A Single Trick to Increase Membership Conversions

Membership sites are all different

I know it. You know it. No two membership sites are the same. But they all have a few things in common – like needing to convert prospects into buyers. And most of the membership sites I've worked with also have content in common – they're focused on selling access to information. So here's a single trick to increase membership conversions if you're content-focused.

It started right here for this site…

This story started as I was thinking about how I wanted to create a membership component on this site. And I had a very specific feature I wanted.

So I started looking at all the various membership plugins to see if any would do what I wanted. Most did something close, but not exactly what I wanted….

Want to know the right membership plugin for you?

I recently compared the 13 best membership plugins for WordPress. If you know which criteria is important to you, you can determine which plugin will serve you best. Plus find out which has the fullest set of features.

Free content can convert

My single trick to increase membership conversions starts with a premise that you're already creating free content. It's a content strategy a lot of people use.

I have more than 1500 posts on this site that are free for you to read. I used to have more, but I've removed a bunch, so that I can say that pretty much all of them are attempts to add value and help you.

I know that free content converts visitors because the people that buy my eBooks, the people that call me on Clarity, and the people who sign up for coaching – all of them found the free content first.

So what's the trick?

When I create content for this site, I know I'm creating valuable content for free. I know it will be 800-1100 words. I know I could write more, but again, this is free content.

So what if I did write more? What if that was only the “free” part, and I wrote a second version of that content that doubled the amount of information? What if I went deeper?

What I would want is a way to present the free version, and then create a call to action (CTA) that would invite people to sign up for my membership to get the deeper “extra” content. The good stuff.

The trick to increase membership conversions is not about how you pitch people on a landing or sales page. It's about catching them in the moment when they actually want more. Catch them when they're happy to pay for greater access.

Most of us use interrupt-based marketing techniques. We interrupt them with our emails or ads.

The strategy for greater conversions on membership sites isn't to send people to a landing page. It's to use their desire, in the moment they experience it, to drive your conversions.

Restrict Content Pro delivers

What I wanted was a feature that could insert a call to action on a post to sign up for membership, and when a customer signed up / paid, would redirect them to the post with the additional content.

I wanted a Content Redirection feature where I could define the redirection based on the page I was on. That's not the normal way membership sites work.

Typical membership plugins route you to the regular sign up page, and then redirect you to the general thank you page.

I wanted something different. So I approached the team at Restrict Content Pro and they delivered.

If you buy Restrict Content Pro, you'll get this new feature automatically.

It comes in the form of a Gutenberg block that collects three things:

  • The Registration URL – the page where people sign up
  • The Button Text – the text that goes on the button
  • The Redirection URL – where you want customers redirected to

And lets you put that button on your post. That redirection is only for that one post. So if you put that block on another post, you can redirect to a different location.

Upselling free content

Imagine reading this post and wanting the actual steps to doing the work. This is where my buy button would go. But not to sell the single specific guide as a PDF. Instead, to join the membership and get access to more than just that one guide.

Putting a contextual offer in the content is going to be a lot more useful than a link to the regular “buy” page, because it suggests (accurately) that immediate gratification is available.

And that will help you convert more folks to join your membership.

Sign up for free content. People still do that.

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Chris Lema
Chris Lema has been working with WordPress since 2005. Over the years he's been a blogger, a speaker at WordCamps, a coach for WordPress product companies, and the founder of the conference for WordPress business owners, called CaboPress. Today he's the VP of Products at Liquid Web, where he manages the world's first managed platform for WooCommerce stores.