How to set all member subscriptions to renew on the same date or schedule.

While most membership sites we work with offer a rolling membership, many sites operate with a specific renewal schedule. Our Subscription Delays Add On adds a “delay” field to your membership levels and discount codes, allowing you to set a variable-length period between the member checkout and the subscription payment start date.

Read on to explore some popular applications of this logic.


How to: Calendar Year Membership

The most common reason sites would like all members to renew on the same date is for a calendar-year membership (from January 1 to December 31). Members can sign up any time within the year, pay the initial payment (if applicable), and then have their active subscription begin on the 1st of January the following year.

To do this: set the “Delay” field on the “Edit Membership Level” page to Y2-01-01.

Subscription delay settings for an annual renewal on the first of the year.

Pro Tip: Remember that regardless of your subscription delay, the “Initial Payment” for your level will be charged immediately at checkout. If you do not want to charge the member until the start of the subscription, just leave the “Initial Payment” value empty.

How to: Membership Starts on the First of the Month

Another common application of the Subscription Delays Add On is for Monthly Memberships where all members renew on the 1st of the month. Members can sign up any time within the current month, pay the initial payment (if applicable), and then have their active subscription begin on the 1st of the following month.

To do this: set the “Delay” field on the “Edit Membership Level” page to Y1-M2-01.

Subscription delay settings for a monthly renewal on the first of the month.


How to: Membership Starts on a Specific Date

If you’re running a course or group membership that kicks off on a specific date, you can use the Subscription Delays Add On to activate every member’s subscription on the same date. Members can sign up any time prior to the activation date, pay the initial payment (if applicable), and then have their active subscription begin on your specific date.

To do this: set the “Delay” field on the “Edit Membership Level” page to the format YYYY-MM-DD, i.e. 2019-03-15 for the 15 March 2019.

Subscription delay settings for membership to start on 15 March 2019.

Pro Tip: Remember to turn off registrations for the level after the start date or cut-off window but editing the level and checking the box to “Disable new signups”.

Video Demo

The video below will walk through how to use these examples for your membership site.


But wait, there’s more!

This Add On can also allow variable-length trials.

It’s a limitation of most payment gateways that you can only set a trial period equal to your subscription period (i.e. a monthly subscription can only offer a month-long trial). Sites can now offer a unique trial period using this Add On, such as:

  • Set a 30-day trial on an annual membership level by setting the “Delay” field to 30.
  • Set a 1 week trial on a monthly membership level by setting the “Delay” field to 7.
Pro Tip: You can use this Add On to offer a “Free Trial” but still capture the member’s payment information—users would simply need to cancel within the trial window to avoid being charged. To do this, just leave the “Initial Payment” value empty.

View the Add On

 

This entry was posted by Kimberly Coleman in Add Ons and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Last updated: September 17, 2018. Titled How to set all member subscriptions to renew on the same date or schedule.

How to improve your sales funnel and grow membership by giving something away for free.

Your prospects and leads are a group of potential customers that have an interest in your business and products, often referred to as your “list.”

In this article, we tackle the problem of building and growing your list. We’ll show you how to leverage a Free Membership product as the first phase of your business’ sales funnel and (ultimately) help you convert list members from prospects to lifetime customers.

Free Giveaway Graphic


Grow your list by giving something away for free.

One of the most popular growth models that you can adopt is to give away content, services, and/or products for free. We all know there’s no such thing as a free lunch, so in return you ask the user to share their contact details in order to access this free item.

Some of the products we have seen leveraged for this model include:


Helpful Blog Posts

Instructional Videos

Free Trials


15-minute Video Consults

Limited (but useful) Feature Software

E-book Downloads

The idea is not based in tricking people into signing up, but rather to demonstrate that you have something truly valuable that they can use and benefit from now. It’s a way to introduce yourself to a potential customer without asking for payment right away. It’s a way to enrich someone’s life and create a relationship with a customer who may have otherwise overlooked your business.

Essentially, any time you are deciding what content to distribute free of cost, it needs to be a strategic decision. You need to be thinking three steps ahead. Because by giving away something for free, you’re looking to create leverage that allows you to eventually do something for profit, right? Right. So figure out what kind of content will get you what you want, and who needs to see it for that to happen.
— Gary Vaynerchuk, Why You Shouldn’t Charge For Your Best Work


What happens next?

After these customers have used and (ideally) enjoyed and benefited from whatever you gave them, then you can start to actually sell. Now is the time to share something else that customers can pay to see, use or experience. Because you have established trust, your users will be more likely to pay you for some of your premium content.

