The Membership Business Model

“Offering content shared to all members and premium content to premium members with no size limit to membership.”


Case Study #1  The Rocket Company

The Rocket Company collects leads from MANY sources and they drive ALL of them to landing pages to opt-in for a free resource, webinar, or live event.

They also use Affiliates to market to their own lists with trackable links leading to The Rocket Company’s landing pages.

Casey Graham (Founder) says they are big fans of the Baskin’ Robbins ‘pink spoon’ approach.  This means to offer samples of everything right from the start.  This lets people see what you do, who you are, and that you are generous in trying to offer very helpful content for free.  If you make it clear that your goal is to help and you aren’t trying to monetize every last piece of content you create, you are more likely to have people follow you (and later buy because they like and trust you).

Create a big, easily navigable landing pages with a Sign-up Now or Attend button prominently displayed.  Use Video when possible!

Rocket Company Free Report landing page

The large variety of Free Reports landing pages have identical formatting with only the content being different.  This creates comfort for the prospect because they will recognize the format and feel safe that they have been sent to the correct page.  Also, The Rocket Company keeps the Free Report landing pages clean with very few distracting graphics.  Plus, a majority of the page is solid, useful content.  The Opt-in box is a simple First Name and Email address.

Their free webinar landing pages are identical to the Free Report landing pages.  One difference is the webinar landing pages also have a small video displayed over the Opt-in box.

Sometimes they will post their offers on other popular websites.

Infusionsoft is used to Nurture to the Interest.  They use ‘by the way’ selling in the first emails being sent out.  No hard core selling is done until after prospects go through a ‘warm up sequence’.  The next sequence people go through  offers a ton of useful content, but it starts to pitch more directly as well.  Careful planning and crafting of Campaigns are made so people who purchase something will not be marketed that material again.

The ‘warm up sequence’ is only 7 emails and they are spaced out in a 30 day time frame.  Also, every email has very valuable content.  The next sequence (Nurture) is a weekly email with content and a Call to Action of getting people to request a resource or set up coaching.

Casey uses Upselling to people on Thank You pages whenever they register for a free event or request free content.  Why not use that thank you page to convert to a sale?

[Tweet “Casey @TheRocketCo says he’s a big fan of the Baskin’ Robbins ‘pink spoon’ approach. Now I’m hungry and intrigued!”]

Here are few more useful tips from the master of the Membership Business Model:

  1. Setup a 30 day free trial using a promo code.  You can track what codes are used, and you can easily set a time limit.
  2. Use upsells in the Shopping Cart for popular products (be an Amazon)
  3. Offer Payment Plans for higher priced products.
  4. Use regular follow up on How To Use what people bought.  Many people like to buy stuff, but they won’t become raving fans if they never actually use it.
  5. Use NPS surveys.  This is the “On a scale 1-10, how likely would you refer me to your network/family/friends”.  This is a great feedback and testimonial driver.
  6. Use automated sequences to ask questions about their experiences with your product and then take the responses to use as testimonials.  If the responses are negative, here is a chance to improve your product, wow an unhappy customer, and potentially even upsell.
  7. Make an actual Membership Site!  This site should be your Media Hosting platform, Resource Download storage, and Payment Portal.  CustomerHub makes delivering the proper/relevant content easy by using Tags.  For more on Membership Sites, check out my post from The Rocket Company “6 Steps to Launching a Profitable Membership Site“.


Case Study #2  Hear & Play Music

Jermaine uses just about every type of marketing you can think of from online to offline, radio and billboards, and even refrigerator magnets.  The Landing Pages people go to send out chains of emails, depending if they’ve watched 75% of the previous video or not.  40 messages are in queue to be sent, but only very specific emails in this queue will actually go out to a given contact.  Everything comes down to what tags are present.  After 2 weeks, even a CD set will be offered if the videos are not being watched all the time.

The 4 video series that all new prospects receive access to are also how Jermaine begins to build rapport.  Something of real value is given that could be charged for, but giving it away for free builds Like and Trust.  Also, people are invited to a free teleseminar in the videos.  The 2 CD set is free (4 week delivery), but on the thank you page, people can pay $2.97 to get ‘rush shipping’ in 1 week.  This gets a lot of credit cards which can then later be used for one-click purchase offers.  The Welcome Teleseminar has a $97 offer at the end, and 40 days later people are given a 50% off offer during a 4 day promotion.

CustomerHub is used to collect on unpaid invoices as well as sending notifications out when cards are about to expire.  Completion scenarios are also used to progress collections or write them off.  For a card decline, an incentive discount to order again is offered as well as many automated emails are sent to update the card before finally Tasking a staff member to call the client for a new card.

Jermaine’s upsell funnel is crazy, but in a good way.  He has about 50 different offers that people could receive, but any particular offer will only be seen if certain tags are present or not present, the last purchase was a particular item or not, and even when the purchase was made.  All of the rules set will dictate the upsell presented to the client.

