Membership Training "6-Step Guide to Start Membership Websites" Join Live Webcast
Webinar Wednesday 178 <small>– May 8, 2024</small>

Key Topics:

    New Updates & Releases

  • 4:57 – SHORTCODE: Ability to use |me=first_name] shortcode anywhere
  • 6:36 – DESIGN: New look & better design for related posts sidebar module
  • 7:53 – EXPORT: System will remember your preferred export fields
  • 9:08 – BUTTONS: New CSS class bin-outline to support outline button styles
  • 10:37 – WEBHOOK: New webhook alert when “Member Clicked Email Verification Link”
  • 12:29 – TAGS: In Admin, Create Custom Tags to Pin to Members (soon)
  • 15:38 – DIGITAL PRODUCTS: Supports custom donations and recurring subscriptions (soon)
  • 19:53 – EMAILS: Email Outbox to see emails sent out from your website (soon)
  • Questions & Answers (Part 1)

  • 21:55 – Sell Digital Products & Services add-on for merch?
  • 23:35 – Can members sell products?
  • 27:07 – How are payments collect for digital products?
  • 28:37 – Suggestion: apply preferred export fields to smartlists
  • 29:18 – “Member Clicked Email Verification Link” webhook for custom link?
  • 30:43 – Strategy to recapture lost/inactive members
  • 32:35 – Identify members who unsubscribe from emails?
  • Tip of the Week

  • 33:35 – Newsletter + Emails Overhaul Update
  • 34:04 – Time for an Update…
  • 35:15 – Old System vs. New System
  • 40:48 – Demo of Updates
  • Questions & Answers (Part 2)

  • 50:31 – Suggestion: Auto-tag a member after purchasing
  • 51:13 – Suggestion: Send emails to tags instead of smartlists
  • 51:30 – Suggestion: Auto-send email when a member is tagged
  • 53:06 – Whitelabeling a website admin area?
  • 54:46 – Suggestion: Use proper variable format in emails
  • 55:55 – Changing member profile URL structure resulting in 404 errors?
  • 1:02:55 – Suggestion: Schedule newsletters on an interval basis
  • 1:05:41 – Feedback on initial member pricing?
Brilliant Directories Webinar Wednesday

AI-Generated Transcript – Please excuse any inaccuracies

SHORTCODE: Ability to use |me=first_name] shortcode anywhere 00:04:57

  • Members can now use the |me=first_name] shortcode anywhere on the site, not just the dashboard.
  • The shortcode can be used to display any member variable, such as first name, last name, subscription, company name, or phone number.
  • Examples of how to use the shortcode are provided, including adding it to the main menu or a web page.

DESIGN: New look & better design for related posts sidebar module 00:06:36

  • The related posts sidebar module has been redesigned to show a larger image and a title that takes advantage of the full width of the sidebar.
  • The new design is more visually appealing and should help to encourage users to click on related posts.

EXPORT: System will remember your preferred export fields 00:07:53

  • The system will now remember the preferred export fields when exporting members.
  • This is a quality of life update that will save time for users who frequently export members.

BUTTONS: New CSS class bin-outline to support outline button styles 00:09:08

  • New CSS class bin-outline added to support outline button styles.
  • Currently, manual coding is required to add the outline style to buttons.
  • In the next phase, support for button outline will be added to the design settings and web page builder, providing more control over button appearance.

WEBHOOK: New webhook alert when "Member Clicked Email Verification Link" 00:10:37

  • New webhook alert introduced to notify third-party platforms when a member clicks on their email verification link.
  • This webhook can be used to trigger additional actions, such as sending drip emails or switching to the next email sequence, once a free member verifies their email address.
  • Particularly useful for integrating with third-party platforms like Zapier.

TAGS: In Admin, Create Custom Tags to Pin to Members (soon) 00:12:29

  • Create custom tags in the admin area to pin members.
  • Tag groups can be created to organize tags.
  • Tags can be assigned to members manually or through bulk actions.
  • Search for members with specific tags.
  • Create smart lists of members with specific tags.
  • Send newsletters to members with specific tags.
  • Tags will work with the API for automation.
  • Assign tags based on actions taken outside the site or profile information.
  • Additional updates and improvements coming soon.

DIGITAL PRODUCTS: Supports custom donations and recurring subscriptions (soon) 00:15:38

  • Custom donations and recurring subscriptions will be supported for digital products.
  • Expected release date: before the end of May.
  • New payment type options:
  • Free product.
  • One-time payment.
  • Recurring subscription (monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, annually).
  • Custom donations (monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, annually, one-time).
  • Member Credits add-on:
  • Sell credits to members (not recurring).
  • Option to allow members to use existing credits for purchases.
  • Sidebar module available for payment options.
  • Quantity limits and shopping cart functionality may be implemented in the future.
  • No additional information provided in this section.

