Online Membership Software
Got a Membership Business Idea?
A lot of people (especially members) love Guitarmann and want to know how I run such a cool membership access website with video integration. Since I launched the site, I've already helped many self-starters and entrepreneurs by explaining the secret to my site: SubHub. As long as Guitarmann has been alive online, it has happily partnered with SubHub. I thought I would write a review to help future site owners. By the way, if you have questions about it, feel free to contact me. I'm happy to help with my perspective, and I usually respond within 24 hours.
The Top 10 Things About SubHub
On to the review! Of course, their site will give you all of the details of what it can do, but here are some of what I like about it as I have used it for more than a year now:
1. Support: When you run a business, you're going to have questions. I researched a lot of options before landing with Subhub. Just about every question I have has been answered within a 24-hour period. This unlimited support is part of the package, not some extra cost!
2. Video Integration: A lot of people are looking into video integration. For Guitarmann, obviously, that was a must. SubHub's setup allows you to use a WYSIWYG interface (like DreamWeaver), or if you want, you can choose to go in and edit the actual HTML on a page. So, you can easily embed video on any page.
3. Access Settings: The coolest thing about the functionality is the ability to set up the permissions on each page/article you create. It can be set for everyone to view it, only logged-in members to view it, or specific groups to view it. For instance, if you sign up for a Guitarmann Beginner Package, you can view all of the videos in the Beginner Series, but you cannot view videos in the Essentials Series. If you are a Full Access Member, then you can view every page and video on the site. These setting allow for you to have different membership types that can be associated with different access levels to your content.
4. Categories: Click on any of the links on the left navigation bar under "Extra Lessons." These are categories that have been setup to automatically display any article assigned to it. So for example, every time I have a lesson on how to play blues guitar, I can just simply select to assign it to show up in the "Blues" category. The link and a little preview of the content is automatically generated on the "Blues" page. This is awesome functionality, and keeps your site looking fresh without hours of extra page building that would be required otherwise.
5. Subscription Plans: I was actually surprised with how easily you can set up different subscription plans. You can name your price, set what access that plan will allow the member to have, choose whether the payment is recurring or not, and even assign a promo code for the plan to be revealed. This allows you to create multiple types of subscriptions (like Guitarmann has) at different price points and allows you to run special promotions every now and then.
6. Future Publishing: Guitarmann has made and a kept a commitment to publish a brand new video lesson every single week. With SubHub, I can work ahead and line up several weeks worth of lessons that will be published on whatever day at whatever time I choose. That way, even if I'm out of town for a week, my members will enjoy a new lesson every Wednesday.
7. Payment Processor: SubHub is built with "ready-to-go" integration with certain payment processors. If you go with PayPal, you can integrate it seamlessly. If you want to take your payment processing to the next level and receive credit card payments directly, they have an API built into the site that is ready to be setup with Authorize.net (the leading online payment processor) and SagePay.com (if you are in the UK). The payment system is professionally set up, which is a must for a trustworthy business. Just like with any professional site, you will have to be approved for a payment processor and a merchant account. Once you have an account, SubHub seamlessly integrates it into your site so that your members will have the most secure payment processing available. When they pay, they will immediately have membership access and can start enjoying your site. You don't have to touch a thing.
8. Membership Management: The built-in member manager lets you keep tabs of what's happening with your members so you can see which members have active accounts, etc. You can run queries based on who has signed up for the newsletter, when certain members have joined, which members are assigned to which access group, etc. This type of information can help you track your growth.
9. Web Statistics: Web statistics are built right into the control panel. You can see detailed information on things like many people have visited your site each day. You can see what page referred your site, what keywords were used to find your site on search engines, what browsers are most people using etc. This type of information is vital to any site owner.
10. Downloads: Downloading a PDF or other type of file from a site doesn't seem like a big deal. However, with SubHub, you can view reports to see how many times a document is being downloaded. Not only that, you can choose to have a download only available for purchase. Maybe you have an ebook that you want to sell separate from the membership of your site. Anyone can purchase and download the document, or you can enable a pay-per-view access to a page, allowing access for that user for as long as you decide (24 hours, a few days, etc).
Obviously there is a lot more functionality like the ability to create and manage navigation links, a storefront that is built into the platform, automated email options, an events calendar, a forum, customized homepages for different members, a site-wide search tool, cool updates for no extra cost, etc. I've honestly been happy with them and want to help you with any questions. Check them out and sign up for a free trial offer and tell them Guitarmann sent you (yes, they know who I am!), or contact me with questions. I'm happy to help.