In this video, we’re going to set up a password protected membership site that houses an online course which unlocks a new lesson every week. It’s going to be fun.
Now, before we start.. I just have to tell you that you don’t HAVE to learn all this. We have a step-by-step setup wizard that does just about all of it for you, no thinking required. But, my feeling is that understanding how to use your tools allows you to think creatively about new ways to use them to serve your audience. This is a powerful platform, and once you understand it, you’ll be able to create just about anything you can imagine.
Right now, I’m going to walk you through the complete setup of an online course, with lessons that get released one a week to each user on their own schedule. Let’s get started.
We’ll walk through 5 steps to get this set up.
We’ll start by creating the membership site. Then, we’ll create a field that lets you keep track of membership access. We’ll create pages for the site - only three for this demonstration: One homepage with a signup form and two lesson pages. We’ll protect those pages using our membership access field,and wrap up by creating an automation that gives contacts access to the site, and unlocks an additional lesson every week.
Let’s get started!
Let’s begin by creating our membership site.
First, we’ll navigate to Pages, then Membership, and create a new membership site.
We’ll start with the basics and add our membership site’s name, domain and branding.
Let’s say my membership site’s name will be Gardening Masterclass. This name is public, so when my members get their registration email, the subject line will say, “Complete your registration for Slurpees to BurpeesGardening Masterclass.”
Since I have my own domain, I’m going to select “gardeningmasterclass.com” here. Keep in mind that this domain is really important — because when people login, they login only for pages that are on this domain. Check out the “Creating a membership site” video for more details.
Now that we’ve set up our name and domain, we’ll click Save to create your site. After that, all of your automatically-generated pages and emails will be added for you. And there you go! Step one is done.
The next thing we’ll do is create a field to keep track of membership access.
Let’s do that by going to the Field Editor. Go to Memberships here on the left, add a new section, name it “Membership Fields,” and add your field.
Once we have our field, let’s name it “Membership Lessons” here and make this a “list selection” field. Now we’ll click here to add Week 1 and do it one more time for Week 2. Hit Save.
Great job! So far, you’ve created a new membership site and a custom field you can use to release a new lesson to your members every week. Now it’s time to move on to Step 3 and create a few pages for our site.
Let’s start with the homepage.
You can create the page from your site’s “Pages” section by clicking here, or you can always go to Pages and create a new page from there.
For this video, we’ll build really simple pages — but you can always grab a template from the sidebar to get a head start on building more detailed pages.
Let’s name your page in the top right. I’ll add, “Slurpees to BurpeesGardening Masterclass: homepage and signup.”
Now we’ll add our first block. For this example, we’ll just include a header, footer and a signup form — but of course, you can set up your homepage however you want.
To save time, I’m going to grab one of these prebuilt headers — “Logo and Navigation.” Since I want the same header and footer on all of my site’s pages, I’ll make this a global block. That way, I only need to add my links once, instead of doing it again for every page, and if I need to make changes in the future, I can do that once and it’ll update everything.
We’ll do this by clicking “Convert Block” from the popup here. Customize your block with the logo and links you want to use, then publish.
Looks good! Now let’s add a signup form to your homepage.
Click here to add a new block. You can grab any of these prebuilt order form blocks to sell access to your site or just use a lead capture form to give away access for free. Of course, you can always build your own forms too.
I’m going to grab this “Simple 2 column checkout” block. Now we can add your membership product to your form.
Just hover over your order summary, click here and click “add product.” If you’ve already set up your product, you can just select it from this dropdown.
If you HAVEN’T set that up yet, you can check out the “Setting up products” video for more information. Or, you can just click here to create a new product on the fly.
I already have my product, so I’ll select “Gardening Master Class” here.
Let’s say I want this to be a subscription-based site. I’ll go through the steps to set that up — but if you only want to charge a one-time fee for access to your own site, you can skip this step.
To start, I’ll hover over my product, click this settings wheel and make this a subscription. Once a month sounds like a great frequency for me, so I’ll leave the subscription dropdown alone.
Now let’s check your other order form settings, like your payment gateway, and make sure everything looks right. You can also pick out the invoice you want to use from this invoice template dropdown. Once you’re happy with your settings, click done.
We’re almost done with your signup page! All we have to do now is throw on a footer and publish it.
Start by adding a new block. I’m going to grab this prebuilt “Basic Footer Nav with Social” option from the footers section. I’ll also want to use this footer for my other pages, so I’ll make this a global block too.
