Should Your Membership Business Run Sales?

Running promotions and sales in your business is one of the most popular – and arguably, one of the most effective ways to promote your business and increase sales. Nonetheless, there can be times when running sales can kill and potentially end your business for good.

As with anything in life, you must have a healthy amount of sales in your business without killing your membership site's value.

In this post, we are going to discuss the good and bad behind offering discounts, how they help your business, and how often you should offer discounts on your membership business.

Types of Promotions

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

  • Free Shipping Discounts – Waive shipping fees for all products in your online store, or products in your cart that total to be a specific 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 in your online business 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 shopping with your online business one time.
  • 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, they are offered a discount or freebie.

Running Sales in Your Membership Business: The Good

Offering discounts in your subscription business can have many benefits, including:

  • It increases the potential for more sales and revenue. Running a deal for your membership program has the opinion to entice more people to join your membership, which can equal out to be 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 a good discount. 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 that a sale can offer, there can be a few setbacks:

  • It can make you lose money. While running a sale, you may think that you are making 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 that you could potentially be losing profits on your items and making less money than you would typically make.
  • It could make people undervalue your membership. Again, sales are a great promotional tool. Still, if you generate too many sales, your customers may start to undervalue your membership at regular price, and you may find yourself struggling to have genuine, lasting conversions.
  • You can 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 potentially untrustworthy.

Key Tips For Running Membership Site Sales

  • Plan Out Your Sale – Never EVER jump into a sale in your membership business without a plan. Make sure that you map out your sale's timeline, marketing schedule, inventory, website, and more. Make sure to prepare for the sale in advance. You can never be too prepared.
  • Ensure Your Customers Get It – Ensure that your messaging is clear during your promotion. Your customers don't like to be confused or toyed with, so make sure that they can completely understand what is 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 discovering your favorite company is 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 in the first place. Learn where your customers hang out, what they like, and sales they want and make it work for your business.
  • Collect Data – Last but not least, make sure that you can 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?

All successful membership sites understand that there should be a strategy for creating sales for your business.

When you first start your membership website, we wouldn't recommend that you run a ton of sales on your website. When you're first starting, perhaps stick to the traditional sales – Black Friday, business anniversaries, or a flash sale. 1-3 a year is a sweet spot for a new business.

As your business grows and gets bigger, then you may be able to afford to run sales much more often. Some companies are in the position to hold sales every few months without losing any revenue. The key to their 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 or not a sale is right for you.

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.


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