The Top 5 Online Business Models for Startups in 2016 (and Beyond)

Congratulations! If you’re reading this article, then you’re likely not working in a cube — and if you are, this article will ensure you won’t be for long.

One of the biggest mistakes made with an online business model is approaching it too casually. And in 2015, no market niche worth any money affords you this mistake … especially the membership business model.

If you like money, and have expertise in any niche market or product area, I recommend you test each of the following … each has advantages and disadvantages, so read carefully.

1. Free Membership

Yes … this is a business model to consider every time — no matter what you’re marketing and selling online. Free memberships offer several benefits to the small business or startup company in the modern area.

  1. Immediate targeting opportunity based on interest shown — good for markets or niches with known email abuse history
  2. People who subscribe to free memberships have taken the second step — not the first … they’re more than just a subscriber
  3. Great way to reward those who go beyond the browsing and create an account — discounts, tripwire offers, etc.
  4. One of the most popular hooks for maximizing number of customers by charging for add-ons

2. One-Time Fee

A single payment membership is often used to sell a product that allows customer access to the materials — like…

If you have a product with a high refund rate, this model makes perfect sense. The higher rate could be the result of …

With a single product membership site, you won’t have to worry about someone purchasing -> downloading the product -> cancelling. If the user requests a refund … access to the product can immediately be revoked as well.

This one’s also good if your product is frequently updated.

3. Fixed-Period Recurring Membership

This model is the “go-to” for your high ticket items. For example, your online store may offer a host of agile startup marketing templates and dashboards, ebooks and online business tools individually — but what if someone wants all of them?

Fixed period recurring payments have become more popular in recent years. Mostly, this is because people like knowing that there is an end to payments they are asked to make.

For a fixed membership fee, you can provide value to your most loyal (and highest paying) type of customer — which should always be the focus of any business anyway. And for most niche markets in 2015, you may find this to maximize the total number of member acquisitions.

In fact, that’s why we just launched unfunnel PRO, for just $1.00 a month starting out.

Get Started for Just $1.00

4. Unlimited Recurring Membership (monthly, annually, etc.)

The traditional membership website uses the unlimited recurring membership payment model. It’s also the standard business model of your TV, cable and cell phone companies’ billing models.

You typically want to use this online business model for any website in which you post new content regularly.

[BONUS] Online Business Tools and Tips for 2016


If I am honest, I was in two minds whether to add this tool publicly to the list. When I see something that I think will benefit you — then you are always the first to know.

See the thing is … I actually wish that this tool was only available for a select few — it’s that powerful. I see many in our industry struggle because they are unable to:

– attract an audience — increase opt-in’s — convert traffic — overcome tech challenges — capture leads on mobile devices — deliver their content effectively

Well now there is a solution that puts an end to these issues and helps even the newest online marketer make an impact with their websites…you can get a preview of it in the video below:

OptimizePress is the new way to create high-converting landing pages, sales pages and membership portals. From what I’ve seen, this new platform looks set to revolutionize the way many marketers sell their products and services — I don’t want you to get left behind.

Wishlist Member

If you like using WordPress, then you’ll love the resources we’ve recently compiled, beginning with:

CLICK HERE to Check Out This Membership Miracle!

Many people have tried to turn WordPress into a membership website but in the past it’s been quite tricky. There are some fabulous plugins out there but you had to “tweak this” and “tweak that” and if you aren’t technical, it becomes very frustrating.

That’s why I was very excited when I saw WishList Member. It’s a membership solution that was specifically built for WordPress websites.

The best part is, it has all the features you would want in a membership solution AND it is compatible with all of your other favorite plugins! So you get the best of both worlds :)

Plus, they’ve added some very cool features to make running and managing a membership site a whole lot easier. Like I said, if you like using WordPress, then you’ll love this powerful, low-cost membership platform. Enjoy!

Other Resources for Product or Startup Launches in 2016


Originally published at on October 20, 2015.

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