FACT: Anything that you put out on the web, can be downloaded – one way or the other.
FACT: People who are out to steal stuff, will steal it no matter what.
FACT: By taking security too far, you will only annoy and irritate 99% of your members who have absolutely no intention of ripping you off or stealing your content in any way.
DAP provides built-in security for files and video and just about any other type of file extension – like .pdf, .zip, .doc, etc. DAP will make sure that even if the URL to the actual file gets passed around, the person trying to access the file will have to log in first before they can access the content. So your content is safe from un-authorized users, with DAP protecting it.
However, what about a valid, paying member? When they get access to a protected PDF or .zip or even a video, can DAP prevent them from downloading the file to their desktop? If a paying member who has legitimate access to a PDF file, can download the PDF to their desktop, can they not then turn around and upload it to their own web site, or send it as an attachment via email to their friends? Is there any way to make files not downloadable at all?
Sure they can. But trying to build a Fort Knox around your content, is not really the best thing for your members.
Like we mentioned above, anything that’s out there on the web, can be duplicated, copied, downloaded – in one way or the other. Nothing is 100% secure.
So can your content be “too secure”? Absolutely. You can make it too hard for 99% of your legitimate members, just to prevent the 1% from stealing it (but they’re going to find a way to steal anyway). What’s the point, really? Those who want to steal, know how to pick your lock. So why make it harder for your real members?
Can people pass on their username/password to their friends to log in to your member’s area? Sure. But DAP will lock their account from further access, if it detects an account getting logins from more than, say “5” (or whatever you set as admin) IP addresses.
Can people download your videos from your site after getting legit access to it, using screen-capture tools, then re-upload to a torrent or black-hate site? Sure, they can.
Can people break your “password-lock”, “print-lock” or any other kind of restriction you place on your PDF files, within seconds? Sure, they can.
No, your content can never be 100% secure. Any one who tells you so, is either lying, or doesn’t have a clue.
Your only goal should be to make it hard for the “casual” abusers, that’s all. Not to make it so hard that even your legitimate members have to jump through hoops to get to it.
The best membership sites we have seen, provide access to their content in multiple formats.
Do you publish video content? Then right below the video, also give them a link to “download” the video and “watch it at their leisure”, publish an “Audio Version” in .mp3 format, publish a “PDF Transcript” of everything said in the video, so they can even “read” the content from your video.
Is your content mostly text? Then offer a PDF version of your blog post or page, so they can download it, print it, and read it offline. Or make a “Read Aloud” version of your blog post and offer it as a .mp3 file, so they can “listen” to your content while at the gym, or while going for a walk, or while driving in their car.
Bottom-line: Don’t worry about the 1% who will never pay you, probably will steal your content, and pass it on to others one way or the other. Just focus on creating great value for the 99% of your paying members who pay you, support you, promote you, and keep coming back month after month after month. And that’s the best use of your time and resources, and that’s the only way to build a successful membership site.
WARNING: Gmail integration may not work for everyone. Many factors – including, but not limited to, your physical location, the location associated with your Gmail account, location of server, IP address, etc – appear to play a role in whether or not this will work for you with your Gmail account. So please note, that if it doesn’t work for you, then there isn’t anything the DAP team can do to overcome or “fix” that. It’s Google, after all. We don’t know what rules and monitoring they have in place for this. So, if Gmail integration doesn’t work for you, then you may want to consider Amazon SES integration, which has a 100% success rate with DAP users at this time.
To increase deliverability of your autoresponder, broadcast and instant emails (like “Welcome” email), you can make DAP completely by-pass your web host’s email server, and send emails out through third-party email servers, like Gmail or Amazon SES. This article is about setting up DAP to send out emails through Gmail’s email servers.
Before you start sending out mass emails through Google’s Gmail Servers, please note this…
Sending out emails through Gmail instead of your web host, will surely boost your deliverability, no doubt. But remember that Gmail is NOT meant to use for mass emails. It is not really meant to be used as a list service. Plus they have a very strict restriction of 500 emails per 24-hour period.
You exceed that quota even by one, and they probably will temporarily disable your Gmail account for about 24 hours. Sending a large number of un-deliverable emails (resulting in bounces) could also get your entire Gmail account permanently suspended. And if you lose your Google username, it may (no confirmation available) affect your other Google accounts too – like AdWords or AdSense.
Anyway, DAP has a round-robin emailing system – so you could set up and use multiple Gmail accounts – each with its own 500 email limit per day – and combine them to send out a larger broadcast. However, remember – we’re talking about Google here – which means they can suspend/cancel/delete your account for any reason at all, even more so when you’re going against their TOS.
