MemberPress: An overview of our subscription management plug-in
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MemberPress is the plug-in that powers digital subscriptions on the vast majority of Our-Hometown customers’ websites. It allows publishers to restrict their premium content to paid subscribers, while also providing all of the tools needed to create and manage various subscription options and collect payment from their customers.
Let’s take a look at the most impactful ways that MemberPress is used on our platform.
1. Unlimited Subscription Options
First and foremost, MemberPress supports any kind of subscriptions, whether it be a print subscription entitling the customers to the mailed printed newspaper, a digital subscription granting access to the online articles and PDF e-Edition, or a combination of both.
In MemberPress, these subscription options are called Memberships.
Every Membership has customizable pricing terms and allows you to set how long the membership will last before it expires, and whether or not the membership is eligible to be renewed. You can offer annual subscriptions, six-month subscriptions, monthly subscriptions and more.
Recurring Memberships are also supported.
Address fields can be required for users to register and enroll in a membership, and custom fields are supported to collect any additional information that is needed. (We use a Phone Number field by default to collect phone numbers.)
This data is entered during registration and saved to the users profile, where it can be accessed by newspaper staff at any time.
Whenever someone creates a new subscription, an email alert is sent to the publisher (or their preferred notification email) containing all of the subscriber’s information, and whether or not the subscription is for print, digital, or both.
2. MemberPress integrates easily with Stripe
While MemberPress provides an excellent interface for managing and tracking Members, Subscriptions and even individual Transactions, the heavy-lifting as far as collecting payment is actually handled by a third party payment processing service sometimes called a payment gateway.
MemberPress happens to support our favorite payment gateway, Stripe.
This is a big bonus because Stripe allows publishers to invite Our-Hometown to join their Stripe account as a Team Member, giving us the ability to manage the connection with website without ever having to share login details or any of the developer-related keys. This makes things much more secure and eliminates the need for any technical know-how on our customer’s end!
Stripe also integrates with many of the other plugins used on our platform, including GravityForms and GeoDirectory — making it our preferred payment gateway. (MemberPress also supports PayPal, Authorize.net and Offline Payments, each with their own limitations.)
3. Auto Renewing Memberships
Using Stripe with MemberPress also makes possible the use of recurring memberships, which are memberships that automatically renew instead of expiring after a given period.
These recurring memberships will continue to renew automatically according to the terms of the membership until the customer or newspaper staff manually cancels the membership.
Recurring memberships are a great retention technique, as dedicated subscribers will automatically be charged each billing cycle and won’t require publishers to chase down renewals.
Recurring memberships also make many digital subscription options more viable in general. Some readers — specifically new subscribers — may prefer to pay by the month to access their news rather than immediately committing to a full year. Automatic renewals make this a much smoother process for both the reader and newspaper.
Everyone loves a great deal, and news consumers are no different! MemberPress supports the use of Coupons for both recurring and one-time payment memberships.
Publishers can create custom coupon codes and configure exactly how much of a discount a subscriber should receive for using that code. Discounts can be applied to either the first payment or to each and every recurring payment.
Coupons can be a powerful tool for marketing, especially when combined with other techniques such as newsletter outreach. Along with our custom-developed Automated Newsletter Coupons tool, you can easily create a coupon campaign encouraging former and expired subscribers to re-subscribe at a reduced rate, which ultimately means more revenue.
5. Custom Add-Ons from OHT
In addition to all of the awesome capabilities of MemberPress, our developers have enhanced the software with a few of our own additions as well. These tools include the aforementioned Automated Newsletter Coupons, a custom Member Reports tool to help synchronize your circulation software, and a Print Upgrade Membership tool that allows readers with an existing (offline) print subscription to claim matching online access by verifying their subscription details.
Our-Hometown always strives to provide the best tools and software available to our customers and will continue to develop add-ons that bridge the gap between print and digital news publishing.
There is far too much to cover on MemberPress in just one sitting, but I hope this overview has given you an idea of how MemberPress is used on our platform and why.
As always, if you have any questions, feel free to drop us a line at our support email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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