(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.


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.

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.


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


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

Case Study – American Ceramic Society’s Implementation of eDirectory to Increase Member Engagement

It’s not too often we have the opportunity to talk about the work we do with non profits and member-based organizations. When you think of online directories and the implementation of eDirectory, you often think of local search sites, buyer’s guides, yellow page sites, dining guides or vendor/supplier directories that are focused on driving traffic and generating revenue.

While most of our users are focused on revenue and site traffic, non profit organizations use eDirectory as a way to improve member engagement. Most not for profit industry organizations, like the American Ceramic Society, have a strong editorial presence in their field, producing magazines, journals, yearly reports and other online content. The other facet to their organization is very much member focused. These organizations work to understand issues going on in their industry that may be causing their members pain, and providing the resources and tools to help advance the industry as a whole.

When I learned that the American Ceramic Society was using our software, I was interested in sitting down with their Director of IT and Web Services, Scott Freshour, to understand how eDirectory worked within their organization. I found that after developing an internal system, and working with one of our competitors, they came to us to try and develop a advertising and marketing vehicle to their members, but also, develop the foundation for a directory that would also be printed to a paper-based directory.