Do you want to have a MEMBERSHIP WEBSITE that can help you sell, teach and engage your students so that you’ll be able to monetize your expertise online ?
Did you know that AccessAlly can ‘communicate’ deeply into your marketing automation tools like Drip, ActiveCampaign, Convertkit, Infusionsoft (Now Keap), and Ontraport?
Are you ready to join the online learning boom?
If you are a LinkedIn user, you’ve probably seen “LinkedIn Learning” which was actually Lynda.com that LinkedIn has acquired way back in 2015 for $1.5 billion.
Why am I sharing these numbers?
I’m really excited because if you’re thinking of using AccessAlly (or any type of membership site solution), you’re going to want to take your bite from this $325 billion pie! Imagine just 0.05% of that chunk!
But before we continue on this AccessAlly review, you may be wondering why should YOU even listen to me.
Who am I to review AccessAlly?
Hi, my name is Ryan Cruz, and I’ve worked in the Digital Marketing Industry since 2010 generating traffic and conversions, building websites, sales funnels and membership sites for various niches and industries.
I’m a father and husband, based here in Ontario, Canada but was originally from the tropical country of tech-savvy people, the Philippines!
I’m also an AccessAlly Certified Expert (though they call some of us now as AccessAlly Advocate Partners), a Drip Marketing Automation Expert (there’s only a few of us), a ConversionXL Certified PRO, and A Full Stack Marketer certified in Email Marketing by DigitalMarketer.com
On a quick-note, I'm not here to collect Certifications but I’m here for RESULTS for my own online business and for the clients that I’ve worked with.
But enough about me.
I’m here because I want to HELP YOU decide whether you need and want to get AccessAlly for your online business.
My goal is to be able to ‘dissect’ and ‘reveal’ most of the important and technical aspects of AccessAlly so that if you decide to go with it, you won’t be in for surprises.
But in case you got stuck, you can always reach out for HELP here.
The big problem with most membership websites
While the Online Learning Industry as a whole is gaining such a BIG momentum, people are becoming less and less engaged in online memberships.
There are some studies that say that average membership or subscription member cancels around 3-6 months. I’d say that it could even be shorter for a lot people (less than 30 days).
What's the #1 problem of any online membership site?
The number 1 problem is the retention of a paying subscriber, followed by engagement or the actual use of the membership website.
Unlike traditional schools were there is usually a “class check of attendance”, an online membership course or program is usually self-paced and self-motivated.
There is no one who would hold you accountable if you didn’t study the online course you’ve just bought.
Personally, I can’t recall how many times I’ve bought a course or product that I’ve logged in once or twice in it’s entire lifetime.
Fortunately, I’ve seen AccessAlly solve this problem wonderfully. Let me tell you how they’ve done it.
And I’m proof that their method works, because in less than 4 days, I’ve finished their AccessAlly Advocate Training program which was supposed to be finished in 7 weeks!
(Look, here’s their support staff telling me that I’m literally “speeding” up the training!)
The truth is, I can’t help it.
I just went from module to module, lesson to lesson. I only stopped when I was really sleepy. I think I was able to finish all 7 Weeks of Training within 3 or maybe 4 days.
In the next section, I’ll show you why I’ve shared this story and how I “became a product of the product!”…
How gamification and progression tracking helped solve this problem
If you haven’t guessed it yet on why I was ENGAGED and COMMITTED to finish the AccessAlly Advocate Training in just a few days instead of weeks, it’s because they’ve cleverly added gamification and progression tracking to it.
Here’s just a SNEAK PEEK of a Homework Feature Inside AccessAlly (More details on this below).
I can upload files, screenshots, and then a moderator can come back for Feedback and comments.
This is very powerful because it’s creates a deep level of engagement and TRUST with your students. I know, because that’s what it did for me.
What is Gamification?
Gamification is simply making the course more interactive, educational and fun. Instead of the traditional method of ONE-WAY communication in most online courses, wherein you don’t participate in any of the lesson, Gamification is the opposite of that.