Every user that joined as part of your “free” promotion is now part of a database that you can use to further interact with—even if it is much later on. This is the crux of how to grow your sales funnel using this model.

It can seem counterintuitive to focus your efforts on a strategy that is not designed to get you paid. Picture this: you could spend a small fortune on advertising via social media, Google Adwords, and other platforms, adding you to the sea of ads constantly bombarding users for their attention (ads the average person has gotten really good at ignoring). Or, you could direct market to your personal list of thousands of existing (free) customers to let them know about your premium membership offering. If they liked your free stuff, they are going to simply LOVE your Premium goodies.


Giving away something (of value) for free is a great business model because:

  • People love getting free stuff. If it is free and valuable you can gain popularity quickly.
  • It gets people using your service or product which should increase feedback—helping you make a better product or service.
  • You can build an invaluable customer base full of customer contact details to use for ongoing promotion and marketing efforts.
  • It makes marketing more successful because you’re talking to your own user base. It is a known fact that there’s a higher return on investment when marketing to existing customers.

Building a Customer Database.

Among all the other benefits and goodwill you create by giving away something for free, building a customer database (sales funnel) is the primary benefit of this growth method. Even if you aren’t ready to sell to this audience today, you can start building a database of potential customers immediately. Yes, it is great to have thousands of social media followers. Yes, social media is still a great way to interact with and build relationships with your audience. Just know that you don’t control a social media platform or how your followers use that platform. At any given time your chosen social media platform may change. Dramatically. You can’t rely on a third-party to maintain your “list.”

If you have built your own list of customers email addresses, you have complete control over how and when you interact with (market to) them.

Remember to be considerate with your user’s data, taking care to provide choices for unsubscribing or modifying to hear from you and how frequently. Having access to all of these email addresses gives you great power…and we all know what comes with ‘great power’, don’t we?


Let’s explore how to use Paid Memberships Pro to build your customer database. The same primary steps apply no matter what your “free” promotion is. We’ll also cover a few methods to deliver your “free” item in the steps below.


Use Paid Memberships Pro to build your customer database.

To do this, you will need to:

  1. Create a Free Membership Level using Paid Memberships Pro and have some content linked to this free level that will help your members.
  2. Set up an email marketing platform that you can use to send out emails to those who sign up for your membership. We have an integration for a couple of them, for this article, I am using MailChimp as my example.
  3. Connect your email marketing software to your Paid Memberships Pro Level using an integration, like this MailChimp Integration

1. How to set up a Free Membership Level.

Once you have Paid Memberships Pro is installed and activated, the next step is to set up a Membership Level. To do this head over to the “Memberships” tab that should now be accessible from your WordPress Dashboard and select the Membership Level option.

Membership Level Set up Screenshot - Step 1


Now, navigate to the top of the next page and select the “Add New Level” button.

Add new level button screenshot

Give your membership level a name, description, confirmation message. Under the Billing Settings, make sure to leave it blank (it’s a free level). Save the level.

Membership level set up for free level

Now you can now navigate to your “Membership Levels” page and view your Free Membership level.

membership-level-page

Note: If you are looking for more information on how to install, activate and set up Paid Memberships Pro, I would recommend taking a look at our Initial Setup Video, for a general walkthrough of plugin setup.

2. Set up a MailChimp Account and the MailChimp Integration for Paid Memberships Pro

If you haven’t already set up a MailChimp Account and need to do that you can get started here. I am not going to cover how to set up MailChimp in this article but there is an abundance of online resources to help you out with this.

We have developed a MailChimp Integration Add On that allows you to add members to MailChimp lists depending on their membership level. The integration also merges in the user’s membership level as additional contact information. This allows you to segment your members by level and send specific marketing emails to each group.

Installing the PMPro MailChimp Add On

  1. Upload the ‘pmpro-mailchimp’ directory to the ‘/wp-content/plugins/’ directory of your site.
  2. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress.
  3. Navigate to the ‘PMPro MailChimp’ admin page in the WordPress dashboard Settings Menu (WP Dashboard > Settings > PMPro MailChimp) to configure your MailChimp API Key and Lists.

Locating your MailChimp API Key

  1. Log in to your account at MailChimp.
  2. Click your profile name in the upper right corner to expand the Account Panel, and choose Account.
  3. Click the Extras drop-down menu and choose API keys.
  4. Copy an existing API key or click the Create A Key button.
  5. Name your key descriptively, so you know what application uses that key.

Copy and paste your MailChimp API key into the “MailChimp API Key” field under Settings > PMPro MailChimp.


