I always look for the blog. 🙂 On Guitar Tricks, it is pretty much buried down in the footer. What this shows me is that their entire site is pretty much designed to become part of the membership. Their blog goes under the “News” section of the membership. It is open to the public. I can see the point of this, though, because essentially the entire site is gated. Unless a person finds them on search, by the time a person finds the blog, they’re an email subscriber and have the free membership.
Asking members to login to the member site allows you to tailor the user experience to each member. With user-specific access you have the ability to remember what content they’ve subscribed to, what content they’ve accessed, and possibly what content they’ve favorited or completed. You can also provide quizzes and lessons to truly personalize the experience. This controlled membership area provides a very customized experience that enhances the user’s interaction with the website and builds engagement.
Look in the general settings “redirect” area to make sure there isn’t a redirect override that you don’t want (this happens when you clone funnels or templates and you forget!).This feature is handy, but maddening if you accidentally use it! When someone clicks SUBMIT on a button, regardless of what that action is on the button, the redirect override setting makes it so they go to THAT URL. Make sure there isn’t a URL in there (unless you meant to do it)!

This post was originally written in 2015 and then fully updated in 2019. 2 of the sites previously mentioned were dead or inactive, so have been replaced. The other sites had changed their strategy somewhat. So, what you see below is a fully updated list of 10 membership sites, from all kinds of different niches. Let’s see what we can learn. Enjoy!
Special Unicode Characters in Data Validation Lists: ☐, ☑, ✓, ✔ - This may be my favorite approach. You can include special characters like this in a Data Validation drop-down list. This isn't quite as good as clicking once to fill in a checkbox, but it is great for the mobile Excel apps. The only hard part is remembering how to insert a check mark symbol in Excel. For more information, see my article Using Unicode Character Symbols in Excel.
PencilKings is positioning themselves, it seems, as a real alternative to more expensive art schools. They use professional artists to create their material. They call their training “collegiate-level training”. This makes sense because being an alternative to more expensive schools is a good hook. This is also helping gear these artists toward real careers in their craft.
Special Unicode Characters in Data Validation Lists: ☐, ☑, ✓, ✔ - This may be my favorite approach. You can include special characters like this in a Data Validation drop-down list. This isn't quite as good as clicking once to fill in a checkbox, but it is great for the mobile Excel apps. The only hard part is remembering how to insert a check mark symbol in Excel. For more information, see my article Using Unicode Character Symbols in Excel.
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