One example of Gamification is through putting up Quizzes in every module or lesson.
Quizzes are VERY effective as membership tools. In fact, it’s because of the Quizzes and the next strategy why I’m able to quickly finish my AccessAlly Advocate training quickly.
How to track your course progress?
Have you ever experienced something incomplete and have wanted to complete it as soon as you can?
Tracking your progress is a way to “trigger” that desire.
By showing your progress and seeing and “incomplete” task triggers a psychological stress that prompts you to continue working on the course, modules and lessons.
This is the power of tracking your progress.
And yes, it worked for me with the AccessAlly Advocate Training.
I was committed to finish the next task until all tasks the checkmarks was done!
How marketing automation is changing the game for Online e-Learning and Membership Sites
I could summarize the main reason in one sentence:
You want to use marketing automation and personalization on your membership sites because you want to increase engagement, signups and completion rates from your students.
The possibilities are endless with marketing automation and personalization using Tag Based CRMs and Email Service providers. The One That I’m a Certified Expert at and Recommend is Drip.
It is by far, one of the most robust, tag-based marketing automation platforms today without the HUGE price of leading enterprise solutions. If you’re interested to learn more about Drip, here’s my complete review.
Here’s an example of how this works:
Imagine that a new member expressed interest in one of your offer but didn’t complete their checkout of the course.
With marketing automation, you can create a workflow that sends a “reminder” email within a few hours to notify people that they’ve “abandoned checkout” and that they can still continue if they want to.
Here’s an ACTUAL example on how this is setup inside my Drip : Marketing Automation account (it’s really not that hard to do).
And as a bonus to those who are going to buy AccessAlly and Drip using my affiliate links, you’ll be able to get my SHARED AUTOMATIONS so that you can “Copy and Paste” this setup in your account in just 1-click.
Another practical example and application is this…
Imagine that you’ve noticed some of your students are not finishing your lessons and modules.
Or if someone hasn’t logged in for an X amount of days, in both scenarios you can send highly personalized messages in both situation.
The possibilities are truly endless.
This is really what I’ve liked about AccessAlly.
Before AccessAlly, I know that the most popular WordPress membership solutions like Wishlist Member and Optimize Member are not even close to any of these features.
How to get started with AccessAlly
After purchasing AccessAlly, you’ll the download link and a license key to activate it on your WordPress blog. Note: AccessAlly only works with Self-hosted WordPress blogs (not the blogs you get from WordPress.com).
As you can see from the image above, there are 5 simple steps to getting started.
How to get started with AccessAlly
Total Time: 30 minutes
Step 1: Integrate with your CRM.
You can choose between ANY of these compatible CRMs:
They are the only ones that have the Advanced Custom Audience automation with Facebook (which is super important if you want to create highly converting remarketing audiences for your Facebook Ads).
Step 2: Choose your payment options
I’ve used STRIPE and PAYPAL. Create your accounts on these platforms and hook them to AccessAlly via API. The instructions are fairly easy to follow.
Step 3: Create common pages
After connecting your payment and CRM info, it’s now time to make sure that you’ve created all your common pages.
Step 4: Select color scheme
I really loved this step, as it will save you a lot of time choosing your branding colors. And then finally, now you can jump to the next step…
Step 5: Create your First Course Offering
Now that everything has been setup, it’s now time for you to create your very first course. After setting up AccessAlly for a couple of websites and client’s here’s what I’ve found on each of the features and settings for AccessAlly.
- Course modules
- Course chapters
- Course lessons
- AccessAlly plugins
- CRM access
Materials: PDF Video Audio
Course Creation Wizard
The Course Creation Wizard is where most of the action happens. You’ll use this Wizard to Create your Stand Alone Course or Stage Released Course.
A Stand Alone Course is what you’ll want to choose if you want to provide Instant Access to All the Course materials (example if it’s a PDF, Cheatsheet, Template or Download).
A Stage Released Course is when you’ll want to Drip-feed the content for a specific amount of time (whether it’s within days, weeks or months).
