A membership site is a great way to make a profit. In fact, it’s one of the best ways. But how do you charge your members? You’ll have to decide how much they will pay for access. Pricing is a crucial part of your marketing strategy as it will decide what kind of customers you will attract. You have to decide for yourself how much you will charge for your premium content. Strategic pricing is all about determining how much value you can add for your customers, and then balancing it with your costs when setting the price. This means that you need to find out what value your offer brings and determine if your costs are in line with that. This decision will be crucial because it will decide what kind of customers you will attract. Are you aiming to attract a small number of loyal customers with a large price, or a larger number of average customers with a smaller price?
But there are some important questions that will help you decide what will work for your membership site.
How Much is it Really Worth?
These should always be your first questions:
- In real terms, how much is the membership that you are offering worth?
- What can you offer your customers to increase the value?
- Would you be willing to pay for this membership, considering everything that it has to offer?
When we talk about value, we are not talking about the production value, or the package value, or the “suggested retail price” value. Forget the “it’s worth $100 but I’ll give it to your for $7″… that is not the real value. We are talking about how much can the person gain, learn, or save from the content that you are offering. What is the time and energy that the person gains from your content and how much is that worth to them. If it does not do much for them, then the value to your customer is very little. If it is an immense time-saver and has an abundance of valuable information, then it could be worth a lot.
So if currently, you have practically nothing of value to offer your customers, you cannot really charge anything. Likewise, if you have a little to offer your customers then you can start out charging very low amount, maybe just a few dollars. If you have a huge amount of content that can help your customer then you might choose to charge a bit more. If it is mind-blowing stuff that will revolutionize your customers approach to something, then that could be a very big number.
Can They Get it From Another Authority?
Another few important questions to ask are:
- How exclusive and rare is the content?
- How highly do you rate your expertise and that of any contributors?
- Can they get the same information someplace else?
If the content is pretty much freely available on the internet through websites, YouTube videos, or the such, then the exclusive value of it will not be high. If no one has this content, then it could be higher. Even though the content can be gleaned from the internet, if what you have is an efficient packaging and presentation of the content, then it may be of value to someone in having to go through hours of scouring the net to get all the information that you have put together.
Another thing to think about is what the customer thinks of your expertise and if they will trust what you say. A person who has won multiple Formula 1 titles would have an easier time charging more for a course on competitive driving over a person who has driven for only a few months. They have the authority and can command for that authority. It would also be easier to market someone with authority.
If your content does not need authoritativeness, then you’ll need to see if they can get the same content from a different source. If they cannot, then you have more flexibility in what you charge. If it is also offered somewhere else, then you will have two options: match or beat the competitor’s price, or hope your customer never sees your competitor.
Will the Members Feel Valued?
Another important item to consider is that you need to make sure your membership site isn’t priced TOO low. The problem with pricing low is that it suggests that being a member isn’t that special. One of the big selling points of any membership site is the chance to feel like a member of something important and to be treated like a VIP. People love exclusivity and privilege and this is one reason they’ll often pay for membership.
Price membership a little higher and you make it seem more exclusive, rare and more important – and surprisingly his can actually make it more desirable!
Should I Have Different Prices For Different Membership Levels?
You have more options for your pricing than just ‘high or low’. One example is that you can charge different amounts for basic and premium membership. This way you can encourage someone to upgrade their membership and thereby pay more than they otherwise would have. You can get them in the door, and while they are inside, if they become attracted to something in the higher package, it is more of a warm sell and would be easier because they already have a relationship with your membership site and may be willing to upgrade.
Should I Offer Specials and Discount?
Running special deals and discounts in order to attract the lower paying members is a two-edged sword. On one side, this will have the advantage of introducing ‘scarcity’ and ‘urgency’ to your offer, which will drive more sales. But on the other side, it may make customers wait for a discount or cause your current customers question, “What is the value of my membership and why did I not get a discount?” For this technique of pricing, you will need to explore and be very careful by trying to figure out what type of customer you will have. Will this work to gain new customer and will your current customer base get offended?
We could say here that if you have X,Y,Z, then you can charge $ and if you have A,B,C, then you can charge $. But we hopefully have given some questions that will help to explore what the true value of your membership is and what you should think about setting your price to attract the customer base that you want and keep them happy. Our best advise is to be realistic on the value, look around for competitors, price so that your customer will be very happy.