Outseta Company Update - January 2023

By
Geoff Roberts
·
8 min read

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Hear, hear! A new year is upon us. May all these new features and updates help make your 2023 merry and bright.

New Feature! Outseta's Discord bot

Outseta's Discord Bot has landed! Unless you've been living at the north pole, you probably know that Discord has exploded in popularity in the last few years. And there haven't been many good tools out there to monetize and manage a Discord server—the Outseta bot is out to change that!

Discord came onto our radar when Justin Welsh launched his Audience & Income community using Discord and Outseta. While he made it work, we quickly realized the opportunity—he needed better tools to invite members to a Discord server, manage their permissions, and kick them out if they canceled their membership.

The existing solutions that we did find charged really hefty fees—then Discord announced their own subscription features last week, taking a 10% fee on each payment processed. Gulp.

Outseta's Discord Bot connects to your Discord Server and handles these workflows, so you can leverage Outseta's full tool set to manage your Discord community.

While we're excited to better serve Discord users, we're just as excited about who built this—we have a new person on our cap table who built the Discord bot in exchange for equity in Outseta. We can't announce who this person is just yet, but they're one of the absolute best software engineers I've worked with in my career. They're also the first to take on a project based opportunity at Outseta to earn equity in the business. The flexibility of our model is working!

You can connect Outseta to your Discord Server by going to SETTING > INTEGRATIONS > DISCORD. Documentation is also available here.

New Resource! Recommended Webflow agencies & freelancers

On the heels of Webflow Conf, I finally acted on something I should have done long ago—I pulled together a list of agencies or freelancers who can help bring your Webflow & Outseta projects to life. Over the past few years we've had countless customers ask us for referrals to people who can help them with Webflow builds—and we haven't had a deep enough roster to refer the work to.

Our new Webflow Agencies & Freelancers page addresses that. We'll send this page along to folks who ask for referrals, or we'll play match maker for projects over $5,000 in scope. This list currently includes agencies or freelancers who have built outstanding Outseta projects before, or people that I met at Webflow Conf that I believe will be staples in the Webflow community for years to come.

New Feature! Auto-apply discounts

This one is simply our product team delivering on customer feedback—one of our most requested features over the past year was the ability to auto-apply a discount code either as a URL parameter or within the sign up embed itself. You can now create an embeddable sign up form, a pop-up, or a payment link with a discount code pre-applied. Here's how it works.

New Feature! Custom post login urls

Whenever you set up a new subscription or membership plan, you can now set a custom Post Login URL that is plan specific. For example, users on your Basic plan can land on a unique landing page once they login—users on your Pro plan can have an entirely different landing page and post login experience.

This is something that's always been possible with a bit of javascript, but we've no-codified this functionality so even the least technical of users can easily set this up.

This opens up a number of new use cases for Outseta. Combined with our protected content features, it's now really easy to deliver a completely different experience on your website for users based on their membership plan.

New resource! Outseta Academy

As part of our strategy to keep Outseta purposefully small and independent, we're never going to scale our business simply by throwing bodies (employees) at our problems. Yet Outseta is a large product with a deep feature set—we'll need to double down on the quality of our documentation and training materials in order to scale.

With that in mind, we've launched Outseta Academy—an online channel where we'll be publishing educational content focused on learning to use Outseta to its full potential. The videos are bite sized—typically 2-5 minutes in length—and you can expect a new one every week going forward. Best yet, you can subscribe so that new videos land directly in your email inbox (please do).

New feature! Improved email list management

The area where we've invested the most time in Q4 has been making updates and improvements to Outseta's email tools. Our product is somewhat unique in that Outseta can be used to send three distinct types of emails:

  • Transactional Emails—These are mission critical emails for things like confirmation emails and password reset emails.
  • Lifecycle Emails—These are emails sent to users within your Outseta account based on some specific set of conditions. These are typically sent by targeting "segments" within Outseta.
  • Marketing Emails—Newsletters, prospecting emails, or any sort of other marketing related emails are a third group. Importantly, users need to opt-in to receive marketing emails. These are usually sent to "email lists" in Outseta.

All emails sent via Outseta previously included an unsubscribe link that was global—it would unsubscribe users from all emails. Our new email list management updates solve for that—users can no longer unsubscribe from transactional emails (because they are essential to using a product or service) and users now have the ability to subscribe or unsubscribe to specific email lists. This provides more granular control so recipients receive more of the emails they want based on their interests.

