Template System Module Eight

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Templates

Whatever membership script you’re using, you’re going to need to spend some time during the design phase customising your member page templates. You need instructions, explanations, user guides and, if you’re smart, some kind of welcome video to settle your members in.

This is probably the least exciting phase of designing a membership site but you’ve got to bite the bullet and spend some serious time on this. Don’t think this is something on which you can just spend five minutes at the end and be done with it. The quality of your templates will, for many people, determine how long they stay and whether or not they provide you with any profit.

Exactly what information you need to include will depend on what your site is about, but there are some items that will apply for virtually every kind of membership site.

Member Homepage

The first page your member sees when they log in is the most important. The last thing you want is to have members clicking around aimlessly, unsure of what they’re looking at or where to go next. Some people will be happy to click around and explore for themselves but a significant portion will need handholding. They’ll need you to tell them where to go and what to do when they get there. The best way to accomplish this is with a step-by-step list.

Few would admit it, but most people like following instructions. It makes them feel safe and secure. If you’re following a set of instructions properly, then you know you can’t be going wrong. Instructions presented as a series of steps are even more attractive. Give someone a list that starts with “Step One” and they will instantly know that this is an instruction to take action and that, once this step is finished, they should look for a “Step Two”. The truth is, from a very early age, we’re hardwired to recognise and follow lists, whether it’s an assignment at school, a tax return or the instructions on a Pot Noodle.

Figure out ALL the things you would like your members to do when they log in for the first time and then make this into a list, ordered by YOUR preference. Downloading and using your product should be last on the list. If you make the mistake of putting this as the first step, they’ll be distracted and may never go back to the list. Realistically, not everyone will complete every step, some will cherry-pick, and some will skip right to the last step. That’s ok. Enough people will follow all or some of the steps to make this exercise very worthwhile.

If you want to seriously increase the number of people that complete all the steps, then offer an incentive to do so. This could be anything from an exclusive report to a free upgrade. Depending on what your steps are and how valuable it is to you that they’re all carried out, it may be worthwhile offering a significant bonus for carrying out every step.

As I mentioned at the beginning, a “welcome” video (or even a simple audio message) is a great idea and will help the member to feel valued. Keep it short, however, otherwise people will switch off or ignore it altogether. In fact, apart from thanking the member for registering, the main purpose of an introductory video should be to direct your member to the list of steps.


Complete Your Profile

If you’ve kept your initial registration form light, then there will be lots of blank fields on the member’s profile page. Make one of the steps completing the profile page in its entirety. Some of the fields may seem like overkill but they all have a very valuable use.

Address Fields: Believe it or not direct mail campaigns are still alive and well but, at the very least, having the address of your members will allow you to send them literature related to your affiliate program. Another use for this is to send your members a “thank you” card after they’ve been a member for a certain length of time. This is a classy way to increase customer retention and loyalty.

Telephone Number: If enough members provide you with their telephone number then you can create a contact list that can be used to promote high-end coaching programs or Internet Marketing seminars. You don’t need to create your own call-centre for this purpose as there are companies you can partner with who will provide the product and marketing campaign and give you a cut of the profits. Think of it as an advanced form of affiliate program.

Another good reason to ask for a telephone number is when your product is an expensive one. You then have the option to contact your customers individually to ensure they’re having a problem-free experience. Give your customers more care and attention and you’ll get a better retention rate and fewer refund requests.

Confirm Account Delete

If, heaven forbid, a member should decide they want to delete their account, the LFM script will show them a screen asking them to confirm their request. As well as protecting members from accidental clicks, this also gives you a final opportunity to convince the member to stay.

If a member is determined to leave then there’s little you can do. The goal here is to connect with the people who are leaving reluctantly. Maybe you haven’t quite provided what they’re looking for, or maybe they feel they’ve seen everything you have to offer. Say the right thing here and you could keep them, if not indefinitely, at least for another 2-3 months.

How might you persuade them to stay? What can you say that will influence them to give you a second chance? A free gift or a complementary upgrade is the obvious choice but I suggest stretching your imagination and aiming for something a little more unpredictable. How about a special member upgrade that isn’t available anywhere else? Be coy about what’s inside and hint, rather than describing it explicitly. Stoke the fires of curiosity and you may convince your member to take your offer simply to see what else you’ve got. Tell your member to send you a support ticket quoting a suitable reference and, obviously, remaining a member for a bit longer should be one of the conditions.  If all else fails on the confirm account delete page you could send them somewhere else through your affiliate link.



 

Account Deleted

If you fail in your attempt to retain your member, this isn’t the time to be snooty. Thank the member for their custom and wish them well. Separate on good terms and they may return in the future.