3. Add Free Members to MailChimp lists.

Once your API key is loaded into the integration options, you should see a list of MailChimp lists available in your account. Select the appropriate lists for members based on their level. If you need to create a new list you must do so in your MailChimp account dashboard.

pmpro-mailchimp-settings

With this integration, you can also offer “Double Opt-ins” for members. This is especially important for customer in Europe focused on recent GDPR laws that are now in place.

pmpro-mailchimp-levels-lists

Remember that in addition to assigning members to lists based on level, you can also segment users directly in your MailChimp account based on our default contact merge fields for a user’s membership level. This is sometimes a better approach because MailChimp will charge you double for a subscriber that is on two separate lists.


4. How to deliver your “free” content to your members.

It is important to make it easy for free members to access the content they were promised. Here are a couple of ways you can make it nice and simple for your members to get their hands on the free content you are offering them.

  1. Set up a “welcome” autoresponder email for all new member signups in your email marketing program with a link to read your eBook. You can also include a couple of other useful links pointing to different parts of your site. Just be sure to make it easy for your members to see and download the eBook as this is the main reason for them signing up.
  2. When a new user signs up add a link to view your instructional video to your level’s confirmation message and on the membership account page.
  3. Add a link to the special free members-only blog category to the members-only menu using the Nav Menus Add On
  4. Set up a service like Calendly and share a link for members to create an appointment to chat.
  5. Use our Download Monitor Integration to offer members-only downloads of eBooks or other content.

The way you deliver the promised “free” content will vary based on what you’re giving away (surprise!). If you have a specific type of item and would like some feedback on how to deliver it, please post a comment below.


Share your recommendations with us!

Have you already built an amazing ‘freemium’ business and have some tips and tricks? If there’s something you feel I missed in this article, please share in the comments below. I would love to see what you are building and how you are using Paid Memberships Pro to #GetPaid.

Add On Updates for July 2018

This post recaps the Paid Memberships Pro Add Ons recently updated. Plus or Unlimited members can upgrade through their WordPress dashboard under Dashboard > Updates or Memberships > Add Ons. Be sure to backup your site before performing updates.


BuddyPress Integration Add On

BuddyPress Integration

Our BuddyPress Integration Add On allows you to manage access to your BuddyPress Community using Paid Memberships Pro. v1.1 and v1.1.1 resolve several bugs and offer enhancements as listed below:

  • BUG FIX: Fixed fatal errors when PMPro or BuddyPress isn’t activated.
  • BUG FIX: Fixed bug where membership level changes were creatinig fatal errors if Groups was not active.
  • BUG FIX: Fixed bug where the members directory was not being filtered correctly.
  • BUG FIX: Fixed bug where logged in users were being redirected to the BuddyPress registration page even though logged in users can’t register.
  • ENHANCEMENT: Doublechecking pmpro_hasMembershipLevel so plugins like PMPro Approvals can still filter which levels are included when calculating restrictions.

View the Add On


Capture Name and Address

Capture Name and Address for Free Levels

If you’d like to capture the member’s name and address fields for a free membership level or if you are using an offsite payment gateway, check out this Add On.

v.3.3 fixes an issue where name fields weren’t updating WordPress when PayPal Express was used.

View the Add On


Custom Post Type Membership Access

Custom Post Type Membership Access

This Add On adds the ‘Require Membership’ meta box to all CPTs selected and redirects non-members to the selected page.

v.2.1 of the Add On fixes a bug with redirects when no CPTs were selected on the settings page but the is_singular check was still returning true. This resulted in ALL single content posts and pages being redirected.

View the Add On


Group Discount Codes

This plugin will help to manage grouped discount codes or large numbers of unique discount codes with the same pricing.

v.3.1 and v.3.2 of the plugin add features related to viewing individual group code activity. The release adds a “Group Code Uses” column to the Memberships > Discount Codes page. This column will now show a sum of child codes that have been used. The release also adds a “Group Code” column to the Memberships > Orders CSV export.

View the Add On


Subscription Delays

Subscription Delays

This Add On adds a “delay” field to membership levels and discount codes, allowing you to set a variable-length period between your initial payment (if required) and recurring subscription payment.

v.4.6 of the Add On fixes a bug where an invalid startdate was returned from pmpro_profile_start_date filter handler. This resulted in double payments at checkout for levels that had no subscription delay set.

