So, you’ve built a following. Maybe you’ve got a dedicated Facebook group or you’ve set up a forum.

Now could be the time to take it to the next level.

If you’ve got premium content or exclusive resources to share, it’s probably a good idea to think about using a membership management app or community platform to monetise your audience.

What is a membership management app?

A membership management app or software lets you:

  • create and edit member information
  • set up membership tiers to restrict access to premium content and resources
  • manage payments
  • communicate with your members via various channels.

Some membership management apps offer extra features such as content libraries and event management tools.

Originally, membership management software was made for desktop computers, but they have evolved into web-based software, and are increasingly available as apps. They can be downloaded onto your computer and you can set them up to manage your membership website or forum.

What to look for in a membership management app

There are dozens of membership management software solutions and apps available these days. To find the one that works for you, make sure you make a list of things you want the app to do and any must-have features.

Things to consider include:

  • How easy is to use? – User friendly interface, intuitive controls, how long will it take to set up?
  • Is it designed to help your business grow? – For most people, the goal of using membership management software is to accelerate growth and bring in more revenue.
  • How much does it cost? – Subscription cost, price of extra plugins, etc.
  • Does it allow integration with other apps?
  • Is it an all-in-one solution with groups, forums, community features, etc?
  • Does it allow direct payments?
  • Is it mobile-friendly?
  • Can you host content with it?

An ideal solution will tick all of the above boxes.

Unfortunately, most of the membership management apps that are available don’t provide all of those features, instead focussing on one specific area or another.

For instance, an app like MemberPlanet makes it easy to set up payments and management, but is very limited in terms of customisation and extra features. Or Wild Apricot has a good range of features such as event planning and donation management, but has an outdated interface and has limited communication channels.

Community platforms – an all-in-one alternative

Community platforms are perfect if you’re looking for something that does it all:

  • create a customised meeting place for your members
  • engage users with “social-media”-style communication channels – Newsfeeds, private messaging, threads, Push Notifications, Livestreams.
  • manage membership tiers and payments
  • designed for mobile
  • has good customer support on-hand

Community platforms are rapidly becoming the best way to both attract and engage a membership group. They do everything a membership management app can do, plus much more besides.

One of the main attractions of using a community platform or creating your own community app, is the fact that you can customise it to your exact needs and the needs of your audience.

For instance, imagine you’re a lifestyle coach that has a lot of exclusive content and you want to create an engaging community with both free and premium membership tiers. You also want an app that is designed to fit with your branding. In this case, a community platform like Disciple is the best option.

Disciple is designed to look and feel like a social-media group experience, but is completely customisable to fit your branding, lets you manage your membership effectively and gives you full control over your community’s data.

Check out our community platform here.

Final words

Membership management software and apps are a bit old-fashioned.

Rather than looking at the overall picture of your community and helping you to manage all aspects of it, they focus on things like payment processing and basic communication channels.

Community platforms, on the other hand, offer the best of all worlds. They allow you to easily and quickly set up fully branded community environments that are mobile-centric. They also give you full control over things like membership tiers, payments and data.

Why not give an all-around community platform like Disciple a try? Contact us today to find out more.