Membership management software sounds like a niche tool, but don’t be fooled. It can be helpful to an entrepreneur or an organization just like yours.
As a multifaceted tool, membership software (and the data it contains) can be used in many ways like monetizing content, running events, and collecting fees for subscription-based services.
With this type of software, it is easy for you to track individual users. Gone are the days of massive Excel spreadsheets or multiple databases that you need to integrate.
As a small business owner, your time is limited. Membership management software helps you improve your day-to-day efficiencies, cutting the time you spend on administration.
Regardless of what goods you are selling or what services you are providing, these things are important for any business.
- What is Membership Management Software?
- The Best Membership Management Software Options
- Finding the Best Membership Management Software for Your Organization
- Membership Management Software FAQs
What is Membership Management Software?
Membership management software helps you collect and track all of the data you need about your users and their accounts, and relationships with you. You can manage user information like names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses.
The software can also:
- Track event registrations, both one-time and recurring
- Set membership levels and track/bill users accordingly
- Support the running of online courses and webinars
Most of today’s options are cloud-based and can, therefore, be accessed from anywhere there is the internet.
Getting Started with Membership Management Software
There are several ways to get started with membership management software, but for now, we’ll focus on the following:
- Use an all-in-one option that comes with everything you need in one free-standing website.
- Setting up a WordPress website and adding the required functionality with the appropriate plugins.
While Option 1 is easier in most cases, Option 2 is better for those with existing websites (or those who want to start a business-related website for other purposes as well).
The Best Membership Management Software Options
In the following sections, we’ll cover both all-in-one products and WordPress plugins. Then you can compare a variety of software before deciding on the one that is best for your business.
All-In-One Membership Software
The following membership software are comprehensive jack-of-all-trades solutions.
Wild Apricot comes with everything you need to manage members. You can attract, renew, and manage members, accept payments, handle event registrations, and send mass emails.
Wild Apricot offers website building functionality for those without a homepage. Mobile apps allow you to use the product while on the go. There’s a free plan available, but paid options begin at $40 per month. Wild Apricot is one of the best options if you’re new to this type of software.
Kajabi focuses on helping business owners create digital businesses featuring knowledge-based content. This product lets you create online courses, marketing campaigns, and the building of landing pages and websites. Prices begin at $149 per month.
Zenbership is an open-source, free-to-use membership platform. Use it to collect and manage customer information, set up events, and track subscriptions and memberships.
It also comes with extras like invoicing functionality, marketing tools, a shopping cart, and secure content delivery. If you’re on a tight budget, Zenbership is a good option (if you’re willing to take the time to set the software up).
memberplanet is a group management tool that helps people join with ease and make payments. You’ll also get a secure database where your data is stored.
You’ll be able to set membership levels, and access reports on user activity. memberplanet is best for those looking for a commercial-grade group-focused option. You can get started for free, with the paid options beginning $50/month.
SubHub is designed to help businesses manage memberships and paid subscription content. SubHub comes with robust content management features.
There are custom designs so that your customer-facing site reflects your brand. SubHub provides subscription management features, payment processing and the ability to offer discounts. Consider SubHub if your site is heavily focused on monetizing content. Prices begin at $47/month.
ClubExpress offers organizations of all types an easy-to-use tool. It makes it easy to communicate with – and manage – members.
Features include invoicing, and group calendars. You’ll get a website builder and branded mobile app for on-the-go use. Pricing is based on the number of active memberships. The minimum monthly cost is $24 for up to 100 users.
Zen Planner focuses on studios, gyms, and schools in the fitness-industry. It comes with business tools like user information management and invoicing.
Packages offer a website builder and digital marketing tools. Zen Planner. Prices begin at $99 per month.
aMemberPro has been translated into six languages, which is helpful for those looking for a non-English option. Prices begin at $179.95, though the company frequently offers discounts.
WordPress Membership Management Plugins
If you’d prefer to install a plugin, these options are more suited to your needs.
And if you’ve never added a plugin to your WordPress site, don’t worry – it’s a simple process. To start, head over to your WordPress admin dashboard.
- Click on Plugins
- Select Add New
- Find the plugin using the filters – or plugin name
- Click Install Now
- WordPress will install the plugin for you
Now, we’ll discuss the best membership management plugins.
S2 Member helps you monetize almost all aspects of your WordPress site. You can put your posts, pages, tags, categories, and more behind login screens.
You can also secure content (regardless of whether it is stored on your WordPress databases or a third-party source like Amazon). If you’re selling digital goods, you can offer one-time purchases or sell subscriptions.
The software integrates with payment processors like Stripe and PayPal. S2 Member offers a free version, but pro versions start at $89 (one-time cost).
Restrict Content Pro
Restrict Content Pro allows you to lock selected content on your WordPress site behind a paywall.
When setting up your membership options for accessing this content, you can create multiple subscription levels, manage your members, and request and track payments (as well as offer discounts). Restrict Content Pro also comes with analytics so you can see how your business is fairing. Prices begin at $99 per year.
MemberPress is used to create, manage, and track your WordPress site’s membership subscriptions. In addition to locking your site content, you can control access to digital files and other content you’ve created.
MemberPress works with a variety of WordPress plugins and third-party services. Prices begin at $149 per year.
MemberMouse is very similar to the other options we featured in this article. However, it comes with a few additional features beyond those you’d expect from a membership management option.
These include one-click upsells and downsells, drip and scheduled content functionality, and automated customer service features. Prices begin at $19.95 per month for 1000 members.
Finding the Best Membership Management Software for Your Organization
Here’s a quick glance at the best software for these specific business needs.
|Software||Function||Paid plan start at...||Free trial|
|Wild Apricot||Basic membership management for clubs or groups||$40||Yes|
|Restrict Content Pro|
|Paywalls||$99 (Restrict Content Pro)|
*$89 (S2 Member)
|Collecting membership dues||*$149.36 (aMember Pro)|
$40 (Wild Apricot)
|No (aMember Pro)
Yes (Wild Apricot)
|Zen Planner||Gyms/fitness clubs||$99||Yes|
|Digital products||$47 (SubHub)|
*$89 (S2 Member)
No (S2 Member)
Membership management software offers you a lot: you can create memberships for the goods (both digital and physical) and services you offer, track your users, reach out using the included marketing tools, schedule events with ease, and more.
However, you may not need all of these items (or you may need features that we haven’t listed). The best software for you depends on the needs of your business. We hope that the summaries in this article help you get started identifying the best fit for you.
Not sure about the options you are choosing? Remember, many offer free trials, so you have nothing to lose by trying out a few options.
Membership Management Software FAQs
Here are a few common queries about membership software. If you have any other questions, leave a comment below and we’ll get it answered for you!
How much does a membership website cost?
You can start a membership website for free. Applications like Zenbership, Wild Apricot, and S2 Member all have free plans. Most paid services – like Kajabi and SubHub – come with monthly fees. But some applications have annual or once-off fees.
How do I create a subscription website?
There are a few ways to create a subscription site. You can add a WordPress plugin – an ideal option for an existing site. New sites can benefit from all-in-one membership software that comes with website building software, like Wild Apricot.
What is a membership database?
A membership database is where you store all your member data. Most business, clubs, associations, and non-profit organizations track their members in this way.