Generate Non-Dues Income With Your Member Directory
Membee’s Directory widget is full of features specifically designed to increase the visibility of your members. Whether its members searching for fellow members with certain skills, services, or backgrounds in a private member directory or a public directory promoting your industry members or your supplier/associate members, promoting members is what it is all about! If …
Membee’s Directory widget is full of features specifically designed to increase the visibility of your members. Whether its members searching for fellow members with certain skills, services, or backgrounds in a private member directory or a public directory promoting your industry members or your supplier/associate members, promoting members is what it is all about!
If your members see value in your promotion of their products and services then Membee’s directory provides three straightforward ways to cash in on that perceived value and increase your organization’s non-dues income by:
- Selling additional listings within your directory to a member
- Selling the ability to standout in search results with a “featured listing”
- Selling the ability for a member's listing to “pop to the top” of the search results when certain keywords are used in a directory search
Sell Additional Additional Listings
This one is easy. The structure of Membee’s directories allows you to create unlimited directories and within those directories, a member can have unlimited listings. The revenue angle here is that members often offer different products and services so a separate listing in your member directory describing each of those products and services is an ideal way to showcase them.
A best practice here is to provide a “free” listing in your member directory as a benefit of membership and to sell an additional listing to any member who wants one. The member obviously benefits from the increased presence in your directory and you directory is much more useful to site visitors thanks to the increase in specific content.
Sell the “Featured Listing” Designation
This feature is advantageous to members when there are a number of members in the same category or where a common search term returns a large group of members on your directory’s Search Results page. When you activate this feature in a member’s directory listing, their listing stands out on the Search Results page. When designated as “featured”, Membee displays the “featured” icon and text in the member’s listing on the Search Results page.
In your directory’s widget, you can customize three things related to Featured Listings:
- designate the text displayed beside the member’s name (the default is “Featured”)
- designate the icon image that is displayed
- designate the map pin color for featured listings
The best practice here is to treat this feature with a greater degree of exclusivity when compared to selling additional listings. After all, if every member returned on the Search Results page is “feature”, it defeats the purpose of some members standing out from their competitors.
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Sell Popular Search Keywords to the Highest Bidder
The Sponsored Listing feature is very appealing to members who are looking to truly separate themselves (literally) from their competition inside your member directory. This feature allows a member to “pop to the top” on the Search Results page, separating and highlighting their listing from all other members who met the terms of the site visitor’s search.
Membee gathers a ton of metrics on how site visitors actually use your directory. One directory metric that is very saleable is the tracking of which keywords are popular when site visitors search your directory. If you look at your directory in Membee and scroll down to the “Keywords & Categories” panel, you will see which search keywords are popular for any period of time.
Frequently used search keywords are golden because they indicate what site visitors are actually searching for in your directory! In the example below, the keyword “bank” is the most popular search keyword in our sample directory.
The Sponsored Listing feature allows you to attach that keyword to a specific listing for a specific member and yes, they should pay a substantial premium for this service!
Since the Sponsored Listing feature is powerful, the Directory widget provides a wide degree of control over how a Sponsored Listing is presented. The specifics include:
- numerous settings in the widget to control what is displayed for a sponsored listing
- the ability to override default style sheet formatting that is exclusive to sponsored listings
- the ability to set the map pin color for the sponsored listings
The powerful aspect of a the Sponsored Listing feature is its exclusivity. Basically the pitch to the member is:
“we know that visitors to our site are searching for what you have to offer. If you purchase this service then you gain exclusive access to search result positioning and appearance in those search results, literally raising you above your competition.”
As a result, the best practice here is to position this feature as a “premium exclusivity” add-on for your members by offering a single member this opportunity for each of your most popular directory search keywords.
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Use a “Subscription” So Members Pay Easily
Membee’s Directory widget offers some powerful ways to generate non-dues income from your online directory but how exactly do you go from having members agreeing to purchase these features to actually having their cash in your hand? Good question and it’s a question that Membee can help with.
We see hundreds of organizations use these features to generate additional revenue and the organizations that are successful exhibit some common traits that include:
- They keep it simple by offering “packages” and by avoiding offering an “a la carte” menu of options to members
- It is easier for members to understand and hence see the value
- It is easier for you to administrate
- They treat it like a “subscription” so the member is essentially purchasing this enhancement to their presence in the online directory for a period of time – a year is most common
- They make it easy to administrate by using Membee’s Recurring Event feature (think recurring billing like an ongoing magazine subscription) to handle the billing
- This also allows the member to purchase this enhanced directory presence whenever they like and have a billing cycle that is independent of when their membership is billed and paid for
- They make it easy for members to pay by utilizing Membee’s eBilling feature to deliver the invoices to the members so they can easily pay them from the organization’s website – just like a membership renewal
Resources to Make All This Happen
Let’s get to work and get those new non-dues dollars rolling in! The links below will provide everything you need to implement these Membee features (a couple are secure documents so be sure to have your Membee username and password handy when you click the links)
For the features contained in the Directory Widget itself. you’ll find the details here:
If you don’t have a Membee Directory on your website, are thinking about launching a second one, or just want a refresher on how a member directory works, sign up for this free live webinar:
Setup Your Own Directory To Display Your Members On Your Site
To setup a recurring event in Membee to handle the billing for you, here’s the details for setting up a Recurring Event:
To make it easy for members to pay for their “enhanced directory presence” subscriptions, use eBilling so they can pay form your website. Here’s the details: