Is Your Membership Site Ready to Go Live? The Checklist

In the process of getting your membership site ready to launch, there are a lot of things that you are going to be checking and rechecking before you actually launch. This will range from making sure that your styles are done correctly to creating 404 error pages. However, all of these things relate to what you need to do in order to get the doors open. Have you made a checklist of things that you need to do in order to KEEP the doors open? Here is a look at some of things that need to be done before you launch your membership site that will help your first few months run a lot smoother.

1. Content
To actually launch a membership site, technically you only need a day or two’s worth of content. However, if you plan on creating a successful membership site, you first 3 to 6 months will have to be all about promotion and generating buzz. That means that in order to be able to do this, you will need 3 to 6 months worth of content so that you will not end up going weeks at a time without updating your membership site or getting stuck creating content instead of promoting your membership site. The long term viability of your membership site is completely reliant on your ability to stay open through the first few months, which means content should be the least of your concern. Because you can create it ahead of time, you shouldn’t force yourself to worry about it later.

2. Know Your Automation
Whatever you plan on automating, you need to get it taken care of before you open your doors. This can include making affiliate payments, an auto responder for your list building, a shopping cart, and metrics software. These are not things that you should need to worry about. If any of them don’t work, you absolutely must have the situation fixed before you start accepting members. If you start getting sign-ups, but realize that your payment processor isn’t actually accepting payments then all of those people who would’ve signed up will assume that you don’t know what you are doing or don’t really care about them. That is the type of buzz that you will probably never recover from, especially during opening week.

3. Early Birds – Beta Testing
Before your official launch, you should already have a handful (between at least 25-50) of people. They should be paying a severely reduced rate with the understanding that they are essentially your beta testers. This will give you a chance to allow real people use the site just all of your members will. This will give you a chance to work out all of the bugs. This is essentially a “dry run” which is used in almost every major “service” industry. Even the fanciest hotels and casinos will open for a week or more just to make sure that everything is in top condition before their official “grand opening”.

It is really easy to get caught up in the minutia of creating and maintaining a membership website. However, if you forget about these 3 key issues before you actually make your membership site live, there is a good chance that you will sink yourself before you ever really get off of the ground.

2 Comments
  • john says:

    any future updates?

  • Jennifer M says:

    While this is definitely a simplified checklist that hits all of the main points. I think the step most people ignore is beta testing or early bird pricing. Beta testing is essential for new membership sites because the members know that they are paying a reduced rate in exchange for providing feedback and pointing out any glitches or bugs in the members area. An overlooked benefit of beta testing is not only getting information about how the membership site is set up and how members feel about the content but it also provides an easy way to gather social proof for your big launch.

    Along with asking beta testers about the functionality and features of the members area it is important to ask for positive feedback as well. Most beta testers will happily provide a sentence or two about their experience in the membership site and why it is worth joining. This type of social proof is a huge benefit when creating advertising materials during the launch phase.


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