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Memberships & Subscriptions

12 Best Membership Management Software Options (2024)

Having powerful tools to manage your membership site is important. We’ve created a guide to help you choose which software is best for you.

By The Mighty Team

March 20, 2024

13 min read

IN THIS ARTICLE

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    For clubs, companies, and organizations with members, member management is everything. We've moved beyond hard copies of membership lists and spreadsheets (hopefully), but that doesn't always make it easy.


    And if you’re thinking of starting a membership site business online, we’ve got you covered here too.


    In this article, we'll explore:



    • What membership management software is.

    • Why you need it.

    • The main features to look for.

    • The 12 best membership management software options.


    There’s something here for every type of membership business.





    ((toc))


    What is membership management software?


    Membership management software are digital tools that help to navigate the relationships between an organization and its members, making it easier to sort, track, and deliver value. Good member management software should simplify your business, make it more effective, and give you tools to scale, automate, and grow.


    Mighty Networks - Graphics _ Members Paired Light Achievement Academy


    There are different types of membership management software. Depending on your needs, you might need one or more of these:



    • Member-facing software: Software your members use directly, whether to engage with a community, access an account, or join experiences (e.g. a discussion forum, chat & messaging, or virtual events.

    • Back-end membership management software: These are membership management tools your members don't see (e.g. your internal membership lists, organizing members by plan, member contact info, marketing systems, email management).

    • Unified member software: Membership software that gives you the tools for both front-end and back-end member management, serving members content or self-serve material while also helping you track and run the business (out of sight).


    Note that membership management software could be used for an online or offline membership community or business. Which of these are right for you may depend on your business model.


    For example, a fitness center might not have any member-facing software, it might just have tracking tools. A national association might need unified member software.


    Book a Call


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    Why you need membership management software


    Membership management software makes the life of any membership org. easier, giving you organization tools and insights about members' activity. It helps you keep track of memberships, payments, plans, and more. Some software also let you communicate and build relationships with members, handling notifications, messaging, and more. This lets you focus on providing a quality membership experience to members no matter the structure of your membership business.


    Mighty Networks - Graphics - Discovery Course


    We're also looking for autmation and AI as a key component of membership management software, freeing up time for you to focus on what matters. Here are some of the tasks you can automate:



    • Approving potential member applications.

    • Organizing all of your member data into an easily accessible database.

    • Automating membership payments and renewals.

    • Sending mass emails to your members.

    • Detailed access to member activity reports.


    Membership management software won’t completely eliminate these tasks but it will significantly reduce your work. It can also scale your customer service, including your ability to handle complaints and questions. You can also look for integrations with other key software, like your CRM or CMS.


    Book a Call





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    Key features of membership management software


    When we’re looking at membership management software, here are some of our favorite features:




    • Membership applications & fees: Quick and easy purchasing and/or registration to reduce cart abandonments and make it simple to join! Look for application customization and automation tools, and group memberships (if necessary).




    • Membership self-serve plans and renewals: Automating renewals (including reminders), and offering self-serve membership options saves your team time and improves member satisfaction.




    • Online member database and lists: Keep track of members internally (contact info, status, engagement level), and--if applicable--offer ways for members to meet and get to know one another.




    • Mass notifications and messaging: Notify and reach your members, either through a dedicated membership app, integrated email, or chat features, offering reminders about opportunities, events, and more.




    • Membership data and analytics: Memberships create a lot of data. The best membership management software lets see and store data, but should also help you understand it: things like membership trends, activity, etc.




    Mighty Insights - analytics




    • Discussions and Groups: Creating and exchanging content can be the highlight of a membership site. Platforms that let you build a community, host conversations, and create content can lead to an incredible member experience.




    • Bundles and plans: If you're selling memberships, you need ways to build different plans and create sustainable revenue.




    • Virtual events: Most member-facing platforms need opportunities to come together virtually! That's why a virtual event feature is a must-have for a unified member platform.




    • Online courses: Lots of member-facing organizations are looking for ways to provide more value to members (and to increase revenue) and live or pre-recorded online courses can be a way to do this!




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    MN - Graphics - 2024 - AchievementAcademy-Join


    The 12 best membership management software options


    1. Mighty Networks


    Memberships, community, and events on your own app





    Mighty Networks is a unified member platform perfect for a free or paid membership site. It's also ranked the #1 community management platform by G2.


    Mighty brings together a powerful suite of membership tools with content, courses, community, and commerce.


