7 Benefits to Having a Limited Access/Members Only Section of Your Website
A common question we are asked is, "Can I have a limited access/members only section of my website?" Of course you can, and it's possible that you should. There are many potential areas where your website and company can benefit from limited access/members only content.
1) User/Member Specific Viewing
When a user of your website signs into the site, the site recognizes them as a previous user and can show the user their information regarding past use on the website and their own preferences. Pricing, previous orders, recommendations based on past activity... all of these can be part of a website that recognizes signed-in users.
2) Membership Priority
Your members are most likely your most loyal customers, so you can reward them with the opportunity to see information prior to non-members, or perhaps allow them to see information that non-members aren't able to see at all. This increases the benefit of being a member of your website by adding functionality and creating a desire for the increased functionality your website gives members.
3) Member-specific Reports
Your members may not check your website daily, so clue them in on what is happening with your business or other interesting facts with membership reports. These can be sent via e-mail to keep your members in the loop, establishing a feeling of connection and loyalty in them. Also, a member could run a report of their own specific to them and their use of your website to try and gain information relevant to them.
4) Employee Only or Administrator Only
An employee only area would allow your employees access to the backend of the website or an internal intranet for schedule changes, requests off, or any Human Resource function. If specific employees are able to perform website maintenance, they would be able to ease the workload on the site administrator/business owner if they are able to perform routine maintenance on the website and its content.
5) Account Management
In a system much like the example given in number one, a website that has a limited access/members only section can allow them to manage their own accounts. Changing billing or shipping information such as address or card number, changing your name representation on the website, adding and subtracting areas or products or interest, all of these and more are options for websites that allow users to manage their own accounts.
6) 24/7 Access to Member Information
Allow your registered customers or members to access their information when it is convenient for them, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If your customer service department is closed customers can easily login and access their information, make changes, request information, etc. no matter what time of day or what day of the week, even on holidays.
7) Members Only Events
Want exclusive events that are only accessible to a specific audience, such as webinars or real world get-togethers? Your website can provide special events for those site users who have access. Increase the appeal of your events and by adding the aspect of limited ability or restricted attendance.
As you can see, providing the option for a paid membership on your site can benefit both parties. At least it should, in my opinion. If you have any questions about how to install this kind of functionality on your site, we offer free consultations and are happy to answer any questions you have regarding your website.