“Build it and they will come” they say. “Go viral” they say. The truth isn’t quite as catchy, but supercharging your online courses, membership website or your business’s bank account isn’t too complicated.
The truth is, after you build your online courses or membership website, you need to start and continue marketing, adjust your business as needed and keep your customers coming back.
That is, if you want to bring in the big bucks.
Here are over 25 expert tips to explode your sales whether you’re selling online courses or you have a membership website built with WordPress. From marketing, adjusting to the market and customer satisfaction, these tips have got you covered.
Once you have your WordPress website up with content for your online course or membership website, it’s important to start marketing as. Soon. As. Possible. That means starting to plan your marketing strategy and begin spreading the word before your website launches.
As a general rule of thumb, if you think you’re marketing too early, you’re probably not. It’s common for most large companies in any industry to start marketing more than three months before they plan on launching their product, service or website.
You need to do marketing for the life of your project and business. The word “life” being used both as an adjective and a noun.
If you want to keep your website and business going, you need to continue your marketing efforts long after the launch of your website. It also needs to be an ongoing effort for as long as you plan on staying in business.
If you stop marketing, you run the risk of your business going belly up.
Below are several expert marketing tips in detail to get you on a serious roll.
Tip #1: It’s imperative to acquire new members to replace lost ones on an ongoing basis. It’s normal to lose users regularly.
It’s not always your fault, either. Sometimes life obligations force people to have to terminate a membership so it’s important to focus on attracting new members as much as possible.
Tip #2: On the other hand, at times there could be something you could improve to retain customers so asking for feedback when users unsubscribe is invaluable. It gives you the opportunity to improve.
Tip #3: In the event that users need to unsubscribe for other reasons that are out of your control, it becomes the perfect opportunity to offer a discount or some other kind of incentive for when they’re ready to sign back up.
This is also a great tip for all users that unsubscribe since many people aren’t going to be comfortable to open up about their personal life, their struggles and not being able to afford your courses or membership.
For members that can afford it, but aren’t happy with what you have to offer, a discount can often be enough to keep them onboard.
Tip #4: It helps to figure out what’s the highest possible discount you can provide to stay profitable, then start by offering the lowest discount you can to leave room for negotiation.
Over time, if you keep track of the discounts you have handed out, you should be able to see a pattern to find a sweet spot—the median between the highest and lowest discount you can provide that also yields the highest success rate for users that re-subscribe.
Tip #5: To all your students or members who do stay on board, remind them why they signed up in the first place. This kind of reselling to to existing customers can help keep users signed up and increase your retention rate.
That’s exactly what the Fizzle.co team do with an explosion of success.
Tip #6: You can also keep your users coming back to your site with gamification.
Tip #7: Start and grow an email list to help gain and retain users. For details, check out 25 Simple Ways to Grow Your Email List.
Tip #8: Advertise your website using Facebook ads. For details, check out How to Advertise on Facebook: The Complete Guide.
Tip #9: Find forums or websites with a comments section in your industry and help people there. Don’t just drop a link to your website without offering proper assistance.
If you’re unable to find a great forum or website to comment on, you can try searching Quora and Yahoo! Answers for questions relating to your industry.
This is also a tip that can yield results, but often slowly overtime so it’s important to be patient. As more traffic flows to the page with your answer in it, the better your chances are that someone will click through to your website.
It can also be helpful to not post links at all, but gently mention that you run your business and mention its name.
It’s critical that your posts are relevant and that you don’t mention your website’s name or link to it too forcefully. Otherwise, your post will likely be seen as spam and deleted.
Tip #10: Search for local industry events and use it as an opportunity to introduce yourself and what you do. Meetup.com is an excellent site to search for local events surrounding just about any topic.
If you’re not able to find any groups or upcoming events, you can consider sponsoring one or starting your own Meetup group.
If you’re not able to find any groups or upcoming events, you can consider sponsoring one or starting your own Meetup group.
Tip #11: Offer free trials. It helps potential customers see the value in what you have to offer quickly so they can better understand why they should sign up.
Free trials often excite users and they sign up immediately, but often get distracted and forget to continue their membership.
If you anticipate that this could be a problem for you, you can test out one dollar trials. It’s so close to free that most people are still willing to sign up, especially if you provide them with several reasons to join before asking them to create an account.
Plus, the investment they make—no matter how small—is enough to convince people that they need to commit to checking out your website.
Since money is how we afford to live, a monetary investment tells your brain that what you invest in is necessary or at least important to your life and survival.
Tip #12: Reach out to key influencers in your industry and offer free access if they’re willing to offer a review or testimonial.
Keep it short and don’t be to salesy. Make sure the email is focused on how you’re helping them and not about you. Otherwise, they’re not likely to be too interested.
