(Stripe) How to get new Members Offering Trials

Stripe – How to get new Members Offering Trials

Stripe is one of the most powerful payment processors on the planet and was added as a payment gateway option for our global user base during the newest v11.1 release. What clients love about Stripe is that it processes payments in over 100 different currencies, allows our clients to manage all of their own finances within the site manager, and also provides for free trials… which are a great marketing tool for growing your online community.

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Once you have set up your Stripe account in the eDirectory dashboard, you will be able to set up your free trial options in your levels and plans. Set number of days, weeks or months under free trial giving members enough time to use the system, and begin to reap the benefits of becoming a member of your community.

But I want to monetize my site. Why would I want to offer free trials?

By offering free trials – this helps to quickly populate your new directory website with member listings and content. A more populated website with quality content will help build credibility, add value and begin to drive traffic to your site. By populating your site with useful information and displaying an active, popular website, this will help to boost user engagement which naturally leads to paid membership subscriptions and website monetization opportunities.

Once your site becomes established, you can then begin to monetize (link to monetizing your website blog) your website and reap the sweet rewards of your investment and hard work.

The most important steps to achieving your online revenue goals all start with growing your online directory community. Seeing is believing! With free trials, members can see how it all works, how easy it will be to add great content and get new leads for business.

You can even offer special upgrade deals to convert them into paying customers. Once they see how you curate your brand, content, and marketing, they will be more so enticed to stick around and grow with you!

3 Benefits of offering Free Trial Sign Ups:

1. Start Free and Encourage Paid Upgrade at a Later Date

By offering a free trial, sign up new members or allow for on-site sign ups via eDirectory’s built in self-service sign up system. Once trial members are given the opportunity to ‘test out’ the functionality of your directory, view the site report activity and see the number of leads coming in or coupons being redeemed, it’s hard to argue the value of the listing and much easier to close the sale or even upsell to a larger plan.

2. Free Trials help to Populate Your Directory With Quality Listings

When new browsers visit your directory and place a search for data, they expect to find results. Having your free members create listings and contribute content will show that your directory is active and successful. This is also where the FOMO (fear of missing out) factor comes in to play. If a business owner sees their competitor listed on your directory, they too will want to be listed and become a member of your community to remain competitive.

3. Free Members Create Quality Content and Add Value to Your Website

You want your directory to have the inherent appearance of a healthy and thriving website community – a site that provides educational and helpful information. Each member of your community will have the opportunity to add this type of content via listings, articles, events and blog postings. This is not only helpful to visitors, but it’s also great for SEO.

So, if you are an existing client and would like the Stripe feature added to your site, simply request an upgrade here, contact your account executive, or chat with us anytime as www.eDirectory.com ! Thank you and happy hunting with free trials for your site!

Creates a dialogue – once the free trial has been created, it will create a dialogue between you and your members… you can reach out to collect any feedback or make them a special offer. Once the free trial is over, it also creates the same dialogue allowing directory owners to have a meaningful conversation or learn more about their customer needs.

If you’re an active client and would like Stripe added to your site, please click the upgrade request form link to get that started, contact your assigned account executive or create a support ticket. New clients may request a demo call or pick the plan that works best for you and then select LAUNCH right from the pricing page.

eDirectory vs WordPress Themes

eDirectory vs WordPress Themes

5 reasons why eDirectory crushes WORDPRESS

As you begin to plan and research creating and building a profitable online directory, you will find that there are a few options for you and may wonder – ‘what is the best solution for me?’

If you are contemplating using WordPress themes and plug-ins, there are some pros and cons to consider.

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If you are new to using WordPress, there may be a bit of a learning curve. Although getting started with WordPress has a relatively low cost as an open source code, to build on the website it begins to add up and create a lot of moving parts. Many of the reliable WordPress themes are offered at a premium price – same is to be said for plug-ins.

eDirectory.com is a platform specifically designed for building and managing an online directory. The skilled development team has thought through all of the details needed to build a fully-functional website. Every feature that a directory website would need are built into the platform and eDirectory offers several modern and attractive themes to help get you started.

