Membership Geeks

How to Generate Email Leads for Your Membership Site

Lead Generation for Membership Sites

Turning website traffic into qualified email leads is something every successful membership site owner needs to be able to do.

Some people will visit your sales page first time, be convinced, and join your membership site right away; however in many cases a few more steps are needed to turn cold traffic into members.

If you’re not already focusing on lead generation as part of your membership site marketing strategy, then you’ll need the following core elements:

Email marketing service

First things first, if you plan on generating email leads, you’re going to need to use an email marketing platform.

This is a service which will collect your leads for you, and then enable you to send email campaigns to them.

Without question our favourite email marketing service is ActiveCampaign – we use them for our own sites as well as for many of our clients, and the tools that they provide are amongst the best available.

Opt-in form

With your email marketing service in place, we need to then add a form to your website for people to submit their details.

Every email marketing service will have a tool that allows you to create this form; and they’ll all have different methods available for then adding it to your site.

Alternatively you can make use of a tool like Thrive Leads for adding great looking opt-in forms, popups, landing pages and more.

Lead magnet

People guard their email addresses far more preciously these days, so you need to incentivize them to give you permission to email them.

“Sign up to our newsletter” simply won’t cut it.

Offer your audience something of value in order to entice them to opt-in to your list – this could be something simple, like an eBook, through to something more substantial like a mini-course or a free piece of software.

Follow-up sequence

And of course, once someone has joined your list then you need to have a plan for what to do with them.

You should have an automated email sequence in place, to send a series of well-crafted emails to your new leads over a period of a few days or weeks in order to add further value and, of course, make them aware of your membership offering.

These are commonly referred to as “autoresponders”, and most email marketing platforms enable you to create these.

With all of this now in place, you’re in a position to start collecting email leads through your website.

By publishing and promoting great quality content in order to drive people to your website, a portion of that traffic will opt in to your list if they enjoyed what you have to say and want more from you.

To take things further, you could try the following tips to increase the quantity and the quality of the leads you’re generating:

Multiple lead magnets

Rather than just having one, single lead magnet – consider having several. Ideally these would be tailored towards different customer personas, i.e. something for beginners and something for more advanced users.

Multiple lead magnets will increase the chances that you have something to entice a higher proportion of your website traffic; and you can also use these as an indicator of the sort of content someone is interested in – and therefore the sort of follow-up messages you send.

Content upgrades

Taking the idea of multiple lead magnets further, you could consider having opt-in “bribes” for individual blog articles too, as a way of delivering additional value, information or resources related to a single piece of content in exchange for someone opt-in in.

So for example in this post about generating leads, then wouldn’t it be helpful to have something like a ‘lead magnet checklist’ that you could download to use as a guide for creating effective lead magnets?

See what we did there?

(We use Thrive Leads to do the call to action and the cool pop-up too)

Free membership levels

A great way for membership site owners to generate leads is to offer a free entry-level membership option.

Not only is this a way of getting people onto your email list; you’re also getting them to create an account on your membership site.

So instead of sending them their freebies via email, you get people to actually log into your site to access them.

By bringing people into your ‘ecosystem’ in this way, you’re in a great position to then promote your paid membership to those leads.

And if they choose to upgrade? Well, they already have their account set up, so it’s even easier to become a paid member.


Remarketing is one of the most powerful features of advertising via Facebook ads or Google Adwords.

You organise your opted-in leads into custom audience groups that you then serve specific, tailored ads to.

So if someone has opted in for your ebook about apples, they see ads about apples; while those who opt in for you ebook about oranges see ads for oranges instead.

And if you’re completely new to remarketing, then we have a fantastic course in the Membership Academy which goes further into the topic and show you how to set everything up yourself.

So, if you’re not already focusing on lead generation for your membership site then now is the time to do it, and you can raise your game by implementing some of these tips for getting more email optins which – ultimately – will lead to more membership sales.

How focused are you on lead generation?

Which email marketing service tops your list?

Do you have any tips to share with other membership site owners, or perhaps you have a question for us?

Let us know in the comments section below…

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