So use Gmail with caution, and only for smaller lists. If you want a larger sending email limit, check out the DAP integration with Amazon SES which allows you to send out tens of thousands of emails a day.
DAP is so powerful and flexible, that you can sell access to your membership through different payment processors, all at the same time.
And we often get asked how to leverage different affiliate networks like ClickBank and JVZoo and Warrior Plus at the same time while making sure no affiliate commissions are lost, and every affiliate gets credited their commissions for sending potential buyers to your site.
1) If buyer arrives ONLY through DAP affiliate link, and ends up purchasing through ANY payment processor, then DAP affiliate will get credit.
2) If buyer arrives ONLY through CB affiliate link, and ends up purchasing through CB payment processor, but the buyer has a different DAP affiliate’s cookie from a link he clicked on at some point before (but did not purchase at that time, say), then both CB affiliate and DAP affiliate will get credit (double commissions on same purchase, but to two different affiliates).
If there’s no DAP cookie on his computer, then only CB affiliate will get the commission.
If the DAP affiliate “chains” two of his own affiliate links – his DAP affiliate link and CB affiliate link – like shown below, then same affiliate will get both CB commission as well as DAP commission. Again, double commissions but to same person.
3) If buyer arrives ONLY through JVZOO affiliate link, and ends up purchasing through JVZOO payment processor, but the buyer has a different DAP affiliate’s cookie from a link he clicked on at some point before (but did not purchase at that time, say), then both JVZOO affiliate and DAP affiliate will get credit (double commissions on same purchase, but to two different affiliates).
If there’s no DAP cookie on his computer, then only JVZOO affiliate will get the commission.
If the DAP affiliate “chains” two of his own affiliate links – his DAP affiliate link and JVZOO affiliate link – like shown below, then same affiliate will get both JVZOO commission as well as DAP commission. Again, double commissions but to same person.
To make sure that you’re not paying double-commissions on purchases, and also to make sure that sales don’t get lost between affiliate networks (and your affiliates losing their commissions in the process), you have to set things up the right way.
The main thing to do, is to create a separate set of the following for each affiliate network:
So the net effect of this, is…
If a CB affiliate sends traffic to a page, that page must have a CB buy link ONLY on that page. If you have, say, a JVZoo button on that same page, and the buyer buys through the JVZoo link, then the CB affiliate will get no commissions for that purchase. Which means, they will stop promoting your product because you’re basically funnelling off their visitors to a different affiliate network.
Similarly, the landing page for JVZoo affiliates must have only JVZoo buy buttons.
Landing page for a regular payment processor – like Paypal or Authorize.net – should have only a Paypal and/or Authorize.net buy button (and no CB or JVZoo buy buttons). In this case, for these products in DAP, you should set up an affiliate commission row on the “Affiliates > Manage” screen, so that your DAP affiliates can get credited for sales made through your regular web site.
There are two main items that need to be addressed when it comes to a member wanting to Upgrade or Downgrade their Subscription from one membership “level” (a.k.a “Product” in DAP) to another.
1) Modifying the actual recurring payments to reflect the new amount
2) Giving them appropriate access as per the upgrade (or downgrade)
So let’s see how both of these are accomplished.
You do need to take some manual action for this. The way to do it is….
Set up automation rules using DAP’s Product Chaining feature, so that if they sign up for one Product (or “level”), they’re automatically removed from another Product (or level).
So if they are currently signed up to your “Gold Membership”, then when they sign up afresh for the “Platinum Membership”, then set up a Product Chaining rule that says, “If member signs up for Platinum Membership, then remove them from Gold Membership”. This is just to make sure that they don’t have access to two products (or “levels”) at the same time.
If you want to speed up your web site, you must address the core issue, which is — your web site is getting more traffic than your web server (web hosting account) can handle.
So here are a few ways in which you can speed up your web site:
When you have hundreds of posts or pages protected as part of a DAP Product, the list of links on the DAP Member Home Page (that is the result of using the merge tag %%USERLINKS%%) can get quite long and unwieldy.
So you can choose to hide some of those links from being displayed on the member’s home page.
Here’s how you hide a link from being shown on the member’s home page…
1) Go to the DAP Product in question, scroll down to the ContentResponder section
2) Click on the edit link next to the content in question on the right. The “Edit Files” popup will then show up on the left.
3) Set “Display On User’s Home Page” to “N”.