New Feature! Self-serve email domain authentication

To ensure the highest deliverability rates possible on emails sent via Outseta, we've always encouraged our customers to authenticate their own domains. Having your emails signed by your own domain as opposed to the outseta.com domain (which happens by default) is a general best practice for anyone that plans to send a good volume of emails from Outseta.

While we've always worked through the domain authentication process with our customers, it was a bit manual—we've now productized this process so you can authenticate your domain and get up and running with email that much faster.

If you haven't already authenticated your domain for email sending, we'd recommend that you do so—just head over to SETTINGS > INTEGRATIONS > EMAIL DOMAIN AUTHENTICATION. Additional documentation is available here.

New Feature! Resubscribe expired accounts via the sign up embed

This update is a big win for anyone that's trying to win back expired accounts in hope that they'll resubscribe to your product or service. Previously if a customer had an expired subscription and wanted to resubscribe, they'd need to do so by logging in to their pre-existing account. At login we'd recognize that the account already existed, then would prompt the user to pick a new plan and resubscribe.

That worked great... except in instances where the customer tried to sign up again as a new customer would—by purchasing a new plan via Outseta's sign up embed. This update solves for that scenario—customers with an expired account can now resubscribe either by logging in to their pre-existing account, or by interacting with the sign up embed.

New feature! Hide elements based on a specific plan

One of our protected content features has long been the ability to show any individual element on a page—say a video, button, or block of text—to users that have a specific subscription plan. This gives you the ability to protect content at an extremely granular level using the custom attributes data-o-plan-content or data-o-addon-content.

We now also support the inverse—you can select any element on a page and specifically hide it from users based on any of the plans or add-ons that they've purchased. Here's updated documentation on showing or hiding individual elements on a page.

New feature(s)! Sweeping round of Zapier updates

We've also made a significant round of updates to our Zapier integration, which now includes:

  • An Update Deal action.
  • A Subscribe to email list action.
  • A Cancel Subscription action. This can be used to cancel an account's subscription either at the end of the current subscription period, or immediately.

These same updates are currently being made to our Make.com integration—they'll be available shortly.

New Feature! Bubble Plugin V2

Back in June we announced the launch of Outseta's Bubble plugin—something that many of our customers had been inquiring about for years. And to call a spade a spade, we simply got it wrong; the V1 plugin simply didn't live up to the needs of our customers.

Specifically, the first version of our Bubble plugin allowed you to use Outseta's sign up and login embeds with a Bubble app—but missed the mark in the sense that users were not seen as authenticated by Bubble's backend. While this made the plugin suitable for basic membership websites with protected content use cases, most Bubble builders have more complex use cases where Bubble needs to recognize when a user is authenticated in order to make use of most of Bubble's workflows and feature set.

Undeterred, we're back with an updated plugin that solves for this.

Our V2 plugin connects your Outseta and Bubble accounts via API keys generated within Outseta. It's fundamentally different in a few key ways:

  • Users will use Bubble's native account creation (sign up) and authentication (login) features—so Bubble now views users as authenticated.
  • Payments are processed via Outseta.
  • You can fetch user details directly from Outseta and use them within the context of your Bubble app.
  • Outseta's live chat embed can be used on your Bubble site or within your Bubble product.

Updated documentation on the V2 plugin is available here.

Small Improvements

Here are a bunch of smaller product updates that we thought you still might want to know about.

We added the ability to add keywords to your knowledge base articles—any keywords entered will return articles that contain those keywords when someone is searching your knowledge base.

Your company name now displays in your Outseta account rather than our branding. Additionally, profile photos are now pulled into the top right corner of your Outseta account for all users. We hope these changes make your Outseta account feel a little bit more like your own.

We updated the screens where users are sent to update their payment information—these were pages we hadn't touched in a long time. Here's a before and after...

Before
After

We now display subscription renewal dates within the profile embed, so customers know exactly when their subscription will renew. Thanks to Alex Parker from Lifting Lindsay for this suggestion!

We've added improved loading messages when importing data. You may have noticed that anytime you import data, the progress bar seems to get stuck at 5% for a bit—that's totally expected. While this is just a small usability improvement, we've added some fun prompts so you'll know that there's no issue, data is being queued up behind the scenes, and your import is processing smoothly.

If you have any questions on these updates, you know where to find us. And we'll be back in your inbox with our annual company update next week!

-The Outseta Team

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