CustomerHub vs iMember360 / Memberium Review

CustomerHub vs iMember360

If you’re looking to create a membership site for your Infusionsoft based business, you might be taking a look at CustomerHub vs iMember360 or Memberium.

These are some of the most popular options for setting up a course or ongoing members area… CustomerHub is created and hosted by Infusionsoft itself, whereas iMember360 and Memberium are both WordPress plugins that you need to install on your own servers.

I’m writing this review to explain how these different options are better suited for different use cases. I’m also the co-founder and creator of the AccessAlly membership site plugin for Infusionsoft, but I will do my best to mention our plugin only when it makes sense.


CustomerHub vs iMember360 / Memberium for Infusionsoft Integration

One thing that all of these options have going for it is that they’re all designed around Infusionsoft, using the API of this CRM platform.

Infusionsoft CustomerHub

That means that if there’s a feature you’d like to access from inside Infusionsoft, to pull into your members area – these tools can probably do it.

With CustomerHub you’ll be looking at a more constrained way of doing that, because it’s not an open platform like WordPress where you can add new plugins or add ons.

The way that CustomerHub handles access for courses and content is through a combination of tags and CustomerHub groups – a collection of tags. This addition of “groups” can be confusing, and if you organize your tags probably you don’t need a group. Groups only exist in CustomerHub, and if you ever want to move away from CustomerHub it could cause some additional work to transition to a purely tag based system.

On the other hand, iMember360 uses tags and assigns one tag per Membership Level. This type of membership level can be useful if you want to have a hierarchy for your members, like a Bronze, Silver, and Gold tier of access. Memberium uses a similar level tracking method for displaying content in your members area, because Memberium is in many ways modeled on the way iMember360 was designed.

Cost Comparison Between CustomerHub, iMember360, Memberium, and AccessAlly

Each of these options will incur a recurring cost, and if you’re following membership site best practices then you’ll be earning more from your members area than you are paying to run it.

CustomerHub iMember360 Memberium

Let’s look at CustomerHub’s cost and pricing structure: it’s a $79/month pay as you go hosted platform. This is an add-on service that you pay on top of your monthly Infusionsoft costs. This covers only one members area. Each additional members area you’d want to host would be an additional $79/month.

Next, we’ve got iMember360 with starts at $57/month for one individual membership site. If you want to use the plugin on more than one domain, they have an unlimited domain option at $97/month. iMember360 also offers a yearly plan where you can save 2 months worth of payments.

With Memberium, you’re looking at a $47/month recurring fee for one individual membership site or domain name. If you’d like to have an unlimited number of membership sites that connect to the same Infusionsoft account, they’ve got an $87/month option that does just that. But if you wanted to go with a different Infusionsoft account, you’d take two $47/month single options. Similar to iMember360, Memberium has a yearly option that lets you pay up front and save 2 months worth of payments.

AccessAlly offers a lot of the same functionality and more, including fully customizable design templates, for just $79/month – the same price as CustomerHub. There’s also a yearly option that allows you to save on the cost of 2 months of service.

You can also take a look at my comparison between iMember360 vs Wishlist to get an idea of other possibilities.

Feature Comparison

Now that we’ve got the basics of comparing CustomerHub, iMember360, and Memberium out of the way… it’s time to take more of a side by side look at the different features you might expect to use to create your Infusionsoft membership site!

Member Creation & Login Area

One downside to CustomerHub is that it’s hosted on another platform – this means that the domain people will use to access the site will not offer a cohesive brand experience.

On the other hand, WordPress plugin solutions mean that you can install your membership area on a subdomain like “https://access.accessally.com” or “https://members.yourdomain.com”. This increases the likelihood that people will be able to find your members area after they’ve purchased or months down the line when they want to return to your content.

Member creation is handled inside Infusionsoft’s CRM system for each of the options we’re discussing today. You’d set up the automation for a customer’s account to be set up inside an Infusionsoft campaign. The only difference is that with the WordPress plugin options like iMember360 and Memberium, you need to send an HTTP Post from Infusionsoft to your WordPress site to let it know that a new member account needs to be set up.