EMAILS: Email Outbox to see emails sent out from your website (soon) 00:19:53

  • Email Outbox feature to be released in May.
  • Allows website owners to view all system emails sent from their site.
  • Provides information such as delivery status, open rates, and bounce rates.
  • Helps website owners monitor website activity and user interactions.

Sell Digital Products & Services add-on for merch? 00:21:55

  • Members can purchase physical products like t-shirts and towels.
  • A form on the success page can be used to collect shipping addresses.
  • Digital products add-on is currently only available for admins.

Can members sell products? 00:23:35

  • Members selling products on the website is similar to multivendor marketplace platforms like Etsy or Fiverr.
  • The website collecting the money and paying members is a roadblock.
  • Allowing members to add their PayPal email address for direct payment is an option.
  • Setting up affiliate commissions for members is another option.
  • Managing fulfillment, fraud, and customer complaints adds complexity.
  • Members can have an add-on feature to sell digital products on their page for an additional fee.
  • Members would control fulfillment, payment collection, and customer communication.
  • Buyer beware notices and seller contact information can be displayed on the product page.
  • The website could still get paid first, and members would need a way to connect their PayPal or similar payment method to the site.

How are payments collected for digital products? 00:27:07

  • Payments for digital products are made through the website's payment method, such as Stripe.
  • When a customer selects a product and clicks on the purchase button, a popup will appear with the order summary.
  • Customers can use their existing credit or choose another payment method.

Suggestion: apply preferred export fields to smartlists 00:28:37

  • User suggests applying preferred export fields to smart list syncing, similar to how it's done for regular exports.
  • This would reduce the amount of data sent during smart list syncing.

“Member Clicked Email Verification Link” webhook for custom link? 00:29:18

  • User asks if it's possible to create a custom link that, when clicked, triggers the same actions as the email verification link.
  • This would allow users to create custom links that take members to specific websites or trigger specific actions.

Strategy to recapture lost/inactive members 00:30:43

  • Created a membership level for free listing users who were previously on a higher tier.
  • Offered "old-time" rates to entice them to upgrade.
  • Users who log in see the upgrade message and can switch back to the old rates.

Identify members who unsubscribe from emails? 00:32:35

  • Users who have unsubscribed from emails can be identified by searching for those who have filled out the "unsubscribe" form.
  • The "unsubscribe" form can be found in the "search members" section.

Newsletter + Emails Overhaul Update 00:33:35

  • Updates to the newsletter and email functionality have been bundled into a single update.
  • The update includes:
  • Improved deliverability of emails.
  • Ability to add images and videos to emails.
  • More customization options for emails.
  • Ability to track email engagement metrics.

Time for an Update… 00:34:04

  • Aiming to create a more comprehensive all-in-one solution with Brilliant Director (BD).
  • Goal is to reduce reliance on separate email marketing platforms like MailChimp, SendGrid, Campaign Monitor, or ActiveCampaign.
  • Including new features for more information and flexibility with built-in tools.
  • Aiming to provide 80-90% of the features offered by dedicated email sending solutions.
  • Integrating these features into BD to make it a stronger and better all-in-one platform, especially for email marketing and sending newsletters.

Old System vs. New System 00:35:15

  • The new email and newsletter system offers several improvements, including the ability to create and edit newsletters without selecting a template first, excluding smart lists when sending newsletters, and accessing detailed statistics on newsletter performance.
  • Users can create smart lists based on specific statistics to target recipients in future newsletters.
  • Future scheduling allows users to draft newsletters in advance and select when they should be sent.
  • Flexible monthly sending limits can be increased based on list size at cheaper rates compared to dedicated email marketing platforms.
  • Ongoing improvements will include more detailed reporting and statistics, additional default newsletter templates, and pre-made content blocks specifically designed for newsletters.
  • The old system will remain available until May 31st, 2024, but the new system is recommended moving forward.

Demo of Updates 00:40:48

  • The new email newsletter system offers more granular reporting, including statistics on delivered emails, opens, clicks, and bounces.
  • Users can create smart lists based on these statistics and exclude certain recipients, such as those who reported the email as spam.
  • The system allows users to edit email templates, customize the from name and address, and personalize emails with member-specific information.
  • Enhancements to the email design area are coming soon, including more content blocks and a more user-friendly interface.
  • A preview tab allows users to see a live preview of their email as they work on it.
  • Users can now preview emails from a member's perspective by inputting their member ID in the "first name" variable.
  • The new update allows users to exclude specific smart lists when sending emails, making it easier to send targeted emails to particular segments.
  • The scheduling feature enables users to send emails at a later time.
  • Users can save drafts, send test emails to themselves (up to three recipients), and view test emails as a member would receive them.
  • The new system offers more sending options, including the ability to send emails to the entire list in one batch for larger lists.
  • Users can view detailed statistics and information about sent emails, including the sender, send date, included and excluded lists, and qualifying recipients.
  • The "clone" feature allows users to quickly create a new newsletter by cloning a previous one.
  • There is a beta newsletter update with a "report an issue" button to alert the team of any problems experienced. The "report an issue" button will be available until the end of May.

