Cause Machine allows you the tools to create subscription membership plans for your members. You can set your memberships as free or paid. Paid memberships can be set to charge monthly or annually.
PRO TIP: Before setting up a membership tier, stop and think through the required fields for your plan for this tier and it's various definitions. Having a plan first will help you set up your membership tier in Cause Machine.
NOTE: Enterprise clients have both individual membership accounts and organization membership accounts.
Step 1. Get Started in your Setup Checklist
Locate your Setup Checklist from your left navigation and select the "Setup Membership Tiers" to get started.
Step 2. Add Individual Membership Tier
Select the button to "Add Individual Membership Tier" to get started in setting up a membership. You will notice the menu navigation to the left change at this point to expand membership management features. These are explained in other areas of the Cause Machine Knowledge Base. For this tutorial, let's focus on setting up your first membership tier.
Step 3. General Information
Memberships begin with a membership name and description. Make your membership name something people can personally identify with and understand. Some examples might be: General Membership or Premium Member. Next you will want to give this membership a description. This is where you can quickly explain the purpose, benefits, and assets of this membership tier. Put yourself in the shoes of someone exploring your community and exploring joining. What would you be asking? We've seen the best memberships giving a short description of its purpose with bullets listing the assets the person can expect.
Cause Machine provides you a series of settings following your membership description. Let's quickly unpack:
- Show membership profile and allow users to search for results matching this membership - each community has the option to enable a member directory. If you enable this for your community, this feature determines if this membership tier is able to be seen on each individual's personal profile and searched for in that directory. Essentially this is like a badge given to the member so others can see which membership tier this person has. Most communities turn this off unless there is a need to let each member know the membership tier of each other.
- Private Membership - this tool allows you to create private membership tiers that require a direct URL to access. These are useful if you want to have special membership tiers for groups like a Board of Directors or early adopters but you don't want to show this tier in your public directory of memberships.
- Membership Approvals - some organizations prefer to review each new membership request almost as if each is an application. If you enable this the system will send you an email for each new membership created. The individual will not have access until their profile has been reviewed and approved.
- Email Notifications - This feature enables an email alert to be sent to community admins each time a new member creates a profile. Communities requiring approvals will see buttons in this email for approving or declining the membership request. Communities not requiring memberships will simply have a notice of new members.
Step 4. Pricing Plans
Next you will be building the pricing plan for your membership. This can be either paid or free. If the membership is free then select "free" and there are no other settings to configure. If the membership is paid then select "paid" and enter your values for monthly and/or annual membership pricing. You can set a value for both of these in a case where you may want to have a discounted annual membership. For example, you might have a membership at $10/month and then have an annual membership at $100/year.
Note: Monthly memberships are automatically charged to member's credit cards. Annual memberships are sent a week before charge email notification.
Step 5. Welcome Messaging
Here we set our welcome messaging for your new members. Cause Machine has a standard landing page for new members of your community where you can enter a custom welcome message. Optionally, you can override this custom message with a custom built page. You can override this page simply by pasting a URL in the "Signup redirect URL". This isn't a requirement but we strongly encourage communities to build custom landing pages for memberships to clearly articulate your vision for them and how best to take a next step. These pages are great to load welcome videos and give clear next steps for engagement.
Cause Machine also allows you a field to enter a custom welcome email message. Just as we mentioned above, this is a great place to customize your welcome experience. Remember that you are trying to provide a well guided experience for your members. We recommend you use this email to share your excitement about them joining and clearly point them to a few specific next steps for engagement.
The last setting is connecting with Mail Chimp. If you have a Mail Chimp account and have integrated that with Cause Machine you can connect a Mail Chimp campaign to each of your membership tiers. So, what are we talking about here? Mail Chimp is a powerful email system with a series of tools. One of these tools is an automated email campaign (drip campaigns). We highly recommend you build a short (4-6 email series) welcome email campaign for your members and create this automated trigger once someone creates an account. For example, as soon as you create a membership you might receive the following (sample):
- Welcome to the Community - immediately
- Exploring the Community - +2 Days
- Getting the Most out of our Community + 2 Days
- Key Resources You'll want to Know About - +2 Days
- Connect with Others - +2 Days
- Let Us Know Your Thoughts - +2 Days
Step 7. Publish (or Save as Draft)
The final step is publishing your membership tier. You've done a lot to pull all of this together, well done on publishing your membership tier! And remember... you can always come back and edit in the future.