1. Home
  2. Online School
  3. Subscriptions in the School Builder: Understanding and Using the Credits System

Subscriptions in the School Builder: Understanding and Using the Credits System

Courses and lectures, up until now, were a one-time purchase, right? A prospect comes to your school site, selects an item, buys it, and bam – you have no idea what they do with it next! Did they like it? Did they consume it? Did they tell their friends how awesome or how awful it was? 

Who knows?

You certainly don’t because hey, you have no way to make them come back to you for more! That, is just sad.

Well… not anymore! It’s time to come out of the dark and put a stop to any delay in the future sales of your school. Now, it’s time to get some serious commitment from your customers, in exchange for the value that you’re providing them in the form of insightful courses and lectures. 

Say hello to Subscriptions.

With our Subscriptions feature, you can sell the content of your entire school through a membership model. Earlier, you used to sell individual courses and lectures. With this grand feature, you can start giving access to all or a few courses regularly in return for a stipulated price every month. So, this way, the individual price tag of every course and lecture goes away, and your students will be able to still access them and many others via a dedicated pricing model.

The result of this is: your customers keep their access intact by paying you a fee every month, and you make way for a steady income which wasn’t quite possible earlier! #genius

Award Access to Students in the form of Credits

In the School Builder, access to any course under the subscription model is given via “Student Credits”. You can manually assign credits to your students from under the Students tab, or make credits a part of your subscription plan.

While designing your school’s subscription model, you can set the number of credits the student will receive upon purchasing the subscription plan.

FYI…

1 student credit = 1 item unlocked

So, say, you have 20 courses and 20 lectures in your school, and want to create a subscription plan for them. This means that all your students will need is a total of 40 credits to be able to unlock each and every item in your school. Whenever they want. However they want.

But… where is the fun in that? The whole point of a subscription plan is to make students keep coming back to you for more, isn’t it? So, we dug deeper, and put certain restrictions on the “unlocking”. Keep reading to find out!

Creating a Subscription Plan for your School

To create your first subscription plan in your school, click on the More drop-down from your Sales Dashboard, and click on Subscription Plans.

From here on, it’s more or less like creating a pricing plan for your course. So, we click on Add New to add a subscription plan.

With that, we enter the Subscription Plan screen that looks like this:

See the fleet of tabs in the above screenshot? Let’s take ‘em one by one!

Details

  • Title – Add a nice name for your plan like “Basic”, “Silver” or “Monthly”. Go with “Gold”, “Boss”, or “Premium” for an all-at-once payment plan. We’ll go with “Silver” for now.
  • The URL for this plan will get auto-populated.
  • Price is where the fun begins – if it’s a recurring plan, first decide for how long you wish to grant your students access to your school site. Say, it’s a year’s worth of content you’ve put up, and you want to charge them monthly for this subscription. Whatever amount is in your mind, divide it by 12 (months), and put that number here.

Let’s put $50 here in the field.

  • Return URL is what you put when you want to redirect your students to another page, instead of the default login page of your school after checkout. For example, if you’re offering an upsell, the URL of its sales page could go here. If you don’t have anything, leave it blank.
  • The Status toggle lets you enable or disable this plan. For example, if this particular plan isn’t converting well, you can deactivate it for the time being, and it’ll no longer show on the site. Later sometime, you can reactivate it, and it’ll be back on!
  • The Autoresponders field lets you select and activate autoresponders that you’ve set up for this particular plan. For instance, if you’re using an autoresponder like ActiveCampaign or MailChimp, and have added students to multiple email lists, you can choose and activate the ones pertaining to this school plan right in this field.
  • Fill in the External Product ID in case you’re using a third-party checkout system.

Hit Save, and move to the next tab – Description.

Description

Got a nice little description highlighting the top benefits of this particular plan over purchasing every course individually? Put it up here! To enhance the legitimacy (and trust factor) of your school, you can also add a money-back guarantee at the bottom of your description.
Save again, and move to Frequency.

Frequency

All hail subscription settings! Frequency is where you set the frequency of your students’ billings for this subscription. The two toggles you see here – Is One Time and Is Recurring – let your students pay for the subscription all at once or pay in the form of an ongoing payment.

If, however, you’re using a third party checkout system and want the checkout of this subscription to happen via that instead of Ventture’s default one, turn the Enable External Order Link toggle.

FYI, unless you enable the Is Recurring toggle, the Stop After and Billing Frequency fields stay inactive. Moving on…

Stop After defines the times after which the billing will stop. For example, if your school’s yearly subscription is worth $600, and you want to bill the students $50 twelve times, set the frequency to 12 times. Alternately, if you want to bill the students $100 six times, set it to 6 times.

Onto the Billing Frequency – this field defines how frequently you’d want to bill your students for your school access. You know, just like an EMI works at regular intervals.

So, say, you’ve set the payment to be made 12 times through the course of a year. Through this field, you can set the regularity of the billing. 1 month? 2 months? 6 months? A whole goddamn year? Yep, we have a provision for it all (*adjusts sunglasses*)!

