13 min read

How to Promote a Membership Site: 19 Creative Ideas

how to promote a membership site

Are you looking to boost your membership site's visibility and attract more members?

Want to discover the most effective strategies on how to promote a membership site?

Here's a quick overview of our nineteen favorite ways we promote our membership sites: 

  1. The Seasonal Public Launch
  2. The Free Trial Downsell
  3. The Early Notification List Funnel
  4. The Splinter Class & Upsell (Internal Promotion)
  5. The Facebook Ads Splinter & Upsell (External Promotion)
  6. The Product Upsell Private Invite
  7. Encourage Member Referrals
  8. Use Content Marketing to Promote a Membership Site
  9. Use Affiliate Marketing to Promote a Membership Site
  10. Create Search Engine Optimized Content to Get Organic Traffic
  11. Leverage Lead Magnets to Get More Members
  12. Create a Testimonials Page of Your Members
  13. Drive Traffic with Pinterest
  14. Create Videos on YouTube
  15. Host Webinars to Sell More Memberships
  16. Offer Free Trials to Get More Members
  17. Offer Bonus Content to Get New Sign Ups
  18. Create Engaging Video Testimonials
  19. Run a Free 3-Day Challenge in Your Facebook Group

Start implementing these proven tactics today and watch your membership site flourish. Below you will find our step-by-step strategy for how to implement each of these tactics. 

While the prospect of recurring monthly income is exciting, many content creators are still unsure about how to promote a membership site. Simply opening the doors to a new membership site is no guarantee of success.

If you are looking to launch a membership site, then check out our blog post: How to Launch a Membership Site: 8 Simple Steps.

Free On-Demand Video Training: Implement the Blogging System that 40x My Online Business. Click Here to Watch Now

If you want to grow an existing membership site, you need to get creative about how you market it all year long.

We use nineteen powerful promotional strategies that work together to add new monthly members on a consistent basis.

How to Promote a Membership Site: 19 Creative Ideas

We’ll start by walking you through the front door (public enrollment) promotion campaigns we use to get new members.

Then we will share a few of our favorite back door (private enrollment) strategies that have worked well.

1. The Seasonal Public Launch

By far, one of the most effective promotional strategies for a membership site is the seasonal public launch. To use this strategy, you’ll need to publicly open and close your membership site a few times per year.

Here at Blogging Your Passion, we have both a spring and fall launch. Typically, we will have a week of creating buzz, followed by a week of open enrollment. At the end of the promotion, we will publicly close enrollment.

Does this strategy work? The numbers don’t lie.

A few years ago, I decided to leave our membership site registration open all year long. I wanted to allow new subscribers to join at any time and not have to wait. I thought for sure that over the course of a year we would add many more members.

But the results told us otherwise.

We added more new members in fourteen days of open enrollment during a “launch” than we did keeping the membership site open all year long.

The reasons this strategy works are simple:

  • Excitement – You create anticipation for enrollment by creating buzz the week before
  • Urgency – The open and closed cart creates an immediate buying decision
  • Exclusivity – The opportunity to be part of a private community is attractive

If you do nothing else, use this promotion strategy with your membership site.

2. The Free Trial Downsell

A free trial downsell is ideal for people who showed interest in your public launch, but they did not enroll. One of the best ways to execute this promotion is to offer it the day after you close your public launch.

We either make the offer a 7-day free trial (we have them add their payment method to get access) or offer a one dollar 30-day trial. We also make this offer only available for 24 hours.

Below is an example of the marketing email we send. Again, this email is only sent to people who visited the sales page but did not enroll.

Promote Your Membership with a Free Trial

We’ve added 76 additional members so far using the above email and downsell strategy.

3. The Early Notification List Funnel

Once your enrollment period is closed, you can change your sales page into an “early notification” page. This will allow you to collect email addresses of people who are interested in joining your membership site the next time it is open.

