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
 

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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.

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

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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 PMPro Core 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

Proration Add On Update v.3

We’ve made some material updates to our Proration Add On. Our aim was to implement the most common proration use cases while making it easier to customize.

While enhancing the plugin and fixing what we considered bugs in the proration calculation, we made changes that may be unexpected for existing sites running the Add On. We expect most users will be happy with these changes, but if your site relied on the old math, please reach out to us in the forums and we can help you set up your desired proration model.

Below are more detailed explanations of each change as well as instructions on how to customize the updated Add On.


Change #1: The subtotal of the user’s last order is now used to calculate the pro-rated amount.

Prior to v.3, the proration calculation was performed using the “total” from the user’s last order. If you were calculating tax on your site, the total would include the tax. Now, the pretax amount is used in the calculation and taxes are applied after the pro-rated amount is determined.


Change #2: When upgrading (or sidegrading) to a level with a different payment period, a different proration calculation is used.

If the level the user is checking out for has a different payment period than their previous level (e.g. going from a monthly plan to an annual plan), the rules for prorating are basically:

  1. Calculate a credit based on how much time is left in the user’s current payment period,
  2. Apply that credit to the initial payment, and
  3. Set the new subscription to renew one (new) payment period out from the current date.

This is different from what is done when changing between levels with the same payment period (e.g. changing between monthly plans). In those cases, a pro-rated amount is calculated based on both the old and new levels based on how much time is left in the current pay period, and then the new subscription is setup to renew on the same date as the old subscription.


Change #3: We are rounding all dates down to the same hour/minute (midnight) when performing calculations.

This is a small change, and we can’t avoid this entirely, but rounding down the dates will minimize cases where users go to the checkout page and see one pro-rated amount and then come back later in the same day and see a different pro-rated amount. Most notably, if a user goes to change membership levels immediately after checking out, the credit for the current day will be applied to the pro-rated amount.


Customizing the Proration Add On

Instead of writing a custom proration plugin from scratch, we’d like users to be able to use the main Proration Add On with extra code in a customizations plugin to override the default behavior. This way, you’ll be able to use the helper functions provided by the Proration Add On and get updates to those functions as they are pushed out. (The next step for us would then be to add a wizard-like settings page to tweak the proration settings instead of using custom code.)

You can modify the behavior of the Proration Add On through hooks and filters or by overriding the main checkout level filter callback. Doing this will require a custom plugin and help from our team or a WordPress developer.


Filters in the PMPro Proration Add On

  • pmpro_is_downgrade
    apply_filters( 'pmpro_is_downgrade', bool $is_downgrade, level_object $old_level, level_object $new_level);

    Returns true if the new level is a downgrade from the old level.

  • pmpro_have_same_payment_period
    apply_filters( 'pmpro_have_same_payment_period', bool $same_payment_period, level_object $old_level, level_object $new_level);

    Returns true if the old and new levels have the same payment period


Overriding the Proration Rules

The main logic for how to prorate the levels can be found in the pmprorate_pmpro_checkout_level() function of the plugin. If you’d like to use different proration rules from the default, you can unhook our function and hook in a function of your own. Here is a template for how to do that.

More details can be found on the Proration Add On page.

10 Popular Pricing Models for Membership Sites

As you begin to build a membership or subscription business online, one of the first decisions you need to consider is pricing. More specifically, what type of pricing model do you want to use for your business?

This post aims to cover the most popular pricing models for membership-type businesses.

  1. Fixed Term Membership
  2. Recurring Subscriptions with Fixed Price per Period
  3. Front-loaded Membership Pricing
  4. Installment Plans
  5. Free or Reduced-rate Trial Periods
  6. Lifetime Membership
  7. Group Pricing / Sponsored Membership / Umbrella Plans
  8. Addon Pricing Models
  9. Utility Pricing
  10. Donations or “Pay What You Want” Membership


Remember: Price should always match the value.

Before you even begin to drool over the idea of hordes of members paying you a recurring fee each week or month, ask yourself how your membership business delivers value to its members. Is value delivered evenly over the lifetime of membership? Is the majority of value delivered in the first months of membership?

The answer to this basic question is what determines how you price your membership options. Pricing your membership or subscription options in a way that is contrary to the value delivered is a set up for failure—you do not want members to stop and ask themselves, “Hey, why am I still paying for this?” That’s a sure way to create a bad feeling and lose members.

