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Memberium and AccessAlly: A Side-by-Side Comparison

Nathalie Lussier and her team just released a new version of AccessAlly and I thought the timing was perfect for an article discussing how AccessAlly stacks up against Memberium.  What got me headed in this direction is that more and more people are asking me, "What can you tell me about AccessAlly vs Memberium?"  I get these from business owners wanting help selecting the right membership platform for their business.

 

A Little Background

Before I start, let me start with a brief history of may work with Infusionsoft membership sites so you understand my biases when writing an article like this.

I'm a web developer going back to the 90's.  I taught myself Wordpress back in 2007.  I picked up Infusionsoft back in December 2010 when Infusionsoft let you pick your own app name.

Since I was a Wordpress developer taking on Infusionsoft, it was a natural jump for met to start building client iMember360 (named InfusionWP then) membership sites.  iMember was the only available Infusionsoft / Wordpress membership platform at the time.  (Note: Dom Casonne's JoomFuse was available too, but that's a Joomla solution and not Wordpress.)

It's worth mentioning that Micah Mitchell, now a Memberium principal, was then a iMember360 principal.  I was a part of his Marketing Automation Mastermind.   I learned a lot from him and received a lot of mentoring from him.

Four years back, a customer asked me to build them a Memberium e-learning membership site.  I got to know David Bullock, the lead Memberium developer, through that.   It was a great introduction to Memberium and led to our getting certified as a Memberium Implementation Partner.  We've been building Memberium membership sites ever since.

I first heard about AccessAlly a year back from a prospect who was considering AccessAlly as an alternative to Memberium. This being my space, I investigated AccessAlly reaching out to Nathalie.  She granted me an interview on my Defining Infusionsoft Success program.  My team and I built an AccessAlly version of our own membership site to to become hands-on familiar with it so we could take on client work.

That's my full disclosure concerning these platforms and our alliances with these players.

 

It's Not an Apples and Orange Comparison

Memberium is a membership site building platform.  It installs as a Wordpress plugin that allows Infusionsoft to control who gets access to the site content.  If someone opts into a webform or makes a purchase, an Infusionsoft campaign can:

  • tag the contact assigning membership access,
  • assign the user a password and
  • send the user their login credentials.

Members are then authorized to access the Wordpress site content they requested or purchased.

AccessAlly works the same way.  It installs as a Wordpress plugin.  It works with the Wordpress login like Memberium does and controlling member access to the content.

This is where the similarities end.

Memberium is highly focuses on providing membership site features. Their niche is membership and they don't stray far from that.  As I'll describe later in the article, they offer Umbrella / Group Accounts which is a significant feature.  If you visit their site, you'll learn that Memberium supports integration with LearnDash, BadgeOS  WP Courseware, Sensei, BBPress, BadgeOS, Simple:Press, WooCommerce to provide learning management, course progress, certifications, and forum features.  We've used these and the integrations are solid.  Memberium serves as the foundation for the site and relies on add-ons to provide any additional features often needed by e-learning and membership sites.

AccessAlly takes a different approach.  Nathalie and her team built AccessAlly to support their online marketing coaching practice.  The available platforms at the time were inadequate.   If you visit her AmbitionAlly.com site, you'll quickly notice she's a teacher, marketer and coach.  She publishes a lot of content, much of it free, for business owners wanting wanting online marketing strategies and tactics.  As I cover the AccessAlly features below, you'll notice their new release includes features Memberium delegates to other add-ons.

 

Memberium

If you visit Memberium's pricing page (see https://memberium.com/pricing/) you'll see Memberium offers three packages: Standard, Pro and Advanced.  The Standard runs $47 a month.  It supports a single domain and one Infusionsoft application.  That means you can host more than one site as long as they are all related to a single domain.  For example, you can host the following three sites with the Standard license:

  • www.larryjacob.com
  • members.larryjacob.com
  • www.larryjacob.com/members

The Pro version priced at $87 a month supports an unlimited number of domains using a single Infusionsoft application.  You need this package to use their Umbrella / Group Accounts feature.

Memberium Umbrella / Group Accounts allow you to create parent members that can then give other members access.  You can build parent members self-service interfaces for doing that.  We have used this create 5 pack offering, for example.  A parent member can buy the 5 pack and give 4 other members the same access they have.  When the parent members cancels their membership, the other member accounts cancel as well.  The Memberium Umbrella / Group Account implementation also allows you to communicate independently with parents and the other members.  So you can communicate to the paying member one way and the other members another.

This is a useful feature for event registrations or other scenarios where one person makes the purchase that someone else uses.  This is the case when a boss purchases something that one of their employees uses.

Since my team and I build Spanish language e-learning sites, I did want to mention Memberium provides multi-language support.  This is a welcomed feature keeping us from having to find solutions for translating Membership features.

 

AccessAlly

Prior to their recent release, AccessAlly was similar to Memberium.  AccessAlly was the foundation platform. What was different is they offered a collection of add-ons you purchase separately.  Here is a list of those add-ons:

  • ProgressAlly - This is a Wordpress plugin providing course organization, navigation, gamification features, leader boards, and quiz builders.  The tool's goal is to improve the membership site experience and improve student engagement.
  • PopupAlly - This is a WordPress plugin that provides a popup form builder.  Their claim is they provide opt-in forms "without being annoying." It's a nicely built popup building tool.

Today's AmbitionAlly.com now includes different ProgressAlly and PopupAlly features in their Essentials, Pro and Concierge versions.

The Essentials runs $65 a month.  It provides the membership access features for a single site.  Their license does not extend to multiple sites like Memberium's.  You can use Infusionsoft e-commerce with it, but AccessAlly provides its own native Stripe and PayPal support.  It includes interfaces for building trial offers and for creating cart abandonment sequences.  If you select this, you manage your orders in Wordpress using an AccessAlly interface.  This is all native to Wordpress with no dependencies on Infusionsoft e-commerce.

The Essentials includes member directory building features.  With this you can build a user or members directory.  This extends Wordpress user records so you can format them on the site and allow members to search the directory.  As a bonus, they include 5 Wordpress themes.

AccessAlly Pro at $82 monthly includes all the Essential features plus learning management features.  I think of this as a Memberium / LearnDash like solution.   It includes a course building wizard for creating courses structure.  The wizard will create Infusionsoft tags for giving access to content either all at once or as an dripped out content.  It provides progress indicators, certificates, quizzes, homework and private notes functionality.  You can also rewards to members for their accomplishments (i.e., sharing content or completing course content) with a built in credit system you can use to display leader boards.

The Pro includes features for tagging members based on how long they have viewed a video.

AccessAlly Concierge at $249 monthly, which is not yet available per their site, offers split testing and features previously offered in their PopupAlly add-on.  Their site says it includes, "Offer opt-in quizzes by combining all of the AmbitionAlly tools" and comes with an hours consultation.

 

Final Words

As I mentioned from the start, we are a Memberium membership site building team.  We see a strong demand from customers needing support from a team like ours for Memberium membership site work.  While we don't aggressively market ourselves as AccessAlly builders, we don't see a strong demand from clients needing these services.  This could just be a  blind spot given our positioning.

Until recently, AccessAlly wasn't even visible as a player in the Infusionsoft membership platform space.  They weren't actively marketing to Infusionsoft users instead providing their solutions to their community and growing from a grass roots effort

They did purchase a booth at the March ICON and from my discussions with them are hosting a booth at the upcoming November PartnerCon.

AccessAlly is a solution we'll be watching closely.  They seem to be on a good trajectory for a new player in this space.