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When to Use Custom Memberships

We did an informal poll of our service & onboarding peeps and found that we rarely suggested using custom memberships as a solution.  Because they don't have name labels they can be very difficult to search for and report on.  This compromises your reporting capabilities and also means you'll spend more time trying to track down these special deals in your database when you need to make membership changes.  

We compiled a list of the most common reasons that database owners had reported for using custom memberships, and the best solutions that work as an alternative to creating a custom membership.  Here we go!

Problems & Solutions

Problem:  I want to give staff, friends &/or family a discounted or free membership.

Solution:  Create a membership option as usual, but include these tweaks:  give it a name like "Staff Membership" or "Friends & Family Membership"; an installment amount of $0 or add in a discount; a trigger to notify the database owner whenever it is sold/given; this membership option should not be online/public. 

Problem:  I want to charge a different installment amount (or prorate, or not prorate, or set a special price) for this one person's membership.

Solution:  Pick the membership option that most closely reflects what you want to give this person ignoring the pricing change(s) you want to make (look for similar attendance limits, enrollments and renewal settings).  Sign the person up for that membership through the studio.  On the 'Next Steps' page at the end of adding the membership, click on the top option to edit the membership.  Click on the Billing Summary section and make the changes that you need to customize the membership (add a discount, adjust the prorating option or update the installment amount).

Problem:  I want to give this person a unique amount of attendances for this membership.

Solution:  Pick the membership option that most closely reflects what you want to give this person ignoring the attendance limit change(s) you want to make (look for similar pricing, enrollments and renewal settings).  Sign the person up for that membership through the studio.  On the 'Next Steps' page at the end of adding the membership, click on the top option to edit the membership.  Click on the Membership Info section and make the changes that you need to customize the membership.

Problem:  I want to customize the classes &/or programs that this person has access to.

Solution:  Pick the membership option that most closely reflects what you want to give this person ignoring the enrollment change(s) you want to make (look for similar pricing, attendance limits and renewal settings).  Sign the person up for that membership through the studio.  On the 'Next Steps' page at the end of adding the membership, click on the top option to edit the membership.  Click on the Enrollment link at the top.  On this page you can select/deselect classes and programs to create a customized enrollment for the student. Remember to click Save Changes at the bottom after you update the selections.

Why these solutions work

The most important benefit is that you will be able to run regular reports on, and keep an eye on the proliferation of, these types of memberships in your system.  You will be able to filter for these customized memberships so you can see the revenue they are generating.  This way you can make data backed decisions on how to offer these types of memberships so you can balance customer service with business growth needs.  

When to Use a Custom Membership

If you have a member that needs to have two or more areas of a membership customized for them (for example, a special price and a unique number of attendances), then a custom membership may be the best solution for them.  You won't be able to report effectively on these types of memberships, but as long as these are the exception and not the rule, it shouldn't have a noticeable negative impact on overall reporting.

Click here to learn how to create a custom membership for a student.

Next Steps

If you aren't sure whether to use a custom membership or not, just reach out to our tech support desk and they can quickly help you figure out the best solution. 

Zen Planner Support 
Call:  866-541-3570 (M-F, 7a-4p MST)
Email:  help@zenplanner.com

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