4 types of bonus content to include in your memberships

With the growing popularity of the membership model, there’s more and more competition if you run a membership site – and that means it’s increasingly important to find ways to distinguish yourself.

This is where bonus content comes in!

You can use bonus content in all kinds of ways, from boosting your membership value and improving sales, to promoting limited-time offers and inspiring long-term loyalty from your existing members.

What can you offer members that your competitors can’t (or don’t)? What valuable bonus content can you provide to help them to get the most out of your content? What special extras can you provide to convert more sales?

What qualifies as bonus content anyway?

The truth is, anything that isn’t a part of your regular membership offering can function as bonus content. From downloads to exclusive online materials, there are plenty of options for adding extra value to your memberships. In this post, we’ve highlighted 4 types of bonus content that we find especially compelling!

Downloadable assets

There’s so much variety when it comes to downloadable bonus content – and it’s usable in virtually all membership scenarios; after all, downloadable assets can be just about anything that members can download.

Here are a few examples:

  • eBooks
  • PDF guides
  • Templates
  • Worksheets
  • Software presets
  • Images
    • Photos
    • Graphic packs
    • Infographics
  • Audio files
    • Podcast episodes
    • Interviews
    • Music
    • Audio versions of PDF guides
    • Audiobooks
  • Video files (less common due to larger file sizes)

For example, maybe you sell nutrition memberships and you decide to give new members a bonus PDF meal plan for signing up. Or, your members pay for a certain number of stock images per month, and you offer them a bonus pack to thank them for their loyalty.

Or, perhaps you run a digital course-based membership site and you want to differentiate yourself from a competitor, so you offer a bonus workbook and accompanying podcast episode. The options are limitless and customizable to your niche and content!

If you’re stuck for ideas, try recreating existing content in a different format, such as an audio version of an article or a written transcription of a video, for example.

Exclusive interviews and webinars

Engaging your members is super important when it comes to helping them achieve their goals and reducing churn. Exclusive interviews are highly valuable in this way because they provide educational value and insights that dedicated members find irresistible.

Plus, they allow you to bring in guests that add outside value and help to reduce the amount of content creation you have to do on your own!

Webinars are another particularly high-value type of bonus content because they give you face time with your members (if you choose), and inspire discussion and further learning. At the end of the day, the more you can do to engage your members, the more they become experts on your content – and ultimately, the better your recurring revenue will be.

Access to private groups

Often, the community element is one of the biggest advantages of joining a membership site – and access to private discussion groups or other exclusive communities can be especially attractive to loyal members who are seriously committed to your niche.

Facebook is a common platform used for this purpose, with the option of having private, or even secret, invite-only discussion groups. You can control who has access, and engage group members with posts, polls, live videos, and more.

Discount codes

If you make video content or tutorials of any kind, discount codes can be a great way to incentivize new and existing members. Whether the discount is for software used (or discussed), or for a cross-promotion with a partner whose product is relevant to your membership, members love an exclusive deal!

For example, if you make tutorials for some kind of creative software, you could offer your members bonus discounts on that software, presets, or templates. Many companies are always on the lookout for affiliates or talent to sponsor in exchange for referring new customers.

Think about what makes sense for your audience

These are just a few of our favorite types of bonus content, but it’s important to consider what your members are trying to get out of your membership. Depending on your niche, you might find that downloadable assets are less effective in comparison to, say, offering one-to-one coaching sessions.

In any case, you get a lot from incorporating bonus content into your content strategy! Hopefully this brief list gives you some ideas to think about.

What kind of bonus content has been effective for your own membership site? We’d love to hear your input! Comment below.

Illustration by Jessica Johnston

Mandy Jones

About the author: Mandy Jones is a content writer at Sandhills Development and founder of Looplicious. Hailing from Minneapolis, Minnesota, she's a world traveler and animal lover with a passion for creativity and maker culture. When she’s not writing blog posts for Easy Digital Downloads, Restrict Content Pro, and AffiliateWP, she can be found hanging out with other people’s dogs, or writing, recording, and performing music.

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