I’m a huge fan of lifelong learning.
Online courses and membership programs are some of the best ways for us to stay current and learn new things, in business and on the personal front, too.
You might have considered running or already run online courses of your own.
How To Design a Membership Site That Sells
So now I want to ask you this: does your members area help you keep your students engaged, and does it sell more of your courses along the way?
1. Make your membership site easy to login to
One of my personal pet peeves is when you sign up for a course and need to jump through hoops to access your newly purchased content.
Many membership site plugins have you check out and then enter your email address and select a password as a second step.
AccessAlly allows you to auto generate a password and send it to your customers right after they check out.
And if they happen to miss that email, they can just hit “forgot password” and get a new password sent anytime.
2. Have the right timing for your training programs
Depending on the type of online course that you’ve created, you might need to have different pieces of course content delivered at different times.
For example, you might have a live training course that needs to inform your students of special live coaching calls or unlock videos one week at a time.
Or, you might be running an ongoing evergreen program that should send an email and unlock a page on your membership site every few days.
You can easily do both with AccessAlly, without getting caught up in tech jargon about drip sequences.
3. Offer additional courses, from within your members area
One of my favorite features of AccessAlly is the ability to show your students which courses they have and which ones they haven’t purchased yet.
This is the key to designing a membership area that sells without being slimy or pushy about up-sells or cross-sells.
In our members area, you can see a badge for each of the courses you’ve signed up for, and a greyed out badge for ones you haven’t taken yet.
If you click on the badge for a course you don’t own, you’re taken to a sales page where you can learn more about it and decide if it’s right for you.
4. Keep everything organized, and give people progress check-ins
One major problem with online learning is overwhelm. There’s just so much to learn, so many different modules, videos, and things to download and apply.
So think about how you can streamline the learning process for your students.
One way we’ve done that with AccessAlly is to create objectives for each of our trainings. You can check off the objectives as you complete them, and see how far you’ve come since you started the program.
Not only is that motivating, but it also helps us as course designers see where people excel and where they might be getting stuck.
5. Mix free courses with paid courses easily
One component of online learning to keep in mind is that not everything needs to be a paid course. You can use online membership sites for free training too!
When you have a combination of free and paid courses inside the same members area, you can take advantage of the cross-selling possibilities and it gets people used to logging in to access your best material.
So these were my top 5 tips for designing a membership site that helps your students learn better, stay engaged, and buy more of your trainings.
What Are Your Favorite Membership Site Features?
Now that we’ve designed our own membership site plugin for WordPress, we’re constantly looking for ways to improve it.
What are your favorite membership features or things that you feel could be missing in other online learning platforms out there? We may just incorporate your ideas into our next version of the software!