Bringing Automation to your membership site can give your more flexibility and power for managing your website success – not only for you but for your users as well.
There are tools and software you can implement to make the process work in the best way for your business.
Have you ever heard of Automator?
If you’ve never heard of Uncanny Owl’s Automator, you’ve still likely heard of Zapier. Like IFTTT, Zapier is an automation platform for the web that lets you connect one software platform to another. Automator is a plugin for WordPress that lets you bring automation to your membership site – without any coding – just like Zapier.
These automations are called recipes and they make it really easy to do things that you used to hire a developer to do for you. In other words, what used to be difficult (getting plugins to talk to each other) is now incredibly easy.
Imagine that we have a membership site configured to use:
- Restrict Content Pro
- Ninja Forms
- ConvertKit for our Email / Marketing Automation
The first two are plugins on your site. The third is a SaaS that you would like connected to your site, but you’ve not purchased the Pro Add-On. What we’ll show you won’t just work with ConvertKit, but with tons of other external SaaS products, while also becoming the “glue” between your different plugins.
Adding a Free Trial Membership
Imagine you want to give people a free trial membership for ten days.
You could configure the “free trial duration” setting on a regular membership, but that will automatically kick in a charge after the ten days.
So instead, we’re going to create a second membership level that gives prospects specific access to some of your protected content for 10 days and then closes things down.
Once we’ve created the new level, we’re going to add it to our other category-based protection for one of our categories (instead of all our site categories).
This allows you to determine which categories of content you want to showcase for the initial ten-day period.
Connecting Internal & External Automations
In the old days, you likely used and heard of MailChimp. But these days you have a lot of other options. So whenever we’re doing automations, we have to think about two different dynamics – how you want your plugins interacting (internal), and how you want to be communicating back to your other systems (external).
Today you might be using any of the following marketing automation platforms – some of which we have direct integrations with, and others that we don’t. The good news is that you don’t have to worry, with what we’re going to automate. This approach will work with all of these systems.
As we’re bringing automation to your membership site, we’re going to look at two recipes.
Let’s Sign Up New Free Trials
The first recipe will focus on how we sign up prospects for free trials. We don’t want to show them membership plans, prices, or even take them through any ordering process.
So to make this easy, we’re creating a Ninja Form that simply has a first name and an email. It’s the smallest form we could create (that still gives us enough information to create a user and put them into our marketing automation system).
When you see this recipe, the first thing to remember is that you don’t have to write any code. The beauty of Automator is that it lets you bring automation to your membership site in a simple and straightforward (almost wizard-like) way.
We start with the trigger – that someone filled out the form. Then we use that data to take action.
What the recipe says is that we’ll be creating a new user with the email that came in from the form. And if that email is already in our system, we’ll skip creating a new user and connect that new user to a membership level.
We’re adding that user to our 10 Day Trial membership level. That’s the next action after the user is put into our system.
And the last step is that we’re sending this data out to Zapier (which connects to tons of external systems like the ones listed above).
When you look at Zapier, it looks really similar because there’s a trigger and an action.
In this case, the trigger is that we’re sending data from Automator by calling a Zapier Web Hook. And it gets the same data (first name, email) and then connects, in this case, to ConvertKit. It connects to the user (or creates them), and adds the “Free Trial” tag.
Once you have tagged a person, you can build and trigger any kind of onboarding email sequence in the tool you’re using.
Let’s Handle The Experience After Ten Days
Whenever you’re adding automations to your membership site, you’re not just trying to get rid of the routine work you have to do. You’re also trying to systematize the things you don’t do regularly that could help you grow your business.
That’s what we want to do with prospects who have enjoyed a little taste of what our membership is about but now are going to be closed down unless they make a decision to buy a year-long membership.
What we want to do is three things:
- Remove them from the membership level
- Remove the Tag from their profile in ConvertKit
- Provide them a Special One-Time Offer
The good news is that Automator makes this kind of automation work really easy. Again, it’s almost wizard-like as we “fill in the blanks” and make choices to run this automation.
In this case, you’ll see that the trigger is that our membership level (which was set for 10 days) has expired. The actions that you’ll see below are exactly what we determined we needed in the list above.
First, we remove the user from the RCP membership level. Then we do another Web Hook call to Zapier to talk to our marketing automation platform to remove the tag, and then we work on the special offer.
Notice the little checkbox that says, “Redirect when all triggers are completed.” This is the important feature that will give us the ability to automate our special offer.
We route the user to this special page, “Special Offer” and present them with an opportunity (often with a coupon and special rate) to join at a discount they won’t see again.
You can also drive this point home by using a coupon that expires within a couple of days.
And you can further reinforce this by using your marketing automation to send the same offer when the tag is removed from their account.
In other words, configuring this kind of automation can significantly help you move free trial prospects into paid membership customers.
We’re Only Scratching The Surface
Bringing automation to your membership site can transform how you manage your site.
If you’re paying for every member in your marketing automation platform, you can remove non-paying customers but still push their info to a Google Sheet.
If you’re running a course protected by RCP, you can automatically register every membership customer without them having to do anything extra.
Depending on what you’re using for videos, every time they finish watching one, you can trigger a different event – from tags in your marketing automation solution, to changing their membership levels.
With RCP and Automator, the only limit is your imagination.