Dornubari Vizor May 23, 2023
Uncovering Wild Apricot: A Comprehensive Review of Its Features, Pricing, and User Experience
Are you considering using the Wild Apricot platform for your association? It may sound like a good idea, but let’s take a moment to ensure it’s a well-informed decision. To help with that, we’ve provided a detailed Wild Apricot review. This review delves into the platform’s features, pricing, and pros and cons, providing a comprehensive look at its ins and outs.
This one’s not like one of those shallow Wild Apricot reviews. We will be talking about the platform in detail.
Wild Apricot is a cloud-based membership management platform designed for small associations and non-profits. It is part of Personify Corp’s family of products and was launched in 2017. Today, more than 26,000 organizations use Wild Apricot for day-to-day management and operational tasks.
The platform is well-known for its main membership feature. Additionally, it facilitates multi-chapter associations and organizations. It allows you to create automated workflows to save time and money. Furthermore, it offers a reasonable range of features, including a built-in online store, a website builder, and a mobile app.
To gain an in-depth understanding of what the Wild Apricot platform has to offer, let’s review all of its features.
Let’s start with the primary feature, the Wild Apricot Member Management. This feature can be further broken down into a set of membership sub-features. Let me walk you through each of these sub-features.
This feature enables you to automate the application process for members. You can customize registration forms according to your requirements. Plus, you can automate emails, create multiple access membership levels, and offer discount codes.
This robust database is based on a centralized dashboard that gives you instant access to all membership data. Members can also update their data themselves, and these updates will be reflected in real-time. You can create different fields for your members to fill in with information.
This database is customizable and allows you to import data from spreadsheets. Plus, it comes with an advanced keyword research option.
Wild Apricot provides access to member reports and database analytics. This feature is highly beneficial for gaining insight-driven solutions and enhancing business development.
You can set different data parameters to create reports according to your needs.
This feature enables you to add member contacts to a centralized contact database. You can also import contact information and create custom fields. Plus, it comes with an advanced search feature.
This feature makes renewals and invoicing easier for you and your members. Basically, it automates the whole process, including renewal reminders and invoicing.
Members can renew their memberships independently and update their data using either the Wild Apricot site or the mobile app.
Here’s a vital feature. This feature allows you to create multi-tiered memberships with different benefits, offerings, and prices. This comes in handy for boosting monetization.
You can name levels such as premium, basic, etc. Moreover, you can create a renewal policy for each level. Plus, you can apply or disable taxes.
This feature is aimed at creating directories for your members to connect. It can be public or only accessible to your members. However, you can specify which data a certain directory carries.
Having built-in web tools to create your site is a big plus. This builder comes with a drag-and-drop tool to create a stunning website.
You can opt for web templates and mobile-friendly themes. All themes automatically scale to fit the screen size. You can create a custom and fully responsive site.
However, according to your branding guide, you will require coding expertise to edit the HTML and CSS code to enhance UX and appearance.
With Wild Apricot, you can create exclusive content for members with specific access levels. You can offer premium web pages to specific groups or members with distinct membership packages.
You can also create a blog to host your content. Plus, you can create forums within your website to enhance your member base and keep your members engaged. Members can interact with each other and exchange ideas.
Next, we have the Wild Apricot Online Payment feature. It’s powered by automation to make payment processing easy for you and your members. You can track online payments both from the web portal and the mobile app.
Moreover, you can easily start accepting payments instantly. Overall, it aims for fast payment processing.
Wild Apricot’s built-in payment feature is powered by AffiniPay. You can process your payments either by using this built-in processor or by integrating a third-party processor into your Wild Apricot account.
Let’s round off some sub-features.
You can generate custom invoices and receipts for all online transactions. Once the payment is confirmed, it automatically updates the database and generates receipts. Plus, it sends payment reminders and receipts via email.
This sub-feature helps you create an analytic image of your organization’s financial status. You can create reports for different aspects by setting parameters. It enables you to generate reports for income, aging receivables, donations, payments, and taxes.
You can also export this data to Quick Books or Excel.
Your members can easily pay their dues or any donations using this automated feature.
This feature caters to the need to create and execute events online. It’s a complete event management solution for small organizations. You can set up event pages, event registration forms, attendee lists, and invitations.
This event builder comes with all sorts of advanced settings.
You can create customized forms for event registration. Further, you can incorporate add-ons such as coupon codes, early bird discounts, and members-only perks.
This feature is designed to automate all your event emails. This includes confirmation emails, reminders, promotional emails, and feedback messages. Moreover, you can embed an event calendar or your event listing in your event emails.
You get a dedicated email feature to design and set up emails for your organization. This comes with a built-in email creator.
You can create a fully customized email using advanced tools. Plus, the platform offers a robust database to keep membership data and records. In addition, you get access to pre-designed email templates.
Using this feature, you can also set up email newsletters for your members. The whole process can easily be automated.
Wild Apricot comes with an integrated online store to manage your sales using one platform. Moreover, you can create product listings and accept payments directly. You can list digital products, physical products, and online services using this online store.
You get an admin dashboard that gives you a centralized peek into your online store performance. With this dashboard, you can keep an eye on stock levels, orders, pending payments, and taxes.
It comes with advanced inventory options. That allows you to list different variants of the same product. With each sale or milestone completed, this feature automatically updates information in the database.
Wild Apricot allows you to harness the power of several third-party tools out there. That enables you to make your processes more efficient.
This sub-feature enables you to link your Wild Apricot features to your accounts on other sites or platforms. For instance, using the event widget, you can view your Wild Apricot event calendar on another site.