The content is still part of that product, it is still being protected, but the link simply won’t be displayed on the member home page.
“Login Xpress” is a DAP feature that enables your members to be logged right into your membership site immediately upon completion of their purchase.
This is roughly how it works:
DAP supports this feature with the following payment processors:
If you use any of the payment options above, then you can set up your sales funnel in such a way that buyers are logged in right away immediately after purchase.
DAP integrates with the above processors via some kind of “back-end payment notification” – similar to Paypal’s “IPN” (Instant Payment Notification). Which means the notification between the payment processor and DAP on your site only happens on the “back-end”. Which is why DAP can only deliver the login details to the buyer via an email, and cannot log them in right away (like it can do with “Login Xpress”), because the buyer’s information is available to DAP only when the payment processor sends out the IPN notification behind-the-scenes, so to speak.
So if you’re using the above processors to accept online payments, then what you need to do, is to redirect your buyers to a static “Thank You” page that has a message similar to the one below…
“Thank you for your purchase. In a few minutes, please check your email address used during purchase for your log in details to log in to the members’ area and access the product you just purchased.”
And behind the scenes, DAP would’ve already received the payment notification from the payment processor, and it would’ve created an account for your buyer, given them access to the purchased product, and sent them the “Thank-you Email” for the product(s).
There really is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to refund policies.
There are so many factors involved. The main one being, that Visa/Master/Amex/Paypal all give a buyer up to 60 days to ask for a refund, at least with most merchants.
Unless you’ve already negotiated the refund terms with your merchant account provider, and have both specifically agreed that there would be no refunds (like say, if you were selling an expensive item, like a car, or a boat, or a service), or that it’s only going to be a 30-day refund period, then you really have no control over the refund period. You just have to comply with at least the mandatory 60-day refund period required by the credit card companies.
So that brings us to the question:
How much should you set your refund period to be within DAP?
Now remember, it is this Refund Period setting (under Setup > Config > Advanced) that also makes affiliates eligible for payment.
So it really comes down to the question:
What is the waiting period for an affiliate to get paid for a referral?
Our recommendation: 60 days.
That’s because if you end up paying too soon (say like within 15 or 30 days), and then the buyer comes back and asks for a refund, now you’re out-of-pocket for the affiliate commissions that you have already paid on a purchase that you just refunded.
Now remember that when you do the actual refund within DAP, DAP will roll-back any commissions credited towards this purchase. If you have not yet paid your affiliates, then in the next report, it will ignore the refunded purchase, and will not calculate commissions on that purchase.
But if you have already paid your affiliates (like within 15 or 30 days after purchase), then DAP will include the negative commission in the next pay-period’s report. And any future commissions earned by this affiliate will be accordingly adjusted.
However, if the affiliate doesn’t refer any more members, then you have two choices at this point:
1) Ask the affiliate to pay back the over-paid commissions
2) Just swallow the loss, write it up to the cost of doing business, and move on.
We frequently get asked questions like…
“Can DAP protect my Videos/PDF’s/Audio files from being copied? Is there some kind of tracking that I can build into my videos that will let me track the video on torrent sites?”
“Can DAP prevent people from downloading my videos/audio/pdf and uploading it to a torrent or third-party site?”
“Can DAP force people to only watch my videos online? I don’t want my members to download any of my content to their hard disk – I want to force them to see/read/hear/watch everything online.”
Short Answer: No.
Long Answer: Keep reading…
There are so many ways to steal your content from your web site – no matter what technology you use.
Let us explain what that means…
1) Let’s say you implement a technology where only paying members can even get to your videos. Like you can already do with DAP. So then a paying member can download your video because they are already a paying member, and they actually have access to the videos. And once your video has been downloaded to their hard disk, you have lost all control over it – no matter what anyone tells you, that’s the truth. Because they can upload it to any illegal warez sharing site, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Of course, you could spend all your time, money and efforts monitoring the thousands of illegal sharing sites whether your video or ebook is found anywhere – assuming you can even find it in the first place, which would be like finding a needle in a hay stack – no, make that “hay factory” – wait, make that “finding a needle in New York City” – and then write to those site owners and ask them to take it down.
Or you could focus on the 99% of legitimate members of your site, and create great content for them, and keep them paying month after month, and sell more products to them, and keep them happy.
2) Let’s say you use a plugin that only allows true-streaming – like one based on Amazon CloudFront technology, that will not allow the users to directly download your videos, but force them to watch online only. Then there’s any number of “screen-capture” tools – even free ones – that your members can use to capture another video of your video, and then share it with their friends, or upload to illegal sharing sites.