There’s tons of combinations that you can do here. Let’s say you want to offer a FREE Course for your topic, but it will be drip-fed for 30 days.
After they optin for the FREE Course, you can give them an option to “UPGRADE” for Instant Access for a Premium Pass or FEE (See how powerful AccessAlly can be?!)
The obvious next steps is to create your order forms, bump offers and upsells using AccessAlly. But after HOURS of trying to tweak it, I’m just not satisfied with HOW the order FORM looks. I can immediately say from experience that it’s NOT CONVERSION RATE OPTIMIZED, no matter what they say about “how great this order form is”.
Why I'm not taking orders using AccessAlly
The user experience on this order form is just NOT at par with what’s available today.
Here’s what an AccessAlly Order Form looks like when I first tested it on TRAFFICSALAD…
Even the AccessAlly website themself has this order form:
There’s NO WAY I’m using that for my membership website.
And when I continued with the Bump offer and Upsell process, it was even more difficult. I was about say Goodbye to AccessAlly, but FORTUNATELY I’ve found a solution…
My Solution for this order form and conversion-design problem
Just to give a quick peek, this is now what the order form for my membership site looks like (Yes, the membership site is controlled by AccessAlly and email marketing Automation with Drip)…
Compared that with the previous one.
Now that’s a highly optimized checkout page that will boost your conversion rates. If you want to see the ENTIRE order page for that product.
You might be wondering if that’s AccessAlly, it’s not.
It’s actually another Shopping Cart Platform called ThriveCart which is mobile-friendly, provides 1-click upsells, integrates with Tag-based marketing automation tools like Drip, ActiveCampaign, Convertkit, and is a ONE-TIME-PAYMENT only.
The boost in conversion rates is so much worth it so the extra setup of AccessAlly + ThriveCart + Drip.
And I can help with this setup if you like, just let me know here.
Currently, ThriveCart is on a LIFETIME Deal which means you can get it for a ONE-TIME-Payment only.
No other shopping cart platform that I know does that. The savings on this is HUGE as most shopping cart platforms that’s similar to ThriveCart charges at least $199/month for similar features.
Because I’ve integrated with ThriveCart to process the orders, bump offers, upsells and even the Customer portal for my customers are ALL via ThriveCart.
I’ll skip those parts in AccessAlly in this review, but feel free to reach out if you have any questions.
Tag-Based Marketing Automation With AccessAlly
This is now where the beauty of AccessAlly also shines.
You can specifically create “triggers” that can be used to start workflows or automations in your tag-based CRM or email marketing automation tool like Drip, ActiveCampaign, Convertkit, etc.
This is done via two methods inside AccessAlly. Via built-in triggers (usually found in the Course Creation Wizard) and by using Custom operations.
Further Examples of Client and My Own Sites That I’ve Created With AccessAlly
Design Using the NEW AccessAlly Theme
What I liked about AccessAlly (Pros)
I’ve been building and managing membership websites for my own business and my client’s websites, and what I really liked about AccessAlly is that this is the tool/plugin that allows you to COMPETE with the big boys when it comes to Marketing automation of membership sites, without the HUGE cost that is usually associated with Enterprise level competition.
You get Enterprise level features at more competitive prices. Here's a quick list of all the features that I liked about AccessAlly
- WordPress compatible – If you're using WordPress, it's one of the best plugins for membership sites
- PDF Stamping (NEW) – When your customers download a PDF file (paid), it will be stamped with their email address. This will hopefully decrease paid content sharing.
- Stripe and Paypal payment options – These are the top two most popular payments gateways for online courses.
- NEW and REVAMPED plugin with version 3.7x+
- Homework and Private notes – Interact with your students individually with private notes and Q/A
- Track and Tag almost every interaction and action on your membership site – This allows you to create just-in-time marketing automation workflows.
- Student Activity – Check out what your users and students are doing. Find out if they are engaging your content and progressing through the lessons. Send a reminder when they start to disengage and disconnect from your course.