This feature allows you and your members to link an external site to your Wild Apricot website. Users can then use the same login credentials for both sites. They can even restrict content between the two sites.
If you already have a WordPress site, you can link it to your Wild Apricot site using the WordPress plugin. You can further share and display content from both sites.
It’s a useful tool with drag-and-drop functionality. This tool can sync with over 950 apps and is used to create automated workflows.
This third-party tool allows you to set up Wild Apricot notifications for external services.
This feature enables you to create custom member apps. Plus, you can design custom plugins that perfectly suit your needs. However, it might require special expertise.
Wild Apricot offers two mobile apps: one for admins and the other for members. Plus, both apps are available on the App Store and Google Play. Both apps come with all Wild Apricot features.
Admin members can easily manage their Wild Apricot account and the whole organization using the admin app.
Wild Apricot offers 2 programs that are 100% free to join.
This program is focused on customers who can earn a 10% commission on each payment for 2 years after a successful referral.
This program is focused on small agencies, consultants, IT firms, freelancers, and designers. You will earn a spot in an exclusive directory for high-quality employers to reach you.
Wild Apricot offers robust customer support through several support channels. However, support is not available 24/7. It’s only available 4 days a week, with limited time. Plus, there is no live chat support feature. This is a drawback, as many other membership management platforms offer 24/7 support and live chat.
Wild Apricot offers a help center. It houses guides on a wide range of topics. Again, this isn’t a convenient option to seek help.
Wild Apricot’s pricing is not straightforward, but it does offer a 30-day free trial, which is a good thing. In addition, there are regular pricing options as well as multi-chapter pricing options.
Wild Apricot offers a 30-day free trial. That’s unusual, as most of the platforms out there offer only a 14-day trial. Plus, no credit card information is required to experience the free trial. You get access to all the features offered by the platform.
The platform offers 7 paid plans that differ in the content limit aspect.
Each plan is available on a monthly payment cycle. However, you can get a 10% discount on each plan if you opt for an annual billing cycle. If you opt for a bi-annual billing cycle, you save 20% on each plan.
Please note that contacts here are different from members. Members are paid contacts who get access to premium content and benefits. On the other hand, a contact is someone who shares information such as email and phone number with you.
Overall, the regular pricing plans are ambiguous. They do not provide much information on how they differ regarding features and limitations. That means one cannot get a clear idea of the cost.
This pricing is aimed at multi-chapter associations and organizations. It’s only available via special inquiry.
Like any other platform, Wild Apricot has its drawbacks that you need to be aware of. Overall, it seems to be a complete solution, but it also has some significant shortcomings and disadvantages. Let’s discuss them.
First, it does not offer any content management system (CMS). Today, associations are focusing on having a CMS to house important content and resources for members. Each member can have access to the content. But, in the case of Wild Apricot, there is no built-in CMS.
Secondly, Wild Apricot does not have a course builder, which is a big drawback. Small organizations and associations need learning mechanisms for member education and training. Many other platforms, such as GroupApp, offer in-built course builders, but that’s not the case with Wild Apricot.
Third, Wild Apricot’s customer support is weak and not very facilitative. First, they do not offer a live chat feature or any helpline for instant problem resolution. Next, their limited support is not available 24/7 and you can only get support 4 days a week.
The overall user interface (UI) of Wild Apricot is not very visually appealing. It has a traditional UI that may not enhance the user experience. Many platforms today come with an easy-to-use UI that can improve the user experience.
Finally, there is no dedicated community feature. I believe this is the biggest shortcoming of the platform.
That was a detailed review of the platform, Wild Apricot. We touched upon all of its features, support, pricing, and what’s not good about Wild Apricot.
Now, the big question is whether it’s worth your precious money.
Here are my thoughts.
Wild Apricot is a robust platform but it’s still stuck somewhere in the 2000s. Why?
Because the platform does not correspond to the evolved needs of associations or organizations. We are talking about its biggest lackings, especially not having a course builder and a community feature.
These two features are vital for all associations today. Associations are actively harnessing the power of communities now to achieve their goals. Plus, courses are important when it comes to member training.
Adding a third-party feature for these two will only lead to an increase in the cost and expertise required to manage. (We don’t want that!)
Moreover, Wild Apricot is quite complex and can require special expertise to function. For instance, you will need to hire a developer to create a website or to use the API. In addition, the customization tools at Wild Apricot are very limited and conventional.
Overall, it’s a good platform to run small to medium-sized associations or organizations with limited scope, vision, and needs.
We need platforms that are simpler and effortless. Plus, they must be equipped with all modern features and correspond well to the growing needs of associations.
For example, consider GroupApp.
With GroupApp, you get:
It’s an apt solution for an association and has everything an association might need at any point.
It is actively powering many associations, including the National Business Education Association (NBEA). NBEA is running an active and growing community on GroupApp.
Here’s what Joe McClary, Director of NBEA has to say about GroupApp.
“GroupApp checked many boxes from the start. But it all came down to simplicity. The platform’s simplicity makes usability easy, and there is no need to hire a full-time employee.
We didn’t need the programmer to launch the community, design the space, add members or upload the materials.
Moreover, we were amazed by how responsive GroupApp was during the process and helpful in integrating the community with our system.
It’s n all-in-one toll for an affordable price. We finally found both a time and cost-saving platform that has everything we need.”
GroupApp is simpler and more sophisticated. It cuts the hassle and saves you money. Plus, it comes with a free plan.