Here are the 5 key reasons to consider eDirectory over WordPress Themes:

1. Support

With eDirectory, you have a TEAM of over 50 techs, reps, and trainers to make sure you have the greatest opportunities for success – whether that means squashing a bug, scheduling a training session, or getting some help with how it all works…. No need to chase down a developer or have staff on payroll for basic maintenance or consultation. You have your account executive, support team, project managers, and trainers all ready to assist you.

2. Product

With WordPress, you may end up with a sort of frankenstein website with lots of controlled moving parts by various 3rd party developers that may or may not keep current with the constant security updates of an open-source platform like WordPress, meaning you could go weeks with broken items on page with no sign of help in sight. So in the end, just to make things work, you may bog down your site and find yourself trying to piece things together with bandaids, duct tape and hot glue.

3. Scalability

Many people launch with WordPress for the low sticker price, but once your clients start gaining traction with WordPress and eventually grow out of it, clients experience high-switching costs to a platform better-suited for growth and scalability like eDirectory.com…. Many clients experience extended delays and issues with migrating data, service interruptions, customer dissatisfaction from a broken site, and overall growing pains that can easily be avoided by launching with eDirectory from the get-go… SO for clients with serious revenue goals and long-term growth plans, and less headaches so they can focus on activities that add value rather than operational development, clients choose eDirectory.

4. Credibility

Visitors can spot a WordPress site from a mile away. There’s nothing special about a $99 theme that makes your brand look credible. With eDirectory.com, our clients LOVE the integrated app builder, all the essentials under one roof like payment processing, hosting, and member management…. And your online community will appreciate all of the features you’re able to provide with our fully-integrated online directory solution to provide a one-stop shop for growing your revenue goals. When people see you have an unbranded, mobile app, they know you’ve invested and are serious

5. Growth & Custom Development

As your online community grows and you start to receive actionable feedback, you might find there are features or functionalities unique to your community that you need to keep growing and adding value to your brand. With WordPress, you may encounter the same frankenstein scenario that makes it more difficult to keep it all together without a fulltime developer at an average hourly rate of $100 per hour. We have an entire DEPARTMENT of custom development services to add what’s most important to your expansion plans

eDirectory offers a stable, secure hosted solution so you can rest assured your investment is in good hands. With so many built-in features and functionality, the website need not get ‘bloated’ with additional plug-ins and scripts therefore leading to faster load times.

By choosing eDirectory as your directory platform, you can be up and running AND generating revenue quickly and easily.

To help you get started, contact an account executive to discuss your needs and ask about our onboarding plans to help you get jump on your new venture!

Benefits of Creating a Niche Directory

Benefits of Creating a Niche Website Directory

Building a niche directory can prove to be a very profitable venture indeed! With dedicated focus, a niche website is easier to launch and quick to attract paying advertisers, build community members and become profitable faster than other types of directories.

A niche website can be based on a specific subject, industry or region. The secret behind this business model is knowledge of your niche and an understanding of your target advertisers and readers. Your website content needs to be viewed as useful to attract readership and your advertising plans need to create a solution to a perceived problem or challenge your advertisers may be facing.

Niche Directory Market Size

Rather than casting a huge national or global net trying to encompass anyone and everyone, niche websites allow you to focus your energies on one particular market and subject and do it well!

  • Start out small – walk before you run and allow yourself to make your mistakes when you’re small so that you can get organized for success as you eventually grow
  • Focus on a smaller market that will give you more precise targeting options and better chances to achieve greater ROI on your investments
  • Create important partnerships early on that will create more opportunities down the road

Niche Directory Identity

It’s very difficult to be all things to all people. Honing in on your brand voice and identity unique to your niche is key early on.

  • Position yourself as an expert here becoming a key resource to a select group
  • Once your identity has been realized, this will help make generating content more consistent
  • Building on authority breeds trust which will help with growing your credibility

Niche Directory Location

If you can, start in one specific location or region and then begin to expand your reach once you have a good handle on your new business and better understand the needs of your community.

