The membership billing feature introduces a new way to help you monetize your community. We know that monetizing traffic on niche social websites can take some work, especially with advertising–based methods, so we’ve decided to build in some tools that offer alternatives to those of you who would prefer to monetize your community without (or in addition to) advertising. Use these tools to create subscription plans for each member level and charge for access to certain parts of the community.
Manage Payment Gateways
To enable a payment gateway, go to the Billing > Gateways menu item in your admin panel. Currently two gateways are supported, 2Checkout and Paypal. To enable the Gateway you wish to use click ‘Edit’ and follow the instructions provided to set up the Gateway.
The 2checkout gateway supports payments from more countries and offers excellent personal service to SE clients – they also give users the option to pay via PayPal if they wish. 2checkout charges a $10.99 monthly account fee, but we’ve partnered with them to waive the first month fee for SocialEngine clients. Visit 2checkout’s SocialEngine page to sign up. To ensure that your first free month with 2checkout (a $10.99 value!), visit www.2checkout.com, click SIGN UP NOW, complete the application, and then enter the promo code “se2co11” into the promo code field to take advantage of this special offer today!
If you would prefer to use PayPal instead of 2checkout and don’t yet have an account, you can create one at PayPal’s website.
After you have enabled a payment gateway, go to the Billing > Settings menu to manage international currency settings and initial subscription status. These settings will affect all members in your community.
Currency. Select the type of currency you would like to use.
Initial Subscription Status. Use this option to enable subscriptions immediately after payment, or wait until the gateway signals that the payment has completed successfully. The fraud check process may take anywhere from 20 minutes to 4 days, depending on the circumstances and the gateway.
Manage Subscription Plans
To create new subscription plans and manage existing plans, go to the Billing > Plans menu in your admin control panel.
- Enter a title and description for your plan.
- Select a member level. The member will be placed into this level upon subscribing to this plan. If left empty, the default level at the time a subscription is chosen will be used.
- Enter the amount you would like to charge the member. This will be charged once for one-time plans, and each billing cycle for recurring plans. Setting this to zero will make this a free plan. (Price, Recurrence, and Duration parameters cannot be edited after creation. If you wish to change these, you will have to create a new plan and disable the current one.)
- Enter a billing cycle for members of this plan (For example: one-time, monthly, yearly, etc.)
- Select the billing duration for this plan. For one-time plans, the plan will expire after the period of time set here. For recurring plans, the user will be billed at the above billing cycle for the period of time specified here.
- Enable or disable the option for members to choose this plan. Disabling this plan will grandfather in existing plan members until they pick a new plan.
- Select whether this plan will be visible to your members upon signup or only after signup.
To manage individual transactions, go to the Billing > Transactions menu in your admin panel. Select a transaction from the list, or use the search box to look through the member name, username, email, transaction ID, and order ID.
To manage subscriptions for each member, go to the Billing > Subscriptions menu. Select a subscription from the list, or use the search box to look through member name, username, and email.
Clicking ‘Details’ will allow you to view subscription and transaction details.
Click ‘Edit’ to modify subscription status (Active, Payment Pending, Cancelled Refunded, etc.) This will not have any effect on existing transactions. For example, changing this to “cancelled” will not refund any transactions or cancel any recurring payment profiles, however if it was previously “active,” the member will have to create a new subscription. Please use the details link on Manage Subscriptions page to perform these actions.