Last, but not the least, the Expire Access After field defines the duration post which your students would no longer be able to access your school and all of its content. Gotta keep the precious information secure and away from freeloaders, eh?

Thazall under this tab! Click Save and we’re off to Settings.

Settings

The Settings tab, is the most critical tab in your subscription plan. It contains the settings of the plan, how it will behave before purchase, the number of credits your students will receive, and how to limit the number of courses they can unlock.

Very quickly, let’s jump to each and every field: 

  • Ask address: Want your students to put their address while signing up for the subscription? Enable this toggle.
  • Ask phone: Same goes for phone info. Toggle it on or off, based on whether you want them to put in their contact number too.
  • Show in Site: To make this subscription plan visible on your school, enable this toggle.
  • Disable Thank you page: Right after your students check out, they will be shown a Thank You page. If you don’t want to be courteous, or, if you’ve set a Return URL to an external page instead of the default school login page, you can toggle this setting off.

Now, notice three additional settings on this screenshot? This is where you set the limits to how much your students who buy this subscription plan can unlock on your school.

  • Access all items: If you enable this toggle, your students will be able to unlock all items on your school anytime they wish to, as long as they’re paying you on time in accordance with the terms and conditions of this subscription.
  • Total items that can be unlocked: If, however, you want to keep certain high-end courses off this subscription plan, you can put a number here in this field. For example, if you have 40 items in your school, and want to just make 20 a part of this subscription plan, simply put in “20” in this field. This means that the student will receive 20 credits upon purchasing this plan.
  • Limit: Taking unlocking a step further, this field lets your students unlock only a certain number of items weekly, monthly, quarterly, or even yearly. You know, just in case your students don’t go bonkers upon receiving a bunch of credits, download everything in one go, and GTFO from your school.

Think long and hard about these afore-mentioned settings, for it is these fields that will make or break your school’s subscription, kay?

And, lastly, Script.

Script

Wish to use Google Analytics, Facebook’s Conversion Tracking Pixel, or any other tracking tool to track sales on this subscription plan? Or, got an external script code for additional features (chatbox, etc.) on your school?

Copy-paste the code in this box, and hit Save. Soon, your analytics dashboard will start displaying all the details of activity happening on this plan.

Click on Save, and go back to your Subscription Plans list and you’ll see this freshly created plan in the list. See?

All analytics are calculated and updated right here for you to take note of, and tweak your plan with regards to what works and what doesn’t. And, once you figure out what to tweak, click on the Edit icon right below Options (in the first screenshot above), and start playing!

Your Subscription Plan on the Frontend

Ready to launch your fresh-out-of-the-oven subscription plan to the world? Here’s how you do it:

Just add “/pricing” after your school URL to reach the pricing page of your school. This, is where all your subscriptions will be visible to your students.

For example, for our school – The Sound of Music, we just added /pricing to the url https://thesoundofmusic.school.ventture.com, and this, is what we see now:

All a student needs to do now is click on the “Sign Up” button to reach its checkout page, and put in their payment details there.

Now, the second logical question is: what happens when a student has bought this plan? How do they go about unlocking courses on your school? Glad you asked!

Let’s first see what a student will see in their Order History right after purchasing this plan. We’ll peep into Stan Lee’s account, our first student for this school.

Once Stan clicks on My Subscriptions, he’ll see his active subscription, along with other stats like pricing, the Number of Credits, a cancel button, and even a Download Invoice option.

With 5 credits in his kitty, and the ability to unlock 2 courses in the first month, Stan goes back to our school, and picks a course that he wants to unlock.

He reaches a course details page for one of our courses, and clicks on the “Access” button towards the right.

Psst… Stan has purchased a subscription to our school, so the individual pricing of courses no longer applies, and he can just directly access any course or lecture as long as he’s within the access limit.

As soon as he does that, a popup will appear on his screen, asking if he’d like to use the credits in his account to unlock this course (as this course is part of our subscription plan).

Stan thinks to himself, hell yeah!, and clicks on the “Yes, use my credits” button. And, voila! 

The course is now unlocked for him – just like that!

Back in your Students tab on your school, his stats are simultaneously updated for you to see and keep track of. Should you wish to dig deeper into individual student information, simply hit the “i” icon under Options to open up the student detail page.

FUN! But wait…

What if Stan runs out of his credits? Can you award him more credits? Why yes, of course!

If a student reaches out to you saying he’d like more credits for some reason, all you do is go back to the main Students tab, and click on the Assign Credits button.

Clicking on that will open a popup from where you can assign any number of credits to one or all students. Like, you know, as Christmas Bonus, or a Holiday Special!

Just enter the number of credits and the email of the student, or, toggle Assign to All to ON, and this credit addition will reflect across your entire student list.

Whew! Okay, all this is quite elaborate, but rest assured, everything has been thought of for you to run a school on a subscription basis with utmost ease.

Go on – try it out! And, for any stumbles along the way, simply reach out to our support heroes who will gladly assist you anytime you’re stuck.

Was this article helpful?