Who wouldn’t want a steady stream of money coming in on a regular basis? That kind of security can go a long way towards happiness as well as business mobility. This logic has led to the rise of the “subscription economy”, a term coined by enterprise software company Zuora. The business model is skyrocketing in popularity with online businesses, although consumers have a love-hate relationship with subscriptions because they aren’t always easier to navigate than a simple one-time purchase.
Sure, recurring revenue is appealing, but creating it isn’t easy. Making money is hard work. It requires building a subscription list, handling payments, and providing some kind of value to those subscribers that justifies their cost, all while providing a fully functioning website. Luckily, WordPress makes this process easier. Once you optimize your WP site, plugins can help you run the technical aspects of building a subscription service.
If you want to expand your business in this “subscription economy,” here are 4 plugins that can help you build your own recurring revenue.
One of the most popular options on the market, MemberPress does it all. For just $99 a year, MemberPress is the easiest option to set up on this list and is also one of the most robust membership plugins. MemberPress offers powerful content control and lets administrators restrict anything from categories to pages to specific posts to paying customers.
This tool also excels in creating drip campaigns where new content is released to visitors over a period of time to better encourage long-term customers. Finally, more than any other membership plug-in, MemberPress simplifies the subscription process by letting administrators pro-rate specific accounts with the click of a button, and subscribers can unsubscribe themselves or pause and restart their account at will. The only cons? MemberPress has limited integrations and only accepts three payment types.
2. Paid Membership Pro
Despite the name, Paid Membership Pro is actually free for its basic package, so users can test out the software and see if they like it. However, for more robust options, users have to pay $97 for PMPro or $197 for PMPro Plus. Paid Membership Pro offers unlimited membership tiers.
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If you really wanted, every subscriber could be on their own tier with unique pricing and options. While that’s excessive, the flexibility and customization this offers shouldn’t be ignored. The plugin also lets you segment the ads you run on your website by membership tier. With numerous integrations, Paid Membership Pro is a great tool, and there’s a reason it’s used by more than 50,000 membership websites.
3. WooCommerce Memberships
For ecommerce websites, WooCommerce is a great tool. In fact, more than 37% of all ecommerce sites use WooCommerce. There are all kinds of WordPress themes to better utilize WooCommerce’s offerings, yet one often overlooked aspect of WooCommerce is the WooCommerce Memberships plugin that works on top of WooCommerce’s core functionality.
If you use WooCommerce already, choosing this plugin is a no brainer. For $149 annually, WooCommerce Memberships does everything you need a membership plugin to do, and it has the added benefit of allowing you to restrict products and sales to members, a neat tool for any ecommerce site. A word of warning: to utilize the full capabilities, you will also need to install WooCommerce Subscriptions, so while it takes a bit of software installation to get this WooCommerce plugin up and running, it works like a dream once you get started.
4. Restrict Content Pro
The concept is all in the name. According to their website, Restrict Content Pro promises to “lock away your exclusive content” and “give access to valued members.” Businesses can create as many subscription tiers as they want, and the members that subscribe can easily manage their account in a single dashboard.
Even better, the plugin lets you create different kinds of discount codes, and you can also set up automatic emails, such as welcome emails, receipts, and more. Restrict Content Pro also offers some handy analytics, so you can see which of your membership tiers performs the best. Prices range from $49 to $449 per year, creating numerous options for businesses to choose from in order to find the right fit for them.
By Anthony Coggine