TL; DR: MemberMouse, founded in 2009, is a robust, scalable plugin built to enhance membership sites. The flexible solution helps businesses boost member retention, onboard new individuals, and sell new offerings. With the help of an experienced staff of software engineers and architects, MemberMouse aims to make it as easy as possible for customers to run successful membership sites.
WordPress has gained a steady amount of popularity in recent years.
Consider this: On January 1, 2017, the content management system powered 25.6% of all websites — an astronomical market share by any means. But as of July 2021, that number has skyrocketed to 42.2%, representing a jump of 16.6 percentage points in just five years.
A rich ecosystem of value-boosting plugins has helped make WordPress the preferred open-source solution for website development. But not every plugin is created equally.
Some WordPress plugins are one-time purchases that don’t always hold up over time. Others are powerful, scalable enterprise-grade solutions.
MemberMouse is an excellent example of the latter. The company offers a plugin for optimizing membership sites, but it operates as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company rather than selling one-off plugins.
“Even though it’s a WordPress plugin, we built it like an enterprise piece of software with a SaaS pricing model,” said Eric Turnnessen, Founder and CEO of MemberMouse. “That helps us stand out. Also, when your pricing model is a one-time fee your efforts naturally lean toward marketing and customer acquisition. With a recurring SaaS model, our efforts are focused on product, customer retention, and customer satisfaction.”
The customizable solution, backed by a passionate and experienced team, is packed with features that boost member retention and conversions. Ultimately, the MemberMouse team provides customers with a robust, versatile, and user-friendly membership plugin — plus an ever-evolving lineup of innovations designed to help businesses flourish.
Powered by a Team of Professional Software Engineers and Architects
MemberMouse, like many great software solutions, grew out of a personal need.
“I was selling an ebook and some other products, and I needed a membership area for my site,” Eric explained. “Being a software developer, I researched the options available and concluded that I could build something better.”
Eric had no intention of releasing the solution to the public, but it piqued people’s curiosity — and they liked what they saw. At that point, he decided to turn his software into a full-fledged business.
“The unique thing about us as a company is that we are professional software engineers and architects who have worked for Fortune 100 companies,” Eric said. “Sometimes startup founders recognize a need in the market from a business perspective and assemble a team to implement the solution. But, for me, it was always about the technology, first and foremost.”
MemberMouse’s first clients were high-volume merchants with seasoned internet marketing teams that had sold millions of dollars worth of goods and services. The MemberMouse team collaborated with those team members and used their feedback to develop the platform’s basic functionality.
“The result is that a lot of functionality in MemberMouse allows businesses to maintain flexibility while scaling and increase profitability — tools like one-click purchasing and dynamic advertising with SmartTags maximize lifetime value, and tools like automated overdue payment handling automate common support functions, which reduces expenses and churn,” Eric said. “These features were not at all common when we implemented them — and even today, businesses often have to use a specialized tool.”
MemberMouse is a feature-rich plugin, including everything from easy installation and seamless member imports to flexible pricing and multiple integrations. The team included these attributes to help entrepreneurs jump-start their online businesses.
Supporting the Entrepreneurial Journey
“On every sales call I’m on, I try to understand the client’s situation first,” Eric said. “That’s always been my priority, and it has informed the way the product is designed and priced.”
Approximately 85% of MemberMouse’s features are available through the base plan. “The growth path, then, is based on your number of members. Our model is all about supporting you, getting you what you need to get started, and then growing with you.”
Eric said users typically start to seek guidance after they reach an increasingly unfamiliar level of success.
“You might not even know what questions to ask when you get to that point, but MemberMouse already has the answer for you,” he said. “It’s already been doing the work behind the scenes, like collecting the data you’ll need for advanced reporting. You just have to flip a switch. In that way, MemberMouse is about supporting the natural entrepreneurial journey.”
The benefits MemberMouse users reap from the platform evolve in step with that journey.
“WordPress supplies a theme that determines the look and feel of your site, so we act more in a supportive capacity in that area,” Eric said. “Then there are functional interface points that are involved in any membership site — for example, a My Account page where members can view and edit their account and billing information, etc.”
These points, known as MemberMouse core pages, serve as the backbone of the membership site and are necessary for the platform to function correctly. The owners of membership websites can design around these elements as they choose.
“We’ve developed our own functionally and data-related markup language called SmartTags that allow nonprogrammers to insert things like member data and functional forms like login and checkout forms into their content,” Eric said. “So we provide the ability to insert dynamic data and functional elements while at the same time not dictating design or requiring someone to know how to write code.”
Eric told us he’s incredibly proud of the high level of customer service his team provides — an impressive feat in an industry notorious for inadequate support.
Stay Tuned for an Upcoming Developers’ Suite
“Our support is the best — in our industry among our competitors, no question, but also outside of it,” he said. “We invest somewhere around 55% of our monthly operating expenses toward our support operations. We need to make sure that people feel supported when they’re getting started with this product.”
Due to the nature of distributed software, it can be challenging to ascertain what qualifies as a MemberMouse support issue. The company always errs on the side of the customer.
“There’s a very blurry line so we tend to provide more than is necessary in that area,” Eric said. “That said, you have to allow people to walk on their own at some point.”
Ultimately, there’s a difference between a low-touch SaaS model and a high-touch service, Eric said.
“We’re in a high touch sector because there are moving technical components that don’t always involve us — hosting, WordPress installation, SSL certs, themes,” he told us. “Our team is very experienced and able to navigate these things to get people started while setting appropriate expectations.”
As for what’s next, the MemberMouse team has a feature-packed developers suite that the company plans to release later this year.
“We’re on track for some extensibility and usability improvements for developers,” Eric said. “The goal is to empower the MemberMouse development community — both agencies and independent developers — to build their own extensions for the platform.”