Sometimes the grass looks greener on the other side.
That’s what Valerie Silveira, creator of the Warriors in Hope® program realized.
Way back in 2017, Valerie decided to start offering online courses. She tried out AccessAlly because she knew about it through the 30 Day List Building Challenge.
However, she realized that there were a lot of puzzle pieces to figure out like setting up her email marketing platform and building WordPress pages.
Then she heard about Kartra, which was an all-in-one solution.
She wouldn’t need a separate email platform, and she could build web pages and memberships alongside her courses.
So she left AccessAlly and gave Kartra a go for a while.
She thought it would be a lot easier to have everything in one place, but in the end, Kartra didn’t have a robust membership program and the email functionality wasn’t as good as ActiveCampaign’s.
That’s why she ended up coming back to AccessAlly, even though it takes effort to set things up the way you want them.
Keep reading to find out how Valerie approached her search for the right membership and course platform, and what she’s learned along the way.
Looking at Membership Site Alternatives
Every now and then Valerie hears about a new “plug and play” membership solution and she gets tempted to check it out.
But even recently, as she looked at all of these other membership and course programs she didn’t see anything better than AccessAlly.
She quickly realized that you end up spending even more money as you add on all the other pieces you need with other platforms.
“AccessAlly was built to deliver content,” Valerie said. It has all of the flexibility around delivering content the way you want to release it: over time in a dripped fashion, based on progress, you name it.
“But Kartra was just so far off from what I needed,” she said.
She also signed up for trials of other software tools but realized it’s not what it says at face value, it added on all these different things at more cost.
In the end, the problem with Kartra is that they were trying to do everything, and it’s not possible to do everything well. You can see the full AccessAlly vs. Kartra comparison here.
“I decided to come back to AccessAlly because I knew how it worked, and the tech support is the best I’ve had.”
Valerie shared that AccessAlly’s email tech support is so fast and very thorough. The only downside is there is no weekend support.
The support team has also gone above and beyond in helping in ways that they probably shouldn’t have to. For example, they might help with WordPress issues that aren’t related to AccessAlly, to help her get what she needs done.
The People Behind AccessAlly
A lot of the tech solutions out there are offered by organizations that just feel like tech companies.
With AccessAlly and the founder Nathalie Lussier in particular, Valerie felt like there was really a person that cared behind everything.
“I knew it could provide the features I wanted and that it had such good support… I think that’s the worst thing, you can find good software, but then you get in a situation where you can’t get people to help you.”
Valerie has always thought that AccessAlly’s tech support was better than anything she’s ever had, and she would still say that without question.
That level of support comes from the people behind AccessAlly. The team consists of experts who have direct client site-building experience with WordPress, AccessAlly, and other automation tools.
They’re also very caring individuals who want to see business owners and other developers succeed.
The AccessAlly Learning Curve
There’s a lot to learn with AccessAlly, it’s not a plug-and-play solution and it wasn’t meant to be.
“That may be a turnoff for some people, but for me, it’s not. No one should be trying to create a product for everyone, AccessAlly is a WordPress plugin, not a plug and play.”
You need a CRM and WordPress, and everything talks to each other. That means you need to hire someone who can set it up for you, or learn it yourself.
Luckily, there are very good tutorials to help you learn how to use AccessAlly and set things up yourself.
“It’s not for someone who thinks they are just going to add some content and be done. It’s supposed to be technology to work with other technology.”
Valerie knows that AccessAlly is not for everyone, but for what she wants to create it has given her the flexibility she needed.
With The Learning Curve Comes Flexibility
There’s a lot to like about AccessAlly.
One thing that comes up most often is the control and flexibility it offers.
“I just like that I have options for how the content can be displayed, all the different shortcodes, show content for different things, and it works seamlessly with Active Campaign.”
There’s also the fact that AccessAlly is on WordPress, which means you’re building on your own infrastructure and you retain your content.
“For example, what happens when you don’t want to use a certain platform anymore? You don’t really own your content anymore… With some of these membership platforms, the tech agreement is you own all the content – which is true, but what if you wanted to leave them and try something else?”
She shared the hurdles with switching: “Like with Kartra – I had to start all over because it wasn’t on WordPress. So for people who want to own their own content, their own tech, their own membership, then WordPress is really the way to go. And that makes AccessAlly a really good way to go.”
At the end of the day, it comes down to what you’re looking for as a business owner.
“I would recommend AccessAlly to somebody who is willing to learn how it works or hire someone. Then take the time to understand all the features. I don’t like other plug and plays, I want control of all my content and everything.”
The Future is Bright with AccessAlly
One thing that makes Valerie glad to be back is the continued improvements happening within the AccessAlly software.
“I feel like you guys are adding new features and making improvements all the time. I feel like there are going to be more features I can add to my membership,” she said.
In particular, Valerie is excited about CommunityAlly, the new community add-on that makes it easy to have forums and groups alongside your courses and memberships.
A social media platform like Facebook is different from an intentional community. That’s why having your own community away from all of the distractions of social media can be so powerful.
Valerie made our cheeks flush when she said:
“You guys are doing a great job. I don’t expect perfection ever, I just feel in my heart and soul that this company has really good intentions, cares, and tries their best.”
And while we don’t hear this said about software (like ever?!), she also added that:
“AccessAlly was my first love.”
That’s why we’re excited about the future of continuing to love on Valerie and all of our AccessAlly clients, too!
If you’d like to experience that kind of support and the power that comes built into AccessAlly, then click here to get started.