Rain is a good thing—it keeps your plants alive and your garden green and lush. But too much rain can wreak havoc on crops, or even flood your home.
The same is true for the content on your membership site. Content that you let slowly “drip” over time is more manageable for your members.
By contrast, a flood of content can overwhelm them, or even cause them to lose interest altogether.
In this post, we explain the basics of running a drip content membership site to make sure you’re delivering what your members want without giving them too much information all at once.
What is Drip Content?
Drip content is information that you strategically release at chosen times instead of giving it to your members all at once. This method makes your members feel like they’re getting consistent value without becoming overwhelmed, which keeps them coming back for more.
Think about how you might return to Netflix again and again to watch new episodes of your favorite series as they are released. Now, compare this to binge-watching all episodes of a series in one sitting.
The former feels like a treat you can relish, while binge-watching can end up feeling a bit…excessive. Even your TV asks, “Are you still there?”
As the adage goes, how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
In other words: It’s much less overwhelming to learn something a section or piece at a time, as opposed to consuming all 12 modules and their subparts at once.
Dripping your membership content also keeps people from signing up, getting access to your content, then canceling their membership and asking for a refund. Plus, as a content producer, it helps you create a bulk of content that you can release over time, instead of having to consistently produce new content.
The Benefits of Drip Content
Beyond protecting your content investment and helping members feel like they’re getting consistent value from your site, there are some additional benefits to drip-feeding your content:
It Maximizes Your Engagement
Drip content requires users to engage with your site more often, as they don’t receive all of your content at once; In order to continue receiving the value they enjoy, they must return to your site on a regular basis.
These return visits to your site give you more traffic, views, and opportunities to engage with (and advertise to) your users. That means more chances to upsell, cross-sell, or otherwise maximize your average member value.
Drip Content Keeps Things Fresh
Drip content makes it easy to see how members respond to and engage with your content. This helps you revise, refresh, test, and tweak your content as your membership site grows.
You can also easily make changes to content that has become dated and add new points as they arise.
As they say: Nothing is older than yesterday’s news. Drip feeding your content helps you always keep things fresh and up-to-date.
Dripping Your Content Helps Stop Theft and Plagiarism
Unfortunately, content theft is real. While offering a money-back guarantee on memberships reduces risk and helps encourage people to sign up, giving people access to all of your content as soon as they register comes with its own problems.
For example, some people will copy your content and then ask for a refund. They benefit from your content and expertise, while you get nothing. Slowly releasing your content over time means that no one can copy large quantities and then immediately ask for a refund.
It Reduces Member Churn
As a membership site owner, you want people to continue their memberships over time because it gives you recurring revenue. But in order to convince them to do this, they should feel like your content provides them with ongoing value.
Dripping useful content over time gives members continuous value—and a reason to keep paying on a recurring basis. If members get value from your site, they tend to stay.
What’s more: If your members are happy with the value they are receiving, they will also be inspired enough tell others about it. They might even encourage friends and family to become members as well.
Having a Drip Content Schedule Reduces Your Stress
It can be challenging to create and release regular content. Sometimes, it can feel like you’re scurrying to finish something just in time to post it.
On the other hand, making use of drip content reduces your stress because it allows you to do things like batch-create content at one time and completely automate its release. It’s a way to “set it and forget it.”
Looking to start creating graphics, videos, and voice content for your membership site? This cheatsheet shares the top 10 free tools we use to create rich media at PMPro. Use these tools to create rich media content like PDFs, commercials, audiograms, blogs, social graphics, and more.
Methods for Scheduling Drip Content on Your Membership Site
You might not be able to control how much rain your garden gets, but you are in charge of how much content your members receive—and how often.
There are various methods for scheduling drip content on your membership site. Your knowledge of your audience and their content needs will help you decide which method will work best for them.
Here are some of the different things your drip content schedule can be based on:
With this method, members get access to content based on when they signed up for your membership, according to a schedule that you set.
For example, let’s say that on Tuesday, the member signed up for your free 12-day online course. So, you send them daily emails over the next 12 days with new information until they’ve received everything included in the course.
This schedule is the easiest to set up, and members like the consistency. In fact, they might even start looking forward to the daily email from you.
In this case, members receive content on a specific date, regardless of when they signed up.
For example, if a new member signs up on a Tuesday, they will get a welcome message, but they won’t get new content until the next scheduled release date (when all members get it).
Members also automatically get access to any content they missed before they registered on your site.
This model can be slightly more challenging to set up. The benefit of this approach is that all members receive content simultaneously, so you don’t have to worry about spoilers within the community.
You’ve likely participated in this kind of drip content method without even realizing it. Progress-based drip schedules give members access to new content after they finish a specific activity, like the completion of an interactive element or section of content.
For example, members may complete a short quiz at the end of their first module of an online course. The completion of that quiz then triggers the automatic release of the next module.
The biggest benefit of this approach is that it lets members move through your content at their own pace, without overwhelming them with too much material.
This method gives members new content on a particular schedule when they sign up, without giving them access to content previously released.
Think of it like a magazine subscription: You don’t receive all existing publications when you subscribe; You simply get issues delivered every month after your subscription starts.
This kind of schedule is the least popular—perhaps because members usually want access to all available content. However, it can work well for newsletters in particular.
Release or Creation
If you want your members to get access to content as soon as you release it (or as soon as you create it) this method is for you. Just note that it may be less ideal for drip content because it’s not on a set schedule—which means your members never know when to expect your content.
It also requires more work to create and release your material one piece at a time. Creating and scheduling content in bulk can be much more efficient and practical.
Implementing Drip Content on Your Membership Site
Now that you understand why you should use drip content on your membership site, and you have some ideas about the schedule you’d like to implement, let’s look at how you do it.
Make a Drip Content Plan
What content do you want to release? What drip content schedule will work best for your audience?
Make a plan and create the content you need for your drip content membership site. Be sure to plan your entire series or schedule of content, even if you only create part of it upfront.
You don’t want to get going, only to realize that you have less content to deliver than you originally promised your members, or that you should have released content in a different order.
Choose a Plugin for Dripping Your Content
Dripping content on your membership site will require that you have some way to restrict your content to a members-only area.
There are many membership plugins that allow you to set up a subscription plan, but not all of them are equal. Plus, not all membership plugins cater specifically to drip content.
Paid Memberships Pro is the most complete WordPress membership plugin that also comes with the Series: Drip-Feed Content Add On (Plus membership or higher). This allows you to create a series of pages or posts that you can reveal to members over time according to the rules you set.
For example, you can choose specific dates that you want to release your content, what content to release on those dates, and which members you want to have access to that content.
You can also set up automatic emails that will notify members of new content releases.
Start Dripping Your Content
Once you have your membership plugin and drip content set up, you’re ready to start releasing content to your members!
Don’t forget to set up email reminders to notify your members about new content releases.
You should also keep an eye your plugin’s analytics as well to monitor how members are engaging with your content, so you can make changes as needed.
Let Us Help You
We want to help you make the most of your content and optimize your membership business for success. Our robust WordPress membership plugin and Series: Drip-Feed Content Add On will give you the tools you need to get your drip content campaign off the ground in no time.
Get your PMPro Plus license today and start leveraging the power of drip content on your membership site.