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Understanding the Membership process

Features include:-

  • User registration
  • Processes customer payments and keeps track of them
  • Protects website folders, pages, downloads, and other kinds of content making it available for subscribed users only
  • Integration of the aMember users database with third-party scripts
  • Affiliate program management
  • Simple Help Desk functionality to provide easy communication between customers and site administrators
  • Manages opt-in e-mail lists and newsletters and can send mass e-mails to customers

Ordering Process

To order a subscription or product within your members site, the user must complete and submit a signup form generated by aMember or log into an existing account. Once the customer selects the signup button,  your aMember creates the following records in its database:

  • pending user record
  • pending invoice record

Note: At this point the new user account is "pending" and not yet activated. Until the payment is completed, the user will not be able to view or download protected content. He can, however, login to the member area to make a new payment if the first payment attempt failed.

Once these records are created, your aMember redirects the customer to the payment system to make the actual payment and passes the payment amount and subscription settings to it. The payment gateway (eg. PayPal) checks the information entered and completes the transaction.

  1. When the transaction is completed successfully, the system will display a confirmation of payment. At this point the system sends confirmation of the payment to the aMember script and the user's status is changed from "Pending" to "Active". The user will receive a welcome email with details about his/her username and possibly other information (you can customize the e-mail template).
  2. If the transaction fails, the failed payment page will be displayed, and most payment systems will redirect the customer to your aMember "cancelled" payment page, where the user can choose another method of payment and attempt to subscribe again.

Expiration

Depending on the product settings configured by you, user access may expire. For example, the site administrator may choose to sell 30-day subscriptions for $10.99. Then, if the subscription is not recurring, the customer record will expire. The user will be marked as Expired, and protected content access will be revoked. The user record is not deleted after expiration, so the customer may return to the website, log into his/her Members account, and renew their subscription - by placing a new order.

Recurring Billing

Paypal offer the ability to set up "recurring" billing. This way the customer is billed automatically for the amount configured for each time period (e.g. $20 every month). Your aMember site was designed to handle recurring billing, so these payments will be correctly processed. PayPal will report to your aMember when a successful recurring payment has been made and your aMember extends the user's subscription accordingly. In this case the entire membership management process becomes automated.

Recurring Billing Cancellations

Sometimes a user may want to cancel or unsubscribe from a recurring subscription. Cancellation can be done by via a link in their members area, or at the payment processor's website (for example PayPal provides the ability to cancel recurring subscriptions from within the PayPal user's account). In this case, your aMember will be notified about the cancellation and the customer's invoice will be marked as "Cancelled". It does not mean, however, that the user loses access immediately. The user will still have access to protected content until the paid period expires.

Refunds and Chargebacks

In the event of refunds or chargebacks these are reported to your aMember, your aMember will automatically keep records of this and revoke customer access to protected content.

Integration Plugins

Your aMember has the ability to integrate with third-party applications. If you have such an integration plugin installed and configured, your aMember will maintain the users database (table) in the third-party script, so that your aMember subscribers can be automatically added to your Bulletin Board, CMS, or Help Desk users database. When their subscription expires, users will be automatically disabled or (if configured) removed from the third-party database. ie wordpress.

Please note — this integration is one-way: users are copied from your aMember to the third-party script, and never vice-versa (never from the third-party script to your aMember). The latter would require changes to your third-party script that would be hard to maintain and would also make make upgrading your third-party script more difficult. The exception to this is when a user already exists and the correct options have been chosen in the third-party script setup.

Also, if the user has the same username and password in the aMember and a third-party script, it is often possible to implement a single-login, also called "Single sign-on (SSO)." With Single sign-on (SSO) when a user is logged into your aMember he/she is automatically logged into the third-party script, and vice-versa. For example by integrating your aMember to your coaching hub your clients only need one login to access either their members area or their coaching programs.

How The Integration Works with wordpress or your coaching hub.

When a user signs up in your aMember, aMember checks to see if that user already exists in the third-party users database. If a user with the same username exists in the third-party database signup is not allowed. (The following works if the "auto-create" option is enabled in plugin settings.) The customer can instead log into aMember with his username and password from a third-party script and an aMember account will be created for him.

If there is no such account in the third-party script, the user will be allowed to signup in your aMember. As the user completes payment, your aMember immediately upgrades his record in the third-party database (if it exists) or creates a new customer account with the permissions configured in "Integrations" settings.

Once a user's subscription expires or the user is removed from the aMember database, your aMember sets up a “default” usergroup in the third-party database for this user, or removes his record completely (if configured and supported by plugin).

2 Ways to Configure Integration Plugins

Your account manager will have ensured the integration between your aMember , your coaching hub, and your wordpress account if required, is working correctly. This is for information only.

  1. Disable new user registration completely (using third-party script admin controls) and set links to your aMember's signup page for new users;
  2. Keep user registration enabled in the third-party script, but restrict the default usergroup (using third-party script admin controls). Create a new usergroup (for paid users) and configure your aMember to assign that "paid" usergroup to paid customers.

 

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