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Membership Marketing: Pros and Cons Between a Free and Paid Membership Site

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So you are starting a new membership site, but can not decide whether to make it a free or paid membership? There are advantages to both options of these models of membership marketing; some are obvious benefits while there are others you may not have considered.

It is important to consider all pros and cons of a free membership versus a paid membership, so you can decide which business model is ideal for your membership marketing ventures.

Benefits of a Free Membership

Free memberships have hidden benefits. People love free things, and they are very likely to sign up as a member if they are receiving something for nothing on a regular basis.

For example, you might have a PLR article membership and the free membership provides people with 5 free articles per month. If they enjoy this, they could then have the choice to upgrade to the paid membership.

Benefits of a Paid Membership

Obviously, the main benefit of a paid membership is that you will earn money on a regular basis, whenever each member's subscription is due.

Paid memberships can provide you with the funds to outsource a lot of the work involved to bring new content to members. It can also allow you to expand your membership marketing horizons by investing in advertising and promotion.

Benefits of a Combined Free and Paid Membership

As mentioned above, the free membership can be the method employed to have people sign up. They can then be presented with the option of upgrading to the paid membership in order to receive more content or higher quality content (depending on what type of membership you are running).

So Which is the Best Model?

Ultimately the combination option can be considered the best choice for most membership marketing situations. It provides the best of both worlds by encouraging people to sign up to receive content for free, and also to upsell them to the paid membership.

Naturally, every situation will have a different requirement so you will need to assess your situation before making a decision.

Before you even begin making a membership site, you must research whether there is a market for your products. Then set a target to acquire a certain number of new members every week or every month.

To lower your cancellation rate, make the free membership highly attractive by over delivering. As long as people are members of the free option, you can stay in constant contact with them and show them the benefits of upgrading to the next level of membership.

The free version is simply the front door that new members take. If you want to keep them in the house, then delivering quality content on time is vital.

Pricing your membership is another factor you must spend time considering. Look at similar memberships and price yours competitively. Do not underprice as people may think you are not running a quality membership. Likewise, overpricing can turn potential members away.

Membership sites provide the ultimate recurring income model. They have the ability to bring you continuous income on a monthly basis while helping you build good relationships with your members, resulting in a highly rewarding experience for both you and your members. Best of luck on your membership marketing pursuits.
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