What does Match.com know about membership sites?

I was talking to a friend the other day and they mentioned that their on-boarding at Match.com was really great.

The conversation continued on about Match.com but I went back later to see what they were doing on the site.

Here are two screenshots from their site – the homepage and the screen you get to right after you click the big blue button.



Where many membership sites get it wrong

What do you notice when you look at these two screens?

When I look at them, I notice one dynamic very clearly. It's a quid pro quo (a give and take) dynamic between the site and a viewer.

It says, “Give me some generic info about you, and I'll show you pictures.”

Once you give it some info (which doesn't identify you beyond a zip code), it gives you something in return. Photos. That's what it delivers. And for people looking for a match, that's valuable.

Then, you see it again, in the second step.

“Give me some further information about you, and I'll show  you actual profiles – for free.”

Most membership sites do a lot of selling.

Most membership sites create complicated landing pages.

Most membership sites ask you to fill out a lot of personal information to get started.

And they don't give you anything in return until you get to the final step.

Most membership sites don't do any “give and take” – they just take, take, take until they close.

What does this mean for your membership site?

To implement this strategy on your own site, think about how you can create splinters of your offering that you can deliver along the path of registration.

Think about how you can transform that long registration form into a series of shorter ones. And if you do it right, you can learn from even partial entries.