NEW YORK—July 21, 2011—Introduced today, Memberly (http://member.ly) is a platform that helps individuals and small businesses run their own subscription programs. For providers, Memberly is the best way to run a subscription service without the hassles of integrating e-commerce packages and managing disparate communications with customers. By helping providers ease these technical complexities, Memberly lets them focus on their area of expertise and deliver surprising, creative products and services to their subscribers.
"We love the subscription model," said Jack Cheng, co-founder of Disrupto, the company behind Memberly. "It comes with less uncertainty than running a full-blown online store. When you know how many subscribers you have every cycle, you can plan ahead. You can order in bulk and negotiate discounts. And if you look at the technology behind existing subscription services, it's all the same. We're saying to people, here's that technology. It's free to sign up. We've designed a great experience around it and are going to continue improving on it. You just do what you do best—focus on delivering remarkable products and services."
Though crowd-funding sites have made it easier for creative individuals to launch one-off projects, Memberly is the first of its kind aimed at helping them launch sustainable businesses. The idea of subscriptions has been discussed within Disrupto since they launched their first website, Steepster.com, an online community for tea drinkers. "One thing we've always wanted to do with Steepster was start a tea of the month club," said Cheng. "But it never made sense because of the disproportionate resources required—setting up the technology and integrating the billing, payment and CRM tools. And that doesn't even including working with tea companies to source the tea, pack it up and ship it out. In consulting with various brands and startups over the past couple of years, we realized that we weren't alone. There were a lot of others who could benefit from a platform like Memberly."
Memberly allows anyone to accept credit cards and recurring payments. The site has streamlined checkout and order pages, and providers can offer both cycle-to-cycle and prepaid plans.
Providers can easily communicate with their members, contacting all of them at once or on an individual basis. Member information is provided in context with the messages, showing relevant details like how long that person has been a member.
Customizable showcase pages put the spotlight on providers and their subscriptions. The pages are optimized to tell compelling stories, helping convert potential subscribers into passionate customers.
Memberly generates well-formatted templates for shipping labels and packing slips that can be sent straight to the printer without tedious copy-and-pasting. Providers can also export spreadsheets of customer and order information to their own tools.
Subscribers and providers can visit http://member.ly starting today. At launch, the site is showcasing a tea of the month subscription from Steepster (http://member.ly/steepster-select) and a quarterly subscription of illustrated books from Portland-based independent publisher Little Otsu (http://member.ly/little-otsu-living-things). Additional subscriptions will be rolling out in the coming weeks. For providers, Memberly is currently by application only. "We're being selective right now because we want to get the experience right, for both sellers and their end subscribers," said Cheng. "We've been working closely with our initial set of providers to make sure that all their needs are addressed and that nothing gets in the way of them wow-ing their members."
Disrupto is a digital product development studio in New York, founded and led by a team with experience in design, technology, social commerce and advertising/marketing. To learn more about Disrupto, visit http://disrupto.com.