Despite a tougher economy, a more competitive marketplace, and even a recent spate of maintenance problems on its aircraft, Qantas is retaining most of its loyal customers.
This reminded me yet again of the value of a loyal customer base. On the Internet, this usually comes in the form of a membership site.
When I've talked about membership sites in the past, I've listed six things you can get from them:
1. Recurring Income: If you're charging a monthly or annual subscription fee for your membership site, of course one of the biggest benefits is that it gives you a source of recurring income. 2. Market once: When you convince somebody to sign up for your membership site, you can then charge their credit card every month or every year over and over again without having to convince them to re-sign each time. 3. A vehicle for value: If you're an expert in your area, you're always finding new material - reading books and e-books, finding blog posts, finding articles, listening to podcasts, and so on. The membership site gives you a place where you can share that material with your members. 4. Build loyalty: Your membership site builds loyalty because the members remain as your clients and customers. They look forward to hearing from you regularly. 5. Reward loyalty: Members get access to things that non-members don't - downloads of products, member-only events, discounts on other products and services. 6. Maintain relationships: You can give selected people complimentary membership, just so you can maintain that relationship with them.
Now there's a seventh: Secure cash flow.
Like Qantas, you'll be better insulated from external problems.
Of course, this doesn't mean you've got a cast-iron guarantee. And you do still have to continue providing value. And you can't keep having bits falling off your planes in mid-flight .
But as long as you do the right things by your members, they will be more likely to remain loyal to you.
Is a membership site right for you?
Recently we've been helping a lot of clients create membership sites. A membership site isn't appropriate for everybody - you do require:
* Confidence in the value you provide. * A suite of products to offer. * A reasonable database of potential members.
If you do have these three things, a membership site might be the perfect next step for you - especially if it can protect you in tough times.
Find out more about membership sites.
Gihan Perera is the author of "The Seven Fatal Mistakes That Most Web Site Owners Make - And How To Avoid Them" and "Spin: Turn One Idea Into Hundreds of Information Products". Visit GihanPerera.com and get your complimentary copies now.