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Watch the Journey

Common Mistakes to Avoid on Your Membership Website

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Membership websites present unique challenges in digital or e-commerce marketing activities. Once a business owner converts visitors to paying members, they must convince them to renew repeatedly by layering on the value.

The ever-evolving nature of customers and the economy make catering to your customers a trial-and-error process. As such, you can’t expect to always get “it” right.

Neither can you find what works and then “set it and forget it.” You’ll need to try out new ideas and change things up now and again as your customer’s expectations change.

From creation and design to management and maintenance, your subscription site has multiple aspects to oversee. You’ll try out many ideas in various facets.

​Unfortunately, some of those ideas won’t pan out for you with your unique audience. While you can’t avoid all mistakes, you can prevent these common membership site hang-ups:

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Taking Your Foot Off the Gas

It’s tempting to start to coast as your subscribers start rolling in. After all, you’re likely looking to bask in the fruitfulness of your hard-earned efforts.

Don’t get complacent now. You’ll miss out on some crucial opportunities for your business’s sustainability.

​Ramp up efforts to increase your site’s community growth and engagement. Balance a good mixture of communication, engaging content, promos, and feedback collection.

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Prioritizing New Customers (Too Much)

Your business depends on recurring payments. To get your customers to give up their hard-earned money every month, they must see the ongoing value you provide.

Care for your existing customers. As alluring as shiny new objects are, you must tend to what you already have.

Don’t stop at the sale. Build community and engagement to boost membership renewal.

Learn from those who decide to leave you by using exit surveys. Consider implementing a pause function to your subscription plan instead of a cancellation-only set-up.

​Careful attention to your existing customers can help you grow beyond your expectations.

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Your UX is an Afterthought

The user experience (UX) is everything. Slow speeds, disorganized content, and complex navigation give your customers a poor opinion of your site and brand.

Your website’s design deserves thoughtful attention. Guarantee your customers can use it easily.

Start with intuitive use. The more instinctive, the more enjoyable from your customer’s standpoint.

Take the customer journey once in a while. Sign up as a subscriber. Make purchases. As you do, look at the number of confirmation emails you receive and the information they contain. Is it enough? Too much?

How well were you able to navigate your way through the subscriber process? Consider landing pages to present the right information at the right time.

​Can you easily manage your account after signing up? What could use improvement? Consider having someone outside your organization go through these steps to avoid bias.

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Unbalanced Communication

It’s all about balance with your customers. They subscribed, so they want to hear something from you. Like the rest of us, your customers are likely filtering tons of emails daily, so avoid sending too many messages.

You have to find the socially acceptable sweet spot of communication. Too little, and you’re forgotten. Too much, and you’re likely getting to bothersome levels.

​Send out essential messages concerning your brand, upgrades, new products, and new content. Avoid sending a lot of upsell emails–you’ll come across as greedy.

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Stale Content

Keep the fresh content or updated info rolling so your customers continue finding value in you. As with everything, balance is key. Your customers are busy enough; they don’t need something new daily.

Create a content strategy, planning and scheduling your ideas. A calendar can help you create consistent intervals for your content. Automation can help you stick to it.

​Zero in on your content and automate it to get it off your mind. Schedules help hold you accountable, and you’ll gain extra time to focus on all the other vital things that keep your business running smoothly.

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Not Utilizing Older Content

Yes, you must put out new content. Yes, it must be of good quality. And yes, you may feel like you’re running out of ideas.

Repurpose older content to create something new and valuable. Existing content provides the foundation. Additionally, it solidifies the information you’ve already offered (and who couldn’t use a refresher?).

​When you utilize older content, you save time to work on other areas, like marketing and design.

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Skimping on Customer Service

Poor customer support can turn off your existing members. Their bad reviews can lead to a bad reputation and turn off potential customers.

Remain positive and easy to deal with. Instruct your employees that you expect the same from them.

Help your subscribers reach you easily by giving them uncomplicated access to customer support. Consider providing many avenues for contacting customer service–by phone, email, live chat link, etc.

​Don’t make your customers jump through hoops to cancel. Respect their ability to make the right decision for themselves. Furthermore, show your belief in your value by making cancellations easy.

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Balance and Value

Membership website success comes down to balance and value. Balanced communication is valuable to your customers.

Build value in your subscription service by helping your customers understand all you offer. Create an engaging community your members want ongoing access to.

Don’t hesitate to find a business coach online to help improve your site. They provide experience and an outsider’s perspective for fresh ideas for your membership online marketing or e-commerce site.

​Also, consider a marketing software-as-a-service (SaaS) to help you easily create and maintain your membership website.

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