spent the majority of that time building/training/leading teams. She loves travel and adventure and when she's not working, you can find her spending time with her family, lounging pool/beach-side, playing tennis, working out, and meeting people/making friends all along the way!