View the Add On


WooCommerce Integration

This plugin aggregates several features for integrating your Membership site with WooCommerce to sell Memberships as a product, set a global % discount on products by level or set a per-product members-only price. Several updates have been made to the Add On through v1.6.1, including:

  • BUG FIX: Fixed fatal error in pmprowoo_get_membership_products_from_order() that was happening on some systems.
  • ENHANCEMENT: Localization/GlotPress support.
  • BUG FIX: Fixed bug when deselecting the autocomplete option on a membership product.
  • BUG FIX: Now checking if a user has a different subscription linked to their membership level before removing a user’s membership level. Users switching between subscriptions for the same level would have their level removed. (Thanks, Ted Barnett)
  • BUG FIX: Fixed issues when a product with a sale price also has membership pricing.
  • BUG FIX/ENHANCEMENT: Updated to work with the latest versions of WooCommerce (3.4.2) and WooCommerce Subscriptions (2.2.22).
  • ENHANCEMENT: Added a filter pmprowoo_get_membership_price, which can be used to support variable products via custom code (like this)
  • ENHANCEMENT: Added support for PMPro Multiple Memberships per User.

View the Add On

Allow members to optionally exclude their profile from the Member Directory

This code will add an “Exclude my profile from the member directory” field at membership checkout when using the Member Directory and Profile Pages Add On for Paid Memberships Pro.

"Exclude my profile from the member directory" field at checkout.


About the Recipe

The Member Directory and Profile Page Add On includes functionality to allow members to remove their profile from display. This field is added by default as a field on the user’s WordPress Profile. The recipe below adds that field at membership checkout (note that this recipe requires the Register Helper Add On).


The Code Recipe

This code recipe requires a Plus Account or higher.

View Membership Options

Integrate your membership site with 1,000+ third party apps via Zapier.

We’ve just launched our Zapier Integration in the WordPress Plugin Repository. You can now unlock integration with loads of third party apps offered via Zapier to send or receive data in your Paid Memberships Pro-powered membership site.


What is Zapier and what are Zaps?

Zapier is a service that moves info from one application to another. Think of it as a bridge that can connect your website to an external application or service.

Zapier uses the term ‘zap’ to refer to the basic connections that automate a process for you (a trigger with an event). Our Zapier Integration includes support for sending data from your membership site to an external application as well as receiving data from an external application into your Membership site.

View the Add On


What are some popular integrations I can set up using this Add On?

The more you familiarize yourself with Zapier and its supported apps, the more you will be able to imagine potential ways to extend your membership site. The Add On documentation page offers more details on what data is available via the integration, as well as the possible “actions” and “triggers” you can use in Zapier.

A few of the more popular ways we see Paid Memberships Pro working with Zapier to SEND data include:

  • Populating and Updating Google Sheets with new lead information from your Paid Memberships Pro site.
  • Integrate with a third-party email marketing program, like ActiveCampaign or Campaign Monitor, where there isn’t an existing Add On for PMPro.
  • Send member information to a CRM system like HubSpot or Salesforce.
  • Adding new lead information to an email sent to your Gmail address so you can personally follow up with your members.
  • Create invoices from membership orders in your QuickBooks Online account.

If you’re looking to RECEIVE data into your Membership site, some possibilities include:

  • Leverage a third-party gateway system such as ClickFunnels to sell membership and create accounts on your site.
  • Update a user’s membership level when they participate in social activities or register via third party apps.
  • Check a member’s level before providing access to a third party service.

Explore the Add On Documentation

Capture the User’s First and Last Name at Membership Checkout

By default, the Paid Memberships Pro membership checkout does not request the user’s first and last name. If you’d like to capture this information for your members, we have a very simple Add On that instantly adds the fields.

View the Add On


How it Works

After installing and activating the Add On, the Membership Checkout page will automatically include a field for “First Name” and “Last Name” below the password fields in the “Account Information” area of checkout.


Watch the Installation and Activation Demo


View the Add On
 

This entry was posted by Jason Coleman in Add Ons and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Last updated: April 16, 2018. Titled Capture the User’s First and Last Name at Membership Checkout

BuddyPress Seminar April 11th and 12th, 11am to 3pm EDT

On April 11th and 12th from 11am to 3pm EDT we will host a two-day online seminar on using BuddyPress with PMPro.

We will field questions on using the two plugins via live video stream and offer hands-on help as you set up BuddyPress. Join the whole seminar or pop in for an hour or two. Our goal is to help as many of you as possible to make full use of these plugins and learn how you are using BuddyPress so that we can improve our platform.


You can prepare for the seminar by setting up a development site either on your web host or a local site created via Local by Flywheel. Be sure to install and activate these plugins: Paid Memberships ProBuddyPressand our BuddyPress Integration Add On.

