Membership Sites
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Making an Awesome Membership Site First Impression

I'm a big advocate for using membership sites to enhance the lead magnet delivery experience.  I cover that in my recent article Making Your Membership Site a List Builder and Lead Generator.  It covers the benefits of this approach.  Opting in to receive your lead magnet is a very early step in your relationship with any new contact.  You need to make sure it is optimized so the new contacts sees obvious value right away with a first impression that is packed with as much "Wow" as possible.

Let's take a simple newsletter signup form to illustrate.  We'll loop back to how to works with a membership sites later, but for now let's use this simple scenario.

You can click here for an example opt-in page we use to get people to join our newsletter.  I promote it in the signature of my guest posts on other people's sites.  Now let's point out an issue we need to overcome.  We send out our our newsletter on Thursday afternoons. It's an email containing teasers and links to several of the week's blog posts.  It also provides links to some of our previous articles.  The first problem is the first newsletter doesn't go out "right away."  There's a gap between when someone signs up and when they get their first issue.  A second problem is the first newsletter's arrival doesn't explain what the new contact can expect so they can best appreciate how it can help them.

So our sign up campaign begins a three part email sequence sent day 1, day 2 and day 3 after they sign up introducing the newsletter, our business and me personally to them.  It's pretty elaborate containing a serious introduction aimed at connecting with them personally.  It's a story.  (Click here to read more about using stories in your marketing content.)   It gets personal and highlights the "best of" content from our newsletter.  These are links to three articles similar to the ones they will be receiving so they gain insight into what they'll be getting.

A lot of people new to online marketing tell me, "Isn't this a bit forward of you?  The guy only requested your newsletter."  My take on that is what I'm providing them is valuable.  My biggest fear is the person, who did sign up expressing interest in learning more about online marketing for their business, will miss out.  I honestly feel we provide valuable content here.  If the person has second thoughts after receiving all these, each emails I send has an opt-out button.  What I have found is I have a tribe of fans that tell me all the time, "You produce some good content."  They read my newsletters and blog articles and are impressed that we publish so much valuable content consistently.

In parallel with this sequence, we begin another series of email introducing them to other things we have to offer.  Ryan Deiss from Digital Marketers and others call this an engagement sequence.  The goal here is to get these new contacts to consider other options we have to offer.  Ideally, this should be what we like to call a "tripwire" offer.  That's an inexpensive product, usually in the $17 to $199 range depending upon your audience, that gets the contact to pull out their wallet for the first time.  In our case, we offer a $47 "Do-It-Yourself Membership Site Builder Kit."  Our tripwire is aimed at the business owner or team member in a business intersted in taking the do-it-yourself approach to building there own membership site.

A few things are at play here.  First we want to connect with them.  We want to educate them on what our team has to offer and we want to showcase our expertise.  We want the new contact thinking, "These guys really know there stuff."  If all goes well, the person is thinking, "If I ever need what these guys offer, I'm going to buy it and I'll refer them business."  In the best of situations, the person is thinking, "Let me hire them to work with me on this."

Our minimum core offer, the thing we really want them to buy, is our Incredibly Powerful Membership Website Package.  It's a done-for-you offer that gets a business owner a very nicely built custom membership site site.   If someone does buy our tripwire, we want them to know we could be doing it for them.  Building your first membership site is an option for a lot of business owners.  We want to make ourselves available to those that think, "This kit is good, but I don't have time to do it myself and these guys can surely do it for me."  That's the sales funnel and the thinking behind it.

If you complement this with a membership site, you provide a newsletter or lead magnet content on the site.  You use auto login links to land people on the exact same pages they would have gotten to before, but now the member is logged into your site.  The power of your membership site, as I have outline in the ariticle I reference earlier, is now available to you.  These can work in conjunction with these email campaigns to promote how you can work with these business owners and position yourself as the trusted expert that can be of service to them.