Over 1500 testimonials have been received using his Success Story Wizard.  An automated email goes out a few weeks after someone orders something to drive them to this website which asks 4 questions (one at a time, so at least something is likely to be received).  Also 30 days after a purchase, an offline LETTER is sent to the client to ask for a testimonial and referrals.  3 postcards are included with the letter, and the client is asked to put the address of three people who can be helped by Hear and Play on the postcards and then send them back to Hear and Play.  When the postcards are received back, the addresses are entered into the database and the client who sent them in receives a free gift.  The letter also suggests people become Affiliates.

When people create a free account to make a digital download, the Password is suggested to be your birthday.  People are convinced that this makes remembering it much easier, and at the same time birthday cards can be sent out.  Cards are sent for three years, and one year the card is sent late on purpose as a ‘belated‘ birthday wish.  Tricky, but it has had successful reactions.

Postcards are sent the day after an order is made.  Different voicemails are sent to new clients if an answering machine picks up or if a live person picks up.  The one left on an answering machine really sounds like Jermaine is leaving you a personal voicemail.  The one for when you pick up is a more standard message.  When people order $300/$500 worth of products, a Starbucks gift card and cookie is sent out.

The best Lead Conversion Campaign Jermaine uses is the Welcome Teleseminar.  This is setup to be evergreen, so it doesn’t require his time each time a new client signs up.  Personalization on landing pages, emails, and even calendar files sent to people to remember the teleseminar all increase the chances of attendance.  Also the teleseminar leads to an offer at the end of it along with a 4 day ‘cash machine’ offer.  40 days later a 50% discount offer is made, and the whole process is automated including a countdown timer to the 4 day expiration date.

Case Study #3  Keeping Current Matters

They have a monthly membership that provides real estate agents with detailed market-related content for the agent’s buyers and sellers.  Before Infusionsoft, sales were done through live events and speeches, but now Leads are ‘in-bound’.

The main draws of traffic are through Blogging, Free Reports, and Webinars.

Follow up is done with all leads through targeted information, and all leads are driven to a ‘Free 14-day Trial’.  80% of the people signing up for the free trial convert to paying customers.

Plans are in the works to roll out a fully automated referral program that rewards customers with 1 month of free membership per new client they refer.    The program will email the referrer when someone starts a free trial and when the trial is complete.  Plus another email will be sent when the 1 month credit is applied.  The 1 month credit will be processed automatically, and the referring client will be able to log into their Referral Center to track how many free months they have earned so far.  Plus the Dashboard reports will be updated for Keeping Current Matters owner Bill Harney so he can see when new referrals are added to the system.  The best part of this program is that the entire thing is set to be Fully Automated.

The most important part of their sales process is the on-boarding sequence.  8 emails are sent with laser focus on getting new clients started, navigating the membership site, and best practices for using the membership.

They also use custom order forms and the funnel process with Campaign Builder to push new leads through a two step process to get the 14 day Free Trial.  The first step is to get First and Last Name, email, cell phone (optional), and a password.  The second step is requesting a credit card to hold for after the 14 day trial is over.  They noticed about 30% of leads drop off at this point, but because they filled out the name and email before this step, they can be followed up with to build trust.  20% of the people who drop off actually end up becoming paying members.  Before Infusionsoft and using this special 2 step process, those leads would have been gone for good.  This two step signup process (courtesy of Chris Brisson of Call Loop) is not just clever, it is brilliant!


Case Study #4  Master Networks, Inc

This group holds weekly Mastermind meetings in a group and charges $39.95/month.  The membership also includes an online University and regional training events.  They have no contracts and people can cancel anytime.

They use a National Revenue Sharing Program to share 40% of membership back to referring members as long as the new members stay active.  There is no limit to the amount of rewards that can be earned.  Also, they also promote a healthy competition between Chapters by creating a Leaderboard in their membership site to track to referring members.  They also offer access to the Infusionsoft Affiliate Center so members can access their current Affiliate rewards at anytime.

CustomerHub is used to host the membership site where Master Networks, Inc provides agendas, tools, and training for how to run a successful Chapter.  Also, it is used to offer world class business training in the University.  Through CustomerHub permissions are set to grant access to various Employees (Corporate, Regional Partners, and Success Coaches)  Permissions are also set based on geography.  Members access their account to update their profile and billing.

The University offers 24/7 access to Business Training on the 5 Disciplines of Business as well as Specialized courses on Leadership Teams, Success Coaches, and Regional Entrepreneur Partners.

Facebook integration is used to engage members to contribute to the conversation.



The Membership Business Model is made from notes taken from the Small Business ICON Playbook “Top Customer Case Studies & Campaign Samples” from ICON14.


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