This week’s GSDdaily covered a lot about membership sites and subscriptions. On Monday, we talked about brainstorming your membership site. Wednesday we talked about creating the content for your membership site. Yesterday we talked about protecting the content inside your membership site.

Today we are going to cover how to launch a membership site. Today’s lesson dovetails into the rest of everything else we talk about. We’ve had an entire couple of week-long sessions on sales funnels. You have your offer, you have your membership site, you have your content and you need to put together the thing, the stuff, that launches it out into the world.

To launch a membership site or creating a digital product, your work is never done. It’s just kind of one of those things like when you write a book. You think you’re done when the book is finished. But in actuality, you were just getting started because now you have to write articles about the book.  You have to do a PR campaign and have to build a sales funnel. Build the membership site that generates the revenue for selling the book. There are all kinds of other things that end up happening, and membership sites are no different. The thing about a membership site is you get paid again and again. That is one of the best parts about membership sites and subscription sites.

Three Kinds of Sales Funnels for Membership Site

It’s one of the beauties of putting together this kind of a subscription offer. Now, there’s a couple of ways to sell it. There are three ways really, three kinds of sales funnels that we put a membership site on. We bolt it to a lot of different types of sales funnels whenever we want to get continuity income from something. But what we end up doing is the first thing, kind of the default sales process that everybody thinks about, is a straight-up membership.

1. Straight-up Membership

You put an offer page on your website and you offer that membership for $37 a month or 67 a month or 9 a month, or whatever the pricing ends up being. It’s just kind of a straight-up offer. So it might be a sales video with a long-form sales page or something that makes that offer. What you’ll find is most of the time, unless you have a big following, you’re not going to sell too much of that thing as the straight-up offer. People right now are pretty resistant to subscription charges hitting their credit cards. Like right now, as in pandemic, they’re pretty resistant. So you can incentivize that, incentivize them, by doing a $1 trial. You can still do a free trial. Visa and MasterCard both highly, discouraged the $0 trials. They might even not allow it now.

A $1 trial still tends to convert better. An authorization is when a credit card gets billed $1 whenever a free trial is activated. So that $1 authorization still hits the credit card. Every once in a while you’ll have somebody email in and say, “I thought this was free. It just hit my credit card for a buck.” And that is true. What it did was authorized the dollar trial to make sure that the credit card was good. It never actually deducts that dollar. It just kind of clears it after a couple of days. So it authorizes it, but never actually processes the payment. But every once in a while you’re going to get some people who aren’t all that excited. Because they’re like, “You said it was free and it was a buck.”

You need to do a $1 trial, for the first 14 days, the first 30 days, typically to incentivize people to come in, and then you just need to blow them away with how much value they’re getting out of the content or the videos or the PDFs or whatever it is you’re giving them access to inside the membership site. A straight-up membership offer is typically the most prevalent. It’s not necessarily the one that is the best though. The best way to sell membership is an upsell.

2. Upsell Membership

What you do is you have a book, a PDF, a physical book, even a physical product, a digital course, or something that you do is like free, but you do a tripwire. You might have a free plus shipping book offer where the book is free. You’re paying $4.95 or $3.95 or whatever for the shipping and handling of the book. Then the upsell is that membership offers. It might be free, then 27 a month or 37 a month or whatever. But you use the membership as the upsell.

You already got the credit card payment on the front side. You just sold the cheap PDF or the cheap book or the cheap video course or whatever, and then you position your upsell as the membership offer. Then you might even give them the free first 30 days, and then after 30 days, you rebill 27 or 37 or whatever after that. That tends to be a much cleaner offer. People not only are getting the book that they just purchased, but they’re also getting 30 days for free of your membership site.

As long as they don’t cancel, then they get the membership and they are conveniently billed for the subscription. So upsells sell memberships well. It’s something I didn’t agree with or understand when I first got into internet marketing. Like Russell Brunson and so many others of this micro continuity movement. That was the micro continuity movement. You sell a front-end offer and then you sell the membership on the backside. I was like, “Well, why don’t you just sell the membership on the front side?” But what you’re doing is you’re delaying your payment. So you’re delaying that kind of buyer. You’re pushing your payment 30 days out into the future. Whereas if you sell your membership as an upsell, you could pay for the first thing, and then 30 days out you get paid for the next thing. So it works out pretty well.

launch a membership site

3. Webinar for Annual Subscription

Another way you can launch a membership site from a sales funnel standpoint is you can do a webinar for the annual subscription. So let’s say your offer is 37 a month. Your membership. You can do a full webinar and sell a $297 annual subscription for your membership. Those that don’t buy after four or five or six days when they have sufficiently not bought. They’ve made the decision not to buy. Then you can send them into a free trial offer that is the monthly offer. This is a popular strategy for a lot of our clients. What you’re able to do is you’re able to run traffic into the front side of that webinar. You’re able to sell the $300 thing, which liquidates your traffic.

