Should Your Membership Business Run Sales?

Running promotions and sales for your business is one of the most popular and effective ways to promote your business and increase sales. Nonetheless, there can be times when running a sale could harm your business.

You must have a healthy amount of sales in your business without killing your membership site's value.

In this post, we'll discuss the good and bad behind offering discounts, how they help your business, and how often you should offer discounts for your memberships.

Types of Promotions

When it comes to running promotions in your subscription-based business, there are a number of ways you can go about it:

  • Free Shipping Discounts. Waive shipping fees for all products in your online store or when a cart totals up to a certain price.
  • Bundle Discounts. Offer several products and/or services in a bundle for a discounted rate.
  • Buy One, Get One Free. Offer free content or products to customers upon the purchase of another item or membership on your membership website.
  • Next-Purchase Discount. Offer a discount on a customer's next membership renewal or item purchase after they've made a one-time purchased from your business.
  • Loyalty Discounts. If a customer has been a member or purchased products from you for a certain amount of time or a specified number of times, offer a discount or freebie.

Running Sales in Your Membership Business: The Good

Offering discounts for your subscription business can have many benefits.

  • It increases the potential for more sales and revenue. Running a deal for your membership program can entice more people to join, which can equal more customers for you in the long run!
  • It's a reliable way to promote your business to more people. Everyone loves a good sale, and people are actively looking for discounts. If you can create a great sale that will attract your current and potential customers, they'll be more likely to share and tell their friends about it. It's the gift that keeps giving!
  • It's an easy way to get rid of extra inventory. Do you have additional merchandise sitting in your online store that you just can't seem to get rid of? Ready to remove old products before you introduce something new to your audience? Creating a sale can help you quickly get some of those extra items out of the way so you can start fresh and introduce new material!

Running a Membership Sale: The Bad

Despite the good things a sale can bring you, there can be a few downsides.

  • It can make you lose money. While running a sale it may feel like you're raking in tons of money, but you have to remember that you aren't selling your membership, online course, merchandise, or whatever you choose to discount at full price. This means you could be losing profits and making less money than you would typically make.
  • It can make people undervalue your membership. While sales are a great promotional tool, holding too many of them could cause your customers to undervalue your regular-priced memberships, and you may find yourself struggling to have genuine, lasting conversions.
  • You could come off as desperate. Sales can be a great way to reward your current customers and attract new customers, but too many sales can make your business seem desperate and untrustworthy.

Key Tips For Running Membership Site Sales

  • Plan Out Your Sale. Never EVER jump into a sale on your memberships without a plan. Make sure you map out your sale's timeline, marketing schedule, inventory, landing page, and more. Be prepared!
  • Ensure Your Customers Get It. Be careful that your messaging is clear during your promotion. Your customers don't like to be confused or toyed with, so make sure they can completely understand what's on sale, how long it will be on sale, and what they have to do to take advantage of the sale.
  • Know Your Customers. Before you run a sale, you need to make sure you know your audience and what they want. There's nothing worse than running a sale on an item or product that no one wants in the first place. And not only that, make sure that your customers can find your deals. Learn where your customers hang out and what they like.
  • Collect Data. Last but not least, make sure you'll be able to collect data on your sale. This will help you see how well your promotion did and whether or not it was beneficial to your business.

How Often Should Your Membership Business Run Sales?

When you first start your membership website, we wouldn't recommend that you run a ton of sales right away. When you're first getting started, perhaps stick to the traditional sales — Black Friday, business anniversaries, or flash sales. One to three a year is a sweet spot for a new business.

As your business grows, you may be able to afford to run sales much more often. Some companies are in the position to hold sales every few weeks without losing revenue.

The key to success is being strategic and building your brand to the point where your customers trust and respect what you have to offer. Every business is different, so make sure to do what's right for your company.

Final Thoughts

Running sales and discounts on your membership site is a good idea for your business due to the increase in traffic, enhanced brand visibility, and increased interest in your product from potential customers.

However, there has to be a balance. Too many sales can decrease the value of your business and cost you money in the long run. So make sure to pay attention to your company and its growth to help you determine whether a sale is right for you at any given time.

Have you ever run a sale in your membership business? How did it go?

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Categories: Advice Pricing Promotions
About Jessica Starks

Jessica is a creative entrepreneur and professional writer who strives to use her talents to both entertain and educate. In her spare time, she loves reading, writing, genealogy, and spending time with her family.