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what useful account upgrades can you really offer to paid members?

User

Well-known member
#1
I find it annoying that in order to see what account upgrades forums that offer them .... erm ... offer one has to be a registered user of that forum first. Very irritating!

If you are running a forum that offers account upgrades to paid members, what do you actually offer them?

Back in vB days I was able to offer more storage for PMs. The XF conversations ruined that one.
How about links and images in sigs back in vB days? Ahh ..., cant' do that in XF.

Yes, there are color coded user names or badges, but those aren't useful, they are merely epeen things feeding the ego of those who paid. Sure, the ability to show off and elevate oneself above the forum crowd is appealing to some but I'd imagine most users would want some actual tangible benefit for paying up.

The one obvious benefit would be to not display ads for paid members, but what if you don't have ads in the first place which is common for forums which are just starting out.

Looking through the group permissions I just don't see anything that stands out as an option for account upgrades. More members in conversations? Whoop-dee-dooo! Who cares.

As you can probably tell the search for any kind of meaningful benefit for upgraded members has been rather frustrating.

EDIT: To lighten the mood of this post, after I slept on it, let me ask the question users would ask when it comes to whether or not to upgrade: what 1S THE 1NSENT1VE

Likes for everyone who remembers, without cheating, where that question was originally from! ;)
 

principia

Well-known member
#3
If you have a video/blog/membermap etc. you can set permissions.
special content in special forums,
depending on your forum you can give special advice/guides/
for excample: i have a fitness forum, so i can give personal coaching
 

Andy.N

Well-known member
#4
Access to private forums
Access to custom style that offers better user experience
Can use certain features/tools on the site (post a job/etc)
Free Mobile Apps.

Just to name a few.
For the record, we don't have upgrade accounts yet so I'm interested in this topic as well.
 

Marc

Well-known member
#5
These are what I have for the sponsors on my forum at present.
  • Access to private areas
  • Access to custom styles
  • Information about changes to our forum before anyone else
  • Included in what would otherwise be a staff discussion about potential additions to the forum
  • Custom username and icon at the side of their name
  • Free raffle entry for sponsor members
  • Custom user title allowable

In addition with addons that are installed and usually have permission sets you can limit what they have access to this way also. Just a few examples:

  • membermap - can add
  • xenatendo - can add
  • Flood control limit smaller
  • Shoutbox access
  • Edit time limit removed
  • Can tag other members using tagme
  • Allow ability to watch whole forums (forum watch modification)
  • More users can be added to personal conversation

These are just off the top of my head ..... With a bit of imagination there are plenty of things you can do to make it advantagious for people to become sponsors of your site.
 

dutchbb

Well-known member
#6
Digital point has a "spy" mod for vB, not sure if something like that is released yet for XF. Definitely something worth adding for paying members.
 

erich37

Well-known member
#11
I find it annoying that in order to see what account upgrades forums that offer them .... erm ... offer one has to be a registered user of that forum first. Very irritating!

If you are running a forum that offers account upgrades to paid members, what do you actually offer them?

Back in vB days I was able to offer more storage for PMs. The XF conversations ruined that one.
How about links and images in sigs back in vB days? Ahh ..., cant' do that in XF.

Yes, there are color coded user names or badges, but those aren't useful, they are merely epeen things feeding the ego of those who paid. Sure, the ability to show off and elevate oneself above the forum crowd is appealing to some but I'd imagine most users would want some actual tangible benefit for paying up.

The one obvious benefit would be to not display ads for paid members, but what if you don't have ads in the first place which is common for forums which are just starting out.

Looking through the group permissions I just don't see anything that stands out as an option for account upgrades. More members in conversations? Whoop-dee-dooo! Who cares.

As you can probably tell the search for any kind of meaningful benefit for upgraded members has been rather frustrating.

EDIT: To lighten the mood of this post, after I slept on it, let me ask the question users would ask when it comes to whether or not to upgrade: what 1S THE 1NSENT1VE

Likes for everyone who remembers, without cheating, where that question was originally from! ;)
totally agree, offering "moods" and all those things is not a great offering. It would be better to be able to offer premium members to send private conversations or other valuable services.

Premium or "special content" is hard to generate when you are running a community with user-generated-content..... like a Forum. Not even the "Wall-Street-Journal" can generate paid users for their "premium" content.

Access to private forums? We are living in Facebook times.....

http://xenforo.com/community/threads/paying-subscribers-and-earning-money-from-a-forum.18313/

Can you recoup server-costs from donations? Doubt it.
Content is king, but E-commerce makes money.

Starting a forum from scratch nowadays is very very difficult. If you are lucky and your forum picks up, then there need to be a proper way of making some money and offering users some kind of valuable service.
 

Dean

Well-known member
#12
  • Allow ability to watch whole forums (forum watch modification)
These are just off the top of my head ..... With a bit of imagination there are plenty of things you can do to make it advantagious for people to become sponsors of your site.
I missed this, could you give more info about the 'Forum watch modification'? Link?
 
F

Floris

Guest
#13
We've also used account upgrades to allow people to buy licenses / mugs / or grant them access to premium articles before they go public.
 

Deepmartini

Well-known member
#14
It would be nice to have the option to charge members BEFORE they join the site. I would like to use Xenforo as a paid members-only forum with no guest browsing/access etc. only paid members can get access and get inside. The trouble is, you CAN NOT set Xenforo up so that people have to pay first before they can register. It's the other way around. The system makes you register first, then choose upgrade to upgrade account. Makes no sense if your forum is for paid members only. How can I get Xenforo to work so that when people create their account, they also checkout at the same time? Any ideas?
 

Brogan

XenForo moderator
Staff member
#15
You can't do that without an add-on, but you could restrict all forums to only upgraded users and display a message to those who have just registered advising them they need to upgrade to access the forums.
 

digitalpoint

Well-known member
#18
Beyond the "standard" stuff... if you have the ability to give users something of actual value, I've found those are the best things to sell as part of premium membership. We have a ton of premium members, and our premium membership isn't cheap ($25/month or $125/year)... but they usually are buying it because there's one thing within it they actually need/want.

Some examples... Any user can track their stolen computer with this, but premium members can see photos of who's sitting in front of their computer as well as the exact IP address it's using. Our keyword tracker is also free for everyone (used by about 100,000 people), but if you want to search more than 20 position deep or have the system just automatically check everything daily for you... that "extra" is premium membership. The "big board" search used by the majority of vB4 big boards is part of premium membership.

So yeah... if you can give products/services that people actually WANT, they will beat down your door for premium membership. :)
 

Marc

Well-known member
#19
Sorry for reviving an old topic, but... ;-)


How did you manage to do that? I just can't seem to find an option to do this?
Was on my old forum I did this. Not sure you can in xenforo, but then have not looked as not set up any other skins as of yet