Now your signup page is ready — congrats! Let’s publish it to make it an official part of your membership site.
Remember the domain you used when you first created your site? We’re going to publish this page to that domain to make it a part of your membership site, too.
When you’re ready, you can hit publish. From there, you’ll select your own domain and enter the URL you’d like to use to publish your page to — I’ll use “slurpeestoburpeesgardeningmasterclass.com/home.” Then, just save and publish!
When we check back in on your membership site settings, we can see that your homepage is now in your “Pages” section!
Now that we have our homepage, we’re ready to create your first lesson page.
We’ll start this page the same way we started the homepage — just add it in your membership pages section.
Once again, we’ll start from scratch, then name your page. I’m going with “Lesson 1: Preparing Your Garden Soil.”
Since we saved your header and footer as global blocks, it’s really easy for us to add them to this page, too. Just add a block and hit Global Block, and you’ll be able to select your header from earlier.
Now, let’s add a new block under the header. This part is going to be your actual lesson, and this will look different depending on what kind of course you run.
For today, we’ll keep things nice and simple — I’m just going to drop in a video. If you want, you can always add text, a PDF, or anything else that might help supplement your lesson.
I’ll use a block with no columns, so my video is nice and big on the page. Now, let’s click and drag the “video” element to the center column. You can edit this element here to add your lesson video to the page.
Your first lesson page is almost done! Now we only need to add a footer the same way we added our header a minute ago. Just add a block, hit Global Blocks and select your footer from before.
Once your lesson page looks good to you, let’s add it to your membership site by publishing it to your membership domain. I’m going to add slurpeestoburpees.commymembershipsite.com.com/preparing_your_soil for my URL. When you’re ready, save and publish.
Two pages down, one to go!
Now let’s create your second lesson page. This time, we’re going to take a shortcut and copy the page we built for your first lesson.
From the Pages section of your membership site’s settings, select your “Lesson 1” page and copy it. You can rename your lesson page here in the top right. My next lesson is about choosing the right gardening tools, so I’ll name it, “Choosing Tools for Your Garden.”
Since we used a video lesson as an example, all we have to change on this page is the video that will play. You can follow the same steps we took last time to add your new video.
Once you’ve updated your lesson, let’s publish it just like before. This time, I’m going to use slurpeestoburpeesmymembershipsite.com/choosing_your_tools.
Congrats! Your first three pages are all built out. Now it’s time to make sure that only your members will be able to access them.
Let’s go back to your membership settings to edit your membership site’s page settings. First, click to edit Lesson 1. Go to Settings, then Display Settings, then “Some logged in members.” From here, you’ll add a condition. Pick the “field is this value” option and select your “Membership Lessons” field. Then, you can set your condition as, “Membership Lessons Contains Week 1.”
We’re also going to use this “redirect users with no access” setting below your display conditions. This way, when people try to access a page without the right credentials, they’ll be redirected to your signup page so they can create their own login and get access to your site.
To do this, we’ll click in to this redirect dropdown and select “Ontraport Page.” From here, we’ll pick your signup page, insert the link here, and hit “done” to save your page’s new settings. Update your page, and you’re all set.
So with these settings, we’ve made the first lesson, “Preparing Your Soil,” available to new members. As soon as they fill out your form, they’ll receive a login to your site and create a password. At the same time, your members’ contact record will update to show “Week 1” in their “Membership Lesson” field, which matches the first lesson’s page protection. For Lesson 2, we’re going to give access to the members who have been signed up for a week and have had some time to complete Lesson 1.
Let’s go back to our membership settings and repeat the steps we just learned for Lesson 1 — but this time, set your condition to be “Membership Lessons Contains Week 2.”
Note that we won’t be adding page protection to your signup page, because we want new members to be able to access that page and sign up for your membership site.
We’ve done a lot so far, and we’re almost done! Let’s recap what we’ve covered real quick:
We created a new membership site.
Then we created a signup page so new members can get access to it, plus two lesson pages, just for your members.
We set up page protection on your lesson pages so only your members can see them.
And we’ve added all of those pages to your membership site by publishing them to your site’s domain.
Great job! Now we’re ready to jump into the exciting part: Creating your automation. This is how we’re going to get people access to each new lesson one week at a time.
Let’s start by going to Contacts, then Automations. If you don’t have Deals, Companies or any other custom objects enabled, you can go to Campaigns from your main navigation.
Once you get here, create a new campaign — we’ll start this one from scratch.
Let’s name the campaign up here to the right. I’m naming mine “Gardening Masterclass Drip Access.”
