Subscription-based businesses such as membership sites have completely taken off in the last few years, and it’s estimated that subscription commerce retailers have grown by over 890% since 2014. In this saturated market, customers have the option to be extremely picky with the products they subscribe to. As a result, businesses with top-notch customer service, exclusive access, personalized content and convenience will come out on top.

Launching a membership product of that caliber can be difficult without the correct membership platform to help you manage repetitive tasks such as following up with users, granting access to your site, processing orders, and publishing content. All these time-consuming tasks can and should be handled automatically by a membership platform. With one, you can be assured that your customers are getting what they need when they need it — giving you more time to focus on perfecting your actual product instead of dealing with busywork.

To help you visualize the potential your subscription site has, we’ve outlined the automation features you should be looking for and utilizing in a membership platform.  

Product Setup

You spend a lot of time and marketing effort to attract new members, so it’s important that once they’re ready to sign up, you don’t lose them with a complex and non-user-friendly experience. You can use automation features to streamline your registration tasks so that your new customers are onboarded flawlessly and automatically.

Automated Subscription Payments

When someone signs up for your membership site, they’re committing to paying you every month, year, or however long your membership lasts. To avoid any frustration in the recurring billing process, you can use automation to make sure each person is charged on the correct billing date, to send customers an email when their credit card is about to expire so they have an opportunity to adjust it, and to email customers if their card was declined for any reason.

By automating these billing processes using simple rules and settings in your membership platform, you won’t need to manually assess declined payments each month, send emails to the customers, or deal with payment systems.

Login Delivery

When your customers first purchase your membership product, they want to get logged in and using your site right away. An automated welcome campaign is your way to impress them from the start and get them up and running quickly.

With automation, you can set up an email to welcome your new customers and deliver their login credentials immediately. A membership and marketing automation platform like Ontraport is able to create unique login credentials for each new customer as well as pull that information into emails and then send it off.

You don’t have to manually grant access to your site or deal with sensitive login information.

Product Upsells

While your customers are in the process of purchasing your subscription package, automation allows you to offer upsells and cross-sells to increase the total value of the sale.

An upsell is a sales strategy in which you offer an upgraded version of a product that someone is either in the process of buying or has already bought. These offers could include access to exclusive pages on your membership site, a higher package level or other auxiliary products.

Also, to get more value out of your existing members, automation lets you easily segment them into specific groups so that you can follow up with automated emails that offer content and services that will appeal to them.

Customer Engagement

Keeping your customers engaged and excited about your subscription product is key — that’s how you keep a steady flow of recurring revenue. Offering a remarkable user experience that extends well beyond their first login is a whole lot easier to maintain if you have automation set up to cater to your customers’ needs at every step.  

Membership Level Setup

Many membership sites provide resources that help members accomplish a certain goal. A fitness blog, for instance, may offer three membership levels: basic, standard and advanced. Basic members have access to local networking, a newsletter, event discounts and limited free online training courses. Standard members have access to all basic benefits plus one-on-one training with a coach, personalized meal plans, and a broader selection of valuable training courses. Advanced members get all of the above plus stand-alone products included in their membership.

Setting such a membership hierarchy is quick and easy. Simply designate which content and products are accessible to each membership level, and customers will only see what they’ve paid to see.

Account Recovery

When customers lose their password, they want the ability to immediately reset it and get rolling again. To make that happen, your account credential recovery process should be quick and automated.

A membership platform like Ontraport allows you to create a simple password reminder campaign where customers enter their email into an online form and then receive an email with instructions to reset their password. The best part is, you don’t have to deal with angry emails or impatient customers; everything is done through the campaign.

Milestone Acknowledgment

Automation allows you to reward your customers and make their experience with your subscription product more engaging.

You can easily track which of your site pages a member has visited, allowing you to monitor their progress. Say your customer finishes one of your online courses. Rather than just sending him or her to the next course, you can gamify the process and acknowledge their accomplishments with personalized (yet automated) emails or SMS text messages.

Customer Center

To empower your members to answer their own questions surrounding your product, you can create a customer center using your membership platform. For example, members can log in and view invoices, review their purchase history, update their credit card details and change their login information. This not only gives your users the flexibility and the resources they want on-demand, but it frees up time for your customer support team.

About Tatiana Doscher
Campaign Strategist Tatiana Doscher is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara with a dual B.A. in Communication and Global Studies. After working with several small and local businesses, Tatiana joined Ontraport’s Marketing team. She loves running, hiking and enjoying Santa Barbara’s beautiful beaches.