There comes a point, when you have set up a membership program for your business or your association, where you have to decide to either give free access to your membership or charge a fee for accessing your membership content. This decision can prove to be quite difficult at times. Hopefully after reading this, you’ll get a clear idea on how to differentiate between the two and which model would best suit your needs.
The most glaring and main benefit of paid memberships, other than providing much needed content to your members, is the added revenue it brings to your business or organization. You can charge a one-time fee for members to receive access to the exclusive members-only content or it can be a recurring fee, monthly, yearly, or whichever frequency would suit your organization better. A paid membership can act as a barrier to entry for those who aren’t seriously committed or genuinely interested in what you have to offer. Being able to keep low-interest people out is beneficial and useful in maintaining a community that is involved, dedicated and productive. On the flip side, though your member-base is more potent, you also will also have a higher turnover rate than free memberships. Not everyone will stick around for the long haul, so you do have to develop a strategy to keep attracting new members on a consistent basis.
The free membership model has its own benefits and disadvantages as well. The most obvious benefit of a free membership is that access is given to everyone who wishes to get to know more about your organization. This will increase the likelihood that the people who are on the fence about purchasing your product or services will do so. Oftentimes, prospects who are adamant about not shelling out any coins would purchase from your organization because of the simple repeated exposure to your business or organization. Offering free membership access should also be contingent on who your audience is. If your products and services are geared towards a group with limited buying power, pre-teens or stay-at-home parents for instance, then it would be smarter to have free membership access since the purchase of your product or service, though used by your audience would be done by someone else or would be a big purchasing decision for them. It would be erroneous to charge membership access to a kid who might get Dad to buy that video game soon.
The Best Strategy
You’re probably wondering now what the best strategy is for your business. Do you offer paid memberships or free memberships. The great thing about offering paid and free memberships is that the two do not have to be mutually exclusive strategies for your organization. You can mix the two. That is actually the most optimal strategy to implement. Unless your organization requires you to have one or the other for some reason, it is best to have a mixture of the two. Your business can offer free membership with free content that will attract new members and pull in your audience. Then you can add a paid membership section with exclusive content only available to those who pay the fee. This strategy allows you to have the best of both worlds, a pool of interested people and a core base of dedicated members.
Knowing the difference between paid memberships and free memberships, and knowing the advantages of each is but the first step in your journey. Once you’re ready to implement one of these two or both for your business, feel free to contact us and Book a Demo to learn more about MemberBoss. As always, don’t forget to subscribe to the Boss Blog for more helpful tips pertaining to you and your members.