For details, check out How to Conduct Cold Email Outreach like a Pro.
Tip #13: Create upsells in your shopping cart system to entice users to upgrade or otherwise purchase more. Check out Tips for Upselling: A Lesson From McDonald’s for details.
Now that you have customers at this point, it’s crucial to make sure you keep them happy. That way, they’re more likely to stick around and better yet, spread the word.
Continuing the count with expert tips, below are ways you can achieve delighted users from day one and beyond.
Tip #14: The owners Fizzle.co recommend setting up a forum to engage with the community. They found that the more users engaged with the community for their online course membership site, the longer the users stayed subscribed.
In fact, this is the biggest factor they found in keeping members from unsubscribing from an ongoing or long-term membership.
If you’re unable to set up a forum or similar community feature in your website, you can opt to use Facebook groups.
This kind of feature helps users inspire each other, ask questions, get answers as well as feedback.
Tip #15: Have a way to measure a user’s success. Keep a progress log for each user, offer a certificate of completion or otherwise give them automatic kudos for consuming content.
The more you’re able to congratulate users, the happier they will be and they’re also going to be more willing to stick around.
For details, check out How Gamification Can Level Up the Engagement on Your Membership Site and How Gamification Boosts Online Course Engagement and Delights Learners.
Tip #16: Have a way to encourage users to engage with your content and the community as soon as possible. This is where onboarding is incredibly helpful to keep members, well, on board.
Tip #17: While you’re working on customer onboarding, it’s an optimal opportunity for you to encourage users to share their goals with the community with the intention of the community helping them stay accountable to achieving their goals.
You could also consider helping members pick a buddy to help them stay accountable.
When you’re able to empower your community to keep each other accountable for their goals, it helps reinforce the idea that they need to continue with their membership or studying your courses rather than giving up and unsubscribing.
Not to mention that support from a helpful community is incredibly motivating.
Tip #18: It’s critical that you also jump in and stimulate conversation and reply with answers to questions in your community on a regular basis. Otherwise, you run the risk of having your users disengage and drop out.
This doesn’t mean it’s a platform to sell to your members. Only popping in to post about your latest course or upgrade membership packages is the way to turn users off in record time.
Tip #19: Incentivise users to answer questions in your community. That way, it cuts down on how much time you need to spend engaging with customers, without risking sales.
Tip #20: Before you know it, you can run out of new content to keep users engaged and subscribed. When that happens, you can ask other experts to produce content for you.
If you don’t have a budget to pay for this kind of service, you could still compensate them with profit shares such as an affiliate program, you could barter for it, “pay” them in exposure or access to your mailing list subscribers.
This is also why it’s important to nurture your contacts as much as you can.
Once you have delighted your customers, it’s time to continue to keep them happy.
To round off the list of expert tips, here are ways to keep your business’ momentum going and continue to crush it.
Tip #21: It can be difficult to consistently know what your customers are after to keep them on board. That’s why A/B testing your sales and content pages can help you figure out the best price point, design and layout.
Tip #22: Yaro Starak’s best advice for online course and membership websites is to adjust and react to your market.
If you’re noticing users are unsubscribing at a climbing rate, don’t be afraid to try new ways to keep them on as a member once you’re able to understand why they’re unsubscribing.
For example, if users are getting overwhelmed by an ongoing, endless subscription, they could unsubscribe since it’s difficult for them to see when their goals are going to be met.
Instead, you could try setting up online courses or memberships that have an end date. That way, it’s easier for users to plan for success, especially when they can see that there’s a point where they’re going to reach the goals they set when they signed up.
Tip #23: Do some research on your market as often as possible. That way, you can stay competitive in your market and keep your competition at bay.
You can sign up for industry newsletters and even your competitors’ newsletters so you can keep tabs on them and learn from what they’re doing to surpass them.
Tip #24: Measure everything: sales, attrition, retention rate, traffic, click-through, conversion, and bounce rate, user engagement, and anything else you’re able to measure about your users.
That way, if something goes wrong, you can identify the problem a lot quicker and with less effort. Then, you can solve the issue to help your business thrive and keep your customers happy.
Tip #25: Find out your users’ lifetime value. According to Kissmetrics, this is the projected value in dollars each customer will bring you for the duration of their subscription to your website.
This figure is calculated by averaging out how much you made from each customer and cross-referencing it with the average time they remained a user.
For details, check out How To Calculate Lifetime Value – The Infographic.
After you have built your online course or membership website, it’s only just the beginning. It’s time to analyze your users, promote, engage and develop ways to keep your students or members happy.
With these 25 tips, you’re well on your way to rocking it and taking your business to the moon and beyond.
Have you launched your online course or membership website or do you plan on it? What are your top concerns and biggest wins? Feel free to share your experience in the comments below.
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