If you don’t want to wait to allow them to join, then you have two promotional opportunities:

  • Do an email promotion just to the early notification list allowing them to join through a private launch. This would typically last one week.
  • Set up an automatic funnel for your early notification list. You can schedule an automatic email to be sent out a few days after they join the list.

4. The Splinter Class & Upsell (Internal Promotion)

One of the beauties of running a membership site is that you’re always creating new, valuable content for your existing members.

Why not strategically sell some of this content to non-members? It gives them an opportunity to test out your training.

For example, inside my membership site (The Messenger Launch Lab), I release a monthly playbook (like a mini course). We cover topics like email list building, social media traffic, and audience-building techniques.

Every few months, I then take one of the training videos and set it up as a separate product inside Kajabi (see below for an example).

Now I’m able to sell the training separately from my membership site to non-members. Even better, I will do a one-week flash sale to my list and offer a training similar to the one shown above for just $17.

After a non-member makes their purchase, they are then presented with a 7-day free trial to the membership site. Every time we execute this strategy, we not only convert many more new customers but we add new members during our closed enrollment period.

5. The Facebook Ads Splinter & Upsell (External Promotion)

Want to grow your membership outside of your existing membership site? The Facebook Ad Splinter & Upsell strategy is similar to the last method except for two critical points:

  • We will be promoting to a colder, but targeted audience on Facebook (people who are primarily unaware of us).
  • We will start by offering a free lead magnet.

So the customer journey looks like this:

  • New subscriber opts in to receive the lead magnet
  • They are shown the $7 class special on the thank you page
  • Offer is made for the free 7-day trial of the membership site

When done correctly, this Facebook Ad campaign has three primary benefits:

  • Builds your email list with new subscribers wanting your lead magnet
  • Lowers your ad budget costs by making $7 sales through impulse purchases
  • Adds new members to your membership site during the closed enrollment period

If you are able to dial in this strategy and make it work, it can be an extremely effective promotional campaign–even for those who have a small email list.

6. The Product Upsell Private Invite

Do you have other online courses to sell? If so, you should consider offering a one-time free 7-day trial as an upsell when they buy a course. We use Kajabi to deploy the upsell, so setting it up is fairly easy.

When a customer buys a course, they’ll also see a two-minute video that shows the inside of the membership site. We also state in the video that even though it is currently closed, for today only you can get a free trial (see below for an example).

Every week we see new people join our membership site through this strategy. Think about the other products or services you are already selling and add a simple upsell to a free trial to your membership site.

7. Encourage Member Referrals

Encourage your members to refer others to your membership site and expand your community. By implementing referral programs, you can tap into the power of word-of-mouth marketing to promote your membership site.

Offering incentives to your members for referring new members can be a great way to encourage their participation.

For example, you can provide discounts, exclusive content, or even free access to certain features as a reward for successful referrals.

Make it easy for your members to refer others by providing them with personalized referral links or templates that they can easily share with their network.

8. Use Content Marketing to Promote a Membership Site

To effectively promote your membership site, consistently create and distribute valuable content that resonates with your target audience.

Content marketing is a powerful strategy that can help you attract and engage potential members, and ultimately grow your online community.

Start by understanding your audience's needs and interests, and then develop high-quality content that addresses those areas.

Whether it's blog posts, videos, podcasts, or social media updates, make sure your content provides value and showcases the benefits of your membership site platform.

Use various marketing strategies such as search engine optimization (SEO) and social media promotion to reach a wider audience.

9. Use Affiliate Marketing to Promote a Membership Site

To leverage the power of affiliate marketing, connect with influencers and partners who can promote your membership site to their audience.

Affiliate marketing is a powerful strategy that allows you to tap into the existing networks of others in order to drive traffic and conversions to your site.

By partnering with affiliates who have a relevant audience, you can reach potential members who may not have otherwise discovered your site.

