In this guide, you'll learn how to set up a private, subscription-based community by integrating PeerBoard with Plug&Paid.
Table of contents
- Benefits of external registration
- Why choose Plug&Paid?
- Step-by-step guide
- Create a community on PeerBoard
- Make your community private
- Sign up for Plug&Paid
- Connect Stripe account
- Add billing plan
- Connect URL
- Customize checkout
- Activate members
- Member experience
Benefits of external registration
If you want to increase your community's quality and value by curating your audience, build trust and loyalty with members, and generate revenue, then paid memberships are the way to go.
A paid membership plan created with Plug&Paid adds an extra layer of exclusivity to your private-access PeerBoard community, creating a coherent member's journey that ties in with exclusive content and perks.
Why choose Plug&Paid?
Plug&Paid is an all-in-one eCommerce toolbox. You can use Plug&Paid to offer recurring subscriptions to community members and collect payments from a dedicated checkout page.
Plug&Paid has two plans to choose from: "Pay as You Go" (1.9%+ €0.02 per transaction) and "Lightning" (€39 per month).
Here are Plug&Paid's top features:
- Payments - Customers can choose from multiple payment options during checkout.
- Subscriptions - Offer billing plans to collect recurring payments.
- Customer portal - An intuitive dashboard where your customers can manage their subscriptions and payments.
- Branding - Use your custom domain, custom emails, SMTP, and brand the user interface and checkout pages.
In this guide, we'll show you how to set your PeerBoard community to private, create a payment plan on Plug&Paid, and connect both platforms with our pre-made Zapier template.
When somebody purchases a recurring subscription through Plug&Paid, they are automatically added to your PeerBoard community.
First, choose a PeerBoard plan that fits your needs. Check out the PeerBoard Essentials guide for a complete step-by-step tutorial on setting up your community platform.
Note: You can use Plug&Paid on our free plan, which includes both Zapier integrations and private community settings. Paid plans provide extra functionality, like theme customization and search, but it's still possible to build a paid, private community on our free plan.
2. Set your community to private
To restrict access to your community, change the privacy settings from "Public content" to "Invite-only member."
Navigate to PeerBoard -> Settings -> General -> Access
Select "Invite-only member registration" and click Save.
Your community is now private. Only approved members will be granted access.
Navigate to Plug&Paid and set up an account.
4. Connect Your Stripe account
Connect your Stripe account to Plug&Paid. You'll need it to set up billing plans.
If you don't have one, don't worry. You can create an account when you're connecting by following these steps:
Navigate to the Plug&Paid Dashboard and select Create Checkout Flow > Run Subscriptions > Connect Stripe account.
After successfully connecting to Stripe, you will receive the following message:
Your Stripe account has been attached! You can close this window.
5. Add a billing plan
Navigate to your Plug&Play dashboard and select Add Product or Service > Add Billing Plan.
Next, create a billing plan that suits the needs of your community. You can charge customers recurring membership fees or a one-time fee.
Follow the steps below to configure your plan:
- Choose a title and category ("Recurring Service," "Membership," "SaaS Plan," or "Other") and set the price, billing cycle, and trial period.
- Add a description and images.
- Add a one-time fee to your subscription if you want customers to be charged once at registration.
- Configure license settings for digital products.
- Set the number of retries allowed in case of payment failure.
6. Connect URL
In Plug&Paid, navigate to Plug Settings.
Select Redirect URL at the bottom of the page.
Paste the URL of your PeerBoard community.
Note: Adding an extension after your URL, such as /login, will take users to the login page. Adding /profile/onboarding will take users directly to the onboarding page.
Click Save on the Redirect Settings window. Finally, click the Save button in the top right corner of the Plug Settings page.
7. Customize checkout pages
Plug&Paid lets you customize your checkout pages and create a coherent customer journey. You can choose from several layouts and match your brand's identity and colors.
In Plug&Paid, navigate to Customize checkout > Checkout Customizer to access customization options.
You can link to your checkout landing page, when customers can subscribe to your community, in several ways:
- Use a direct URL link.
- Offer a QR code in videos or print materials.
- Embed checkout buttons or widgets on website.
8. Activate members
If you've followed the steps above, your private community and subscription landing page should both be live and correctly configured.
Now it's time to connect them using our premade Zapier template. New members will move seamlessly through the checkout process and arrive at your community.
The Zapier template triggers when a new member subscribes using Plug&Paid.
Connect your apps:
- Open up the premade Zapier template.
- Log into your Plug&paid account.
- To connect a new account through API go to Settings > API Settings > Copy Token.
- Paste the API key in the Zapier floating window.
- Log into your Peerboard account
- To connect a new account through API go to Settings > Hosting> API Auth Token > Copy.
- Paste the API key in the Zapier floating window.
Woohoo! Your Zap now working!
You can test the connection by taking the following steps:
- Creating a new customer in Plug&Paid by navigating to Plug&Paid > Customers.
- Look for a new member by going to Peerboard > Member Management > Member List.
Overview of the Customer Journey
Note: Your members don't need to log in every time they want to access your community. Once they've subscribed and logged in for the first time, they won't need to do so again.
Here is the typical customer journey for a subscriber purchasing a membership:
- An individual who wants to join your community and become a member receives a link to the sign-up page.
- They fill in their name and email address and sign-up for their preferred billing plan. They are charged on a recurring basis or pay a one-time fee.
- If the payment is successful, the subscriber is redirected to your community's login page. They are prompted to enter their email address.
- They are then provided with a magic link that takes them to a page where they are prompted to enter their profile information. They are also asked if they would like to receive a daily digest. They are now active members of your community.
Q: How do I deactivate unsubscribed users?
You can deactivate unsubscribed users by taking the following steps:
- Log into your PeerBoard account.
- Navigate to Member Management > Member List.
- Search for the member you wish to deactivate.
- From the dropdown, select Blocked User.
Q: Can I have a private subsection in my community?
Yes. You can use Zapier to register members to specific groups by specifying a user group in your Zap. Take a look at the guide on User Groups.
You're now all set. In this guide, you learned:
- How to create a paid private community in PeerBoard.
- How to automatically add users to your community when they sign up for membership through Plug&Paid.
- How to send an invitation to new members immediately after sign-up via PeerBoard's Zapier template.
- How to deactivate members with failed subscriptions.
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org.