One of the biggest challenges facing any nonprofit site is figuring out how to get donors to return to your site.
Indeed, the model can be seen as similar to ecommerce sites. You’re going to receive more money from repeat visitors than by attracting new ones. That’s a difficult prospect for any business, let alone a non-profit.
Similar to commerce sites, creating customer loyalty is integral to success. Indeed, one study from Adobe showed that 40 percent of an ecommerce store’s revenue is created by just 8 percent of its customers. According to another study, only 10 percent of customers will ever revisit a brand, but repeat customers have a 60-70 percent chance of making another purchase on a future visit.
Statistics like these just demonstrate how important repeat customers or donors are. But how do we get these people to come back? A number of tools are commonly used like Email marketing or seasonal sales, and while these are effective at keeping your brand on people’s minds, they don’t necessarily develop customer loyalty.
The Membership Program
Another effective tool for getting customers to revisit your site is a membership offering.
Loyalty programs are quickly becoming a popular tool in the ecommerce and nonprofit games. After all, they allow you to create a predictable revenue and build your company accordingly.
Customers sign up for either a paid or free membership to your site. In return, they receive exclusive access to new items, members-only discounts, or any other number of supplemental offerings you can think of.
Memberships are a fantastic tool for driving repeat visits, creating predictable income, and building a strong rapport with your users.
Wild Apricot was founded in 2001 in Toronto, Canada. The software we’re talking about today was launched in 2006.
The company now has more than 11,300 paid customers with thousands more using its free ad-supported version.
MemberPlanet, meanwhile, opened its doors in 2009 in the Greater Los Angeles area. The company was started by Binu Thekkinedath and now has around 50 employees, according to Crunchbase.
Both companies offer a free trial version and an ad-supported, basic, free account.
Wild Apricot’s free version offers 50 contacts, while MemberPlanet’s offering comes with 100 emails, 100 group texts, and unlimited survey responses.
Wild Apricot’s next pricing tier begins at $34 per month, while MemberPlanet’s Essentials tier begins at just $15 per month.
Still, it’s important to note that the jump between second and third tier pricing at Wild Apricot is much smaller than its competitor. The third tier at Wild Apricot is less than $10 more per month, while the next step up at MemberPlanet is more than double the price.
In general, Wild Apricot offers double the amount of solutions than MemberPlanet, making it easier for users to narrow down which solution works best for them.
Both companies rely heavily on simplicity for their membership management solutions. Each builds its many features on top of its contact database, which allows you to keep track of your members, perspective members, donors, and others.
Wild Apricot allows you to use tags, offers a searchable database with custom queries, and more. You can send customized emails to different groups, inviting them to an event or sale, and avoid bothering your already loyal customers.
Wild Apricot also offers the ability to create public-facing pages and internal pages. This means that paying members can sign in to sites specifically for them, which can include newsletters, membership renewal options, a directory, and whatever other content you wish to show them.
MemberPlanet also relies on simplicity. Indeed, the MemberPlanet setup process is incredibly simple.
The service will coach you as you make your way through setting everything up, and if you still need help, you can request a strategy session with a MemberPlanet employee.
On top of the ever-important membership management tools, each company offers a handful of additional features to help you drum up business.
MemberPlanet, for example, comes with both iOS and Android apps to allow you to manage your databases remotely. They’re available to both users and administrators.
The administration app, for example, allows you to send group texts or emails, view social activity, collect payments, and manage your memberships. The membership app allows users to make payments or donations, view events and RSVP to them, and other features.
Additional features that Wild Apricot brings to the table include template editing and email campaigns.
Wild Apricot doesn’t put a limit on how many emails you can send to any membership level. These emails can be sent to all of your members or to a specific group. This can be useful if you’d like to contact anyone whose membership is about to run out, for example.
Indeed, there are numerous email templates to play with. The beautiful part about the site is that it allows you to pick these pre-made templates and then customize it to your specifications. The system will also let you know if the email has been opened, read, or created a response.
These are just a small selection of the additional features that each service offers. MemberPlanet also offers the ability to create email campaigns and create surveys, while WIld Apricot has a strong financial reporting tool built in.
Ultimately, this is a tough call.
Both services offer a wide range of additional tools to help you manage your members and attract new donors. They both do a great job at helping you maintain customers and engage with them. And they both offer competitive pricing options.
Fortunately, they both also offer a free version of their product and a free trial version of the premium services.
That gives you the freedom to test both and play around with them until you figure out which solution is the best fit for you.
In situations like this, it’s always best to do your research and determine which option you like best.THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.
Sam Zaman loves to write on technology & related stuff. Ecommerce, mobile and internet marketing equally drive her interest. Likes gardening and experimenting with new recipes. An avid reader and absolutely mad @bout donuts 🙂