To make the most of affiliate marketing, provide your affiliates with the necessary tools and resources to effectively promote your membership site.

This could include exclusive discounts or offers for their audience, custom landing pages, and compelling promotional materials.

By working together with affiliates, you can expand your reach and attract new members to your site.

Benefits of Affiliate Marketing How it Helps Promote a Membership Site
Increased exposure Affiliates promote your membership site to their audience, increasing visibility and reach
Targeted marketing Affiliates with a relevant audience can attract members who are interested in your site's offerings
Cost-effective You only pay affiliates when they successfully refer a new member, making it a cost-efficient marketing method
Trust and credibility Affiliates act as trusted sources and their endorsement can lend credibility to your membership site

10. Create Search Engine Optimized Content to Get Organic Traffic

To further boost your membership site's visibility and attract organic traffic, focus on creating search engine optimized content.

Search engines play a crucial role in driving organic traffic to your website. By implementing effective search engine optimization (SEO) strategies, you can improve your site's ranking in search engine results pages and attract more website visitors.

When creating content, ensure that you incorporate relevant keywords and phrases that your target audience is likely to search for. Conduct keyword research to identify popular search terms and use them strategically in your content.

Create high-quality and engaging content that provides value to your audience. By consistently optimizing your content creation process, you can increase your chances of attracting organic traffic and growing your membership site.

11. Leverage Lead Magnets to Get More Members

Attract more members to your membership site by leveraging lead magnets.

One effective way to attract potential members is by creating valuable and relevant lead magnets. These can be in the form of free resources, such as ebooks, checklists, or templates, that you offer to your target audience in exchange for their contact information.

By providing these lead magnets, you not only capture the email addresses of potential customers but also showcase your expertise and the value you can offer.

For example, you can create blog posts that provide valuable insights and then offer an exclusive content upgrade related to the topic.

This strategy allows you to nurture your potential members and build a stronger relationship with them, increasing the chances of converting them into paying customers.

12. Create a Testimonials Page of Your Members

One way to further establish the credibility and showcase the success of your membership site is by creating a testimonials page featuring feedback and experiences from your satisfied members.

This testimonials page serves as social proof, providing potential members with real-life examples of how your site has benefited others.

By including testimonials on your site, you can build trust and credibility, encouraging visitors to become paying members.

To maximize the impact of your testimonials, consider incorporating them into your social media platforms and email marketing campaigns.

You can leverage your testimonials page by using it as a tool to promote your affiliate program.

Pro Tip: I like to use software like Testimonial.to to automatically capture video and text testimonials for me.

By showcasing the positive experiences of your members, you can attract potential affiliates and increase brand awareness.

13. Drive Traffic with Pinterest

Use Pinterest to drive traffic to your membership site. Pinterest is a popular platform where users discover and save ideas for various topics.

By leveraging its visual nature, you can attract both current and prospective members to your membership program. Successful membership sites have found great success in utilizing Pinterest to increase their website traffic and grow their member base.

Here are some ways you can use Pinterest to promote your membership site:

Pinterest Strategies Benefits
Create visually appealing pins related to your membership program Attracts attention and encourages click-throughs
Pin content from your website or blog with a call-to-action directing users to your membership site Increases awareness and drives traffic
Collaborate with influencers or other businesses to create joint boards related to your niche Expands your reach and taps into their audience

14. Create Videos on YouTube

Want to take your membership marketing to the next level?

YouTube videos are a powerful way to engage your audience and attract new members. Video content is a key component of digital marketing strategies, and YouTube provides a massive platform to showcase your expertise and offerings.

By creating videos related to your membership site, you can provide valuable information, tutorials, and insights that will resonate with your target audience.

You can also use videos to promote online events or exclusive content available to your members.

Don't be afraid to get creative and experiment with different video formats and styles.

With YouTube's wide reach and potential for virality, creating compelling videos can significantly boost your membership site's visibility and attract a larger audience.

