Fed up with membership issues please help

I'm pretty fed up with the free trial issue. I just tried it and launched my site. My free trial users can't get any specific email prompting from membership, as the membership plugin emails all members who are within a certain number of days from expiration, not just free trial members.

Also, you can't set automatic signup to a free trial and have it work properly, because they won't see the upgrade payment buttons unless you use the membership plugin register form and can't use auto with it.

And, you can't set a free trial and a premium membership all in the same subscription and use affiliate plugin because it will pay the referrer for the free trial and not only when money is spent on the premium membership.

And, you can't offer a free trial PERIOD because when they get to the end of the trial, and try to sign in, they just get no access, but they will still have access to their account and subscription page. If they go to their subscription page, they will see the free trial and your premium subscription and can JUST SIGN UP FOR THE FREE TRIAL AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We should be able to email membership users by subscription.
We should be able to offer a free trial and not have it mess everything up
We should be able to offer a free initial trial and have affiliates trigger paid when the actual money is spent.
We should be able to make the free trial a one time thing and not have it show up when their trial expires, so they can just get it again.
We should be able to have an expired person taken to a specific page to offer them a membership upgrade, not the default redirect on login.

I'm so fed up with all of this. I'll either completely change to s2 member and idev affiliate, or I'll just not offer a free trial at all.

Thanks guys for the support, but I haven't gotten an answer from barry about all of this and I don't know what else to do. I'm not looking good with my new members and I can't have that. So please respond to this barry.

As you can see, I've gone through some very big struggles using your stuff and paying monthly for the privilege. Plus I'm trying to be a part of your community here, but it's really hard. Every time I get down a path I think will work, I hit a brick wall and have to compromise again. Then in the end I find that I can't do anything near what I wanted to begin with.

  • Barry

    Thanks, you are correct on all of those - I can add them to our feature requests as we're currently going through all of the issues we have in our support system for the plugin and attempting to clear them out.

    Most of those though can be sorted by creating, or editing the add-ons we've created for membership and affiliate - admittedly those require a little bit of code on your side, but the plugins are designed to be the most customisable available it's quite easy to get the plugins working how *you* would like on your system.

    e.g.

    We should be able to offer a free initial trial and have affiliates trigger paid when the actual money is spent.

    Have a look in the affiliateincludes/addons/membership.php file - you can place a check to see if the amount is greater than 0 in there and it will then not record a purchase unless money is paid.

    If you don't want to edit an addon a new plugin that hooks into the same hook and replaces the standard functionality will survive across upgrades.

    I assume you're not using the PayPal express gateway for your site? As that would attempt to automatically renew the subscription after the free period.

    Most of the others are do-able with varying complexity, but all I can say at the moment is we'll try to get items in our upcoming releases - but we have to be a configurable as possible for those who want other / existing functionality.

  • william_bronson

    @Barry
    I am using paypal express.
    I had planned to use one subscription with a free trial followed by premium level, but like I said, the affiliates were paid on the free trial signup, so I scrapped that.

    Then I separated the two. I had a free trial and then I had a premium. Two different subscriptions. But, the communications made it hard to pitch the upgrade and if they didn't upgrade and expired, they could just sign up for the trial again.

    Also, when I tried a trick I saw in your forum, and enabled WP registration and made it automatic for a registrant to sign up and be put into the trial, they didn't see the upgrade button or any prompting.

    I'd like to see a free trial ability with plenty of prompting and features to guide them to upgrade, like button shortcodes etc.

    Currently, with everything the way it is, and me not being a programmer, I will have to just scrap the idea of a free trial completely.
    It won't work this way.

    The clear choices with WPMU Dev membership and affiliate?
    Lock down all of my content to visitors. Offer a Free membership and offer a premium. No finite time limit and promote the premium. (not anywhere near the best way to do it)

    Or, just offer a premium membership, Open up most of my content to visitors, and search engines, locking out visitors from asking questions in the forum, or clicking on the embedded videos (hosted on Vimeo) (not sure how to do that). And adding a locked out "more" tag for some content, and locking downloadable files.

    I'm leaning towards the latter for SEO reasons. Like WPMU Dev, I want to pull up in searches.
    The only problem with that is something maybe you could help me with.
    With your Q&A plugin, I want to do what you do with your forum and offer a register for membership button, so when they read the forum they will be prompted to join. Any thoughts on that?