    It's the only platform with people magic—meaning it's designed in a way that encourages member to member engagement. Member connections and collaborations are the secret to a successful community, course, or paid membership.


    Here's just one example of how people magic happens in a Mighty Network—the People Explorer.


    MN - Graphics - 2024 - FaceExplorer-Mobile-2


    It has all the features you need to both serve amazing member experiences and to track members at the back end. You can include pre-recorded courses or live teaching, easy event integration, custom course communities, messaging all members, and Q&As.


    And Mighty's AI membership tool--Mighty Co-Host™--makes it RADICALLY EASIER to wow members, with things like auto member profiles, the "make it better" text editor, icebreaker questions, instant course outlines, application assist, instant landing pages, and more.


    MN - Graphics - 2024 - Livewell-Feed-DarkMode


    Here are the features you get with Mighty:


    Member Management



    • Member applications (automated), directories, and renewals

    • Automated payments in 135 different currencies + bundling

    • Downloadable analytics for member data

    • Plan creation and customization

    • Built-in ConvertKit integration for email


    Member Communities



    • Discussion forums, create exclusive content, post video and text

    • Custom activity feeds and "Discovery"

    • Landing page builder (including automated AI pages)

    • Community AI tools to boost creativity & connection (inc. discussion starters, text improvement, auto member profiles.

    • Member profiles and messaging.

    • Native live-streaming and built-in events.

    • Live and pre-recorded online courses.


    And every Mighty Network comes on our awesome community app, available on iOS and Android.


    Start Your Free Trial


    MN - Graphics - 2024 - Livewell-Join


    2. Mighty Pro


    Custom membership management apps


    MN - GRaphics - 2024 - App Screens - LiveWell


    Mighty Pro is the completely white-label solution of Mighty Networks. It has the same powerful membership features, but it deploys them under your own branded app in the App Store and Google Play store.


    When you build with Mighty Pro, you'll work with the Mighty Pro Team: Account Executives and Community Strategists who have scaled 7-figure creator brands and 8+-figure subscription businesses.


    MN - Graphics - 2024 - Product Apps


    We've built membership apps for Cambridge University, Fortune Magazine, TED, Mindbody, Lifebook, and more!


    If you’re curious about what your organization could build with Mighty Pro, request a call with us and we’ll show you more!


    Book a Call


    3. iMIS


    Back-end only member management


    graphics - imis


    If you're looking for a back-end-only tool to organize memberships, iMIS is a good option. It brings together member management with a powerful CRM tool, letting you collect and track emails, manage your member database, and keep track of payments. It even has native fundraising tools.


    iMIS gives you tools to create member websites too, with a drag-and-drop website builder. And it comes with event management tools: you can track registrations, upload agendas, and build event-specific landing pages. As a bonus, the member portal means members can sign in and manage some of their own information.


    imis


    iMIS is a great tool for back-end member management, and it even lets regional chapters manage their own websites and member lists.


    4. Wild Apricot


    Membership management for nonprofits


    Wild Apricot is another major player in the world of membership management software. They describe themselves as a platform that will help you “attract, engage, and retain” your members, and their cloud-based membership management solutions were designed with nonprofits in mind.


    Wild Apricot - In Person Event


    It has its own website builder that lets clients create a visual landing page for their nonprofit organization, complete with a member portal function. And it has options for regional chapters of organizations to create their own regional websites and track their own members.


    The brand has focused on providing tools to streamline the processes of collecting and analyzing member data. Some features we like are:



    • Automated membership applications.

    • Membership renewals.

    • Online membership database.

    • Live event management.

    • Exclusive content.

    • Mobile App.


    Wild Apricot - In Person Event


    Wild Apricot has many must-have membership management features, and they excel in automation. It’s a great pick if you’re solely looking for a way to streamline interaction with members.


    Wild Apricot is primarily a member-tracking site, with some very limited community features. If you’re looking for membership management that lets you host discussions and engaging content, it’s more limited. It also lacks a course feature, which may or may not matter, depending on your vision for your membership business.


    5. Join It


    Membership management only


    Join it- Image


    Join It has created membership management software that emphasizes automation of repetitive tasks. When you choose Join It, you’re getting a lot of the features we’ve talked about above, but you need to have a lot of the infrastructure laid out already.


    Here are some of the features that Join it has that we like:



    • The ability to put memberships into different categories.

    • Activity log.

    • Automated membership renewal.

    • Online payments and cancellations.

    • Downloadable member analytics.


