Year in review: Memberful’s recap of 2021

Memberful rebrand

As we launch into 2022, we thought it would be fun to recap all the work we did together last year. Although most of the updates mentioned below were made by our product team, none of this would have been possible without the amazing insights from the rest of the Memberful team to help us communicate about launches, update help docs, write blog posts, and share important feedback.

And of course, none of this would be happening without you, our readers and customers! Thanks so much for your support last year and always. Let's take a stroll down memory lane!

January

Passwordless login

When looking to achieve a faster checkout flow, we channeled world-renowned organization expert, Marie Kondo, and asked ourselves the question: “Do passwords spark joy?” and the answer from our customers’ members was a resounding “No.”

So we removed the need for members to create a password during checkout, making the signup process smoother and quicker than ever without compromising on security.

Passwordless accounts

Read more about passwordless account management >

February

Website redesign

We completely redesigned and built our new marketing site, including new content, a repositioning of our brand and a new visual identity thanks to artist/photographer Maren Schabhüser.

Memberful website redesign

Read more about the Memberful rebrand >

Onboarding

We also revamped our onboarding and setup guide. This will make it even quicker for those of you launching or relaunching a membership site!

Onboarding

Email validation

In February, we also launched improved email validation — never worry about typos and deliverability again! — as well the ability to search for gifts in the admin.

March

Restricting content by category or tag in WP Plugin

2021 saw lots of great improvements to our WP plugin, which is so crucial for many of you. This latest update gives you the ability to restrict large swathes of content automatically, such as all posts in a category, in a couple of clicks.

Restrict by category

Read more about restricting content by category or tag >

Selecting group plan seats in checkout

We added this long-awaited feature to select group seats in the checkout. That means no more waiting until after purchase!

Group seats in checkout

Upgrades, downgrades, crossgrades

And we closed the month out by adding the ability for your members to change plans (upgrade, downgrade, or crossgrade) — even if they’re subscribed to a plan that allows them to pay a custom amount.

April

Choosing what you pay (CWYP) in the checkout

What's that? Even more checkout updates? Yup, we eliminated the need for you to do custom development to fully enable CWYP prices by adding the ability to choose a custom amount within the checkout form.

Choose what you pay in checkout

Express checkout

Oh yes, we kept making our checkout as good as can be. The work culminated in us moving to one-click checkout, powered by Apple Pay or Google Pay as per your members’ preference.

Express checkout

May

Address auto-complete in the checkout

In our mission to remove any unnecessary friction during checkout, we added auto-complete suggestions as members-to-be enter their addresses! This makes checkout faster and easier and lowers the likelihood of mistakes or inaccurate addresses — especially useful for those of you who ship merchandise out to your members.

Address auto-complete

Romanian language support

In May we also added Romanian language support and added the ability for members to sort members-only downloads in their accounts.

June

Easier member management

Over the summer months, we launched an amazing set of updates to the member management areas in the admin. In June, the team added support for private notes for each member profile, making it easier for you to offer great hospitality and customer service. Make 'em feel at home!

Member profile private notes

Adding third-party features to our own WordPress plugin

We set out to integrate the functionality provided by some third-party plugins we used to recommend so that you no longer need to install these extra plugins on your site when using Memberful. We incorporated the functionality of the ‘Hide the admin toolbar’, ‘User menus’ and ‘Block access to the admin dashboard’ plugins to smooth out the WordPress experience.

Wordpress settings

Checkout user interface and member filtering

In addition to the plugin upgrades, we took another look at the UI craft of our checkout page and the team took some new passes at it to clean it up. Finally, we added the ability to filter your member list by All-Access Pass in the Memberful dashboard.

July

Member integration status in the admin area

As if June’s full-page redesign and private notes function wasn’t enough, the team also built an entirely new view to show the status of all integrations for a member. Now you can proactively troubleshoot!

Member integration statuses

Sailthru integration

While this was happening, other folks were building an entire new integration with Sailthru. No big deal, just one of the most popular enterprise-level email service providers (ESPs).

VAT compliance

In addition, we shipped a number of improvements to our invoices to ensure we were keeping up with all VAT compliance requirements for members and site owners. Important stuff!

August

Custom domains

Did we stop there? Heck no! We built support for fully custom domains for your membership sites — now our Premium customers can eliminate all mentions of our name and branding if they wish! This makes us a fully custom solution — Memberful who?

Custom domains

September

Collecting more information after the checkout

Another all-time top request has been to add support for more custom fields in our checkout. Before, we had one single text field but we levelled up by letting you create an entire form with custom data types! All this information is included in our API and webhooks.

Collect more information after checkout

Coupon URLs and more member filtering

Also in September we added the ability to offer coupons via URL only so you can incentivize sales with promotions and discounts — without a coupon field in sight. We finished the month by adding a function to filter your member list in the dashboard by free signups.

October

New Coupon and Discount system

The team redesigned the entire UI to be easier to use and added a new way to view coupon usage for better promotion tracking.

Along with the design changes, we added the ability to set start dates and end dates for when coupons are valid, and choose whether to apply the coupon to new or existing purchases or both. Plus, we created streamlined way for you to create unique coupons in bulk via the API!

Coupons and discounts

Communicating with your members on platform: Posts

You can now communicate with your members directly in Memberful, with a fully paid members-only newsletter and blog. You can post immediately, or schedule publishing to your website and sending newsletters to your audience, and everything works seamlessly.

Communicate with your members

Read more about paid newsletters, known as Posts >

Separate phone number from address

Hopefully pleasing so many of you who've asked over the years, we took an axe to the chain connecting phone number collection and mailing addresses. No more!

November

Easier management of billing and plans

Following that, we rebuilt the entire plan-management area in our admin. You can now upgrade to our Premium Plan on your own as well as seamlessly downgrade, manage your payments, and see your payment history.

Billing and plans

Read more about our enhanced billing >

Email templates

We also created a new, automated email template that can be sent to a member two days after they disable automatic membership renewal. This will let you gather valuable insights about your members and help to reduce churn.

December

We spent the final month of 2021 on polishing, maintenance, bug fixes, and small feature requests. The quick-fire burst of member management improvements created features that can:

  • Show the URL where members can access your account, to make it easier for you to provide support
  • Show the Discord authorization URL in the admin, to make it easier to help members get access to your communities
  • Show the group subscription invitation link on the group subscription manager's profile in the admin, to make it easier to provide support for group managers

We also improved gifting capabilities, so you can now:

  • Change the email address of the gift recipient (even after the delivery date has passed)
  • Re-send a gift invitation in case your member missed the original delivery

Finally, we improved the member-facing podcast subscription user interface (UI) to better handle multiple podcasts, and to make it easier to subscribe when purchasing on desktop.

All of this doesn't include bug fixes and technical infrastructure improvements, of which there were tons. By my count, we shipped 1,250+ changes this year. That's 3.5 improvements to our product, every day, for an entire year. If that isn't worth celebrating, I don't know what is.

2021 was a heck of a year for us here at Memberful. We can't wait for 2022!

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