5 best membership models

If you’re an entrepreneur with expertise to share with others, you have a perfect opportunity to monetize your knowledge by launching a membership website.

But before you tackle the technical aspects of setting up a membership site, you need to decide on what kind of membership model you want to incorporate.

Do you have a bank of content ready to sell as an evergreen membership or course? Or do you want direct contact with your members as they progress through your material? You may also want your members to tune into your website on a regular basis to catch up on your latest updates. In any case, deciding on how to deliver your material is the foundation to getting started on your membership website.

Here are some of the most popular choices for successful membership models used by SubHub clients. Take a look through and see which one appeals to you. If you have other ideas, go ahead and share them in the comments!

1. Updated Content Membership Model

In a consistently-updated content model, content is updated at regular intervals. This is an excellent model for a recurring subscription as members know they are going to be offered new content on a consistent basis, reinforcing the need for ongoing payment.If you are charging a recurring fee for content that is never updated, members may tire of making payments once they feel they have consumed all or most of the content.

Loveprayteach.com offers Latter-day Saint teaching materials for parents and instructors. Content is updated regularly and offers week by week learning experiences in the form of teaching ideas, lessons and support material.

You can also have different models within the updated content model. Your membership could be tiered, meaning you charge more for a higher level or quality of content, live updates and coaching calls. Your more inexpensive memberships then offer only pre-recorded material. Love Pray Teach offers three tiered levels of membership, with the top tier encompassing resources from both of two more basic options.

Multi-tiered membership models example - Love Pray Teach

2. Course or Library Learning Membership

This is a great option if you have a bank of learning materials that are essentially “timeless”. You can offer your content either as articles within a membership, or, if they should be consumed in a particular order, you can turn them into a course. The non-recurring subscription or one-time fee is a good option here, since the content is not constantly being updated. However, you can easily add a live, updatable component to a course or library by offering forum access, live calls, or a Q & A session via webinar to underline the value members are getting in return for their recurring payment.

Profitandbeauty.com offers a monthly membership consisting of a library of training classes plus live monthly Q & A sessions for members, as well as access to a private forum on the website.

coaching membership model - courses

Gatestoyoga.com keeps their membership options simple, which is a great way to get started with a membership website. There is one type of membership that gives access to an entire library of content, including mediations, yoga videos, and card readings. A 7-day free trial is also available for members to get an idea of what is available, risk-free. Free trials are an extremely popular model as they give members the freedom to simply cancel rather than requesting a refund if they decide the content is not for them.

membership sign-up page

3. Single Product Non-Recurring Membership Model

The single product model lets visitors download a file or have access to a protected piece of content on your website, for a one-time fee. This is most easily set up as a non-recurring subscription, or as a purchase from an e-commerce store. Selling digital downloads is a perfect solution for online magazine publishers like http://growingformarket.com and https://returningcitizensmag.com. Printed copies of the publications can also be sold individually as physical products to be shipped.

In addition, SubHub’s Pay Per View option allows business owners to sell articles on their website. For example, https://kmasonmotivates.com sells a coaching session in their e-commerce store. The purchaser receives access to a protected article on the website giving the details to set up the call.
Growing for Market also allows members of one of their subscription plans to automatically receive a 20% discount of all store orders. This approach is a win-win for the company and for clients, and acts as an incentive to join as a member.

e-commerce membership model
Pay per view store product example

4. Bundled Product Free with Paid Membership Model

Similar to the member discount on store items, this approach combines two or more products or memberships into an attractive package. One popular bundle is a free course with paid membership. https://happyyogacommunity.com uses this approach to create various packages for potential members to choose from, based on their needs.

yoga coaching membership model

5. Combination Membership Model

Of course, you’re not limited to choosing one or the other of these models. You can offer a membership with a free trial and bundle it with access to one or more courses. You can provide membership content to course participants, sell courses individually, and many more combinations and permutations.

Free membership ebook Download our five-step guide to a profitable membership website.

If you need help to configure just the right membership model for your business, book a call with our team and we’d be happy to discuss your goals with you:

To get started on your profitable membership website today, book a free SubHub trial: https://subhub.com/trial