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How to convert visitors into paying subscribers at your subscription web site

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Follow these five simple steps to increase your visitor to subscriber conversion rate

There's no doubt that running a successful subscription web site can be a very profitable business.

start quoteThere's no doubt that running a successful subscription web site can be a very profitable business.end quote

Just look at the Subscription Web Site Profit Potential calculator, and you'll see that by signing up just 3 members a day, you can quickly build a $100,000+ a year business.

Before you can start spending all that money your subscription web site could make, you've got to figure out a way to convert visitors into paying subscribers. Here are five simple steps to help doing that.

How to convert visitors into paying subscribers

  1. Make it easy for visitors to find you repeatedly It usually takes four or more visits before a visitor decides to subscribe to your site. Since you can't force a visitor to return, you have to position your site in the search engines so that the same visitor continues to find your site in the search engines.

    If over a period of weeks or month, a visitor discovers most of the search results lead to your site, they'll have a good reason to subscribe.

    Having all the content in your site indexed in the search engines is vitally important to your success. This is especially true of articles within the members area.

    To learn more about how to get high rankings in the search engines, see Search Engine Optimization - getting a higher ranking using bullet lists to guide the robots

  2. Lead with your strength - compelling content - The real strength of a subscription web site (and the reason people want to subscribe) are the unique articles, discussions, and resources within the site focused on a specific niche subject.

    So rather than hide these most desirable elements behind a sales page, put the compelling articles, resources, and other features right up front (like they do at the most successful news and magazine sites). Give visitors a reason to want to see more and to want to join.

    A good example - the 20 article headlines (and accompanying teaser copy) on the front page at instantly builds a case for joining the site. No sales letter is needed - the strength of the compelling content at the site builds the demand.

    The headlines and content build desire, and more importantly, trust.

  3. Offer visitors a carrot - To help visitors make the decision to join your site, offer them a 'carrot' - an irresistible bonus - something they see value in and can immediately use.

    The carrot needs to be something not available anywhere else, something perceived as having immediate value, and something that is directly related to whatever special niche interest it is that brought them to your web site in the first place.

    A good example of irresistible bonuses can be seen at

    Look in the center of the page under the 'Featured Resources'. You'll see several downloads that anyone interested in the restaurant business would want.

    If you click any of the download links, you'll learn that you have to join before you can download - but if you do join, you get even more irresistible bonuses.

    When offering carrots, be sure the carrots are not stale, or perceived as having no value. Bad carrots are worse than having no carrots.

  4. Give visitors a peek - but don't let them in - Visitors want to see what's inside, but you don't want give away the store - so what do you do? Give visitors a peek at the 'good stuff', but don't let them gain access to it.

    An example - at, we have a pretty extensive download library. But since the download library is in the members area, potential subscribers won't be able to view its contents.

    To solve that problem, we've make it so non-members can view the contents of the download library, but can't actually download any item (see Download Library.)

    This gives non-members a peek at some of the content, which gives them more reasons to want to join. (We do the same with discussion forum postings - we show recent forum posts on the front page of our site - allowing non-members to get a peek at the discussion.)

    Another way we do this is to allow non-members to search both the articles and all discussion posts.

    And of course, if you do allow non-members to peek at these elements, be sure to tell them about in on the 'join us' page.

  5. Make it easy for visitors to stay in touch - Since most visitors will not make the decision to buy on the first visit, you need to give the visitor a easy way to remember your site. The easiest way to do this is to offer a free 'tip of the week' signup form.

    The free tip that you send should be useful, not include any overt sales messages, and should include a list of recent articles or resources added to your site.

    Create tips that visitors look forward to reading, and they will eventually discover they want to join your site to get more. But if your tip has the appearance of spam, expect the visitor to unsubscribe from the tip, and not want to join your site.

    And be sure to create a 'tip of the week' department where visitors can view the quality of your tips before they sign up for the tip of the week. This serves two purposes:

    • by viewing tips in your Tip archives, visitors can see that the tips are not spam. They can browse the tips and discover that your free tips are worth signing up for.

    • your tip archives give the search engine even more content to include when ranking your site. To see an example of how important this can be, search google for Don't hide under a rock. I used that phrase in a recent 'tip of the week', and now have top google ranking for 'Don't hide under a rock' - and almost every other headline used in the three years of tips I've been writing.

Small changes can reap big dividends

When it comes to converting visitors into paying subscribers, even small changes to your subscription web site can reap big dividends.

Just by adding a carrot, a tip of the week, and a few other elements, you can significantly increase your conversion ratio. And doing that can help you reach that $100,000 a year figure much more quickly.

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·  Subscription web site: Adding $100,000 to your bottom line
·  10 Big Reasons To Choose Membergate
·  Seven questions to ask before choosing a subscription web site software package
·  Subscription Web Site Profit Potential
·  Do It Yourself Websites

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