With both iMember360 and Memberium, you can set up a customized looking login page using a WordPress theme template. On the other hand, with CustomerHub you’re stuck using a simple login screen that can’t be very fancy.

CustomerHub login screen

SSL Certificates & Security

One thing that CustomerHub has built-in is the SSL certificate that allows the site to handle credit card details and secure information. The advantage of not hosting a membership site on your own host is that Infusionsoft handles the security side of things without you having to think about it or do anything extra.

However, the added benefits of installing your own SSL certificate on your domain to host your membership site yourself outweigh the cost. It’s just $10/year to buy an SSL certificate to add to your WordPress hosted membership site, and to be able to add the payment integrations that it helps protect.

Shortcodes & Controlling Access

CustomerHub does not offer shortcodes, instead they have something called a “partial”. A partial is a piece of content or code that is displayed on a membership page (regardless of whether the page is set to be accessed by that particular tag or not).

This can be used to show a preview of a paid course or piece of content, to tease people to upgrade to the next level of membership. This of this as permissions within a permissioned page.

iMember360 Memberium Shortcodes

iMember360 and Memberium are very similar in terms of their shortcode strategy… they offer a TON of options for shortcodes. iMember360 offers over 300 shortcodes, and Memberium has a similar set of options. The sheer number of options here can be overwhelming, and there isn’t an easy way to learn what each shortcode does other than to read lengthy documentation.

With this number of shortcodes, it’s like learning a new programming language! As a Memberium alternative, AccessAlly, the number of shortcodes is minimized and instead you can use the simple step by step wizard interface to reach many of the same objectives.

Payment Integrations

In terms of deep integrations, one of the benefits of using a plugin or tool designed specifically for Infusionsoft is that you can handle payments. This includes failed payments, and allowing your customers to go in and update their credit card details and see their outstanding invoices.

imember360 vs Memberium

However, if you want to offer payment “self serve” handling for your end users using iMember360 – you’ll need to sign up for an additional monthly fee plugin called iClient360 (Updated November 2017: this no longer seems to be an active offering).

This adds up to another $70/year. The downside of this particular client portal is that it introduces yet another location for your clients to login and it’s also not very customizable in terms of look and feel.

With CustomerHub, Memberium, and AccessAlly you can have your members manage their credit cards and process payments on outstanding invoices. This is a huge time saver when it comes to managing membership dues or payment plan offerings.

4. Mobile Friendly Membership Sites: CustomerHub, not so friendly

It’s no secret that more and more people are accessing the web on mobile devices. That means having a mobile friendly membership area is non-negotiable.

One downside to using a platform like CustomerHub is that it relies on uploaded videos that are played back using Flash, and that reduces the mobile-friendliness of the platform.

CustomerHub Templates

As whole CustomerHub doesn’t give you a lot of leeway into making your membership site truly mobile responsive, either. With a WordPress membership site plugin, you can use a mobile responsive WordPress theme for your membership area… or even build in customized CSS code to resize your membership screens for different devices like phones or tablets.

That means your customers can download, watch, and interact with your content and courses anywhere.

Site Design Flexibility & Templates

Speaking of templates…

AccessAlly comes with 4 pre-made and easily customizable WordPress themes to get started with! None of the other options we’ve mentioned so far offers this level of customization when it comes to your membership site.

AccessAlly Templates

CustomerHub is notorious for very simple membership site designs that don’t reflect your brand. They’re just not as easily customizable as a WordPress theme or template, but sometimes the simplicity can be a benefit if you’re not too tech savvy. That being said, there are plenty of amazing AccessAlly Certified Partners who are ready to help you customize or design your ideal membership site look and feel.

When it comes to design for iMember360 and Memberium, you’re looking at very similar options because you can use shortcodes and really design your membership in whatever fashion you want.