15. Host Webinars to Sell More Memberships

To sell more memberships, you can maximize your reach and engagement by hosting webinars.

Webinars are a great way to promote your membership site and attract new members. By hosting webinars, you can showcase the value and benefits of your membership site in a live and interactive format.

This allows you to engage with your audience, answer their questions, and address their concerns directly.

Webinars also give you the opportunity to establish yourself as an expert in your niche and build trust with your audience. A

Webinars provide a platform for you to offer exclusive promotions and discounts to attendees, incentivizing them to join your membership site.

Pro Tip: My favorite easy-to-use webinar tool is WebinarKit for both live and on-demand webinars.

16. Offer Free Trials to Get More Members

One effective strategy to attract more members is by offering them a free trial.

By providing potential members with a taste of what your membership site has to offer, you can entice them to sign up for a full membership.

Free trials are a great way to showcase the value and benefits of your site, giving users the opportunity to explore the content, features, and community before committing to a paid membership.

Offering free trials also helps build trust and confidence in your site, as members can see firsthand the value they will receive.

To maximize the effectiveness of your free trials, it's important to clearly communicate the duration of the trial period and any limitations or restrictions.

Consider including a call-to-action to encourage users to convert to a paid membership at the end of their trial.

Benefits of Offering Free Trials
Attracts potential members
Showcases value and benefits of site
Builds trust and confidence

17. Offer Bonus Content to Get New Sign Ups

To get new sign-ups for your membership site, entice potential members with the offer of bonus content. Offering bonus content is a great way to attract and incentivize new sign-ups.

By providing additional value to your potential members, you can showcase the benefits of joining your membership site.

Bonus content can come in various forms, such as exclusive ebooks, video tutorials, or access to special events or webinars.

This additional content not only enhances the overall experience for your members but also sets your membership site apart from competitors.

When promoting your membership site, highlight the bonus content that new sign-ups will receive.

Make it clear that by joining, they'll gain access to valuable resources and exclusive perks that aren't available elsewhere.

This offer of bonus content can be a powerful motivator to encourage new sign-ups and drive membership growth.

18. Create Engaging Video Testimonials

Highlight the positive experiences of your current members by creating engaging video testimonials for your membership site.

Video testimonials are a powerful tool to promote your membership site and attract new members.

Here are two ways to engage your audience through video testimonials:

  • Show the benefits: Feature members who've had positive results or experiences from using your membership site. Let them talk about how your site has helped them achieve their goals, solve their problems, or improve their lives. This will demonstrate the value of your site and entice potential members to join.
  • Build trust: Include testimonials from members who've been with your site for a while. Let them share how they've benefited from being part of your community and how your site has consistently delivered value. This will help build trust and credibility, showing potential members that your site is reliable and worth investing in.

19. Run a Free 3-Day Challenge in Your Facebook Group

Another solid strategy that has worked for me in the past is to select a specific topic from your membership site content and run a 3-day challenge in your Facebook group.

What's great about this marketing strategy is that it creates free content as well as buzz for your membership site. This will introduce your membership plan to new audiences on a regular basis.

You can also create new content for each 3-day challenge you run which allows you to keep the promotion of your paid membership site fresh. 

Can you leverage a different social media platform with this strategy? Absolutely! I've seen people run challenges on Instagram, YouTube, and Linkedin as well. 

The best way to create buzz with this strategy is by hosting a live event.

The bottom line: these challenges work because prospective members get a chance to taste-test your premium content for free.

Final Thoughts:

In conclusion, promoting a membership site requires a strategic approach that includes promotion strategies like:

  • Encouraging member referrals
  • Utilizing content and affiliate marketing
  • Optimizing search engine content
  • Leveraging lead magnets
  • Hosting webinars
  • Offering free trials
  • Providing bonus content
  • Creating engaging video testimonials
  • And more!

By implementing these tactics, you can attract more members and grow your membership site effectively.

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