Why You Should Offer Multiple Pricing Tiers for Your Membership Site

In setting up your membership website, you might be tempted to “keep things simple” by offering a single membership level to potential customers. However, offering multiple membership levels is proven to help you grow your user base and increase your cash flow more quickly.

The Benefits of Multiple Pricing Plans for Membership Sites

In this post, we'll go over a few tips you can put into practice when creating your membership levels, and we'll dig more deeply into the benefits of doing so. Let's get started with the benefits!

Increased Members

Not all of your membership levels have to be paid options. Offering a free membership plan alongside paid tiers has many benefits. If your membership site is new and you don’t have any testimonials or other forms of social proof, creating a free option can help potential members overcome any hesitancy they might have about registering.

And free members are valuable assets. They help test your membership site infrastructure and become test cases for your content. You can also think of free members as potential paying members who, if they like what they see, may eventually choose to upgrade to one of your paid plans.

The Potential to Make More Money

How can offering more than one pricing option make you more money? When pricing your membership site, you’re never going to know exactly how much your target audience is willing to pay.

Creating multiple membership tiers, each with its own prices and features, gives you a great opportunity to sell expensive plans alongside lower-priced options. Knowing which price level is most popular also gives you valuable insight into future pricing structures.

The Opportunity to Take Advantage of Price Bracketing

Creating multiple levels for your membership site gives you some control over how your visitors perceive your pricing. If you have just one pricing option, visitors can either say yes or no. Price bracketing and creating multiple tiers allows for a more nuanced conversion.

Your lowest-price membership level can be used to attract visitors; however, visitors will also see that by spending a little more, they get more value.

Finally, a high-priced top-tier option can be used to make a mid-level pricing plan seem like an even better value. And while you may end up selling some of the higher-priced top-tier options, their main purpose is to make the mid-level options seem more appealing.

Eliminating the Competition

Potential new members will want to ensure they’re getting the best deal before making a final decision, and they’ll want to compare prices.

By offering multiple pricing plans, you enable your visitors to compare prices in one place. They can cross “price comparison” off their pre-purchase checklist without ever having to leave your site to check out your competitors.

Enabling Experimentation

Multiple pricing tiers also make it easier to experiment with pricing. If you have just one product, you could price yourself out of the market by experimenting with pricing increases.

However, by keeping your lower- and mid-range price plans static and increasing your top-tier plan, you’ll find out how much your audience is willing to pay without missing out on entry and mid-level sign-ups.

Greater Efficiency

Want to efficiently target a range of different audiences without having to create multiple products? You can create multiple levels with different price points instead.

To appeal to those with limited funds or those just starting out on their journey, as well as those with large budgets, you can create multiple membership sites, each with different prices and content.

However, a better use of your time would be to simply build on your existing membership site and create additional levels. Now you have a higher-priced product aimed at professionals wanting to grow their businesses as well as a more affordable option for beginners.

You could even combine seemingly disparate projects to increase the value of your membership site plans. For example, you might combine a membership site on web design with one on starting a business. The two aren’t overtly related, but in making them both available to top-tier members for one price, your most expensive membership level suddenly looks a lot more affordable.

Why start from scratch with a new site when you can expand your existing project either horizontally or vertically, building upon your existing membership site marketing efforts, reputation, and traction?

Membership Pricing Tips

Convinced that offering multiple pricing tiers for your membership product is the way to go? Great! Let’s look at some quick tips to help you implement this strategy effectively.

First, be sure to give your plans descriptive names. Don’t just go with options one, two, and three. Instead, think of more inspirational terms like silver, gold, and platinum. In addition, extra features on offer will help sell a higher-priced plan. Just make sure that more expensive options are packaged in a way that helps your members justify the extra cost.

(For more information on naming your levels, check out our post, How to Effectively Title Your Membership Levels.)

Don’t overdo it. Three membership tiers is a good place to start. This gives you enough flexibility to create a free plan, a standard plan, and a premium plan for those who want the best of what you have to offer.

As mentioned, one of the main benefits of creating multiple pricing tiers is that it gives your visitors a way to price compare without leaving your site.

But be sure you don’t confuse or overwhelm your visitors by listing every single detail and feature of your membership site in the comparison. Keep it simple. List only the core features in your pricing comparison table so that visitors don’t suffer paralysis by analysis.

Final Thoughts

In some ways, switching to multiple membership levels is the easy part. Figuring out the right pricing for your tiers is where the real work starts.

Pricing can be hard to get right, so be sure to re-evaluate your choices on a regular basis. Don’t just set prices and forget them, even if you’re experiencing a constant flow of new members. When it comes to running a membership site, there’s always room for improvement, and pricing is no exception.

Are you ready to start offering multiple membership levels for your site? If not, why? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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Categories: Advice
About Joe Fylan

Joe uses WordPress to create websites of all types and loves sharing his experiences of using this software with other users. If you need a steady stream of great content for your website, or you want the latest WordPress news and reviews check out his writing services and WordPress blog.



    Patrick Dufresne

    September 8, 2016

    How have you created the memberships table (in color at the top)? With MemberPress? I didn't see that template.

      K.G. Carter

      September 15, 2016

      This was just an example and not meant to represent an actual template in MemberPress. There is not any real content in it just filler text.


    September 15, 2016

    This is a great post. Something I've been looking to add to my MemberPress site. What would be good a post on exactly to do this in MemberPress.

      Joe Fylan

      September 16, 2016

      Hi Gav, There is some information in the online documentation: https://memberpress.com/user-manual/memberpress-groups/ Hope this helps. Joe