  • Master your back yard first – prove the concept where it is easiest to relate, travel, or be more proactive
  • Niche prospects will be in a more definable location across the web as well, as subscribers and consumers of industry or trade publications, geographic areas, or online groups or communities are in one “place” since it is a niche, it is easier to get yourself noticed

By building a niche directory website, you become a one-stop shop for bringing your community together and growing your online directory revenue goals. Focus on adding value, curating your niche community, and listening to their feedback as it will help you reach your goals more quickly.

How To Leverage Your Community to Create Content for You

Content is King! Keep in mind that directory websites are unique from other types of online enterprises. With online directory websites clients have an amazing opportunity to leverage the power of dozens, hundreds, and even thousands of members (depending on your target market) to achieve their recurring online revenue goals.

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At eDirectory.com, we help clients leverage this powerful concept to create recurring revenue that grows with time, knowing that each new member represents more opportunity for growth.

Given the exponential power of social media, globalization, and multiple revenue streams, eDirectory.com will show you to turn this latent opportunity into active and passive revenue, so long as you understand how to leverage your community to create content for you with these 3 simple steps:

Offer incentives for clients to share valuable content

  • Feature them on your social media after sharing content
  • Give free banner ads or months of service for contributions
  • Upgrade their listing to your premium membership level for free and turn value-adding clients into brand ambassadors

Stay in touch with your community to create more opportunities

  • Send out newsletters with the integrated email system to encourage activity
  • Create online groups and communities on popular social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google+. Share what you see here to other platforms to grow your presence and attract industry-specific contributors
  • Create a referral program that invites your first members to mention your site

Be active in monitoring what your competitors and prospects are doing

  • Your community exists outside of your directory site, so stay in touch with what is going on in your industry or target market to be at the forefront. The more people you attract with authenticity the faster you will achieve critical mass and have numerous members adding content to your site
  •  Talk to your prospects about how they would best like to participate. Identify patterns and try to replicate this across your various methods of outreach. The more people you attract with similar needs, the faster you find your niche and get more clients onboarded that will help you grow by adding and sharing.
  • Early on, make your key goal to have your members and visitors “share”. A conservative measure of unique active social media accounts can have hundreds of followers, if you get shares you create the opportunity of impressions across thousands of possiblevisitors and members. The more times your community members “share” items across social media, the more likely you are to achieve your idea of “critical mass” with your online directory revenue goals.

Tapping into your community of experts to add content to your website creates lasting relationships, offers additional exposure for your advertisers and adds value to your website. Reach out today and start adding valuable content to your website.

See what’s new with eDirectory v11.1

Once again we are very proud to announce the release of a brand new version of eDirectory: the v11.1.  We’ve prepared a hard-hitting lineup for you: new features on Base Code, added Stripe, 3 new layouts to choose from, SEO improvements, and much more made to meet your expectations!

Check out what´s new on eDirectory v11.1!

Stripe – New Payment Gateway Integration & Free Trials

eDirectory has added Stripe to the list of payment gateways so site managers will now be able to not only add this as a payment option but Stripe users also can now offer the ability offer free trials to any of your listing levels and plans. Please note that the trial feature is exclusive to Stripe.

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New Theme Updates

Choose from the beautifully re-designed default theme or choose from 3 additional themes, each of which have their own home page look and feel with unique display and behavior options too: The Medical Guide, the Restaurant or Dining Guide and the Wedding Guide.

Enhanced Membership Level Editor

Strong enhancements to the Membership Level Editor which now include the ability to associate classified ads and multiple deals or coupons with their listing owners. Classified ads are perfect for job listings, merchandise, services and real estate. We are sure advertisers will love these new updates!

Enhanced Email Editor

eDirectory.com´s email editor now allows the site manager to design and send email notifications automatically right from the platform with your personalized headers and footers. Modify your automated email notification with shiny new templates and updated default messages.

