How to Drip Feed Your Membership Site or Course Content

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Drip feeding content is a powerful method of delivering information to your members. Rather than immediately giving them full access to all the information on your site and potentially overwhelming them in the process, you can release content on a “drip” that’s designed to keep your members engaged.

Drip feeding is essentially the process of scheduling the delivery of content to your members so that they don’t get all the content at once.

Memberium uses tags to control drip feeds. When a member gets a tag, they get access to content. This allows you to leverage Infusionsoft’s automation capabilities to create advanced drip feeds.

Our Recommendation

You do not need to create a membership level for each piece of content you’re dripping out. In some cases, membership levels may make sense, but if you have a lot of content or are dripping individual lessons/modules, just protect those with a single membership level and require an additional tag unique to each lesson/module. This is explained later in the post.

Drip Feeding has the following benefits:

  • By delivering the content in smaller pieces, in a structured manner, it helps you protect your members from overwhelm by keeping them focused on the current material.
  • For trial accounts or money-back guarantees, drip feeds can help prevent users from “raiding” the content before doing an intentional cancel.
  • For coordination of online and “real-world” events, content drips can help deliver content in a timely manner to our event.
  • Using a content drip allows the site owner to launch with less content completed. Since the content is is time-released, future content can be developed later, after the site launches.
  • The time-delayed delivery of content gives you an opportunity to test and measure how well your members are engaging with the content and pivot or correct your future content as needed.
  • Drip feeding can create additional revenue opportunities. If your content is already fully produced you can sell the ability to unlock all the content at once as an upsell offer for those who want unlimited access.

Drip Feed Models Overview

Often, Drip feeding content is referred to in general terms, however, there are several different models of content drip-feeding. Here is a quick overview of each model and 

Simple Evergreen Drip
The “classic” drip, which runs based on a start date for the member.

Fixed Date Drip
A drip where each item is released based on a calendar date. This is the most common kind of drip.

Activity-Based Drip
This drip is interactive, and the future release of content is controlled or influenced by the activities or progress of the member.

Issue-Based Drip
Issue-based drips are similar fixed date drips, with the added behavior that content released before the member joins the drip is not made available to the member. This is useful for newsletter & magazine subscriptions

Manual Drip
Not really a typical drip, the manual drip is controlled by an administrator or staff member that releases new content in a manual manner.

Showing and Hiding Dripped Items from Menus and Course Grids

Because Memberium implements tag-based drip feeds, other components of your site can be reliably synchronized. For example, Memberium will control the display of menu items based on whether or not the member has access to them. No special configuration or effort is needed.

The same goes for your Course Grids included in the Memberium Page Templates.

When a member hasn’t been dripped a certain course, it will simply show locked and grayed out:

When the second course gets dripped to the user (meaning the Infusionsoft tag associated with the course was applied to the member), the course will simply show unlocked:

Your Drip Toolbox

  • Campaign Builder to schedule and control applying tags.
  • Delay Timers: to space out when tags are applied by waiting for a set period of time (3 days, 2 weeks, 1 month, etc).
  • Date Timers: to space out when tags are applied by waiting until a set date.
  • Legacy Actionsets: to run HTTP POSTs. Legacy HTTP POSTs are preferred over Campaign Builder HTTP POST.
  • Send Email: To notify the member of their newly unlocked content.

Implementing Simple Evergreen Drips

The Evergreen drip is one of the simpler drips to setup. Each module is released on a set schedule determined by the date that each individual member starts the drip campaign. Each person in the drip will receive the same content on the same schedule relative to the start date

Only members who start on the same date will receive the content at the same time.

Evergreen drips are built using the Infusionsoft Campaign Builder and Delay Timers. You’ll also send HTTP POSTs and Email notifications.

Below is a simple concept campaign for a 3-month long evergreen drip, where the content is dispensed every month.

The first tag being applied is the “Month 1 Access” tag. Then an HTTP POST is being sent to Memberium to generate a password for the member. The welcome email containing the password and course link is sent out. Then the campaign is told to wait for 1 month.

Your Campaign May Look Different

Your campaign may not match the one above exactly. You may not need to generate a password in this campaign if you have another campaign handling that. Make changes as needed to integrate this with your site/other campaigns.

After a month, the “Month 2 Access” tag is applied, an Update-Contact HTTP POST is sent, and another notification email is sent. At the end is a 1-month delay timer.

This process is repeated as many times as needed to drip all of your content.

Implementing Fixed Date Drips

The Fixed date drip requires more work to set up than an evergreen drip. Each module is released on a set schedule determined by the start date of the drip. Each module of content is released on a set calendar date, and each person in the drip will receive the same content on the same day regardless of when they joined.

Fixed date drips can be implemented in Campaign Builder using “Date Timers”. Date Timers operate off of a fixed calendar date instead of a delay.

Implementing Activity-Based Drips

The activity-based drip is another style of evergreen drip that slightly more complex than a simple evergreen drip. In an activity-based drip, the content is delayed pending an activity completed by the member Each member moves through the drip at their own rate, throttled and delayed by the drip. The drip can continue on a pre-set schedule or stop if the actions are not taken, depending on what works best for the particular drip.

An activity-based drip is commonly used with training delivery where testing is involved. As each user completes the required actions (for example, passing a test), the campaign is advanced to deliver the next piece of content.

In the example above, I am using API goals to separate campaign sequences. The API goals will prevent the user from moving forward until they’ve achieved that goal. 

If you’re using an LMS, you can have Memberium trigger these goals when a member completes a course or lesson.

You can use several different tools to record actions, and cause tags to be applied, including but not limited to:

Implementing Issue-Based Drips

In the issue-based drip model, members are delivered content based on when they joined the membership, and do not automatically receive content published from before they joined. In Memberium’s implementation of the Issue-Based Subscription Model, we further support creating multiple channels that users can subscribe to, much like individual magazines.

This is the most complicated model to set up, and we have provided a standalone document on how to implement it.

Implementing Manual Drips

Manual drips are simply controlled by a staff or administrator member and are a variation on fixed date based drips. They are not evergreen, and like an issue-based drip, the members do not receive any content that was released prior to the date they joined the drip.

In the manual drip, the staff member applies the drip tags to the members of the course when they are ready for the members to receive the content. Once the access tags are applied, an email blast is set to notify the members that the next module is available.

Manual drips are often used when content is still being developed and could be the start of a future evergreen content drip.

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