Suggestion: Auto-tag a member after purchasing 00:50:31

  • Automatically tag a member when they make a purchase.
  • Tag them with a label indicating their purchase, e.g., "Purchased Magazine X" or "Subscriber."

Suggestion: Send emails to tags instead of smartlists 00:51:13

  • Allow sending emails to tags directly instead of having to manually add tags to a smart list and then select the smart list to email.

Suggestion: Auto-send email when a member is tagged 00:51:30

  • Automatically send a pre-set email when a member is tagged.
  • This would create an automated email campaign triggered by specific actions on the website.
  • Donation button and email updates are expected to be released within the next two weeks, by the end of May.

Whitelabeling a website admin area? 00:53:06

  • Whitelabeling an admin area removes Brilliant Directories branding and help center links.
  • To undo white labeling and restore help center links, contact the support team to remove the white label from the admin.
  • White labeling completely removes Brilliant Directories branding from the admin area, except for help documents and chat features.

Suggestion: Use proper variable format in emails 00:54:46

  • When copying variables for use in emails, it is recommended to use all three percentage symbols (%): %variable%, %Variable%, and %VARIABLE%.
  • This ensures that the correct mixed case, title case, or all caps format is maintained when copying and pasting variables.
  • A new feature is being developed that will allow users to insert variables directly from the text editor into the body of an email, eliminating the need to go to the sidebar.

Changing member profile URL structure resulting in 404 errors? 00:55:55

  • Due to URL changes, there has been an increase in 404 errors on the website.
  • To fix the errors, 301 redirects from old URLs to new URLs should be created.
  • The support team can be contacted to update member URLs in bulk to include the new top-level category.
  • Moving forward, the new profile URL format will include the top-level category.
  • A function will update existing members to the new format and create 301 redirects to preserve link juice and avoid page not found issues.

Suggestion: Schedule newsletters on an interval basis 01:02:55

  • Currently, newsletters can only be sent immediately or scheduled for a specific time in the future.
  • The user suggests being able to schedule newsletters to be sent at regular intervals, such as every week or every month.
  • This would be useful for sending out reminders or updates about recurring events or promotions.
  • The user suggests that this could be based on tags or sign-up conditions, but doesn't think Brilliant Directories will implement a full email workflow automation system.
  • The user suggests that the simplest implementation would be to send an email a certain number of days before a specific date, such as the beginning of the month or the 15th of the month.
  • The user acknowledges that this is less sophisticated than full automation, but thinks it would be a useful feature.
  • The user mentions that Brilliant Directories is considering implementing an open campaign that sends a specific email to people who hit a certain tag or are on a smart list, and omits people who have already received that email.
  • Jason confirms that the emails from Brilliant Directories are automated using GoToWebinar.

Feedback on initial member pricing? 01:05:41

  • When setting pricing for the new cycling membership site, research competitor sites to determine the going rate and create a sense of urgency with a discounted founding members promotion.
  • Emphasize the emotional benefits of joining, such as supporting the cycling industry and gaining network visibility, and clearly outline the benefits of each membership plan.
  • Consider setting a higher ticket price justified by the value provided, and offer discounts or incentives for early sign-ups to attract the first 100 members.
  • Avoid pricing too low to maintain a sense of seriousness, and create separate sign-up pages for businesses and cyclists.
  • The next webinar will be held in two weeks, and participants can sign up for a free iPad giveaway by commenting on the pinned post in the Brilliant Directories Facebook group.
  • The webinar replay will be posted shortly in the Facebook group, and subscribers can stay updated by subscribing to the Brilliant Directories YouTube channel.

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  • Trusted by 30,000+ Websites — With over 10 years of experience, we understand the unique needs of online membership communities.
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Making a living off my Brilliant Directories websites

I have been working with different directory web platforms like Wordpress, 6Cube, SEOSamba and others for over 20 years. About three years ago I found out about Brilliant Directories, since then I have built 10 directories. First, the websites and pages are Google friendly right out of the box, this is one of the most important parts of a good platform to me. Second, the software is very easy to use and there is lots of help to build your site... I no longer have a regular job because I am making a living off of my 10 Brilliant Directories.

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