Question About Membership Sites...

by W.P. Allen 20 replies
If you run a membership site how do you collect your subscription fees? Do you use Paypal or some other method?
#main internet marketing discussion forum #membership #question #sites
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  • Profile picture of the author Ernie Lo
    Yes Paypal has a subscription option that allows you to charge reocurringly. (made up word)
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    • Profile picture of the author Aaron Moser
      I use PayPal or ClickBank.

      You could also use 2co or 1shopping cart.

      However you just need to make sure that the script you use for your membership site supports the payment processor you want to use.
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      • Profile picture of the author W.P. Allen
        What if you want to set up a membership for just a newsletter (I don't have a membership "site"), say for a series of autoresponder articles.
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  • Profile picture of the author tecHead
    I vote for PayPal; as within my 15yrs of experience, I've only found 'two' other processing systems to be 'just as' or 'more' flexible.

    Authorize.net; which is a more expensive solution due to only being a gateway for a merchant account.

    e-gold.com; which only does transactions via digital gold.

    PayPal is the more cost effective of the three and allows a variety of methods in which to collect payments...
    - fellow PayPal Member account balance
    - credit cards (all majors - visa, mastercard, diners club, amex...)
    - echecks

    AND, after 60days of owning an account in good standing, you can get a PayPal MasterCard debit card; which allows you to have instant access to the money in your PayPal account WITH a 5% rebate on all outgoing transactions on the card.

    There's no other system; (to date); that allows this type of instant money access with those types of benefits. AlertPay is "going to" offer a debit card; but their card will carry some pretty heavy fees.

    Hope this helps...
    PLP,
    tecHead
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    • Profile picture of the author Bruce Wedding
      Keep in mind, if you go Paypal, you will never be able to sell the site as you cannot transfer the subscriptions. This may or may not be an issue for you.
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      • Profile picture of the author tecHead
        Originally Posted by Bruce Wedding View Post

        Keep in mind, if you go Paypal, you will never be able to sell the site as you cannot transfer the subscriptions. This may or may not be an issue for you.
        As long as the "business email" used to collect subscription payments is ...
        email@subscription_domain.tld

        Why wouldn't the site/domain be able to be sold, if using PayPal?

        To my knowledge, PayPal only restricts "bank accounts" and "credit cards" to specific accounts. NOT email addresses.

        Enlighten me?
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        • Profile picture of the author W.P. Allen
          Keep in mind, if you go Paypal, you will never be able to sell the site as you cannot transfer the subscriptions. This may or may not be an issue for you.
          Wouldn't all the subscribers be "stored" in Aweber so that if I did want to sell the membership list whoever purchases it could just use their Paypal account?

          And if there is a reason not to use Paypal what would your recommendation be?
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          • Profile picture of the author Bruce Wedding
            I'm just telling you what my friend, John Hostler posted on his blog. He owned a few of these and ran into this issue.

            Read point number 1:

            Planning To Fail? | John Hostler :: Renegade Blog
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            • Profile picture of the author Sarah Harvey
              Paypal is great and I use it, however, it has been said that a person needs to offer members alternative options as well. Some people go through clickbank's system and some people use online checking services... not that I know what those payment gateways are called. I remembered reading about it somewhere.
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              • Profile picture of the author W.P. Allen
                If I wanted to set up a membership newsletter (delivered through Aweber) and charge a monthly fee could I do that through Clickbank?
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                • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
                  If I wanted to set up a membership newsletter (delivered through Aweber) and charge a monthly fee could I do that through Clickbank?
                  You would not have much control.

                  I run my membership sites with my own platform. Aweber built an email parser for our network so we can subscribe people to Aweber automatically when an order is placed.

                  Additionally if a person stops paying our system has a function to automatically remove the person from an aweber list should the publisher want to automate that.

                  Our system also has the same features for using Getresponse.

                  However, I do not think that delivering a membership newsletter via aweber totally is the most secure method...

                  Our own platform is the only one I know of that can process using paypal, 2checkout, authorize.net automatically subscribe people to aweber and automatically remove them on cancellation I would recommend this strategy instead:

                  1. Subscribe the person to aweber.
                  2. Subscribe them to a secure membership area or blog
                  3. When a news letter is published email the aweber list letting them know and inviting them to login to the secure area to read the newsletter.

                  The reason that this is more effective is because if you rely on aweber alone they can use the aweber subscription info update link at the bottom of the newsletter to change their email address... that is the only item in the system that allows you to autmatically identify and unsubscribe them and automate the entire system.

                  However, if you have them login to a secure area or blog them you can automatically remove them from that access easily using a unique subscriber id.

                  We have created a system that does all this as well and automates it and does not require a single script to be installed and is as easy to use as publishing an email newsletter ;-)

                  Another benefit of using a system such as ours which has an email parser in the Aweber system is that you can automate the subscription process which ensures the same email used to place an order is the one they use to subscribe which increases the likelyhood that you can automate the removal process from the list using that automated feature.
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  • Profile picture of the author Stanley Tang
    Paypal... although the only disadvantage is that people are able to cancel anytime by just logging into their account. So it's difficult to keep track whos been paying and whos membership should be canceled
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    • Profile picture of the author Scott Burton
      Originally Posted by Stanley Tang View Post

      Paypal... although the only disadvantage is that people are able to cancel anytime by just logging into their account. So it's difficult to keep track whos been paying and whos membership should be canceled
      2 things come to mind.

      1. Some membership scripts do manage to automate this somewhat.
      2. You do get notified when a user cancels their subscription. Or at least you used to. (Haven't had any subscriptions cancelled lately.)
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  • Profile picture of the author Romell Weekly
    For all my sites, I accept PayPal and Visa/Mastercard through my Authorize.net gateway. Obviously, PayPal is convenient, but I do think it adds a degree of credibility when you're accepting payments directly from your own website.

    Romell
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  • Profile picture of the author Sirius Lin
    Paypal for me as well. And since I'm using Fantasos, it automates practically all steps of the process for me, including sending login details, signing the customer up for my mailing list and automatically revoking the customer's access the instant they cancel their Paypal subscription.

    ~ Sirius
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisFord
    We use a combination of PayPal and PayFlow Pro (formerly owned by Verisign, but now owned by PayPal as well).

    The former is very convenient, but as has been mentioned elsewhere unless you dedicate a PayPal account to the membership site it is very hard to port the subscriptions if you should sell the site (all the credit card and other payment details are hidden inside PayPal).

    The latter allows portability as you collect and store the credit card and payment details yourself (meaning you MUST take care of the security), but like other gateways requires you to have a merchant account.

    So like most options each choice has pros and cons.

    Someone else mentioned that PayPal was a problem because people can unsubscribe within PayPal and it's hard to track who is still a member. PayPal supports a system they call IPN, which means PayPal notify you of certain events, such as cancellations. If your membership engine supports this then tracking them becomes automatic - we use aMember which does have this support, and integrates to aWeber for newsletters.

    Cheers.
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  • Profile picture of the author ericabiz
    As someone who sold a business that had Paypal subscriptions...

    Even if your Paypal account is on the domain you are selling, you will NOT be able to transfer these subscriptions to a new Paypal account.

    So if, like me, you want to keep your Paypal account but transfer the subscriptions...you are screwed.

    It only works if you want to sell the Paypal account with the business.

    The subscriptions are linked to a Paypal account ID, NOT an email address! So even if I delete the company's email address from my account, and you add the same email address to your account, the subscriptions will not work!

    Do not use Paypal subscriptions unless you intend to sell your Paypal account in its entirety with your business.

    Had I known this, I would never have accepted Paypal subscriptions for my business.

    -Erica
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