    While Join It offers a lot in the way of monetization and automation, that’s basically all you’re getting. Their services are much more impersonal compared to Mighty Networks and Wild Apricot. On top of that, they don’t allow you to offer online courses, and there’s no mobile app.


    6. Vagaro


    Membership management for in-person businesses.


    If you’re running an in-person membership business like a gym, Vagaro is a membership management software option for this. It has a bunch of different use cases for bricks-and-mortar business, especially geared for business models with beauty, wellness, and fitness.


    Vagaro


    Vagaro gives you features like sales and incentives, branding, and integration with your front desk software so members can access your services with a phone or key fob. You can also integrate your calendar for appointment booking.


    7. Member Clicks


    Membership management for associations


    Member Clicks is a membership management software that’s built for membership organizations to manage their databases and websites, run marketing campaigns, collect info with forms, and pay membership dues. You can also add features like task automation and a job board.


    Graphics - Member Clicks


    It’s branded as a membership solution for association management, and lets you keep track of your members efficiently. It doesn’t have many community features but does offer a simple discussion forum.


    8. BuddyBoss


    Membership management plugin for WordPress


    Next, we’ll talk about membership management software for WordPress. If you’re a diehard WordPress fan and looking for a plugin to run your membership, BuddyBoss can work for this.


    Buddy Boss


    BuddyBoss comes with content gating and user profiles, and lets you create a membership area for your website. It has the option to track your membership and integrates with LearnDash if you want to sell a digital course. It can also be integrated with payment plugins to sell memberships.


    But do note that most of the options on this list could be used to add a membership component to a WordPress site. BuddyBoss is really only best for those determined to do it with a plugin.


    9. Hivebrite


    Hivebrite was built as an alumni management platform, but it has some good membership management features that can work for any organization.


    Hivebrite community


    With member-facing experiences like a community platform, separate groups, and member profiles, you've got options to create solid member experiences. And it has some good tools for hosting live events: member check-in, ticketing, etc.


    hivebrite live events


    And on the back end, Hivebrite has a good CRM for keeping track of membership status, charging payments or dues, plus analytics for understanding what's working for member engagement. Hivebrite also has some useful integrations, most notably with Salesforce which can give you even more member management power.


    Hivebrite does have a few disadvantages, which move it down this list.



    • It has no native video features: livestreaming or posting video.

    • The community feature is really basic, and it lacks the user experience and powerful options of other membership platforms.

    • It has no virtual event features.

    • It has no course features.


    The result is a platform that's strong on the back end, but really isn't great for member-facing.


    10. MemberSpace


    graphics - memberspace


    Memberspace is another website-specific tool, made for adding membership management to your existing site. It works like a content gate or a paywall, and you can charge people to access content or courses. The software has integrations like Stripe and Zapier, and let you build functional member directories.


    The downside to Memberspace is the lack of a mobile app. And there's a seriously complicated learning curve, you'll need to customize with coding and plugins (many of the options on this list are plug-and-play).


    11. Bettermode


    Bettermode (formerly Tribe) is a membership management tool that can be used to build customer forums on a company website. It gives members a place to share content and join discussions organized into Spaces.


    Tribe- screenshot


    On the backend, it gives you different moderation tools as well as some member analytics functions and search.


    Bettermode doesn't do payments or mobile apps--so it's best for adding a simple (free) member discussion forum to an existing website.


    12. Memberful


    Memberful is a membership management software that gives you a plugin to turn a WordPress-based website into a member management tool.


    memberful


    It makes it relatively easy to sell courses, digital goods, and a basic community. You can build on a custom domain, monetize with Stripe, and even accept different currencies.


    Unfortunately, Memberful has very little by way of managing your back-end member lists. And even the member facing tools are limited--the community and course functions are really basic. Add to this the complication of building on WordPress, and the lack of native apps, and Memberful is last on this list.


    Ready to start?


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    We can’t stress enough how much membership management software can improve the way you work. It’s great that you’ve been thinking about how you can start your own membership site and hopefully, this guide will help you get started.


    But using membership management software to create your website isn’t just about automating the processes of your business. It’s also about making it easier for you to create a space for your online community to convene and interact with you and your fellow members.


    We hope this list has you excited for the added value you can bring to your members!


    And if you want to give Mighty Networks a try, you can check it out free for 14 days. It gives you the tools you need to create a powerful membership business and community, no other software required.


    Or, book a call with us and we'll show you how to get member management software on your own app!


    Book a Call

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