Again, unless your research makes it clear that your audience is ready and waiting to join your program, don’t produce your entire membership program just yet. Starting small and creating just enough top-quality content to keep charter members happy, then seeking their feedback before moving on to the next stage of production will help save you both time and effort in the long run.
Ever heard the saying, “If you fail to plan, then you’re planning to fail?” That saying definitely applies to running a membership site, which is why you’ll want to plan out your content creation and delivery calendar at least six to twelve months ahead of time. Fortunately, you can make the whole process a lot easier by using this content calendar checklist!
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Be aware that your URL affects your search engine ranking, so if you want to be found for “shoe,” it’s a good idea to fit “shoe” into your domain name. One way to do this is to use your brand name along with a keyword term. So MillerShoe tends to work better than FantasticShoe.com. (Which is why MillerShoe is taken, but FantasticShoe is still available.)
Realize a couple of key facts: A) the prices for e-commerce software have fallen, so you don’t need to spend a fortune unless your needs are complicated, and B) many of today’s e-commerce packages include a full range of tools in one package, from an inventory management system to marketing tools. Many of today’s merchants prefer this “all-in-one” approach because it makes life simpler.
In response, some people choose terribly cumbersome names. They find out that “Tshirt.com” is taken and then learn that “HockeyTshirt.com” is also taken. So they create an unworkable domain name like VeryCool-HockeyTshirt.com. Not only is it too long, it contains a hyphen, which should be avoided (some users forget to put them in, sending them to your competitor’s site.)
A Web analytics program tells you how shoppers are using your site. It reveals where users come from, what pages they visit and what keyword searches brought them to the site. An analytics package enables merchants to calculate their conversion rate. (Your “conversion rate” is the percentage of your visitors who make a purchase — a critical fact to know and track over time.)
Your business plan lays it all out. It details what you sell and where your profit comes from; how much inventory you’ll have on hand and where you’ll store it. It lays out your return policy — and you’ll need one of those. Most important, your business plan details your total start-up cost, from your ad campaign to Web designer to monthly server fees.
It appears that they are running the site on Paid Memberships Pro. I’m not really familiar with this platform and I wonder why they chose to go that route over some of the more established solutions. It does appear as if the code is non-obfuscated, meaning a coder could go in and customize things quite a bit. That’s a good draw if you need something very custom.
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.