Tips and tools for a productive and effective membership site

Loyal members, revenue growth, and increased brand recognition – that’s certainly the dream! But, what’s the best way to get there?

Putting a membership site together is an accomplishment. There can be a lot of work that goes into creating content, setting up your website’s infrastructure, and managing member support, for example. In fact, all of this stuff can be a bit overwhelming for some people, especially if you’re a one-person show.

Fortunately, we have some insights to share when it comes to our favorite tips and tools for making your membership site more productive and effective.

Incorporate video content

Video is one of the most engaging types of content, and meaningful memberships come from engaged members. If you aren’t already utilizing video in your membership content strategy, you might want to consider it!

  • Livestreams and Webinars.These are effective for bringing your member community together, reinforcing the material members have already absorbed, providing additional value that helps them best utilize your content, or otherwise educating and informing them. Plus, it gives you the opportunity to engage your members with video in real-time, while also serving as additional video content for future members.
  • Vimeo and YouTube. Video can get pretty expensive to host on your own site, so these platforms are the best alternatives! Both allow you to upload private or unlisted videos that you can embed on your website pages, however Vimeo offers more options for content restriction and customization.
  • Videos for onboarding. Use engaging video to welcome your members to the community, acknowledge milestones and progress, announce new content, events, and special offers, and generally personalize the member experience.

Use Trello or Basecamp to stay organized

We can’t say enough about the importance of organization – especially when your membership business involves managing long lists of subscribers and creating regular fresh content. This is where Trello, Basecamp, and other productivity tools can really help.

You can use tools like these to keep track of and organize everything from your content production process to sales, social media campaigns, and content templates. Use them in tandem with your content strategy to maximize your membership effectiveness!

Schedule your social posts with Buffer or Hootsuite

Managing social media posts can take a serious amount of time, but Buffer and Hootsuite make it easier to plan, batch create, and schedule your posts in advance. Additionally, you can use these tools to manage your social media messages from different platforms all in one central dashboard, saving you time and hassle.

Use HelpScout for support tickets

If you run your membership site all by yourself, you might be used to answering support queries email by email. Hey, that’s cool…if you’re cool with it!

But, regardless of the size of your operation, it’s worth checking out tools like HelpScout to help you stay organized, keep track of customer issues, and assign support tickets to people on your team. Providing quality support is something so important to any membership site that the organizational features alone can be worth it.

Use Zapier to automate your workflows

Zapier can do some really cool stuff, and integrates with a lot of different platforms, such as Dropbox, GSuite, Mailchimp, and Facebook Pages. In terms of memberships, here are just a few examples of tasks you could automate:

  • Send member data to tools like ConvertKit, Google Sheets, and Slack
  • Subscribe Facebook ad leads to Mailchimp mailing lists
  • Create Trello cards from contact form submissions and starred Gmail emails
  • Create Google Calendar events from Trello cards
  • Get Slack notifications for new HelpScout conversations
  • Add QuickBooks customer from Gravity Forms form entry
  • Add new WordPress users as ActiveCampaign contacts

In short, tools like Zapier cut down the busywork! And that means there’s more time for you to address more pressing issues, improve your site, create content, and engage with your members.

Offer premium content

We wrote a whole post on why premium content is imperative for a successful membership site, so let’s just say that it’s one of our favorite tips! One reason is that effective memberships focus on high-value content to keep members around for the long-term.

Premium content is exactly that – the really good stuff that you keep locked away and reserved for members who are willing to pay a premium price (your highest membership tier, for example). The mystery and exclusivity is irresistible, driving your top-tier sales and overall interest in your content.

So, what are some examples of premium membership content? How about:

  • One-to-one coaching
  • High-level features
  • Exclusive audio or video content
  • Extra downloads (such as companion PDF guides, workbooks, etc.)
  • Webinars, online events, and digital courses
  • Top-quality products, exclusive products, or exclusive product bundles
  • Access to additional content from cross-promotion partners

Nurture your member community

As we’ve discussed before in posts like 6 ways to simplify your membership business and How to build a community around your membership site, creating a community around your membership content can really set you apart from competitors.

But it doesn’t stop there; nurturing a membership community has all kinds of benefits that make running your membership site more productive and effective.

For one thing, members who have access to a community are able to ask questions, learn, and essentially become experts in your content, which means that you end up with walking advertisements. Often, committed members inevitably tell their family, friends, colleagues, and followers about your site, or are otherwise so successful in their endeavors that people ask them about it.

The other important benefit of nurturing a member community is the impact it can have on your support load. When members are able to communicate with and help each other, it ultimately means less work for you.

Lastly, the community element can be the “special sauce” that keeps your members engaged and feeling that extra bit of attachment to your membership ecosystem. Who doesn’t love having access to more resources – not to mention the human element that makes a membership (quite simply) more fun?

Mileage may vary

Remember, there’s no universal guarantee for the ultimate membership site. The truth is, the best methods depend on the type of membership you’re running and what features you require, so feel free to adapt our advice as needed!

What are your favorite membership site tips and tools? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Mandy Jones

About the author: Mandy is a content writer at Sandhills Development, singer/songwriter/musician, and founder of Looplicious. Originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, she's a frequent traveler and animal lover with a passion for creativity and maker culture.

2 comments

  1. Restrict content is not a true membership site. I am still awaiting an option for a metered paywall with restrict as big magazines offer. When comparing metered vs. hard paywalls, Restrict content puts bloggers at a disadvantage by NOT giving this option. Hard paywalls that restrict uses hurts SEO and user growth by blocking restricted blogs/ articles from Google search.

    Restrict Content Pro needs a new method that allows users to view X # of articles allowing a “Try before you buy.”

    If restrict content doesn’t start offering this, they will start losing users. Other content handlers like MemberPress and leaky paywall will take massive market share with the metered paywall option.

    If you know anymore about this option or if Restrict Content is going to have an update with this option soon please update the RCP community.

    Thanks

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