That’s not to say you can’t still take the opportunity to boost your profits. The “Account Deleted” page is the one place where you should feel free to promote one or more of your competitors. You’ve already enjoyed the person’s custom so why not send them to a competitor and make some affiliate
commission in the process? This is an especially sensible strategy if your competitors offer a high-quality service. Your ex-member will, hopefully, remember who referred them and will also appreciate your willingness to unselfishly direct them to a quality website, despite it being one that offers a competing service.

Login Page

Your “Login” page is a prime piece of virtual real estate. I’ve lost count of the number of membership websites I’ve visited whose login page is just a chasm of empty space with a tiny login form in the middle. This page is crying out for some action and it’s so simple to integrate.

Add a simple message, above or below the login form, that says “Before you log in, have you seen..?” Then display a banner or button containing a relevant promotional offer. As previously discussed, this is a good page to offer to one of your preferred JV partners. If you don’t yet have a partner for this page then please, please don’t shrug your shoulders and leave it blank. Instead, feature an affiliate program for something relevant. The ideal product placement is a software program that stores passwords (such as RoboForm). This type of product is even more relevant for the “Forgot Your Password” page.


Signup Form Header

LFM has a specific template for the space above your registration form. Surely I don’t have to tell you that this is NOT the place to pitch anything else! In fact, apart from your sales page, this is the one place on your site where you must remove every possible distraction from the primary goal - in this case completing the registration form.

If you place anything in this area, then it should be some kind of encouragement to complete the page and hit “Send”. Some simple instructions may be appropriate, but avoid excessive volumes of text as this can be intimidating and distracting.

A telephone helpline or a link to your support website can be a reassuring presence. Most people won’t need to use either, but simply letting the user know that they are available reinforces the impression that you’re a legitimate and helpful business.

Along the same lines, trust seals are an excellent idea and some seal providers will even guarantee an increase to your conversion rates if you use their product. There are lots of trust seal companies out there, so shop around. I won’t recommend one company specifically but I would encourage you to use a service that has been around for at least a couple of years; this gives you the best chance of finding a dependable provider that’s here for the long-term.

Thank You Pages

When a customer completes their payment or verifies their email, the common practice is to direct the user to the login page so they can immediately access their content. My thinking is, what’s the rush? There’s no harm in side-tracking the member for a few moments.

The “Thank You” page is another good venue for your JV partners or for an affiliate promotion. Keep your offer short and simple; you’re asking your member to hold off from logging in for a few moments but you don’t want to frustrate them. Present something in the form of an “unadvertised bonus” or an “If you’re interested in this, then you’ll also like…”

The one rule to remember with the “Thank You” page is that your offer should come last on the page, below confirmation that the payment has been received and below a large, highly visible link to the login page. If your offer is visually pleasing, you will still capture attention before the person clicks away. But if you reverse this order, and place the offer first, then you’re going to get a lot of customer support tickets from the easily confused. For the same reason, make sure your offer, when clicked, opens in a new browser window or tab.

Upgrades Page

This page is designed to make it easy for your members to upgrade to a higher membership level. Customise this page for each membership level so that, if you have more than two levels, your members only see options to upgrade to higher levels. In other words, you want “Gold” members to see the option to upgrade to “Platinum”, but information on the “Silver” level would be redundant.

Especially if you have multiple upgrades to offer, the “Upgrades” page is not the place for a long sales pitch. Use bullet points and concentrate on the core benefits of each upgrade level. Some kind of scarcity tactic is valuable here, such as limiting the number of members that can upgrade or indicating that the price will go up on such and such a date. A short video describing each upgrade level is also a good way to fit necessary information into a short space.

Downline Builder Header

You can use the Downline Builder header for promotional material, but I prefer using it for some brief instructions. Keep it brief and concentrate the user’s mind on accuracy. Something like this:

Unless stated otherwise, joining these programs is FREE. You are totally at liberty to choose which programs to join (or not). Any that you do not join will default to your sponsor’s referral id.

You can change any of these codes at any time. Simply enter the new referral id and click the "Update" button.

Always check each link. Never leave one that doesn't work (readers don't like it)!

Email Templates

We’ve already discussed the correct use of the email templates in the “System Settings” module. The only thing I’ll add here is to encourage you to make full use of the macros to customise the email messages. The more of these you use, the more personalised the emails become and the better they’ll speak to the recipient.

If you handle all of these templates with care you’ll finish up with a better membership site and a more satisfied customer base. As I’ve mentioned before, success and profitability with membership sites comes, not from following one or two of the suggestions that you like the best, but by applying as many of the Login Frequency Marketing tactics as possible. Collectively these strategies add up to a powerful site that will serve your business well.

 



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