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Overcharging for loyalty: a classic scale

I just got done enhancing my eBook store by ripping out some terrible code, but there's one more product to add to the offerings: the Lifetime Membership.

I tried a membership model years ago with the Precious Metals Reserve, but its premise never caught on. The concept was, for ~$10, I would snail-mail you a hand-drawn comic, but there was a possibility you’d receive a real silver coin instead.

The Precious Metals Reserve

Now THIS was a solid idea, though maybe a bit underpriced.

I’m still surprised it wasn’t successful. But now, with more products at my disposal, I can command a higher price even without all the silver. The concept of the new membership plan is as follows:

For $100, you get access to all e-books produced by the business, in perpetuity.

Business critics will point out that it’s not Monthly Recurring Revenue, or that it cashes out a customer’s lifetime value immediately. While collecting semi-reliable payments every month could provide circling VC firms with familiar metrics, they'll still gut the firm and sell it for scrap as soon as the market tanks. Rather, committed core supporters who've paid a premium will support a business into the future no matter what, due to the sunk cost fallacy.

Other, different detractors might do the math and say that $100 is overcharging for only a few e-books. But this is a lifetime membership. Unless you think I (or you) is to die anytime soon – and if you do, please let me know! – you’re getting a deal lasting many years. Plus, you’ll be part of the inner circle, and the fact that I’ve put a price on that shouldn’t negate the fact that you can’t put a price on that.

The alternative is the Patreon model — a small payment every month in exchange for a trickle of output. Do you want a trickle? If so, say it out loud, right now: “Yes, I want only a trickle.”

Your silence is all the encouragement I need, so I’m going to go ahead and implement a Lifetime Membership. And I'll make a Monthly option too, just so everyone shuts up. It’s not like I have anything else to do tonight.

A membership in the cart

$99.99? What a deal!

Now I can push this on social media – however, my inability to self-promote is the biggest barrier to scaling this business. Luckily, it’s purely psychological, so next I’m going to destroy whatever it is about my personality that’s holding me back. NEXT →

Posted in: Scaling up

Scaling in progress!

Come back soon to see how the next plan hatched.