Missing Features

There is no one perfect technical solution that will suit everyone’s needs, but here are a few of the missing features from CustomerHub vs iMember360 and Memberium.

If you want to see a more in-depth comparison of CustomerHub vs AccessAlly, we've got a post all about that.

Affiliate Integration

With both CustomerHub and iMember360, you can’t integrate the affiliate side of Infusionsoft into your membership sites… which gives your members the ability to refer people to your products, and for you to earn more income. Instead, you need to login to a separate Referral Partner area from Infusionsoft.

AccessAlly Affiliate Integration

With both iMember360 and Memberium you have basic access to Infusionsoft affiliate data through one shortcode that displays whether someone is an affiliate or not. But with AccessAlly’s affiliate features, you can they integrate directly with Infusionsoft’s referral system, and it doesn’t require your clients to login to yet another members area. It’s all in one easy to maintain place with AccessAlly!

Members can see the stats for their latest affiliate sales, get affiliate links, swipe copy, and graphics for sharing your courses and programs.

iMember360’s Scalability Issues

We built AccessAlly after having used iMember360 for a few years in our business… and we built our own plugin because there were features and functionality that we were looking for.

Infusionsoft Integration

We used to run our paid membership site on iMember360 in the 2010-2012 timeframe. It worked well because we had just a few hundred members, so the site was able to deal with the visitor load.

Unfortunately, once we created the 30 Day List Building Challenge, which is a free course inside of our members area where there’s a new video page unlocked every day for 30 days… our membership site using iMember360 began to slow way down and developed major performance issues.

Instead of having just a handful of visitors to our members area, we had over 10,000 members logging in. The reason that iMember360 sites slowed down, is because of the way it connects to Infusionsoft to check permissions. It just does a whole lot of API calls to the Infusionsoft server, which takes a toll on loading your members area.

On the other hand, AccessAlly stores the permissions and tags from Infusionsoft locally, cutting down on the back and forth calls to Infusionsoft that causes iMember360 sites to lag and slow down.

Gamification, Progress Tracking and Unlocking

Another thing that neither CustomerHub or iMember360 have out of the box is the ability to create gamification incentives, like progress tracking checklists that allow your end users to unlock additional content based on their actions. iMember360 does have more of these features.

There aren’t a whole lot of user experience design touch points designed into CustomerHub, iMember360 or Memberium, and that means you’ll need to use additional add on plugins to get the functionality you’re looking for.

On the other hand, with AccessAlly Pro you’ve got built-in progress checklists, and quizzes and a built-in credit system.

Progress Checklists

That’s the kind of thing that takes a simple membership site and turns it into a full learning platform.

If you haven’t built any gamification into your online courses yet… there’s nothing stopping you when you choose AccessAlly Pro as your Infusionsoft membership site platform.

Out of the box, AccessAlly Pro comes with progress tracking and the ability to unlock modules of content based on people completing previous modules. This brings in all kinds of possibilities, like being able to email your clients and learners after a period of time if they haven’t completed a module within a reasonable time frame.

Beyond the built-in features of AccessAlly, which you won’t find in a platform like CustomerHub, you’re able to install an unlimited number of WordPress plugins… giving you the option to integrate additional functionality like forums, a members directory, or anything else you can think of.

With AccessAlly you’ve got an all-in-one members area, where you can display all the different courses you have… which leads to more natural cross selling and upsell opportunities.

Membership Automation

If you’ve ever tried to do a timed release course or program in Infusionsoft, where a customer might get one new module released every week (or every day!) then you know how many tags you’ll need to manage.

Infusionsoft Membership Site Automation

With CustomerHub this is a manual creation process, and with iMember360 as well. Memberium will help you create tags, but with AccessAlly you’ll be guided through a course creation wizard that takes all the hassle out of creating courses. It also automatically creates the course pages for you, and allows you to have multiple courses inside one members area.

This cuts down on the manual work involved in setting up your membership site, and creates a more cohesive user experience.

