Building Momentum for Your Membership Site

02/16/2011 03:27 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

So you have created all of the features of your membership site. You have a great sales page and you have promoted it through colleagues and social media and you have some initial members. Now how do you get more traction once all of the pieces are in place?

Whether your membership program has been online for 4 weeks or 4 months, there are always ways to expand your marketing reach and gain more interest.

1. Give away a downloadable bonus gift - Make is something they can't get anywhere else unless they are a member. In exchange for the valuable content, you now have their email address and you can periodically check in with them and share some of the topics that are being discussed on your member calls, your tips sheets, or your interviews.

2. Sell the monthly membership for $1.00 instead of the regular price for one risk-free month. What that does is capture their email address and credit card information. They are now included in a payment system that will be charged the next month. Of course they can cancel at any time.

3. Offer a month for free - with credit card information
. You can do the one month for free offer as well and ask for credit card information - the challenge is if you ask for credit card information upfront people become suspicious that they will get roped into something when they simply wanted to access the membership for free.

4. Offer a month for free - without credit card information. If you offer a month for free without a credit card you obviously will not convert as many of those leads into customers but you will probably get a far greater response because no payment is required. This gives people an opportunity to try it.

5. You MUST stay connected. Regardless of what method you used to earn their contact information, you must make sure you stay in touch with people. If you constantly stay in touch in reasonable increments that are all lined up and scheduled, you will be able to convert some of your free members into buyers. Make sure your auto-responder messages are inviting...

  • "I hope you are enjoying your monthly free membership....take a look at these additional products."
  • "You have probably already accessed the site and taken a look at tip this month but did you know...(and highlight some other strategies, etc.)" "As a member you also get these privileges...
  • "If you want to have access to these case studies and success stories every single month, it is only19 and you can get signed up right now....before your trial period ends...."

Always be thinking about the different ways you can provide ongoing content to your potential customer - for free or for sale.

Peggy McColl is a New York Times best-selling author and an internationally recognized expert in the field of personal and professional development and Internet marketing.