If you’d like to read more about this topic, Jason wrote a post earlier all about this that included some case studies.

Here’s another way to think about value pricing: how much do you want to make?

Now this may seem like a silly question, the answer to which is “As much as I can possibly make!” But if you are truly honest with yourself, you should be able to set a realistic revenue target or goal. Using this revenue target, you can back into membership pricing (and possibly even refine your business model).

For example, let’s say you set a revenue target at $30,000 per month. This could be achieved via several pricing models:

  • 750 members paying you $10/week.
  • 1,000 members paying you $30/month.
  • 835 or so new members per month committed to paying you $36/year.

Which of these is most achievable given the premise of your membership site? How can you deliver value along the timeline of your membership to retain these members? Is it possible for you to grow to a member base of this size?

If you’re still thinking about pricing from this high level, you might want to read Jason’s series on pricing that starts here before diving into the details below.

If you have an idea of the type of pricing you want or otherwise just want to browse through the options below, continue reading. Here are some common pricing models we have seen used for member-based businesses.


Fixed Term Membership

In this pricing model, the membership level has a set term with expiration. Members must renew to maintain membership. We often see this pricing model used for set term of the calendar year (January 1 to December 31). This is a comment pricing model for traditional Associations and Organizations as well as benefactor groups that report membership on an annual basis and require people to “renew” that term each year.

You can do some creative things with this pricing model, such as offer a discount for early renewal, a discount for purchase a multi-year membership in advance, or even prorate membership for people who sign up mid-term.

For more reading on this model, see:


Recurring Subscriptions with Fixed Price per Period

This is a very popular model of membership pricing, where a specific price is charged “per month” or “per year” for the life of membership. Most payment gateways also allow pricing per week or custom periods like every 3 months, every 60 days, etc.

Recurring subscriptions work well for newsletter-based businesses, sites with content written by “experts” or coaches, as well as online social communities and listings sites.

The important caveat to this type of membership pricing is that you continue to deliver value each term. If your members are paying you monthly, you better be certain that there is “new stuff” (good new stuff) delivered to the member each month.

This model is very easy to set up with the base Paid Memberships Pro plugin. You would achieve this by setting an initial payment and recurring subscription of the term of your membership.


Front-loaded Membership Pricing

Jason is a fan of front-loaded pricing models—where a higher amount is charged at signup, then a lower rate is charged each term. This can be a single up front higher cost, or an installment (i.e. $100 per month for the first 3 months then $15 per month).

This is a key model to consider if your answer to when value is delivered is “mostly in the first few months” (or weeks). I see this pricing model for health and fitness sites aimed at weight loss or a software businesses with a “get started” rate then maintenance rate.

For more reading on this model, see:


Installment Plans

Installment plans are a bit like the front-loaded membership, but they do not have the ongoing recurring payment. This model is useful if you need to charge a high price but know that your customers cannot afford that large expense in one payment. I have seen this model used for executive coaching, training programs, and the sale of physical goods.

This model is very easy to set up with the base Paid Memberships Pro plugin. You would achieve this by setting an initial payment and recurring payment of the term of your membership, with a “payment limit”. You can optionally set an expiration date on membership as well. Let me break this down for a membership level that you want to charge $400 for over the course of 4 months and maintain the user’s membership for 1 total year.

  • Initial Payment: $100
  • Recurring Subscription: $100 per 1 month
  • Billing Cycle Limit: 3
  • Expires in: 1 Year

One caveat of an installment plan is that you want to lock a member in to paying for the full installment. If you’ve giving a customer a $400 physical product, and they cancel membership in the second month, you’re out a big chunk of money. See this guide for help on locking a user from changing their level during the installment period: Methods to Block Users from Logging In, Selecting or Changing Membership


Free or Reduced-rate Trial Periods

We aren’t a big fan of this pricing model, but it is one you see a lot in the wild. [Jason: I’m a fan of free trials if your goal is to get more people using your service or product. When you’re actually ready to make a profit, switching to a model that charges based on true value of your product up front is best in my opinion.]

In general, the free trial model charges a lower rate for the first few terms of membership, hoping to hook the customer into maintaining their membership after the trial ends. I have see this model used in a lot of online software and tools, but also for “subscription boxes” (get your first box – just pay shipping!), and other digital communication or financial tools.

