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Membership Software - Which is Right For Your Membership?

Jun 19, 2008
Whether you want to manage your organization's membership, or create an online membership site to cater to a niche market, you'll want to make sure you start with the right membership software. Here are three points to consider when selecting the software that will be best for your needs.

Membership Model

Do you need software just for staying in contact with a group of people, or are you planning on creating a paid membership site that provides regularly updated content for subscribing members. You'll pay a much higher price for full featured membership software, so make sure you know what features you'll need ahead of time.

For example, you need to know what type of content you are planning on providing those who subscribe to your membership site. Some software limits you to providing your members with access to files, such as downloadable reports, audio and video content.

On the other hand, there are other titles available that will create robust membership sites with additional features such as allowing your members to private message each other, create their own blogs and post their own content to share with other members.

Don't forget though, that your membership site may grow, so be sure that you choose membership software that can grow with you.

Payment Options

If you are planning on running a paid membership, make certain that the software you choose can be integrated with the payment options you plan on using. Popular options include paypal, 2Checkout and credit card processing and payment gateways such as Authorize.net.

Know ahead of time if you membership will require a one-time payment or if you plan on implementing a recurring payment model, as you'll need to make sure the software you choose will handle these types of payments for you.

You may also be interested in turning your members into affiliates at a later time. Allowing your satisfied members to promote your membership site for you is a great way to rapidly increase your user base. If you are hoping to grow, this may also be a feature to consider.

Don't forget - make certain to check if the price of the software is a one time or recurring payment too.

Skill Level Required

Keep in mind, membership software does take a least a little bit of technical skill and understanding to run. If you are a novice when it comes to using a computer, you'll want to ensure that the software you select will be easy enough for you to understand. Check with folks who are currently using the titles you are considering and get their opinions on the skill level required.

Support And Guarantee

Above all, make sure that the vendor stands by their software with full support and a satisfaction guarantee. Don't just go by what you read in their sales literature either. Take the time to look up and read feedback and experiences from people who are currently using the software you are considering.

Beware of any vendor that does not reply to pre-sales questions through a support phone number or email. This is a good way to get an initial feel for the kind of support you can expect post-sale.
About the Author
Bonus Tip: When you're ready to compare the features of the top membership site software titles, come get all the details you'll need at: http://MembershipAcademy.com
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