Question of the Day: Site Membership Models


Today’s Question of the Day comes from early Found|READ contributor, Sanchit Bhatnagar, cofounder of a New Delhi-based webshop called Toufee, where consumers can make Flash-based movies. (Obviously, San’s been burning the candle!) Here is San’s MySpace profile, too.

San wants advice on what kind of membership model works best for monetization and customer growth purposes on consumer sites like his. Can you help?

Hi,

… I have two membership models in mind.

The first plan is your “gold standard”: In this model, pricing is determined by the features in the the package. A good example is found at CrazyEgg. What I like about this models is that its time-tested and easy for users to understand. It is also good for lump sum income.


The second is a “pay-per-use” or credits-based plan.
In this model, a user purchases a number of credits (one-time or recurring) which are used up as s/he performs certain functions on the website. A good example of this is at Dreamstime. (The credits model could also be applied to CrazyEgg, say, where 100 credits were given for every 10,000 visits, just to give you an example).

I personally prefer the second, pay-per-use plan, as it gives the user the option to buy small packages and then upgrade to bigger ones as his/her needs arise.

But then I also feel it can be a little confusing to new users.

So I was just wondering, what do you guys think of these two models?

Pros/Cons?

Any experience you have with either plan would definitely add to my learning.

Thanks.

Regards,
San.


What are your experiences with such membership models on your site? Please share any tips you have on these two, or still other, models you’ve tried…

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