Author: Sean Jackson

Are You Losing Sales Because Your Purchase Page Sucks?


Of all the pages on your site, there is only one that actually makes you money: your purchase page.

But too often this page is ignored; most people just use the default shopping cart that comes with their dCommerce system.

If you are serious about selling digital goods online, then you will want to listen to this episode. We deep dive into the specific elements you must have on your purchase page to maximize sales conversions. And we go one step further and discuss the “other” page that is as important as your purchase page.

In this 30-minute episode, Jessica Frick and I explore the key elements required for a successful purchase page, including:

  • The “other” page in the purchase process that people often overlook
  • What you should, and should not, have on your purchase page
  • The one change we did to our purchase process that increased sales by 30 percent
  • Why you are the worst person to review your purchase page

Listen to this Episode Now

The post Are You Losing Sales Because Your Purchase Page Sucks? appeared first on Copyblogger.

Why Starting a Membership Site Is a Terrible Idea … Until You Just Do It


Sonia Simone joins our show to walk you through the most important elements of setting up a membership site, today.

As we approach the new year, you may be thinking about the changes you want to make to your life. And if you have been following the show, that may mean that you are looking to start — or at least expand — a membership site.

But change can be scary. And it is that fear of change that keeps most from ever moving forward.

If you are in earnest about building and growing a membership site — and need that extra inspiration to move forward — then you will love this episode.

In this 30-minute episode, Jessica Frick and I interview Sonia Simone and discuss her personal journey in creating membership communities, with deep insight into:

  • The single most important element you need when launching a membership site
  • How to launch a membership site when you have no audience online
  • The two most important ingredients you need to grow a membership site
  • And why it is OK to make mistakes along the way

Listen to this Episode Now

The post Why Starting a Membership Site Is a Terrible Idea … Until You Just Do It appeared first on Copyblogger.

Why Passion Matters More Than Skill When Launching a Membership Site


Charity Preston — a teacher turned teacherprenuer — shares her incredible journey to creating an online membership network for teachers.

Imagine you have a sick child at home that demands 100 percent of your time and attention. And these demands require you to give up your professional career.

What would you do?

Today’s guest faced that exact situation — a classroom teacher at the pinnacle of her career that resigned in the middle of the academic year to care for her child.

But she was not content to give up her passion for helping others. So she made the leap from teacher to online teacherprenuer — with no technical training or online marketing expertise, armed only with a passion to help others.

In this 24-minute episode, Jessica Frick and I interview Charity Preston and discuss her journey from academic to online entrepreneur, including:

  • The personal event in 2010 that changed her life
  • Her haphazard online attempts that turned into a huge lead magnet
  • How she created multiple income streams in a cyclical sales environment
  • And the next frontier that she is exploring in community-driven membership sites

Listen to this Episode Now

The post Why Passion Matters More Than Skill When Launching a Membership Site appeared first on Copyblogger.

How to Set Up Google Analytics for Your Membership Site


Setting up Google Analytics for your membership site can be tricky … unless you know the right way to start.

Data analysis is at the core of all online marketing. But how do you get the right data, and more importantly, how do you make sense of it all?

On today’s show, we have the queen of data analysis for Rainmaker Digital as our guest to help you set up Google Analytics for your membership site.

In this 27-minute episode, Jessica Frick, Sean Jackson, and Loryn Thompson discuss the best way to set up Google Analytics, including:

  • The most important steps you need to do first
  • How to track actions that generate financial results
  • What data you should be looking for
  • And why all data analysis is really a trend analysis

Listen to this Episode Now

The post How to Set Up Google Analytics for Your Membership Site appeared first on Copyblogger.

How to Start and Grow a Successful Membership Site (In Your Spare Time)


Starting a membership site is hard work, especially if you have a full-time job. But with persistence and patience, it can pay off.

Our guest, Jerod Morris, shares his tactics and advice for growing a membership site. It was not easy — especially since his membership site competes with numerous online sport sites.

But he found his niche and kept working it, season after season, finding success after many years of perseverance.

And while his story is not unique, the ideas and tactics he shares on this show are priceless and can truly help you grow, and profit, from your work.

In this episode, Jessica Frick and I interview Jerod Morris and delve into the history of his site, including:

  • Why he stayed with the project even when his audience was small
  • The unique insight that helped distinguish his site from the competition
  • The one tactic he recommends everyone starting a membership site should use
  • And the different revenue paths he pursues to grow his profit

Listen to this Episode Now

The post How to Start and Grow a Successful Membership Site (In Your Spare Time) appeared first on Copyblogger.

The Smart and Simple Framework for Finding the Right Pricing Model for Your Membership Site

don't guess! discover the pricing model that works

Building profitable membership sites is one thing we know a lot about at Rainmaker Digital, and one question we often receive is:

How do you create the right pricing for a membership site, especially one that is just launching?

Even sophisticated online entrepreneurs struggle with that question.

