When to start a paid Membership program?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Online Community' started by 50calray, Nov 28, 2009.

  1. 50calray

    50calray Grand Master

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    I see a lot of people introducing paid membership programs for their forum and so I'm trying to gauge when is a good time to start one? Do you wait until you have "X" amount members or post count and or traffic?

    Thanks,

    Ray
     
  2. Chani

    Chani Grand Master

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    Personally on my new forum I'm waiting until the end of our first Grand Opening contest. The winner of which will become the *first* Premium member (and will be for life). Because of the nature of my first contest (most referrals), I should have decent traffic by the end of the contest and I'll implement them then. :)
     
  3. 50calray

    50calray Grand Master

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    That is really close to what I was thinking, this December 31st is our one year anniversary. So I'm thinking about starting a paid membership program with separate drawings along with some other added stuff.
     
  4. Abomination

    Abomination Zealot

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    I started it up to accommodate those who wanted to make donations. Otherwise there would be people posting up how much they contributed, which would make at least a few people feel bad because they had sent a different amount.
     
  5. FullMetalBabe

    FullMetalBabe Zealot

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    (My Anime Site)~_~ I personally wouldn't start one until I have ENOUGH members or I have something else to offer my members. I'm planning to have contests in which people could get plushies, DVD box sets and many other anime related gifts or even not anime related, it could be gaming related or gift cards. I have people asking me to put a donate now button on the homepage but I really refuse to do so, until I grow more popularity.

    (Design Site) For Setsou Media, we are planning releasing free quality pre-mades and also releasing Premium quality themes. For the premium quality themes, I'm thinking to sell them individually or as a subscription and this is where premium memberships would go.

    I have two different sites in two different niche's, in one I have nothing to different from other anime sites offer yet so I wouldn't think of proposing premium memberships, on the Design site, I would have unique designs, therefore I do have something to offer which I could propose a premium membership.

    Extra PM space and more kinks on the forum as a user would be great, but you have to spice it up to make it amazing, that way people would like your offer of premium memberships(IMO). ~_~ Having a pretty signature made me buy premium membership here...
     
  6. Nick

    Nick Regular Member

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    I think it really depends on your site and the atmosphere of your community. On my Linnie Forum, I never imagined using Premium Memberships or anything until somebody actually asked me how to donate to the site.

    Once I set it up, several members expressed interest in donating, and did just that. On my Linnie Forum, it's less of a "paid subscriber" program and more of a "way to support the site and show your appreciation". Since there is no "lifetime" option in the vB subscription system, it's a 29-year subscription, one time, and has a wide range of values. Donors do get perks such as an e-mail address from my domain, gold username, and public recognition, but that's not what it's about for them or for me. In other words, they'd just as well donate if there were no benefits. Many of them have donated multiple times, and continue to do so. We also sometimes have Donation Drives to support parrot societies and foundations, to which many members also contribute.

    If your community is like that, then I'd just wait until 1) somebody expresses interest in donating, or 2) you have a group of solid core members who you think will take advantage of the donation option.

    If you are a site with resources and such, you can offer Paid Subscriptions to access premium content, galleries, and stuff like that if you wanted.


    So in summary, it depends on 1) your community atmosphere and 2) what your purpose for paid subscriptions is (premium content, or showing appreciation).
     
  7. MordyT

    MordyT Grand Master

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    tbqh, I would never star a paid membership if I had a choice.
    I was a member of a forum that introduced it, and the forum fell apart very quickly.

    Donations all the way.
     
  8. crash1987

    crash1987 Regular Member

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    In my experience it's best to wait until you have built a solid site and formed a good relationship with your members. Once you have done that, members will be more willing to donate to you.
     

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