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How Free Membership Websites Can Help Small Businesses Live Long and Prosper

Now’s the Time for Small Businesses to Invest in a Membership Website

Membership websites are a great way for businesses to offer products or services for a fee to build an ongoing revenue stream.

A free membership website can also help businesses by serving as a marketing tool to engage customers. Offering something of value through an exclusive channel on your website can boost traffic. It can also give people a reason to recommend you to others. Although you can distribute promotional offers through email marketing, don’t overlook the value of getting people to visit your website. In some cases, a free membership site may be a starting point for a paid membership website further down the road.

How Much Does a Membership Website Cost to Develop?

The cost of a membership website has never been more affordable. Advances in technology and hosting make it attainable for businesses to set up a simple membership website for less than ever before. The cost will vary based on your needs for design, organization, and the complexity of your membership. Call us today to discuss your needs and receive a free quote for your membership site.

Three things to keep in mind about membership sites:

  1. Offer something that benefits your target audience
  2. Don’t overcomplicate the sign-up process
  3. Update your offerings so that people have a reason to keep coming back

Many retailers and restaurants give their members coupons, discounts or other special incentives. An offer that must be redeemed within a limited time frame means people will need to come back for the next offer. Ideally, you will use these promotions to share additional information about your business or products.  Adding a “refer a friend” option can help you build your membership.

Other membership incentives might be access to informational downloads, podcasts or videos specific to your products or industry. You, your employees or your existing customers may have a strong knowledge base that can be tapped into and shared.  A tip of the month, frequently updated FAQs or interviews with experts can all create interest. Don’t underestimate the drawing power of a quiz, game or challenge. People love to test their knowledge, compare themselves to others and learn more about themselves.

For businesses with a brick and mortar space, a membership website provides an opportunity to coordinate online and offline engagement. Do you have multiple retail locations?  Think about offers that can encourage visits to different stores. Limiting promotions to a designated time period can help you manage results and make adjustments as needed.

Depending on your industry, you may want to create user forums that will allow your members to connect and share ideas with each other. Member forums that allow photos or videos to be part of the sharable content or provide a place to ask and answer questions can stimulate ongoing interactions with your website.

The bottom line is to provide value, make it easy for members to sign up and be consistent in delivering new content. Give yourself permission to think outside the box and come up with some interesting ways to create an exclusive community through membership on your website.

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