Installments / Payment plans for events and memberships
Could Wild Apricot users offer their members an introductory trial rate for, say 30 or 7 days, followed by, say quarterly or six-monthly payments to spread the cost over the year?
That is very helpful during a recession, when many WA website users will find revenue dropping as their members cut back. To be able to spread payments looks very attractive to new prospective members: four quarterly payments of $10 is much easier on the budget than one payment of $40.
The introductory trial could be free, or at a pro-rata cost for 30 or 7 days. During the trial the member can cancel and either pay nothing (free trial) or pay just the pro-rata cost (low-cost trial). If he doesn't cancel, the next payment kicks in and is renewed automatically for each period chosen.
So a typical membership trial would look like one of these:
Free 7-day trial. Then $10 quarterly until cancelled.
$3.00 low-cost trial for 30 days. Then $20 every six months until cancelled.
Peter Hurley commented
For our more expensive events we ask for a deposit with final payment due prior to the event.
We would like this to work as follows:
Create event with value of say £200
When signing up for the event people pay £25
8 weeks before event payment of £175 due for those already signed up
8 weeks before event new people signing up until event full payment of £200 is due.
5 weeks before event those who have paid deposit must pay £175 or lose their deposit and will be unregistered from the event.
4 weeks before event due if £175
Peter Hobday commented
Hi Katie -- I think you are now talking about the cost to us of a Wild Apricot website each month?
This thread is about people who become members of WA users websites. Users (us) can choose which currency they pay in and how much.
Please also consider that, like me, paying from Australia actually cost more than is advertised on your website because of the USD and Australian Dollar exchange rates..
Dmitry Buterin commented
For me, this sounds very reasonable and necessary. So all I am saying is that I want other clients to weigh in and help us to analyze this further and prioritize against other items in our queue.
Peter Hobday commented
Hi - you know what your members want and need possibly more than anyone. But can I throw open the debate from a marketing point of view?
The WA payment levels are great, and I expect most people find they work well.
But with a subscription (or 'membership') there is no necessary link between the subscription fee and the payment schedule or the term (length) of the subscription.The concept of 'annual' is forgotten, just a convenient way of communicating the deal.
In other words, a new subscriber can subscribe for access to a website for any length of time. For instance, he may want to subscribe for the summer (boats and surfing). Or while taking exams (University crib sheets). Or when he is not traveling (off on holiday for a month). Or she will subscribe to the 'My Wedding' site for the six months leading up to the event. Or to the mother and baby site in the early part of pregnancy. Or to the 'What Car' site for two or three months while looking and choosing his next car.
So he will subscribe for three or six months, not twelve.If he or she is not offered alternative shorter terms subscriptions, he or she will not subscribe because half or more of the money will be wasted.
However, I understand this could be a minority view. There is no point offering a facility like various terms unless is increases the number of new memberships that come aboard. Perhaps there should be a 'Marketing' forum?! It's really about increasing revenue.
The choices would not overload the payment level page of a site because, for example, the owner would choose out of a maximum number of choices. The most successful marketers I work with choose either a free trial period or a low-cost introduction then six month terms. If the member cancells, his subscription simply stops when that six month period ends.Their payments page contains just that option because that works the best of all.
Dmitry Buterin commented
Thank you Peter.
I have changed the post title - I think this will make it easier for other clients to find and vote on.
Conceptually this makes total sense to me.
Technically this is a bit of a challenge since we basically need to separate membership fee from the the actual payment schedule and make alternative payment schedules available within the same membership level.
We have been thinking about this ourselves and your post is very timely. I hope we will get more feedback and votes on this so that we can prioritize it higher.
However, since it is a substantial change, I do not expect us to start actual development for at least 6 months - and (I hope) the recession will be mostly over by then...
Stephanie Shaw commented
I work with an organization that holds an annual conference with a cost of ~$400.
To make it more affordable to some of the members, they have an option to do multi-pays/recurring payments.
The organization currently has a problem of multiple databases (one for purchases, one for membership, one for forums, one for email blasts, one for the conference), and was really looking forward to consolidating under Wild Apricot.
To my surprise, recurring payments only apply to membership.
Is there another option that I have missed? We use Authorize.net, and do have CIM.