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What is a membership model?
A membership model is where a website, community, brand, creator, or organization offers access to a set of valuable resources, typically for a fee.
The value of a membership is in the exclusivity of the content, education, services, discounts, and/or networking opportunities with people in the same profession or interested in the same topics that can only be accessed by those who are members.
Types of membership models
Membership models break down along a few different types.
First, there’s a membership model that focuses on access to exclusive content.
Second, there’s a membership model that focuses on networking and community building with people in the same career or interested in the same topics.
Third, there’s a membership model that offers lower prices or exclusive access to products and services than what’s available to non-members.
Lastly, there are bundled memberships that incorporate all of the above–exclusive content, networking opportunities, as well as discounts on exclusive products and services.
Benefits of membership models
The primary benefit of a membership model is that it creates a long-term relationship with a paying member. As a result of the ongoing, long-term nature of a membership model, it is much more profitable than a customer who makes a series of one-time purchases.
With a membership model, the “lifetime value of a customer” is longer, more predictable, and offers a brand, business, or individual more ways to create value for members, as demonstrated by the different types of memberships above.
Of the different types of membership models available, those that offer opportunities to network with other people in the same profession or across mutual interests tend to be the most profitable and require the least amount of effort and investment by those who create them.
Membership model examples
Examples of memberships that offer exclusive content
Examples of memberships that offer exclusive networking opportunities
Examples of memberships that offer lower prices or exclusive products
- Restoration Hardware
- Amazon Prime
Examples of memberships that offer a bundle of benefits
- Slow AF Run Club by Martinus Evans
- Better by Gretchen Rubin
- The Unemployable Initiative by Jerod Morris and Brian Clark