  • william_bronson

    I think I can create two video versions of my tutorials. One that fades out at some point and promotes my site membership and the other is full length

    If I create another 2 categories or tags called FREE and PREMIUM, I can add those tags to the corresponding videos.

    Then I can also lock out the post after a certain point, for visitors.

    So in membership access level edit, I can disallow the premium tag for visitors and in the premium access level I can disallow the free tag for premium members
    This way visitors will see the clipped version but not the premium one and premium users will see what they're supposed to see, but not the clipped version.

    It's a bit more work, but I can use it as an advertisement, and more importantly, I can open up my membership site for search engines. Visitors won't need a free trial because they'll see it in front of them.

    Then I can just lock out my forum to posts by non members, and leave the questions and answers visible also for search engines.

    I can just have one paid level. Either you're a paying member or you're not.

    What do you think gang?

  • william_bronson

    Here's one good article on running membership sites.
    http://www.searchenginepeople.com/blog/membership-site-conversions.html

    And here's another
    http://www.membershipsiteowner.com/members/230.cfm

    All good information.

    But in my experience, a small percentage of free subscribers to anything will ever pay you a dime.
    Buying is emotional. They came to your site and, if you did your job right, they will be emotionally attracted to join or to see more.
    Once that emotion passes, it's almost impossible to get them to invest in it.
    In other words, value yourself enough to just charge for it.
    But, you must show enough beforehand to get the emotion going and to benefit them enough to trust that there's more where that came from.

    Just a truth I thought I'd bring up for others reading this post.
    I am, after all, a sales trainer and my site is called mybizpower.com, so I guess I could start helping here instead of just asking for help all the time :slight_smile:

  • william_bronson

    @PC yes I really still want to offer a free membership to get people into the system without a hurdle of payment.

    I really could use some advice about that.
    Ideally, I would like to have some content open for visitors and really make it a strong sell to join for free. Once a member, I'd like to offer some very good instruction for free but save some premium downloads and tutorials, live trainings etc either for premium members or pay per view/download.

    I think this is the best way instead of how I have it now. Now I have it open for visitors to see some basic content and my forum and the only option to join is a monthly fee.

    I know it's worth it because I counsel my members about their business, but I think it takes people some time to understand that it's worth it before they break out the credit card. So by allowing them in for free, I can build a following of people who benefit from my instruction and then that momentum can help when I promote a premium item. I think I just answered my own question, but I would like your opinion.
    Also, if I add a free membership, I need it to be easy and simple to sign up, and I still want them to have the ability to upgrade whenever they like.
    I use paypal, so I need to know if I also add the free gateway, or leave it paypal and just put 0 for the fee.
    Any instruction you can give and insight into monetizing a membership site will help me.
    This forum is public so I can't go into more detail about my experience so far with my current model.

  • PC

    Hey William,

    Greetings and thanks for writing back.

    So by allowing them in for free, I can build a following of people who benefit from my instruction and then that momentum can help when I promote a premium item.

    That is a nice approach as when you have a following, you can easily monetize that.

    The best role is played by newsletters. Once in 15 days is something which I would read and any frequency more than that would push me away from reading them.

    I use paypal, so I need to know if I also add the free gateway, or leave it paypal and just put 0 for the fee.

    No matter you use PayPal and set it to 0 or you use Free subscriptions gateway.

    As stated on Page 29 of the Membership plugin manual

    Free Subscription
    This Gateway will provide a button on any subscriptions which are free. (not needed for
    Stranger Access).

    If I were you, I would offer it in this pattern

    So, if the price is 0 then the user will not be taken to PayPal for check out :slight_smile:

    I hope that helps.

    Cheers, PC

  • mariamar

    I'm having some of the same problems and questions. Where is the manual for the membership plugin? I can't find it.

    Has the flow between free trial and first paid payment improved since this date?

    I also have PayPal and it seems that PayPal Express creates a free loop that renews members at the free level. I want them moved to the first paid level. How do I avoid this loop? Also I'm thinking that in PayPal they can be asked for the credit card so that the next payment be collected automatically. Is this possible?

    Thanks.

  • PC

    Hello @mariamar

    Thanks for being a WPMU DEV member and posting on the forums.

    I will really appreciate if you could please create a new thread as the thread on which you posted is quite old and the solutions to your issue might differ.

    You can post a new question here : https://premium.wpmudev.org/qanda/ and one of our support guys will answer that for you.

    I hope that helps. Please feel free to ask if you have more questions on the same.

    Cheers
    PC
    Sales &Support

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