Ideally, if you’re making two times return on ad spend, or three times return on ad spend, you’re doubling or tripling your money on that annual … You’re paying for the traffic, you’re doubling or tripling your money, and then you’re taking this revenue and turning it back into more traffic, which lets you continue scaling. Which is great. It’s a great revenue-producing model. However, with webinars, with any sales material, only a small percentage of people are going to convert.

What you do is all of those people, they down-sell into the free trial. So not only are you making you two or three percent times, 200% or 300% return on ad spend on the front side, you are also down selling into your subscription revenue because everybody who doesn’t buy then goes through a little sequence where we sell them a free trial. If they are excited about it and they continue paying the membership, then now you get three or four months’ worth of continuity from all the people who didn’t buy the first annual subscription. It is one of the best strategies that we use to launch a membership site and creating membership offers.

Now those are three scenarios that you can use to launch a membership site from a sales funnel standpoint. Once you have your offer created … So once you know what that looks like, whether it’s a straight membership site, whether it is an upsell to something existing that you already have, or whether it is a webinar for an annual subscription, then you want to start driving traffic. The best way to drive traffic, the best way to start driving traffic for a new offer like this is to start with your warmest traffic. Maybe it’s people who are on your email list. This should be your default way to launch anything.

You start with your warmest and you move to the cold list because what happens is, is so much of what we do is algorithmically based. It’s based on algorithms. So Facebook ads. Based on algorithms, Google ads. A lot of advertising and promotions anymore is based on algorithms. By starting warmest and working your way coldest, what you’re doing is you’re training those algorithms to find your perfect buyers.

You launch a membership site to your email list of 10,000 people and all of your sales funnels were already pixeled, what you’re doing is you’re training that Facebook algorithm to start finding your ideal perfect buyer. You launch to your email list first. Even if it’s 200 people. I mean, we’ve had folks come to us with a little over 1,000 emails and run a webinar and they make 20,000 or $30,000 in sales.  They go and reinvest that back into more traffic, more leads, which means more people on the next webinar, which turns into another 20,000 or $30,000 in sales. It doesn’t have to be a huge list, but by having a list, by nurturing your list, and cultivating your list, you’re ensuring the future success of all of your offers and membership sites and everything else you have.

By starting and launching a membership site to your list, your warmest traffic, then you’re training the algorithms inside Facebook, inside Google. To start with email. If you don’t have an email or after email, then you start with your retargeted audiences. Retargeted audiences are going to be everybody who watched the video in the last six months or 90 days. Whenever you get a quantifiable number, people who have been on your website in the last 90 days. You can do some interesting things like exporting your LinkedIn list, upload it to Facebook, and use it as a retargeted audience. Grab that CSV and upload it to Facebook.

It’s one way of getting a warmer audience, but they don’t know you. It’ll match the profiles, but it’s not the warmest audience. Past customers are going to be a warm audience of course that you upload. So you go warmest to coldest. Then after you’ve exhausted email, after you’ve exhausted and turned on your retargeted traffic, you’re going to want to get into Facebook ads.

Facebook is the fastest and easiest way to start running cold traffic. And then that cold traffic flips into warm traffic and then hot traffic once they become a buyer. And then you can also do Google ads too. So a lot of folks right now are moving away from Facebook to Google. We tend to like a 50/50 split between Facebook and Google because it’s two different kinds of traffic. Facebook is for interruption-based traffic and Google on the other hand is search-based traffic. So interruption-based, somebody is interested in the things that you tell Facebook you know they should be interested in, and they see your ads and watch your videos. They can click through to your website, all that stuff.

For Google, it’s entirely based on them going to Google and searching for something inside Google. You and I both know that people typing into a search bar, what they’re looking for is a problem that has. So they’re looking for a solution to their problem. Oftentimes they’ll search for things in Google that they probably won’t tell their best friend. So Google tends to be the great equalizer when it comes to search, but not every campaign is great for Google. Sometimes it needs interruption-based traffic. People swipe through their newsfeed and their awareness will grow once they see your offer or your brand. That is how they kind of opt-in. The interest and desire of those people for the things your selling will grow. The membership in this case.

That is in a nutshell how to put together an offer for your membership site, how to launch a membership site from your warmest traffic to your coldest traffic.

For Questions and Guide

If you have any questions at all, by all means, hit up this stream, just go ahead and comment below. If you would like to jump on an action plan call with my team, just go to We can talk about your membership site. We can talk about putting together content for your membership site or the sales funnel related to your membership site, run of traffic, whatever. And if you have any questions at all about the dynamics of a membership site, you can go to There’s a little chat box in the lower right-hand corner, go ahead, just chat away, and somebody on my team will get back to you.

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