Many sites offer memberships. Some of the most familiar, are the social network sites now available including facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, and on and on. But there are many others like your local library, your pharmacy or where you might get your online music lesson. So, I'm sure that you're pretty familiar with this website function. There are a lot of reasons that you might want to include "membership" on your site. Here are just a few of them:
- offer a basket of products or information to members only
- collect member e-mail addresses for direct e-mail campaigns
- restrict access to members of a professional organization
- target a specific demographic for your products
- restrict information to people within your company only (intranet)
- collect fees from members for enhanced services
- collect and track other member information
So if you decide that you want (or need) membership functionality on your site the next consideration is how your membership will work.
- Will it be free or paid?
- Will the membership renew automatically or not?
- What will you use for your login credentials?
- What benefits (products, services or information) will members get that non-members won't?
- How will you handle member complaints?
- If the membership is paid, what e-commerce solution will you use?
Membership Site Considerations
Membership sites can have a great impact on building your business but if you're not prepared to deal with the work of maintaining your membership, our adivice is to be careful. You really need to ask yourself if the cost and work of maintaining a membership site is worth the effort. As the social media giants have demonstrated, there is nothing better than a well run membership site. On the other hand there is probably nothing worse for turning off your customers than a poorly run membership site.