What do you look for in a membership script?

10 replies
First of all I'd like to say that in spite of my low post count, I'm not really new here. Health problems caused me to take a pretty long vacation from the internet and I can't for the life of me remember my old user name and password (the doctor calls it "chemo brain").

Anyway, to get to the point. I'm really more of a programmer than a marketer, and I've had a (very vague) idea in my head for a membership script for a long time now. I'm specifically not looking to clone Butterfly Marketing, MemberSpeed or anything like that (although they both have a few features I'd like to include). Those are great scripts with their own market, but the price point is a little on the high side for someone in my situation and I've heard that the software can be pretty complicated for a beginner.

You're all marketers here and I'm sure many of you are running or planning to run your own membership sites, so I thought I'd ask here. What features do you look for? If I were to write this script, what features would you expect it to have if you were planning on buying and using it?
#membership #script
  • Profile picture of the author Chase Beach
    It has flexibility, A Low, Medium, High and a free module. It is secure and delivers fresh content every few days....

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  • Profile picture of the author GreatBiz
    I would love to see the following:

    1. Allows for expansion of new modules and scripting languages such as PHP, etc

    2. Secured

    3. Affordable, probably below $77

    4. Unlimited License ie can be used on unlimited domains

    5. Allows for content dripping. In other words, if a member joins in Mar, he cannot access content in Feb and earlier. Not many scripts have that.

    Of course, all the necessary stuff like login, secured pages, etc are part and parcel of any membership script.
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    • Profile picture of the author David-JP
      Good to see you back and recovering.

      As you said, there are already a lot of scripts out there. So many, people are sometimes in analysis paralysis as they attempt to decide which to use. I see this all the time.

      In terms of marketing I think you should be looking for blue ocean, where you can be the leader. I'd keep an eye for a common problem people are looking to have solved, or a new shiny script which you can show will get them more signups, or make them more money.

      Not to discourage you! If you think you can blow all the other stuff out, or capture a good part of the market, go for it!


      PS If you wanna make a little quick cash, send me an email- i can always use a good programmer.
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  • Profile picture of the author stevenh512
    Thanks for the responses so far.

    Chase, the idea for different membership levels is definitely something I was thinking I would want to "copy" (for lack of a better word) from some of the other membership scripts out there. In fact I'd like to go a step further than what you suggest and allow for unlimited membership levels.

    GreatBiz, I like your ideas, and an affordable price point is definitely something I'm going for. Like I said the other membership scripts that are out there are great products, but the price point is a little high for the beginner or someone who's not in the best financial situation. Not being a well known marketer who can demand such a high price point as Butterfly Marketing and the like, I think I'd have to go with a lower price anyway. As far as the "content dripping" idea, that may be a little harder to manage. The script would definitely be written in PHP for the best compatibility with web servers. I could do it much more easily with ASP.NET but who wants to pay a premium for a Windows server when you don't have to?

    I realize there's also one other feature that's a must. An affiliate program. Either something built-in (maybe using Mass Pay, even though PayPal gives a lot of people problems) or integrating the script with clickbank and/or paydotcom to handle the affiliate side of things.

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  • Profile picture of the author GreatBiz
    It will be great if you can integrate it with the most popular affiliate programs and merchants such as Clickbank, PayDotCom, Paypal, etc to handle both the follow up after payment as well as the affiliate program. If you can do that, I will most likely be your customer.
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  • Profile picture of the author stevenh512
    My goal isn't to blow all the other stuff out. Only to make something that will be useful and available to people who can't (or won't) spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a membership script. Not that I don't think those other scripts (in the right hands) are worth every penny.

    Basically I program because it's fun for me. I like to figure out how things work, and I like to find different ways to solve common problems. If I can make a little bit of money off of it, even better, but if not at least I had fun. The need for a membership script is a pretty common problem with more solutions than I care to count, but there are always different ways of doing things and different things people might need or want.

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  • Profile picture of the author Ravenaven
    Hi Steven,

    I think I may remember your posts from many years ago actually. Glad to see you're feeling better and back to having 'fun' programming (wow - can't imagine that for myself - thank God for my friends like you!)

    I posted my requirement needs at a post recently and thought I'd share with you:


    I still have NOT found what I'm looking for and thus far all I've been told is 'that doesn't really exist yet'.

    So... recently I've signed up for Delavo and will be testing that as a mgmt system this week, amember, and socialgo as these are the ones I've narrowed it down to. Most likely we'll have to develop custom code to do that dancing I want.

    In addition to the specs in my post (link above) If I had my ideal the membership mgmt system would also:

    - allow free users to have access to premium content for a limited time. See MarketingSherpa Home for the most brilliant system. Content is always 'free' for a limited time but to access archives, past issues, etc. you gotta upgrade - very good!

    - a use it or lose it capability on some content. Like what Rick Raddatz did with Brevity Small Business ----> love that gentle but irritating urge to technologically coach customers in doing what they say they want to do by withdrawing the content if they don't access it after a while. The punishment/take-away will of course push some away, but the benefits of those who actually USE the material will end up creating continuity and retention!

    - ONE login for all content period is a requirement. So if a mem mgt script requires plugins to do this/that then I have to have a system to instruct the site to pass the userlogin details from one to the next once they are logged in.

    What I don't want:
    - my users to see a boring control panel type page when they login to my membership... I have tested a few now that take me to my profile/or a static - with no instructions page... could be the site mgr. problem, but it could be their mgmt system directs to that page and then we have to click links to access where we want to go now.. urgh!

    take care!
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    • Profile picture of the author edhan
      What do I look for in membership?

      1. Ability to add affiliates.
      2. Maintain accounts for paying affiliates
      3. Easy to edit, delete or modify
      4. Able to integrate with paypal, clickbank, etc
      5. Single or 2-tiers
      6. Auto payout
      7. Easy to add, edit or promote products or services

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  • Profile picture of the author Andy Immotna
    Integration of the features of Memberspeed, BFM, and SiteManPro.. I guess it would a very expensive outcome! lol!
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  • Profile picture of the author stevenh512
    Wow nice to see this thread coming back to life with some good ideas. I don't know about the 2 tiers thing, unless you use another payment processor instead of PayPal or Clickbank (AlertPay comes to mind) since Clickbank doesn't support it at all, and it's technically possible with PayPal but it violates their terms of service. I imagine a PayPal integrated membership site wouldn't do you much good with a suspended PayPal account.. lol

    As far as integrating the features of MemberSpeed, BFM and SiteManPro.. that would be an awesome script, but it would take forever for one person two write it (and even longer to debug).

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