In all of these cases, its important to remember that you must prove the worth of your full price membership during the trial period. You don’t want to price yourself so high that people aren’t able to maintain membership at the full rate, and you don’t want to deliver all the value of membership during the trial so there’s no reason for them to stay on.

If you’re a fan of the membership trial model, we strongly suggest offering a reduced rate trial instead of a completely free trial. This forces your members to be a bit committed to your product and can help insulate you from the workload created by loads of free trial members that never really intended to stick around.

For more reading on this model, see:


Lifetime Membership

You can add a “lifetime” option to almost any pricing model you select. Sometimes a reduced-price lifetime plan is offered for a limited time as an incentive for early adopters. Sometimes the lifetime plan is always available for customers who just want to pay once without worrying about recurring subscriptions.

To figure out what to charge for your lifetime plan, you would take some multiple of your monthly membership, perhaps 30x a monthly membership or 2.5x an annual membership rate. Ideally, your lifetime plans should result in the same “customer lifetime value” as someone paying per period. So having a good estimate of your renewal rates and customer lifetime value will help you to find the sweet spot.

Sometimes a higher-priced lifetime plan can be used as a decoy and will not be selected by a significant number of people, but will make your regular price look like a better deal. We’ve heard from some sites with lower-volume, higher-priced lifetime plans report that “every once in a while you get a little bonus when someone chooses the lifetime option”.

This model is very easy to set up with the base Paid Memberships Pro plugin. You would achieve this by simply setting an one-time initial payment on the membership level with no recurring subscription or expiration.


Group Pricing / Sponsored Membership / Umbrella Plans

This model is useful when you have a breakdown of individual members as well as corporate or company-type members. For this model, you would take your individual member pricing and offer a value to the parent account that is purchasing more than one membership at a time for a team of people. For example, you could offer a single membership for $125 per month and then a group license of $500 for a 5-member organization.

For more reading on this model, see:


Addon Pricing Models

In this “build your own” membership model, users may be charged a base price, then have the option to select additional membership features. These features may be added interest groups for a newsletter or blog category subscription, or a la carte features of membership, such as an annual resume review service, a consultation phone call or other “one-off” products. We have seen this model used for traditional newspapers that offer an online and optional physical printed edition.

For more reading on this model, see:


Utility Pricing

In this pricing model, users are charged based on some kind of consumption metric. You may recognize this model as used by most email marketing services that charge based on number of members in your list. Cloud hosting companies might charge based on the disk space and/or bandwidth used.

We wanted to include this pricing model even though Paid Memberships Pro doesn’t offer utility pricing in the core plugin or any of our add ons. It can be a smart model if the cost to you as a business is truly based on a member’s usage. Some gateways like Stripe and Braintree allow you to adjust a user’s subscription amount whenever you like. Others like PayPal offer changes within a certain range. With some custom coding, you could track the metric you need to calculate the monthly/annual total, generate an order for that, and then attempt to resolve that order against the customers credit card stored at the gateway.


Donations or “Pay What You Want” Membership

If you go the route of a donation-based membership, its best to enter into things with low expectations. These types of membership sites are often run by producers who would be doing their thing regardless of payment. If you’re a passionate product reviewer or write your own digital music and just want to get your stuff out there, then asking for optional donations can be a positive way to make a modest income without the pressure of a traditional membership model.

We like the “Pay What You Want” model, especially if you put some social pressure on your potential members: “Most people pay $5 per month.” Another option is to include bonuses above a certain amount to encourage higher revenue per sale.

For more reading on this model, see:


Now put on your thinking cap.

I hope this post has exposed some of the traditional and not-so-traditioanl ways you can price your new membership or subscription-based business. And don’t feel shy about changing a pricing model for an existing business—we did that here at Paid Memberships Pro when we really did some thinking about value pricing. The majority of our value is delivered in the first few months of membership, when the support customer is just getting their membership business off the ground. We offer a discounted annual renewal rate because there is ongoing value delivered via our blog posts, code recipes, and continued development to the Plus Add Ons.

Let’s keep the conversation going in the comments below.