And while there are many ways to optimize your pricing plans once your site is launched, starting with the right foundation will make it easier to improve.

In this post, I will walk you through a basic framework you can use to determine the best pricing models for any type of membership site.

Rule #1

The most important rule you must remember is this:

You are in control of your pricing.

There is no national database of pricing that you have to follow. You are in control of everything when it comes to pricing — so don’t feel like you have to do what everyone else does.

Yes, the “market” does decide if your price is “right.” But you influence the perception of your price through the unique value you offer.

So toss out any preconceived notions of what you have to do and focus on what works for you.

Know your costs

I know what you are thinking right now:

“Damn it, Sean. I am a marketer, not an accountant.”

Don’t worry. You just need a “bare bones” understanding of basic math and a little logic to find your costs, so that your site will “live long and prosper.”

All membership sites share a common set of annual costs, including:

  • Credit card or PayPal fees
  • Hosting costs
  • Platform costs
  • Time spent on customer service
  • Time spent on contributing to the site

You should think of your costs as the money you spend to fulfill the customer’s purchase.

And these costs are different from expenses.

An expense is the money you spend to run your business.

Typical expenses include:

  • Sales and marketing: the money you spend on promoting your products and services, including affiliate commissions, advertising, or content marketing
  • Research and development: the money you spend on building your membership site, developing content for the site, or educating yourself on digital commerce
  • General administration: expenses like your internet connection, rent, or accountant

Expenses are not costs even though you spend money on them.

Why is this distinction important?

Unless you identify your costs, it makes it very hard to determine your profit. Profit is defined as your revenue less your costs and before you pay any expenses.

And as a general rule of thumb, a membership site should generate a profit margin between 90 percent – 75 percent.

Or put another way, for every $100 you collect in revenue, your costs should be $10 – $25, netting you a profit of $90 – $75 per sale.

An example of membership site costs

Let’s say that for a year, you estimate your costs as follows:

  • $12,000 on credit card fees
  • $1,500 for your Rainmaker Platform site (includes hosting)
  • $6,500 for a part-time assistant to handle customer service questions
  • $80,000 for you to manage and contribute to the membership site

Based on these items, your total costs are $100,000 per year, before you pay for any expenses. And if your costs are 10 percent – 25 percent of your total revenue, your target revenue is between $400,000 and $1,000,000 per year.

Your profit will be between $300,000 and $900,000 per year.

membership site profit example

That’s a lot of money, but don’t get too excited yet.

You will still need to pay for your affiliate commissions, advertising, and any other expenses you incur to operate your business — and that comes out of your profit.

Now that we have covered your costs, let’s get to work on pricing your different membership categories and offers.

Create an anchor offer

An anchor offer is the most expensive membership type you sell.

For example, your anchor offer could include telephone consulting, personalized daily emails, and/or exclusive access to webinars, conferences, or other high-touch events.

Basically, it is the offer you would give to someone that includes everything you would ever want to provide to a person willing to pay you a huge premium.

The good news is that very few people, if anyone, will buy it because it is so expensive!

So, why create it?

By creating a very high-priced offer, you anchor the expectations of website visitors for your lower-priced offerings. Your goal with your anchor offer is to create an emotional desire for it, knowing that most people can’t afford it.

Luxury brands use this tactic all the time.

Buying a luxury car? The most expensive ones are in the showroom. Want a deluxe coffee maker? They show you the $5,000 model first, before they show you the $500 one.

When you create your anchor offer, you set the expectation of quality in the mind of your customer, even though they will probably buy your lower-priced membership.

Next, create two lower-priced offers

Once you’ve defined and priced your anchor product, you can create two other offers or categories for your members.

Why just two? To avoid analysis paralysis.

The first offer you need to create is the lowest price for a membership to your site — ideally between 10 percent and 25 perfect of the price for your anchor offer.

This low-priced offer should meet the basic needs and wants of your customer, including some, but not all, of the features and attributes of the anchor offer.

The second membership category is the mid-tier offer that is priced between the low price and your expensive anchor offer. It should have more benefits and features than your low-priced offer and is generally priced between 30 percent and 49 percent of your anchor offer.

So, let’s say your anchor offer is priced at $97 per month, and you want your lowest-priced offer at 20 percent and your mid-tier offer at 40 percent.

Your lowest price will be $19 per month and your mid-tier price will be $39 per month.

Pretty easy, right?

But now comes the real question …

Can you afford your customers?

We started this article with a basic discussion about costs, but we did not determine if those costs are sufficient to run your membership site.

This is where a little math and a basic rule of thumb can help.

In general, the average revenue per member you will receive from a membership site will be between your lowest-priced offer and your mid-tier offer.

For example, if your lowest price is $19/month and your mid-tier price is $39/month, then your average revenue per member will be around $29/month.

Let’s look back on our costs. We identified $100,000 of costs per year and we want to target $400,000 per year in revenue. That means that every month we need to generate $33,333 in revenue ($400,000/12 months).

