Paid member or free membership online - your views needed

Discussion in 'Internet Marketing' started by twelvebows, May 24, 2011.

  1. twelvebows

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    New Member

    May 24, 2011
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    Hello Business Advice Forum
    My partner and I are researching the UK online dating market and have a question.
    Does anyone have a strong view on whether to commence business with a paid for membership or free membership from day one.
    We have projections from advertising revenue which do not offer a decent return until month 12 onwards. We are also mindful that asking for paid membership with low membership could cause dissonance between paying members?
    Is there a good rule or set of pointers that members can share? We are thinking of offering a few weeks free subscription or taking the whole of the first six months as free to members until our membership base has grown.
    We may have to look into some primary research to assess the price point for this but until we do, we'd really appreciate some thinking in this area
  2. Fergal

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    Premium Member

    Nov 18, 2007
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    Welcome to Business Advice Forum twelvebows.

    As you say it is difficult to encourage people to pay for membership on a new site due to the fact that, because the site is new it is not very busy and the new members will be more inclined to use their money to join busier sites with a larger and more active member base. Hence, I'd suggest one of the following approaches;

    • Offer free membership to the first x members and then start charging a fee after that.
    • Offer a free basic membership to all and charge a fee for premium membership, to members who want to upgrade their account and get access to additional features.

    Either of these approaches will allow you to build up an initial base of members without imposing the obstacle of them having to pay to join. Do you feel that they could work for you?

    Good luck with it!
  3. Grumpy

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    Apr 7, 2011
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    One thing I'd suggest is don't offer a free service then change it to paid later. You will lose 95% of your customers, guaranteed. Best option would probably be to offer a primarily free site and just offer upgraded/premium membership to your users at a price.

    Best of luck with your new site. :)

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