What I didn't like about AccessAlly (Cons)
The only thing that I really didn’t like on AccessAlly’s features is their order form as I’ve mentioned above. My solution was to use ThriveCart for better checkout conversion rates.
Although this setup involves EXTRA STEPS, I highly recommend it because your user experience will be better for your customers, and you’ll get higher conversion rates which will result in more sales and revenue for your membership websites.
Honestly, this is what I think is the KEY and MISSING INGREDIENT to success with your AccessAlly Membership Website.
And if you decide to BUY AccessAlly via my affiliate links (i’ll earn a small commission on that), I’ll send you the FREE Video Training walkthrough on how I setup AccessAlly + ThriveCart so that you can do this setup yourself.
(That’s a value of at least $2,500 USD – the cost to hire an AccessAlly Certified expert like me).
I’m doing this to support as much people as I can with their membership site platforms.
AccessAlly version 3.7x updates
New Offering and Product Creation Templates
AccessAlly had changed their dashboard and have added new features that were not available from the previous versions. There is a new product dashboard for creating your products and offers.
New Sales Metrics Dashboard
New Child and Parent AccessAlly WordPress Theme
One of my biggest issues with AccessAlly before was that it was too reliant on other WordPress page builders in order to be able to create gorgeous course pages.
But not anymore. AccessAlly has released their own child and parent WordPress theme, and it's looking great!
New Child and Parent AccessAlly WordPress Theme
If you're looking for templates on how to get started with AccessAlly the smart way, then don't forget to check out the Offering templates inside the NEW dashboard.
My Exclusive Bonuses and Training For AccessAlly
If you’re thinking about getting , I’ll add more value to your purchase by giving away these bonuses.
Bonus #1 – My Personal AccessAlly Quick Start Guide
I’ll share with you my quick-start guide that will help you save time and frustration on how to setup your AccessAlly website.
Bonus #2 – My AccessAlly + ThriveCart Combo Setup
In this bonus, I’ll share with you on how I’ve used ThriveCart as my “order form, 1 click upsell and shopping cart platform”. If you don’t like the “order form” design and layout of AccessAlly, ThriveCart is what I would recommend that you use instead.
Bonus #3 – My AccessAlly + Drip Share Automations
When you buy AccessAlly via my affiliate links, I’ll also send you my Drip Marketing Email Automations. You can get a FREE Drip Account here, but I strongly recommend that you choose this tool to provide you with marketing automation benefits for your business.
Bonus #4 – My AccessAlly Icons And Certificate Templates
One of the required graphic design elements for your AccessAlly website are icon designs and certificate templates. I’ll share my templates with you. Just edit in tools like Photoshop and you can then now use it for your membership website.
Bonus #5 – My AccessAlly + ThriveCart Buyers (my jumpstart Bonus)
For those who decides to buy AccessAlly and ThriveCart via my affiliate links, I have a SPECIAL bonus just for you. I’ll install, setup and configure AccessAlly and ThriveCart to your online membership site so that you can start using if faster.
Do You Need Help With AccessAlly?
Hopefully this guide has helped you decide whether AccessAlly is for you or not.
If you are hesitant of getting it because of you’re afraid that you might HIT a roadblock when it comes to implementation, I’m 99% sure I’ll be able to help you out, whether it’s technical, strategy or implementation issue.
My Final thoughts on AccessAlly
I’m honestly blown away by the features and benefits of using AccessAlly.
I’ve been building membership websites for clients and for my own online business for years, and there has been no similar tools like AccessAlly that’s currently at this price point.
The only thing that I didn’t like was the “Order Form Designs”.
But fortunately, I found a solution to it by integrating ThriveCart + AccessAlly.
And if you decide to get AccessAlly via the links on this article, I’ll even offer more bonuses and training just for you.
Finally, if you’re hesitant to try AccessAlly because you think it can be difficult to setup up, don’t worry because I’ll be here for you every step of the way, just send me a message here if you have any questions.