If the average revenue per customer is $29/month, then we just need to divide our target monthly revenue ($33,333) by the average monthly revenue per customer ($29) to find the number of customers you need:

$33,333 / $29 = 1,149 customers per month

Now you want to ask yourself:

Does your $100,000 in annual costs allow you to support 1,149 members per month?

If the answer is “yes,” then you are good to go.

If the answer is “no,” then you either need to increase your pricing or lower your costs.

Get all the details in this SlideShare presentation

Your head might be spinning right about now, but we want to make it easy for you.

Here’s a SlideShare deck that breaks down all of the information above:

Learn about profitable membership sites each week

We have a new podcast called Members Only that helps you not only develop the pricing model for your membership site but also gives you the tactics and techniques you need to grow a profitable online business.

Every week, Jessica Frick and I provide an entertaining format to discuss the challenges online entrepreneurs face with ideas that you can implement to improve your own site.

So, if you are serious about running and growing a profitable membership site, we hope that you will tune in.

And since the show is free, we know the price is right.

Subscribe Now to Listen

The post The Smart and Simple Framework for Finding the Right Pricing Model for Your Membership Site appeared first on Copyblogger.

What the Porn Industry Can Teach Us About Running a Membership Site


This episode is an insightful look at how to thrive in a hyper-competitive online environment, with lessons from an unconventional industry …

Running a membership site can be difficult, especially if you are in a highly competitive space. And this appears to be especially true in online porn.

What once was a very lucrative business category has completely transformed into a low-margin business with numerous competitors. But even in this highly competitive space, there are tactics that some sites use to grow and thrive.

So how do they do it?

Jessica Frick and I take an analytical approach to the challenges faced in this space and apply those learnings to more traditional membership sites.

Don’t worry, we won’t be making any commentary on the content of the industry. Instead, we focus on taking their ethical marketing tactics and applying them to your site to help you thrive, while everyone else is taking a dive.

In this episode, Jessica Frick and I tastefully cover …

  • How to syndicate content online (and why you’d want to)
  • Why more intimate online activities should come at a premium
  • Why you should not be afraid of extreme niches for your audience
  • And a few double entendres that will make you laugh

Listen to this Episode Now

The post What the Porn Industry Can Teach Us About Running a Membership Site appeared first on Copyblogger.

How to Enhance Your Membership Site With Live Events


Live events are a great way to amplify your authority and enhance your membership site, if you know the right way to produce them.

Membership sites are about community — creating an online environment for those who share similar interests and passions.

But for all their strengths, there’s a layer of abstraction that lacks the personal and emotional engagement found when people are in physical proximity to each other.

Live events allow you to extend your authority within your community, while providing a unique platform to fundamentally help your members enrich their lives.

That is … if you know how to do live events right.

In this episode, Jessica Frick shares her knowledge and insight on creating live events for membership communities …

  • Why live events are extremely helpful in building your community
  • How to start small and build an event with momentum
  • Ways to finance your event without breaking the bank
  • The single most important ingredient to a successful event

Listen to this Episode Now

The post How to Enhance Your Membership Site With Live Events appeared first on Copyblogger.

8 Ways to Use Online Discounts to Grow Sales


Online discounts are powerful incentives to get people to buy — if you know the right ways to put them together.

Over the years, our marketing team at Rainmaker has experimented with numerous discount options. Some have been successful and others not so much.

And if you think “discounts” mean you have to cut your price, well think again. There are numerous ways to offer financial incentives to your online audience without having to cut into your profit margin.

In this episode, Sean Jackson and Jessica Frick review a number of discounting strategies you can use to increase online sales, including:

  • The two most important elements of any discount offer
  • Ways to offer a discount, without lowering your pricing
  • How to use discounts that have no financial component
  • The reasons why you should use discounting sparingly

Listen to this Episode Now

The post 8 Ways to Use Online Discounts to Grow Sales appeared first on Copyblogger.

How to Master the Art of Negotiation


Chris Voss, best-selling author of Never Split the Difference and former lead international kidnapping negotiator for the FBI joins us for a powerful interview.

For many, the idea of negotiating can be intimidating. Just thinking about it brings to mind ideas of stressful conflict between personalities and goals.

But the truth is, in both business and life, we are constantly negotiating with others. Usually, not very well.

In this very special episode, we detail the process you can use to negotiate in any situation without the stress, anxiety, or discomfort you fear.

And even better, you will learn how to ask subtle — but powerful — questions that will bring the other side to resolve the matter in your favor.

In this 32-minute episode, Sean Jackson, Jessica Frick, and Chris Voss discuss the tactics you can use in negotiations, including:

  • The most important thing to do first when negotiating
  • Why you want the other side to say “no”
  • The “Jedi Mind Trick” questions that bend people’s perceptions
  • The subtle words that can make a huge difference

Listen to this Episode Now

The post How to Master the Art of Negotiation appeared first on Copyblogger.