Other Posts on Pricing

Create a Robust Directory and Individual Profiles for Your WordPress Membership Site

An important feature for many membership sites is the ability to display a dynamic directory of members and profile pages. Here is some information on how to add and customize these features using the Member Directory and Profile Pages Add On for Paid Memberships Pro.


Before you get started, consider this.

While a directory may be a desirable feature of membership, it is important to make it clear to your members what information will be made public or displayed privately. You can communicate what information will be shown, and what other members are allowed to do with that information via a Terms of Service agreement or elsewhere on your site.

Some points to include in this message would be:

  1. Can members directly contact another member via email?
  2. Can members copy the list of all members and send them mass email?
  3. Can a member opt to exclude themselves from the directory or just hide specific information?
  4. What are the consequences for abusing your policy?

Creating the Directory and Profiles

The Add On page covers primary documentation for the Member Directory and Profile Pages plugin. This includes the basic steps of generating the pages under Memberships > Page Settings and customizing the shortcode to display your unique fields.

Below are a few recipes, tips and tricks to make your directory even more robust.

  1. Capturing Additional Member Fields

    Our Register Helper Add On allows you to add new profile fields at membership checkout. This is a key plugin used by most membership sites that have unique fields based on the topic of their membership site. Some examples may include a file upload, such as a restaurant menu or resume, or business categories, such as “Small Business” or “Non-Profit”.

  2. Hide or Show Fields on Member Profiles based on Membership Level

    For many membership sites, a feature of higher-tier membership is the additional of more profile fields on the member directory, perhaps three videos or audio embeds, additional logos or photographs of a business location, or expanded contact information (website, phone, email). This can be achieved via the code recipe outlined in the link above.

  3. Allow Members to Upload an Avatar or “Logo”

    If you are planning to include images in your directory, this post outlines some recommended plugins for user avatar management on your WordPress site.

  4. Capturing Default WordPress Profiles Fields for your Directory

    The WordPress User profile already includes some key fields you may want to leverage for your membership site, such as “Site URL”, and “Description” (or biographical info). This post covers how to capture those fields for display on user profiles.

  5. Frontend Profile Field Management

    While we may eventually role this into the Add On, we recommend using the “Themes Profiles” module of the Theme My Login plugin to allow members to edit their profile fields in the frontend theme of your WordPress membership site. View the plugin in the WordPress.org repository »


Who can see the member directory and profiles?

There are a few methods to control the directory and profile visibility. It may take a little creative thinking to wrap your brain around the examples below, so please open a topic on the members forum and we will be happy to help you achieve your goals.

  1. Using the Page’s “Require Membership” Settings

    Set Membership Restrictions for a Page If your directory is visible to members only, you can control the content access to the page you place the directory shortcode on just like you do any other piece of member content. Simply edit the directory or profile page and check the appropriate level(s) in the “Require Membership” meta box.

  2. Using the [membership] Shortcode

    You can duplicate the directory or profile page shortcode and wrap it within the [membership] shortcode to show a unique member directory by level, this can take many shapes, such as Level 1 Members only being able to see other Level 1 Members, or Level 2 Members not being able to see full member email addresses, while Level 1 members cannot view this information.

    Here is an example of this method:

    [membership level="1"]
    [pmpro_member_directory levels="1"]
    [/membership]
     
    [membership level="2"]
    [pmpro_member_directory levels="2"]
    [/membership]

Want a better search, category filters or sorting?

We’re always working to example the features of this and all of our Add Ons. So if the unique directory options you need aren’t covered by the tips above, please post a comment below or open a topic on the member’s forum.

Form Builder for Paid Memberships Pro: New Premium Plugin by Figarts

Our Register Helper Add On allows you to collect additional fields at membership checkout, on the user’s profile, or for administrative view-only. For people who aren’t familiar with coding, this plugin can be a bit daunting to use. Figarts recently launched a third-party extension to simplify form building with Register Helper: Paid Memberships Pro – Form Builder.

Form Builder for Paid Memberships Pro


About the Premium Plugin

FigartsPaid Memberships Pro – Form Builder allows you to create fields via a drag and drop builder. The plugin includes the option to add “checkout boxes” just like Register Helper allows you to do, all without custom code.

View the Premium Plugin

 


This extension requires the Register Helper Add On for Paid Memberships Pro, which you can download via the WordPress Repository.