The seminar includes a space for chat, but if you’d like to be included in our Slack channel, please request an invitation via the Contact Form.

A link to access Day 2 of the seminar will be posted below for our support-level members.

Thanks! I look forward to helping as many of you as possible with BuddyPress and Paid Memberships Pro.

This entry was posted by Jason Coleman in Add Ons, Videos and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Last updated: April 10, 2018. Titled BuddyPress Seminar April 11th and 12th, 11am to 3pm EDT

New BuddyPress Integration for Membership Communities using Paid Memberships Pro

We’ve just launched our BuddyPress Integration in the WordPress Plugin Repository. You can now restrict access to specific features of your BuddyPress community by membership level, allowing you to build a custom, private, and flexible members-only community.

View the Add On


BuddyPress Integration for Paid Memberships Pro WordPress PluginBuilding a Membership Community with your WordPress Site

BuddyPress adds community features to WordPress, including Member Profiles, Activity Streams, Direct Messaging, Notifications, and more. What many of you have already implemented via custom coding is now possible with one easy-to-use plugin.

With the help of this integration plugin, membership sites running Paid Memberships Pro can now take advantage of the following features:

  • Redirect users without access to a specific page which can be used to explain the community features and sell community membership.
  • Level-specific settings to restrict access to BuddyPress features including Group Creation, Single Group Viewing, Groups Page Viewing, Joining Groups, Public Messaging, Private Messaging, Send Friend Requests, Listing in the Directory.
  • Assign members to groups in BuddyPress.
  • Restricted access settings for users without a membership level.
  • Option to use the BuddyPress Registration process.
  • Assign “member types” by Membership Level.
  • Display a Member’s Level Name on their BuddyPress Profile.

Migrations Steps for Sites Using a Custom-Coded Solution

Prior to this Add On’s release, we did offer a custom-code solution to restrict BuddyPress access to Members. If you are using a custom solution loaded via a Plugin for PMPro Customizations, below are the steps to migrate to the new Add On-based solution.

  1. Locate the custom code in your Customizations Plugin.
  2. Uncomment or Remove the custom code. We recommend saving a copy of the code as a backup.
  3. Install and activate the BuddyPress Add On for Paid Memberships Pro.
  4. Configure the Add On settings per your unique restriction goals. Read the documentation page for help on setting up the Add On.

Screenshots

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Explore the Add On Documentation
 

Set a Specific Checkout Level When Using Addon Packages

Our Addon packages extension allows you to sell access to individual pages or posts, or sell a la carte items for a flat fee.

This recipe will allow you to set a specific checkout level to use when a non-member selects to purchase one of your Addons. Previously, the plugin simply included logic to select the “first least expensive membership” level assigned to the post.

This page requires a Plus Account or higher.


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Improve the user experience (and increase signups) when using the Limit Post Views Add On

I recently helped two members in our support forums add some interesting and useful user-experience improvements to their sites. Both members are using the Limit Post Views Add On to give visitors or low-tier members the ability to view a limited number of restricted posts.

Continue reading to see how you can leverage this Add On to create a notification bar with a countdown of post views remaining or trigger the display of a popup using the popular Popup Maker plugin for WordPress.


About the Limit Post Views Add On

This Add On sets a cookie for each visitor to track their views. The plugin’s settings page allows you to set the number of visits per “term” for non-members as well as for each membership level. It will allow visitors or members limited access to view posts they do not already have access to view. Once the user’s view limit is reached, they are redirected to the assigned page (most people select the Membership Levels page).

View the Add On


Notification “Countdown” Bar

This nifty recipe will add a countdown, showing members just how many more post views they are allotted. Once the limit is reached, the user will be redirected as specific in the Add On’s settings.

The Code Recipe: Option 1

This code recipe requires a Plus Account or higher.

View Membership Options


Trigger a Popup when Limit is Reached

This next recipe integrates with the Popup Maker plugin available in the WordPress repository. Once the limit is reached, the user will be redirected to the specified page and the popup will trigger.

You can add any content you would like to this popup, perhaps even try using the [pmpro_signup] shortcode to give users a streamlined way become members. The only important piece for the Popup Maker settings is to set the “Conditions” to show only on the redirected page ID (usually the Membership Levels page).

Limit Post Views - Popup Maker Triggered

This code recipe requires a Plus Account or higher.

View Membership Options

This entry was posted by Kimberly Coleman in Add Ons, Recipes and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Last updated: February 22, 2018. Titled Improve the user experience (and increase signups) when using the Limit Post Views Add On