Here are 3 fast ways you can increase revenue on your forum;
- Increase your number of subscribers
- Increase the transaction size
- Increase the frequency of purchases
1. Increase your number of subscribers
This is the one most people are familiar with, but don’t fully utilize. Statistics show that people by and large buy impulsively and in their own self-interest. Can you think of a time where you bought something for no reason, and backed it up with an excuse later? Can you think of a time when you bought something because it was clearly in your own self-interest? These two forces can be profitably and ethically channeled to increase revenue on your forum, and they aren’t difficult to implement.
The first key to increasing the number of subscribers is impulse; rather than waiting for members to locate the subscription page (or waiting for them to click an advertisement for subscriptions), and then waiting for them to decide when it’s convenient and appropriate to make a purchase, simply offer the option to get the subscription up-front, before or immediately following registration. There are different plugins out there to do this — some on vBulletin.org — and we made one as well, but regardless of where you get it, make use of this powerful and lucrative concept — impulse buying — to increase revenue on your forum.
Another fast way to increase the number of subscribers is to simply recognize the existing ones — place a block on the forum home page acknowledging a few of your active subscribers. Everyone wants to feel important, prized, and treasured.
2. Increase the transaction size
This is perhaps the easiest and fastest way to increase forum revenue. Many forums out there have a single subscription and promote that single subscription to their members. An interesting concept that we recently discovered is that most people, given a short and distinct list of pricing options, for the same product with slight variations, will choose the one they identify with the most. The ‘sweet spot’ we’ve found for the number of pricing options/subscriptions is three. With more than 3 options, very reasonably because the burden of decision is greater, the less likely they are to act: analysis paralysis.
Here’s an example: if you take a single subscription and split it into three “Basic”, “Plus”, and “Premium”, people will buy the option they most identify with, even if there is no difference between the three. Can you think of a time when you bought the most expensive option for something because you don’t consider yourself to be someone who settles for less? I know I have. If not, can you think of a time when you bought the least expensive option for something because you consider yourself to be a smart shopper?
Of course you are going to deliver more on the higher-price subscriptions, but the point of the matter is that, people will buy, on impulse, what is in alignment with their values — over anything else. Interestingly, almost nobody will buy the option “in the middle” — it’s main purpose is to separate the most and least expensive options.
If your existing, single subscription is $25, add two more subscriptions: one at $35 and one for $55 — naming them appropriately (e.g. Basic/Plus/Premium, Silver/Gold/Platinum). Now, let’s do some real-world math: 10 members subscribe every month with the single subscription, that’s $250. If half of the 10 people next month get the most expensive option instead, that represents an additional $1800 in cashflow, or a whopping 38% increase. Fast, easy, effective.
As an aside, don’t price your subscriptions below $10, even if it’s recurring, as this implies it isn’t worth much, and less people will buy it — especially the group that buys higher-ticket subscriptions.
3. Increase the frequency of purchases
Extend past forum subscriptions — take what your members find in high self-interest on your forum, enhance or add value to it — then, take this enhancement, package it, and sell it. One example is Warrior Forum’s Special Offers section — people, in self-interest, promote their internet marketing products all over the place. So, Warrior Forum made a Special Offers section where people can self-promote away — with higher visibility than before — at a premium.
Warrior Forum now charges $40 for each new topic or bump in their Special Offers section, and many agree that has worked out very well for them. There are many ways to go about this depending on the niche, but the point of the matter is to seek, enhance, and sell.
Thank you for reading; what are your thoughts? Please share them by entering a comment in the boxes below, and be sure to share this so you can help others too!