Make Your Own Subscription Service: Introducing Memberly

The modularity of Web 2.0 keeps proliferating useful combinations.

Jack Cheng and his two cofounders launched Steepster, a social network for tea drinkers, in 2009. It soon occurred to them that a tea club, in which members receive a shipment of new teas each month, would be a perfect complement to the site. But they were working long hours to get their site off of the ground, and never thought about making the investment of time and money that starting such a program would entail .

Three years later, they decided to revisit the project — and while they were at it, solve the subscription program logistics problem for everyone else, too.

“With blogs, you don’t need to understand the backend [in order to make one],” Cheng says. “We wanted to give the same simplicity to running a subscription program.”

On Thursday, the team launched Memberly. The platform makes it easy to start and organize such a program — by offering a subscription page that doesn’t require coding, automatic billing of customers, auto-generated labels or a portal for handling customer correspondence.

Right now the only programs using the site are Steepster and a vegan boutique called Little Otsu that is selling a subscription for mini art books. More are scheduled to roll out in the coming weeks.


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