Thought on Post-Charter Memberships

I have been quite happy with the initially success of the paid membership drive here. By any measure, $4.95 is a trivial price to pay for a year of the SDMB. And I’m particularly pleased to see the number of new or not particularly active posters who are signing up.

But I’m a bit concerned about what will happen when the charter membership period expires. Although I realize that $14.95 is an incredibly good value for a year of the SDMB, I’m not sure that this would be obvious to someone who is newly approaching the board. Specifically, I think that $14.95 is a relatively big initial payment for something that a potential new member might not use much beyond the initial period.

I would suggest that the SDMB administration consider offering shorter-term memberships at a lower initial price so that uncertain potential new members could join with a smaller investment (and then get hooked like the rest of us).

As an example, the board could offer a three month membership for $4.95. If renewed every three months, this would bring in $19.80, slight more revenue than the $14.95 annual rate, but I imagine that the member would convert to an annual membership at some point.

I know nothing about the membership processing software that the board uses, but from the way I saw it operating when I signed up (with a pull-down for membership category), I would expect that it would be fairly simple to offer three month and twelve month membershps at different rates.

Either way, I’m happy to see the board going to paid memberships, and I hope it leads to more improvements in service.

Great idea. The administration should try it out, at the very least.

That makes alot of sense. Good idea. They really should have an option for people somewhere in the $5-$7 range. Kind of a trial membership. To be honest, IMO, one of the best things about this board is the search feature. On almost any subject of any importance one can find a thread dishing the Straight Dope. Allowing new people to get a taste of how cool access to this vast collection of knowledge and wit can be for $5 seems likely to convince many folks to sign up who may not otherwise. Risking $15 bucks is alot harder than risking $5 to many people.

If there is anything that selling drugs to school kids has taught me, it’s that you have to give them a cheap first taste to get them hooked on your dope.

DaLovin’ Dj

Someone else suggested Life Memberships for USD$50.00 a pop. I like that idea. Admins, your thoughts?

Can’t see many using that route. It’s quite a gamble. 50 big ones for something they may lose interest in within a year.