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Customer Success Story

Running The Best Membership Site for Jill Angie of Not Your Average Runner

Strapping on her running shoes over two decades ago, Jill Angie, the bold founder and leader of Not Your Average Runner, embarked on a journey that shifted her perception of running from a calorie-burning chore to a source of strength and confidence. In 2009, she underwent a crucial mental transformation, viewing running as a tool for personal growth rather than punishment.

Triathlete, half marathoner, a personal trainer with her own studio—Jill defied stereotypes and realized that, despite the vast running community, there weren’t many who looked like her. Driven by the desire to share the empowering benefits of running, she penned a book and embraced the role of a running and life coach.

Jill’s passion extends beyond fitness; it’s about fostering self-confidence and self-love, particularly among plus-size women. In her business, Not Your Average Runner, Jill works tirelessly to neutralize the word “fat” and use it simply as a common descriptor. Her mission revolves around helping fat women, especially those over 40 in the Gen X age group, discover the joy of running.

A Place for Connection, Coaching and Support

At the heart of Jill’s endeavor is her membership program, Run Your Best Life. This platform serves as a hub for coaching, connection, and community-building, providing a space for clients to support each other on their running journeys. 

While a great place to start, the first version of the program platform had its drawbacks – a clunky interface made it challenging for clients to navigate through the plethora of PDFs and videos, which resulted in a ton of customer support requests that kept Jill’s team busy. Recognizing the need for improvement, Jill sought to not only organize content more efficiently but also enhance community engagement. 

In addition, her site was plagued with bugs and technical issues. It was difficult to organize all her content in a way that made it easy for her customers to access and use. 

This led her to the transition from PilotPress to AccessAlly. Jill remembers, “I was frustrated with the system that I had and my team and I were like, well, we could look into AccessAlly. [But] at the time, we didn’t have the know-how to do the change.” Jill was able to find a professional well-versed in building membership sites with AccessAlly to help them make the transition.

Transitioning to AccessAlly was easy

The transition to AccessAlly not only resolved technical issues but also aligned with Jill’s goal of creating a space where members not only find resources but actively participate and connect with each other. The result: a coaching membership that not only meets functional needs but also offers an engaging and visually appealing environment for every runner.

The decision to switch from PilotPress to AccessAlly was driven by the desire for more features, improved reliability, and an attractive design. The glitches they experienced with PilotPress became a thing of the past, replaced by a platform that aligned seamlessly with Jill’s vision.

AccessAlly became the backbone of Run Your Best Life, providing an intuitive platform to organize diverse content seamlessly. Coaching calls, recorded for accessibility, found a new home on the membership site and in a private podcast, allowing members the flexibility to catch up at their convenience.

The transformation wasn’t just about functionality; it was a shift towards making the website more than a repository. As Jill explains, “I wanted to build a website that was functional, but that had lots of nice features.” She aimed to create a space where members would actively engage, connect, and feel a sense of community. The WordPress site, previously challenging to navigate, underwent a significant improvement.

“We’re getting a lot more people using the site now,” Jill says, “and we’ve gotten so many folks saying, wow, it’s so much easier to find everything.”

More than just good-looking; AccessAlly adds functionality that members love

“It’s much more intuitive, and it’s attractive,” Jill laughs. “It doesn’t look ‘homemade’ like my other one.” 

Organizing the content was a huge step toward a more functional membership site and more engaged users, but of course, the makeover wasn’t just about aesthetics or even organization; AccessAlly helped Jill add a lot of exciting functionality as well. 

AccessAlly’s customization options allowed them to add a race calendar, goal tracking for users, and a quiz that helps users figure out where to start.

Jill also gets important insights into how members are interacting with the content, which classes they’re watching, and maybe where they’re getting stuck. “I get a lot more information,” Jill says, “and they have a lot more clarity about how to use the membership and how to get the most out of it.”

The dashboard they were able to build within AccessAlly not only helped users find what they’re looking for, but also helped reduce customer service emails. “I absolutely love this dashboard,” Jill says. “You can see all of the upcoming coaching calls. This has really been a game-changer. We’ve stopped getting the emails about where’s the link, what’s the schedule because it’s all right there.”

They also added some basic gamification, awarding badges when members complete their first 5k or 10k race. “That’s been a feature that our members really like because everybody likes to collect badges,” Jill says.

AccessAlly makes running a membership site easy — and profitable

Overall, for Jill the switch to AccessAlly has been incredibly positive, adding value for her customers and her team members. 

“One of the things I love,” Jill shared, is that “it’s easy enough to use on the back end that my team who do not have an experience in coding or anything can fix probably like 75% of the things that come up that — and there’s not a ton of things that come up.”  It’s easy for her team to upload new content, and they rarely if ever experience glitches or limitations the way they did before. 

Plus, the members love the look and feel of the new site — and that has translated into real dollars. In the past, as much as 30–40% of people who left the membership said the reason was because they couldn’t find anything on the website. Now they’re hardly seeing that reason come up at all. 

“When new members come in, it’s very obvious to them what they’re supposed to do because we set up a video series and the quiz to kind of help them,” Jill shared. “In the past, people would join the membership and then I would get a million questions like ‘what am I supposed to do, what am I supposed to do?’ and now it’s all so nicely automated that we get zero questions on that so that’s made a huge difference.”

Overall, the transition to AccessAlly helped Jill create a not-so-average experience and community for her more-than-average runners. Over time, the improved functionality has helped increase member satisfaction and participation and decrease customer support requests and churn. 

That sounds like a win to us.

"AccessAlly has been this really nice stable, reliable feature that doesn't seem to have any weird glitches."

In the past my launches were people would join the membership and then I would get a million questions like what am I supposed to do and now it’s all so nicely automated that we get zero questions on that so that’s made a huge difference.

Location: Philadelphia, PA

AccessAlly Client Since: 2022

Switched from: PilotPress

CRM: Ontraport

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