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Secret Ninja Tactics to Building a Better Mouse Trap

Previously, we talked about how you can best use the “Freemium” model for business success. In this article, we’re going to discuss some of the tactics and strategies (we refer to these as “Secret Ninja Tactics”) to significantly increase the response rate on your already successful Freemium based sites. The Freemium model will make you money, but using these Secret Ninja Tactics could double or triple that amount.

1. “Hide” Your Free Entry Point

The first Secret Ninja tactic is to hide the fact that your “entry point” is free. Why would you want to make it harder for people to get your information? First, people often associate the word ‘free’ with ‘no value’. You certainly don’t want this. In fact, the word “free” probably shouldn’t appear anywhere on your website.

In addition, if someone visits your site and find that it’s totally free to sign up, then they might think “Hmmm…. I can sign-up anytime, and it’s free. There’s no rush – I’ll just come back later.” At that point you’ve probably lost them forever.

So they’ll see that there’s a fee to access your site (reaffirming the value of your products), and you’ll put the “free access” page somewhere deeper in your website structure. The next step is to only grant access to your free sign-up page when someone does something for you first.

2. Start Building a Relationship Through a Little “Work”

Here are some examples of what you might do to make the customer work to find the free entry point:

Make them buy a product (this can be anything but it works best if it’s something low price or low risk).

Make them buy a product via an affiliate link (again, this should be something low in price and risk).

Make them sign-up to one of your newsletters (and confirm their opt-in).

Make them post a comment to your website blog.

Make them join another one of your network sites (which might be a free sign-up).

Make them solve some kind of puzzle or riddle (even simple Flash-based jigsaw puzzles can be very effective).

Make them Tweet something for you

Making it a little harder to get to the free content does three things:

First, requiring some action reinforces the perception of value. Since they have to do something to get your product, the offer is no longer “free”.

Second, making the prospect jump through a hoop lays the foundation for a sense of mutual reciprocation. They do something for you, then you give them a “gift”, and now it’s their turn again.

Third, structuring things this way forms a relationship. That person has to meet you at a point that’s beneficial to you both – you’re communicating and getting to know each other.

Each of these concepts contributes to what happens next – when you make them an offer to access the “premium” content of your website.

3. Reclaiming the Lost Upgrades

Your goal, ultimately, is to sell premium content to your free members. But you’ll always have a number of visitors who won’t take you up on your initial sales offer. So I’ll outline a few of the Ninja Tactics you can do to persuade people to upgrade at some point – these can be great to recover these “lost upgrades”.

If you can send your new website visitors three or four messages in the first week after their initial visit, then you’ll persuade a number of them to upgrade and that’ll increase your conversion rate.

Structure your free content as “part one” of a series. When you make it a natural lead in to “part two” (the paid information), your conversion rate will increase.

Curiosity will beat the “hard sell” – get your visitors hungry for the information that you haven’t given them yet, and they’ll want to pay to access it.

4. Let Them See, But Don’t Let Them Touch (Yet).

Using specialized software like MemberSpeed can help you make the digital equivalent of a salesman’s “puppy dog close”.

An unpaid member can see the links to the premium content, but when they click on it, they see a page that says “Sorry, you’re still a free member” and “You need to upgrade your membership access that material.” It’s almost like holding the puppy in the pet store – once you get close to taking it home, it’s hard to let go. So you end up buying.

5. Stop Making Your Premium Content a “One-Time” Offer.

Think about why people might not sign up on the original offer. Perhaps when they first joined the site they didn’t have the budget for a paid membership. Maybe they first needed to see the free content to evaluate it. Or maybe it’s taken some time, but now they trust you enough to purchase.

So instead of just a “One-Time” offer, give this a try – say something like “As a welcome offer we’d like to give you a 20% reduction off the cost of upgrading today – CLICK HERE”… However you can also upgrade later directly inside the member’s area.” Sometimes making something a one-time offer will work against you.

6. Envy is a Powerful Motivator

Another Ninja Tactic is to make your free members envious. Let them see what kinds of things you’re giving more to your paid members. One way to do this is email your entire membership database (both the paid and free users) a new piece of valuable content.

The key is to make sure your free members get to see what they’re missing out on. Nobody wants to be the person who loses out. It’s very powerful – Just remember to be subtle. Don’t smack people in the face with it – but make sure they know they’re not getting the same perks and advantages.

