This article is Part 2 of the 3-Part SERIES in discussing Membership Sites. In the last article we discussed the full-blown Membership Site option using a hosted WordPress blog and the plug-in, WishList Member.
In this article, Part 2, we will discuss mini-subscriptions. In Part 3, the final part of the series we will discuss some other options and alternatives! In the end you should have plenty of ideas on how to build a membership site that best suits your business and business goals, short term and long term. Make sure you read all 3 articles before making any decisions!
Mini-Subscriptions or Short-Term Subscriptions
Before diving into or launching a full-blown Membership Site, you may want to give it a trial run – to see how much time it takes you to provide and keep up with the service and/or how your customers respond to it.
Or what if you company wants to offer a seasonal package or service of some kind, especially around the holidays or for a specific cause or event, such as Breast Cancer Awareness.
These would be good examples for setting up a Mini-Subscription or Short-term membership, one that runs for a short period of time whether its a week, a month or a few months (for example).
Many of my fellow demonstrators and customers do something called "12 Weeks of Christmas" or "12 Days to Christmas". In either case it is a service they provide for a short, specific set time (12 weeks or 12 days) and only to those who sign up or subscribe.
Solution – Newsletter & PayPal
The best solution for this type of "membership" is to use a newsletter service and PayPal – the newsletter to delivery your content or service to a specific set of customers, and then PayPal to accept payments.
You can use your blog and setup hidden "pages" that have the special content you want to share, such as embedded videos, or upload PDFs to your file manager (or Google Docs for example if using Blogger).
So, after you have all your materials prepared (the services, digital content in this example) prepared, and have your pages setup or uploaded to a file manager, you are ready to get those subscribers!
Setup a List
If you have an existing newsletter service, such as Constant Contact, then create a new list and make sure you set it to appear on your sign up form. If you are using MailChimp (free) or Aweber, then you can create a separate list AND separate "sign up box" for that list. In any case, once you have setup your list, put the Sign Up Box on your blog's sidebar, you are ready to start promoting!
Ready to Launch
When you are ready to launch (have all your materials and your newsletter list and sign up box ready), the last thing you need to add to your blog is payment buttons. I would recommend putting the payment button in the sidebar with a promo ad, as well as a post announcing the new service (subscription) and details about what you will be providing, for how long, and what your amazing price will be!
You have two options to offer your customers (using PayPal in this example). You can setup ONE payment button if they choose to pay for the 3 months upfront (for example if you are running a 3 month subscription). Otherwise you can setup a SUBSCRIBE button in PayPal and allow your customers to pay x-amount over the 3 months (or whatever desired duration). Your customers will love the options. Some like paying it all upfront while others find it more affordable to pay monthly.
Now you are ready to setup your mini-subscriptions!
- Prepare you service, materials.
- Setup any "hidden" pages that may be necessary in sharing information pertaining to your service.
- Setup a newsletter, a list and put your Sign Up Box in your blog's sidebar.
- Post about your new subscription and include payment buttons. Also add payment buttons to your sidebar for easy access as well.
Stay tuned for Part 3 where we'll discuss even more alternatives and options in setting up membership subscriptions!