The list goes on and on. No matter how hard you make it, there’s always going to be a way around.
So, unless you’re a NASA, NetFlix, or Amazon or Apple who has a real reason to protect their content that is worth real millions of dollars, there is *no technology* available today that will let you track a video or pdf *after* it has been downloaded. If someone is saying they can do this, then they’re outright lying to you, and playing on your fears.
DAP already has a built-in password-sharing prevention security built in. If someone tries to share their account info with others, DAP will lock their account the moment their account gets log-ins from multiple IP’s (you can configure this setting) and deny further access to any of their content, until you investigate the user and “un-lock” their account.
DAP already protects all of your media from illegal access.
DAP also prevents your Amazon S3 videos and audio and other content from being accessed by anyone directly. Using a script like http://S3MediaVault.com , you can make it such that your videos and audio and other media can only be downloaded from approved sites (where the plugin is installed), and then on top of that, there’s DAP already sitting like a monster watch-dog, making sure only authorized users can even get into the site in the first place.
So hope that helps if you’ve gotten too worried about protecting your content – so worried that you’re missing the big picture.
The best membership sites allow people to consume the content they’ve paid for in multiple ways – view the video, download the video, download mp3 audio version of the video, download the presentation as a powerpoint, download the transcripts as a PDF, and so on.
Instead of making it easy for your members to download the content, if you’re going to spend your limited resources trying to figure out how to prevent people from downloading content that they’ve actually paid for, and force people to only view your content online and not be able to view it offline (like in their spare time or when going for a jog in the park), you run the risk of upsetting 99% of your legitimate paying members, in order to secure your content from the 1% of pirates, who will steal and share your content no matter what.
So forget about the 1%, and focus on the 99%. DAP already has enough security in place to stop the 1%. So don’t worry about that. Your content is very secure with DAP.
Anything else is just a total waste of your time. So don’t get distracted by the noise, and just get on with the real important tasks on hand: Building a long-term recurring income stream by building a large community of highly satisfied, loyal fans who are thrilled about what you have to offer, and will continue to pay month after month because whatever it is that you’re selling, is making their life better in some way.
The hardest thing to do online, with a membership site is still this: Creating great content, Attracting buyers, and then getting your members to keep paying month after month.
And that, is the big picture.
DAP supports (up to) a 2-tier affiliate program. So you could pay just one level (“tier”) of commissions (A gets paid when he refers B), or you could also set up DAP to pay 2 “tiers” of commissions (User 1 gets paid when he refers User 2 AND User 1 also gets paid something when User 2 refers User 3).
[NOTE: Paypal has an Acceptable Use Policy – especially for a product or service that could be considered “MLM” or “Pyramid”. Make sure you’re not violating their terms. For eg., requiring your members to keep paying subscription fees in order to remain an affiliate, could be considered a Pyramid scheme. So, in general (nothing to do with using DAP or paying 2 levels of commissions), if you are running an affiliate program and will be paying out commissions via Paypal, make sure you are not violating their terms.]
In a typical “1-Tier” affiliate program, when a buyer makes a purchase, the affiliate who referred the buyer is the only one who gets paid an affiliate commission. Which is why it’s called “1-tier”, because there’s only one level of commissions paid.
However, in a “2-tier” affiliate program, the “Affiliate’s Affiliate” (2nd level above) can also be paid a portion of the sale in commissions.
So consider this this example…
You are selling Product A that costs $100.
You’ve set up your commission structure for Product A as follows:
Tier 1: 50% Per Sale
Tier 2: 10% Per Sale
Joe Customer is referred by Charlie to your web site. Joe went on to purchase Product A for which commissions are set up above.
So Charlie (tier-1 affiliate) gets paid 50% of the sale – which is $50.
Now, normally a 1-tier affiliate program would stop there, and that would be the end of affiliate commissions for that purchase. But you have set up 2 tiers.
So now DAP looks at who referred Charlie, the affiliate. It finds that David originally referred Charlie to your web site (regardless of how Charlie got in to your membership site).
So now David (tier-2 affiliate) gets paid 10% of the sale – which is $10.
So for that one sale of $100, $50 was paid to Charlie, and $10 was paid to David, which totals $60.
So $40 is your earnings, as the site owner.
The 2-tier or “n” tier setup is the exact same as the 1-tier setup.
Only difference is, set up a new record on the “Affiliates > Set Commissions” page for each tier – one for Tier 1, one for Tier 2, and so on.