For more information CLICK HERE


Use the Freemium Model of Membership Marketing For Business Success

Today, we’re going to discuss “membership marketing”, and how it’s almost a requirement for a successful website. If you’re selling anything online, whether it’s ebooks, digital products or anything of that sort, then the membership system we discuss below can deliver those products in the most effective and profitable way.

Business Success Means Avoiding Churn and Increasing Revenue Per Customer.

To be a business success, you’ll need to avoid is customer churn (or “turnover”). If you get 100 new members, but 99 of them quit after 30 days, it’ll be hard for your business to survive. In a membership context, it’s the period of time someone will keep paying their membership fees. So while it’s vitally important to constantly acquire new customers, it’s just as important to maximize the revenue of each customer you already have. So what we’re talking about is the backend, and the marketing funnel you have in place.

With a subscription membership model – where you have a recurring billing system in place – the backend is the recurring fee itself. The issue becomes keeping people as members of your membership sites.

Let’s see examine how this plays out in the context of three popular business models:

Traditional Product Sales

Let’s first consider the traditional Internet marketing (publishing and sales) model, which is used by most online business owners. In this model, you create a product and a sales page, drive traffic to that page, and hope the traffic converts into sales. The average for that conversion rate is somewhere around 1% to 2%.

Assuming you have a $37 product at a 2% conversion rate, it means that for every hundred people you send to that page you’re going to sell two of those products at $37 ($74 total), and you’ll have a visitor value for each of those 100 people of $0.74.

Recurring Membership

The average conversion rate for a recurring membership site is often less than the traditional one product sale model; it’s generally 1% or less. So let’s now assume now that you’re going to charge $17 per month, rather than the original $37 product price point. But we start to encounter churn with monthly billing. In our experience, the average membership stick rate is between three and five months.

So for every 100 visitors, we’ll get one membership sale, and that customer can be expected to stick around for approximately four months. That means you’re going to generate $68 in revenue from that one signup (four x $17 = $68). That gives you an average visitor value of $0.68. When you use the membership model, you can also put backend offers in place. So once you already have a paid member, you can assume additional backend sales and commissions from that member – around $5 per month.

Now you have that one member, and they’re paid the $17 for the first month – will likely do so for about four months – and they’re also worth an additional $5 per month over that same period of time. So now you have $88 from that signup, and the average visitor value for the 100 visitors is $0.88.

Single-Payment Membership

The next structure is a paid membership with a single payment. Your conversion rate will increase because you’re asking people to make less of a commitment, and a membership generally has a higher perceived value than a simple product sale. You can expect a conversion rate of 2.5% to 3%.

Because there is less commitment, you can charge more still keep the conversion rate up. So let’s assume a one-time fee of $37 instead of that $17 recurring. Now your churn goes way down. The customers have already paid, so very few of them will actually terminate their membership. You’d be safe in calculating an average stay of 12 months.

So the calculation is as follows: You’re going to see a 3% conversion rate, and the total one-time fees are going to be 3 x $37 = $111. Factoring in the backend offers ($5 a month per paid member), and over 12 months you’re looking at $180 in backend sales and commissions, for total revenue of $291. This brings your visitor value up to $2.91.

But there’s an alternative model that blows all three of these out of the water when it comes to down to making money for you – the Freemium model.

The Freemium Model.

The Freemium model is basically a free membership with an upgrade offer. It works like this: you put a “free” offer in place on the front end of the site (in a later article we’ll discuss how to make this free offer not appear to be “free” – and why you’ll want to do so), and you’re likely to see a front end conversion rate around 35%.

If you then place a compelling offer on the backend, you’ll see a conversion rate between 5% to 10% on that offer. It’s often much higher, so let’s use 10% for our analysis.

This means that for every 100 visitors – you’re going to get 35 free members, and then a 10% conversion rate on these 35 members on the backend. So what you end up with on average is 31.5 free members and 3.5 paid members.

On your front end that’s 3.5 x $37 = $129.50. The paid member back-end value is $5 x 12 Months x 3.5 People = $210. The free member back-end value is $1.50 x 12 Months x 31.5 People = $567. Adding these amounts and you have $129.50 + $210 + $567 = $906.50, so your average visitor value is $9.06.

That’s a big difference from the more “traditional” models we discussed above (and more than 10 times higher the most common product sale model)!

Here we’ve opened the doors, we hope, for a lot of people to recognize that this Freemium model is a very profitable model.

Click Here to Learn More about the Freemium Model