How Do iMember360 and CustomerHub Compare?
Late last year I wrote an article describing the differences between iMember360 and CustomerHub as options for building Infusionsoft based membership site. Infusionsoft is excellent for managing contact information. With the addition of either of these tools, you can add authentication features giving members protected access to the content they are approved to see. The approval can be given via a webform in an Infusionsoft campaign (meaning it's free) or through the purchase of an Infusionsoft product or subscription.
This article provides additional reasoning behind my recommendation of iMember360 over CustomerHub.
CustomerHub is current owned by Infusionsoft. It was developed by a third-party that was acquired by Infusionsoft a few years back. CustomerHub is designed to be extremely easy to use. It's designed to give members access to protected content using Infusionsoft to store access information. You assign tags to the contact in Infusionsoft and CustomerHub manages the access. It's all very good.
If you want to get a membership site up quickly and you don't want to hire outside help to build it, CustomerHub is a solid option. But let me tell you why in might not be the option to meet your needs.
Years back, we built a CustomerHub site for a client. We recommended iMember360, but because of advice given to the client by other advisers, they settled on CustomerHub and we became their implementer.
You can see the login for that site at http://livingtheskinnylife.customerhub.net. Right away you can see the site belongs to the customerhub.net domain. An immediate negative of that is that you are getting no search engine optimization (SEO) from any pages you create there. If you want to take a look at the site more closely, signup for their two week trial at http://skinnylife.com/2-free-weeks/ .
The site is NOT built in Wordpress so you need to work at matching the look and feel. It's not the end of the world, but it is something you need to address.
What we discovered soon after the release of the CustomerHub site is that they wanted to have a members only interactive forum. This is where members could discuss issues with each other. That isn't a feature you can build easily in CustomerHub. They wanted a commenting feature for different articles they would publish in CustomerHub. This is what you often at the end of a blog post on the net. That isn't a feature you can build easily in CustomerHub.
I don't say this to imply that these should be feature CustomerHub includes. Those could be added, but would likely make the tool more difficult to use for new users. What I am saying is if you anticipate needing to grow your site past the feature CustomerHub provides, it's going to be a difficult next step.
A Example Membership Site
An example membership site we released this past Spring can be found at http://members.optexperience.com . It goes with the brochure site we built for them at www.optexperience.com. OPT Experience is a business that provides training to personal trainers. They offer video based course material teaching trainers:
- to assess the needs of new clients,
- to design a program meeting a clients specific needs and
- other skills for training clients and building their training practices.
What you'll notice right away is their main site and membership site work together as a team to promote their services made available on the members site and to provide members with access to their protected course content. We built both sites with the same visual design with the navigation optimized for the need of the two different audiences.
The brochure site is for selling. The members site is for consuming content and upselling to the membership.
The member site is set up so anyone that visits the site can view the navigation. They can see all the courseware that is available. You see the courses they offer with a lock icon next to the course along the left sidebar. If you were logged in and had access to a given course, the lock icon would show as unlocked. Anyone visiting the locked version of the page will be given a message saying the courseware is only available to registered (meaning paying) members and gives them a link to learn more about that course. That link takes them to the sales page corresponding to that course.
So anyone using the members site to consume course content, sees the other course offerings in the menu system. It shows the course they are taking as an offering within the organization's total offering. Since anyone consuming the content will see these other courses every time they visit the site, the member is constantly reminded of the additional courses they might consider buying. This feature combined with Infusionsoft upsell email campaigns is a great way to get more sales from existing members.
We have another site at http://members.agefriendlybusinessacademy.com with brochure site at www.agefriendlybusinessacademy.com that takes a similar approach for another business that offers training to their audiences. It's another example of a site combination designed to both sell courses, consume content and upsell members on additional course they may want to buy.
Hope this helps!