Are you ready to see your site online with v11.1? Sign Up today!

Are you already a customer that wants the latest and greatest? Request your upgrade!

Read here the full list of enhancements of  v11.1

Medical Directory Theme – eDirectory.com

Since the release of eDirectory v11.1 our customers are able to select from 4 beautifully re-designed templates, one of them is the the Medical Directory Theme.

The Medical Directory Theme

The Medical Directory theme is designed to promote the health and wellness industries and features. This theme puts recent reviews front and center – an important feature when choosing a healthcare professional.

Of course you can use this theme for ANY business or industry and customize to meet your needs. All of the image sizes are consistent between themes so you may choose to switch themes at any time and will not lose the integrity or compromise the design of your directory website.

Proposal-Theme-Medical-2Interested on having this Medical Directory Theme? If you are new on eDirectory, signup today! Already a customer and ready for v11.1? Request your upgrade!

 

Wedding Directory Theme – eDirectory.com

Since the release of eDirectory v11.1 our customers are able to select from 4 beautifully re designed templates, one of them is the the Wedding Directory Theme.

The Wedding Directory Theme

The Wedding Guide Theme easily allows site managers to build a beautiful wedding guide to promote wedding planners, venues, photographers, caterers and more.  This layout minimizes the category links.

Of course you can use this theme for ANY business or industry and customize to meet your needs. All of the image sizes are consistent between themes so you may choose to switch themes at any time and will not lose the integrity or compromise the design of your directory website.

eDirectory Wedding Directory ThemeInterested on having this Wedding Directory Theme? If you are new on eDirectory, signup today! Already a customer and ready for v11.1? Request your upgrade!

Restaurant Directory Theme

Since the release of eDirectory v11.1 our customers are able to select from 4 beautifully re designed templates, one of them is the the Restaurant Directory Theme.

The Restaurant Directory Theme

The Restaurant or Dining Guide allows site managers to prominently display featured listings for optimal exposure.

Of course you can use this theme for ANY business or industry and customize to meet your needs. All of the image sizes are consistent between themes so you may choose to switch themes at any time and will not lose the integrity or compromise the design of your directory website.

Interested on having this Restaurant Directory Theme? If you are new on eDirectory, signup today! Already a customer and ready for v11.1? Request your upgrade!

3 Tips on Getting Your First 25 Paying Members

Paying Members are a great way to generate recurring revenue to your online business. Every journey begins with a first step…and every business starts with its first clients.  The most important thing you can do when getting started is to focus on growth in the most cost-effective manner.

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Apply a little growth hacking and know that every hour counts in a start up and your directory site is no different.  Directory sites are unique in that you only need a small number of paying monthly or annual members to achieve profitability.  As your community grows so will your brand.  Use these proven tactics to focus on what is most important early on which is growth and proof of concept.  Forget the minutiae for now and focus your efforts with a bulls-eye.

The eDirectory platform offers plenty of value right out-of-the box to handle your day-to-day operations while you focus on doing what you’re good at – adding value where needed most.  Here are the 3 best tips you can use to get your first 25 paying members:

Start with your personal and professional network

  • Offer free premium listings to your network for 3 months with no strings attached
  • Create special offers with promo codes (free banner ads, social media mentions, and free leads)
  • Post on your social media to invite people to join and contribute to your community

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Make your first members your greatest priority and learn everything you can from them

  • Treat each new lead as your most important client and offer assistance with set up from the start, show them how easy it is to claim their listing and get started on adding valuable content to your community
  • Reach out to them regularly to learn about any other opportunities that may exist like partnerships, sponsorship opportunities, and cross promotions. You may be surprised!
  • Be flexible with the feedback you receive. Learn what you can and adapt as needed. What you originally thought was important may not be the case once you begin to gain traction. Use the data to make informed decisions that will grow your original concept into what works for the most important stakeholders – your first clients!

