When you are creating a membership business, you have a lot of decisions to make: pricing, marketing, SEO, hosting, themes, etc. But perhaps one detail that is lesser considered is whether or not your membership should be rolling or fixed.
There are pros and cons to each membership model, but it depends on what your goals are for your online business.
In this post, we will discuss the differences and similarities between the two membership business models and which one is best for your particular membership business.
A fixed membership site is a type of membership business that is open for a certain period of time. If you miss the enrollment period, you will have to wait until the membership opens up again to gain access.
The idea behind this type of membership is to not only create a sense of urgency for potential members to go ahead and take the plunge into your subscription, but it also makes the members who have joined feel exclusive and as if they have more access to you.
This membership model is great for membership sites that sell highly interactive online courses and coaching programs, or subscription sites that engage a lot through live calls or if the group is collectively working toward a goal.
Another great thing about this membership model is that your marketing campaigns will have short breaks in between. If you open enrollment for your course once per year, you will be able to take a few months off before jumping back into marketing mode to promote the course.
There are a lot of great things about fixed membership businesses, but there are a few setbacks to having this type of online business. For instance, if you close your doors, you might actually repel customers because they won't want to wait for your membership to open back up.
Speaking of which, it's important to have a decent following when you have a fixed membership. If you don't have a loyal group of followers, you may not get much interest in your membership at first.
The rolling membership model is probably the model that comes to mind when you think of a membership site. In a rolling model, your membership business is open year-round and never closes.
This membership model is set up this way in an effort to get as many members as possible and leave none behind. Using this model, you are more likely to have a more steady stream of income and there's always an opportunity for growth.
This model is great for online business owners who have self-paced courses or who have memberships that offer access to certain materials that aren't rolling.
Another good thing about rolling membership sites is the fact that they are pretty easy to run once you are all set up. Unlike a fixed site where you have to know how to cut off your enrollment at a certain time, a rolling site never really has to change its core processes.
A rolling membership model isn't good for you if you want to have more live interaction within your online course or if you have fixed material to share. Another con is that you don't have a break in between enrollment, so if you find any kinks in your site, you have to fix them ASAP – you don't have the liberty of working on them during your membership's downtime.
So…Which One Is Best For Me?
At the end of the day, the best membership model is the one that best fits your online business' needs.
If you have a large following, have a course that isn't self-paced, and need more interaction with your members, then a fixed model may be the best option for you.
If you don't have fixed content, have content that can, for the most part, manage itself, and don't have a real reason to open and close your membership, then a rolling membership is the way to go!
Which membership model do you prefer?