Monthly Plus: membership for students
Before diving in, I wanted to give a big shoutout to the team that helped every step of the way, from ideation through flawless execution.
Monthly Plus is a membership initiative aimed at developing our high intent students into recurring members of Monthly. Like most companies on the internet, having a healthy stream of recurring revenue means that business and growth is more predictable. But beyond just a business need, Monthly Plus also helps high intent learners continue their creative journey on Monthly at a fraction of the price. This especially holds true for students in the music production vertical, where we have multiple classes taught by instructors like Kygo, Ryan Tedder, Charlie Puth and more.
As the design lead, I worked closely with our leadership team, Head of Product and engineers to concept, design and launch an MVP discount model for subscribing students. Since launching Monthly Plus, we've seen some classes with conversion rates over 20%.
Short term track: An MVP Discount Model
For the initial launch of Monthly Plus, we focused on creating and implementing a membership system for Monthly solely based on providing members with proprietary discounts to Monthly classes. We knew that in the long term, we're looking to explore net new experiences at Monthly as part of the membership, but our goal was to first create a foundational framework to use as a jumping off point for future iterations of Monthly Plus.
A few of the questions we asked to guide our decisions included:
- What ongoing value can we add that make our platform intuitively feel like a continuing experience?
- How might we convert single purchase students into subscribers / members of our platform?
- What other benefits/products can we bundle alongside our classes to provide further value (and justify further cost).
The tl;dr approach to membership that we decided was a price that allowed you to break even on your membership fee once you'e taken 2 classes, and 50% off anything beyond that.
A few paths not taken
Below are a few early explorations of how we might showcase Monthly Plus to students. These iterations didn't make it to the final cut for one reason or another—either usability issues uncovered from testing, scalability issues, accessibility issues, etc.
Leveraging learning momentum
One of the hypothesis we had was that students finishing a class would have a certain amount of momentum afterwards that we could tap into. Imagine finishing 2 or 3 songs over 30 days—an experience like you've never had, that changed your approach to making music. By offering a special student discount of $60 (regularly $200) for 7 days after finishing the class, we can tap into the inertia and continued excitement you might have as a recent alumni on Monthly.
Curated recommendations based on vertical
Another key hypothesis was that by sorting the sections by vertical, and by distilling and cleaning up our card and section design to the minimum information allows users to get a gut feeling for our catalogue and the idea of commitment to creativity, and reduces their decision burden. If you're taking a music class, seeing other music classes first is probably most relevant. If you're taking a painting class, perhaps seeing other visual arts classes first feels the most relevant.
Making it feel special
After all, Monthly Plus is a membership program that celebrates a continued commitment to learning on Monthly, and we introduced some delight upon purchase confirmation to really help the student feel more connected to the platform.
We measured the success of monthly plus by looking at the % of first time users that converted to membership on first enrollment, as well as the % of Monthly learners who successfully complete a class that become Monthly Plus members.
For music production classes especially, we saw very high conversion rates, which confirms our hypothesis that having more classes in any given vertical means a higher likelihood to become repeat students on Monthly.