How AccessAlly Stands Out

Now that we’ve done a thorough look at CustomerHub vs iMember360 and Memberium, why not take a look at how AccessAlly stands out from the other options out there.

You’ll find that we’re constantly adding new features and improving functionality to ensure that you can have thousands of customers logged into your members area loving your speedy and intuitive web site!

Click here to see AccessAlly in action.

Looking for Personalized Assistance?

Are you ready to make the move to an upgraded membership site experience with AccessAlly, but aren’t quite sure how to tackle the transfer? Don’t worry!  

We have a phenomenal team of AccessAlly Certified Partners who are experienced, super tech-savvy, and ready to offer you personalized help.  Check out these awesome experts who are just an email away.

4 Comments

  1. Andreea on October 13, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    What a great review! I used customerhub for over two years and I disliked it a lot! I finally switched to Memberium and I am much happier. Customerhub was so hard to customize and even confusing for my members. The logout button was never visible, the look of it was outdated and I just didn’t like it.



    • ambitionally on October 13, 2015 at 9:50 pm

      Thanks Andreea! :)



  2. David on October 14, 2015 at 9:31 am

    Hey Nathalie,

    Nice review! :)

    Actually, iMember360 and Memberium have very different shortcode strategies. Like you, I view having hundreds of shortcodes as a poor user experience and a design mistake, not a benefit. It was actually the 3rd area I wanted to improve on when I created Memberium. The first which it sounds like you hit also, were the scalability issues, and the privacy / security problems.

    iMember360 loves to claim their hundreds of shortcodes as a feature, because they create a shortcode for every single unique field in your contact record, in addition to the the regular functional shortcodes. Memberium uses a more standard approach for: we have a single shortcode to learn for all contact fields, a single shortcode for all affiliate fields, etc. In that single shortcode we support all fields including your custom fields, and we support powerful formatting options.

    As far as learning what our shortcode options are, we have a PDF cheat sheet that we make available to clients with the shortcodes, parameters and other useful pieces all documented that has been downloaded over 1000 times. We also provide a video library, and concierge style guidance through our 5 person support team to help our clients with everything from basic installation, to figuring out shortcode solutions since many of them aren’t technical or just want to focus on their business.

    Memberium does have a credit system as well, and support for corporate clients. Where we have taken a different path from AccessAlly is that we prefer to integrate to popular and well designed 3rd party plugins such as LearnDash.

    – Dave



  3. Bob Keen on October 29, 2015 at 9:38 am

    Hi Nathalie,

    May I point out few things?

    iClient360 is free. There is an optional upgrade for our new support ticket system but the basic package has always been free and will remain free. Anyone can download it at http://iclient360.com.

    Also, iMember360 does includes most of the features of iClient360’s self-service and has done so since 2011. In fact, iClient360 was created using the features already available in iMember360.

    As to shortcodes, let me first point out that iMember360 is the only plugin I know that allows shortcodes to be embedded within shortcodes. This single feature opens up integration with thousands of other products, as we are able to push Infusionsoft data into almost any 3rd party shortcode. For that reason, iMember360 can easily and effortlessly integrate with most other existing plugins and themes.

    Since it is an identical subset of what we still used in 2012, we know and understand “Memberium’s shortcode strategy” very well. This may be too technical for most users, but let us note that the syntax form they have chosen to keep makes it impossible to embed their shortcodes within shortcodes because it breaks WordPress’ regular expression pattern. A good example of the kind of benefit this provides is our ability to use shortcodes in LearnDash’s course certificates.

    Before we dismiss the advantages of “embbeded shortcodes”, let’s just remember that WordPress has recently announced that it will be part of future releases. This has always been in big demand in the WordPress community.

    As to the “many” shortcodes, the issue is really semantic.

    The “learning curve” behind learning [i4w_db_FirstName] is no different or harder than learning [memb_contact fields=”FirstName”]. The real difference is that [i4w_db_FirstName] is shorter and less prone to typing errors, easier to mentally “pattern” and can be embedded in other shortcodes.

    All the best,
    Bob



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