Define your brand characteristics, value proposition, and organize yourself for success

  • Get started on creating valuable content for your site. Members love to see directory owners active and contributing to the growth of their community. Share knowledge, provide valuable insight, and respond regularly. You will set the foundation for trust and credibility.
  • Create social media profiles on the platforms that compliment your brand best. Don’t try to be everything to be everybody, instead, focus on a niche and learn as you grow. Master your local market and make your mistakes while you’re small so you can get organized and poised for growth.
  • Visualize how you see your site adding value to its members. Understand that you are offering an additional opportunity to advertise, be a part of a growing/curated community, and that the members on your site have been vetted and approved by you…. That you are available to weigh in on important matters to your community and that their interests

5 ways to Monetize your Online Directory Website


Photo credit: free pictures of money via Visualhunt / CC BY

Creating an online directory brings an amazing opportunity to generate a recurring revenue stream. From using the built-in payment tools that eDirectory provides, to offering links to 3rd party affiliate products and services – when it comes to monetizing your website, opportunity abounds!

Here are a few ideas of how to get started making money with your website:

Paid Listings on Your Directory

Directory owners can easily create their own plans and pricing for listings across their directory. Use eDirectory’s powerful built-in tools to create up to 4 different listing levels. From simple text listings that can be offered inexpensively, to offering showcase listings which are premium listings designed to be an SEO-friendly micro-site featuring details of the business, image gallery, video, lead capture forms and more. These showcase listing can be priced at a premium based on the size of your audience, niche market and location.

Offer fully-managed or self-service advertising and make it easy for interested advertisers to sign up on your website. eDirectory’s platform tools make this easy to set up and display on your website.

See Pricing Listings, Banners and More for a Directory Site

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Paid Banner Advertising and Sponsorship

Banner ad space on a popular website can be sold as prime real estate at a premium rate.  eDirectory’s full-featured banner system allows site managers to easily offer self-service banner ad sales as well as fully managed accounts. Display banners on a home page are of high value or select categories, modules (events, articles…) or locations. Enhance your banner advertising functionality with the Geo-Targeted Banner Ad modification tool from the Mod Store and which will add even more value and put location-specific advertisements in front of your site visitors

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Sell Leads

What’s more valuable that a hot lead? Selling leads may take a bit more work but the pay-off is worth it especially for high-traffic, niche directory websites. By creating general lead capture forms on your website as well as lead capture forms on premium listings, interested visitors can request more information or request a quote.  In turn, the site manager can then offer to sell per lead or offer a subscription to a lead generation pool.

Monetize with Google Adsense

You want to monetize your website with Google Adsense to increase the bottom line for your directory website.  Google Adsense uses search technology to place ads on websites based on keywords and content of the website.  This can be a great way to produce extra income as the ads displayed will be very relevant to your visitors and Google will be sure to display the highest paying ads.

Google makes the process quite simple – once you sign up for a free Google Adsense account, you will complete the forms and be supplied with some HTML code to add to their websites.

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Affiliate Offers

Marketing with affiliate offers is a very effective way to monetize your website traffic. It allows you to present your visitors with relevant offers for products or services that they are likely to be interested in. For instance, if you have a niche directory website about skiing, find an affiliate offer that would be of interest to your visitors, such as air travel (think Expedia…) hotels and lodging, skis and snowboards or skiwear.

How this works – you would place a supplied banner or text link on your website that contained your affiliate link and directed the visitor to the offer. If they sign up for the offer, you’d earn an affiliate referral payment or commission.

Check with your current preferred vendors or partners to see if they offer an affiliate program. To research additional options, please see the large affiliate providers such as Share-a-sale.com, CJ.com (Commission Junction), Rakuten LinkShare, AvantLink or Amazon Associates.

Social Media Mentions

If you have worked hard to build a huge following on social media – why not capitalize on that and offer your advertisers a way to ride your coattails.  You can price out what you would charge your advertisers and sponsors to post messages promoting their products, services or specials at a premium price!

Content is still king.  To add value to your website and to increase your monetization options, be sure to create great quality content that will drive traffic and lead visitors to your website… and keep them coming back!