promote membership website

How to promote your membership website

The membership business model is everywhere these days, whether the product is a monthly subscription to streaming video, a physical product, or member-only content accessed by secure login. The fact is 76% of U.S. businesses said in one study that a subscription-based model helps create customer retention and long-term relationships with customers.

We couldn’t agree more! And if you are an expert in your field with knowledge and skills to share, a membership website is the way to go. But what happens after your site is up and running? This is where the long-term maintenance of your business starts, in the form of marketing and promotion.

Promoting a membership website doesn’t have to be a daunting task if you approach it strategically. After 20 years in the membership business, we have learned a thing or two about this still-burgeoning industry. Here are ten effective ways to promote your membership website:

Promote your website organically with compelling content

Easier said than done? Not necessarily if you know what your audience wants. Compelling content is simply copy and headlines that showcase the value of your membership site to the very people who need and want your service. This could include articles, videos, podcasts, or exclusive resources that provide unique insights, expertise, or entertainment to your target audience. One of the most overlooked strategies here is to use the language that your audience relates to. If you are marketing to mompreneurs, you might use phrases like “be your own boss”, “lady boss”, or “more time for the kids”. 

Optimize your site for SEO

Implement search engine optimization (SEO) strategies on your website to improve your website’s visibility in search engine results. Conduct keyword research, optimize your website’s meta tags and content, and build high-quality backlinks to increase organic traffic to your site. In a membership site, you are at a slight disadvantage in terms of SEO: most search engines will overlook website pages that reside behind a paywall. So you must make the most of your free content. Creating a blog is also a good strategy, as Google responds well to regularly changing, fresh content.

Promote with Social Media

Use social media platforms to promote your membership website and engage with your audience. Share valuable content, interact with followers, and encourage user-generated content to build a community around your brand. A popular strategy is to offer a free Facebook group or forum community on your website. This promotes discussion and engagement, which serves a few purposes: it lets your potential members speak so you can see first hand what their issues are, and the language they use to express their wants and needs; it gives members of the social media group a place to quickly link to when sharing the resource with others.

Email Marketing is still king

Build an email list of subscribers and regularly send out newsletters, updates, and promotions to keep members engaged and informed about new content, features, or offers available on your membership site.  Your email list is the perfect place to promote product or courses launches on your membership site, and to promote special offers like a free trial or sample. That way, your list can experience the value firsthand and increases the likelihood of conversion.

Let others promote your website

Collaborating with influencers or industry experts who have a relevant audience can be a jumpstart to get your offering out to the public in a big way. If you are offering financial advice via a membership site, you could approach bloggers in the space to join your membership for free in return for a review on their site. You could also ask for a guest blogging opportunity, social media shoutouts, or affiliate partnerships to reach new potential members.

Host Webinars or Workshops

Host live webinars, workshops, or Q&A sessions related to your membership site’s topic or niche. This not only positions you as an authority in your field but also provides an opportunity to showcase the value of your membership to attendees.  Your email list is the perfect place to start, but any influencers you are partnering with could be interested in promoting your webinar. Offer attendees a discount or free product as a thank you for attending the webinar. Or you could offer a substantial discount to attendees who stay to the end of the webinar.

Start a podcast

A podcast is a very popular way to promote any business these days, and a membership business is no exception. There are many ways to utilize a podcast to promote your services. You can use it as a type of blog, where you talk about different subjects related to your service. You can also interview experts in your field. They don’t need to be direct competitors, but folks who are familiar with your industry and would have a new insight on related topics that might be of interest to your potential clients.

Join networking groups

The importance of participating in networking groups to promote your membership website can’t be overstated. The best way to get new clients is to meet like-minded individuals – this adage has been true since people started selling products to other people. In virtual groups in particular, the predominant characteristic of networking groups these days is that the moderators are keenly aware of the impact a face to face meeting can have. Therefore, they encourage networking meetings attendees to contact each other via social media and set up a one to one meeting. Most networking group moderators will also allow time for one to one’s in the meeting.

Offer Referral Incentives

Encourage your existing members to refer friends, colleagues, or connections to your membership website by offering incentives such as discounts, credits, or exclusive bonuses for successful referrals. Word-of-mouth marketing can be a powerful tool for acquiring new members.

Engage in Community Building

Cultivate a sense of community among your members by providing forums, discussion boards, or social media groups where they can connect, interact, and share experiences. Building a supportive and engaged community not only increases member retention but also attracts new members through positive word-of-mouth.

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