Now, hover over the plus sign next to your “Added to campaign” trigger and click Add a Trigger.
From here, select “Contact submits form” from the dropdown.
Hot tip: You can just type “Form” here to quickly search the available triggers for the one you want.
Great! Now go ahead and click into your form dropdown. You can use that same trick here and type in the name of your membership signup page to search for it. When you see it, click this arrow next to the page’s name to access the signup form. Now you can select your form from the dropdown.
If you set up an order form, you’ll also need to select your order’s outcome. Simply pick “Is successful” from the drop down. If you didn’t charge for access to your site, you won’t have an order dropdown to select from — so you won’t need to worry about this step.
When you’ve done all that, you can click “done” to save your trigger settings.
Now, click on the “What happens next?” button below your trigger and pick Update Contact.
This part is what actually gives your contacts access to your membership site. When your contact hits this element, your account will automatically send out your registration email so your contact can create a password and log in to your site.
Quick tip: It may seem counterintuitive, but remember that you DO NOT need to add a “send an email” element to send your registration email — that will automatically be done for you with this element we’ve just added.
Start by clicking your “Update Contact” element to edit it.
In the “Update the field” dropdown, you can type in “Membership” and click the arrow next to your “Membership Sites.” Then, click the arrow next to your membership site’s name. We’ll select “Status,” then pick “enabled” from the dropdown below. Hit “Done” to save your new settings.
Now let’s give your new member access to their first lesson.
Add another “Update Contact” element below your last one. Once again, click into your element to edit it. From there, you’ll select the “Membership Lessons” field that you created at the very beginning. Click here to add “Week 1,” then hit “Done.”
So now your contacts can log in to your membership site and get access to your first lesson. Let’s tell them about it!
First, click “What Happens Next?” and select “Send an Email.” At the very least, this email should let your members know that they have access to their first lesson and give them a link to that lesson. For now, we’ll just use a placeholder email.
We’ll add a new message and name it. If you have time, you can always click “save and edit” to write your email right now. But for our purposes, I’m going to click “save as draft” to come back later. When you’re ready, hit “done!”
Our next step is to wait one week before releasing your next lesson. Let’s set this up by adding a “Wait” element and clicking to edit it.
In this “Wait here until” dropdown, we’ll select “some time passes.” We’ll want it to wait for 7 days. Let’s also check here to wait until a certain time of day once those 7 days are up. You can pick whatever time of day you want to send your email. I’m selecting 8 AM in the contact’s time zone — then, people will know first thing in the morning that they have access to a new lesson.
Now it’s time to give your members access to your second lesson. If you want, you can follow the exact same steps we used to give them access to Lesson 1 — but let’s take a shortcut this time.
Hover over your “Update Contact” element — remember, this is the one that updates your “Membership Lessons” field to “Week 1.”
Then, drag your element to this empty “What happens next?” option below your wait. Then, click “Copy only this item” and click to edit your new element.
First, let’s remove this “Week 1” value and replace it with “Week 2.” In this dropdown, select “Add these values to existing.” Then hit “done.”
Just like with your first lesson, we want your members to know as soon as they get access to a new lesson, so let’s send them an email.
This is the same process as last time — just add a “Send an email” element below your “Update Contact” element and include a message that updates your members and sends a link to their new lesson.
You’re doing great — and we’re almost done! Now all we have to do is wrap up a few loose ends.
Below your final email, let’s add a “wait,” set it for “wait until forever,” then add an “end” element.
This will make it easy for you to add on more automation down the road, because all of your contacts will collect here on your “Wait forever” element. If you ever want to add on to your automation — maybe with some follow-up emails or a third lesson — you’ll be able to build it whenever you’d like. If you add more automation, just release your contacts from their Wait element by changing its duration.
Now we have one more empty “What happens next?” element here below our “Added to campaign” trigger. If you want, you can just add an “end” here — but instead, let’s add a “Go to” element so it’ll be easier to manually add contacts to this campaign.
First, you’ll click “What happens next?” and select “Go To” from your filters. Then grab this line under your “Go To” element and drag it over to your first “Update Contact” element.
And voila! Your campaign is done. When you’re ready to go live, just click Publish. Or, if you still want to tweak a few things, you can click Save to keep all your work.
Congrats! Now you know how to build a membership site from start to finish, complete with automation that unlocks a new lesson for your members each week. This is the final video in our Membership Sites series, which means you have all the tools you need to build an awesome Membership Site of your own.