In case you missed it, back in September we introduced Rainmaker, the complete website solution for building your online marketing and sales platform. With Rainmaker, you can:
- Create powerful content-driven websites on your own domains.
- Build membership sites and online training courses.
- Sell digital products like software, ebooks, and more.
- Perform sophisticated online lead generation.
- Optimize your content for search engines and social networks.
- Absorb cutting-edge tactics and strategy with included training.
- Avoid a patchwork of plugins, themes, and complicated code.
- Forget about upgrades, maintenance, security, and hosting headaches.
- Take your content and domain to WordPress at any time you choose.
If you didn’t miss it, but have been holding back on getting started, this may be the perfect time to get rolling.
One reason is the elimination of a flexible payment option that we’ve been warning would go away. The other is a chance to upgrade to the upcoming Rainmaker Professional plan with a ridiculously great deal when it’s released early next year.
1. No more monthly billing option
Currently, Rainmaker is available on a monthly payment option, as well as an annual plan that saves you a significant amount of money. I’ve hinted several times in the last few months that the monthly billing option might be going away.
At the end of the week, there’s no more might about it. We are shifting to quarterly and annual billing options only.
Now, I can appreciate that many people might want the flexibility of paying month-to-month. So rather than simply making the switch to quarterly billing in the dead of night, we’re giving you until this Friday at 5:00 pm Pacific time to lock in the option.
All you have to do is start your free trial before the deadline. You’re not obligated to pay anything by giving Rainmaker a try, and the cancellation process is as easy as pushing a big ol’ button labelled “Cancel.” We even send you an email warning you about the end of the trial, which includes precise instructions on how to avoid being billed.
If you decide that Rainmaker is for you, however, you’ll keep the monthly billing option for the life of your account. And we’ll even let you switch to the annual option in the future to lock in the additional savings — but that’s completely up to you.
2. Upgrade to Rainmaker Professional at no extra recurring charge
Currently, Rainmaker is available as a single version, which we call the Standard Plan. It’s pretty powerful in what it can do, and more importantly, what it can take off your plate so you can concentrate on content.
By the end of March 2015, however, there will be a more advanced plan available called Rainmaker Professional. As you might expect, it will have powerful additional features that will carry a price tag that is at least $50 per month higher.
Here’s what’s coming in Rainmaker Professional:
Advanced Reporting and Analytics
The way you see your business growing and changing each day will become even more useful in the near future. The Rainmaker Platform’s analytics and reporting functions will evolve with more advanced reporting options for those who want them.
You’ll be able to drill down into the stats that you really want to see, and slice and dice your preferences from within the dashboard itself. That means creating simple, at-a-glance views of the specific metrics you want (such as demographics, or specific segments of your customers and prospects).
This is exciting stuff, because you’d normally need a third-party tool to accomplish what we’re planning for analytics. For those who sign up this week, however, it comes standard with Rainmaker.
And yes, podcasting stats are on the way. Soon, you’ll be able to see how your podcast is performing, without the hassle of separate hosting and stats packages. We’ve got a few more ideas on the near horizon for Rainmaker Podcasting that we’re not quite ready to talk about (but you’ll get upgraded to). Just remember, we’re podcasters too, so you can bet we’re motivated to make this the best and easiest podcasting solution on the planet for entrepreneurs.
More Designs and Landing Page Templates
You may have noticed that there’s been a slight change in how we’re developing design themes lately. We call it the “Rainmaker First” philosophy.
Brian Gardner, Rafal Tomal, and Lauren Mancke are always hard at work designing and developing new themes and landing page templates, but now our (and their) focus has shifted to supplying our Rainmaker Platform customers with the best one-click web design in the world.
As of this week there are 29 design themes and 15 landing page templates (not including the custom landing page builder) available to Rainmaker customers, and there are many more on the way.
And no, this does not mean we are neglecting our beloved StudioPress customers. In fact, this philosophy will end up benefitting everyone in the end. As these Rainmaker designs are tested and used in real-world online business situations, they’ll only get better.
Social Media Posting and Scheduling
This is a big one, and a no-brainer. Very soon, Rainmaker customers will be able to — from within the Rainmaker dashboard — post and schedule updates, links, photos, and other content to their social networks.
Your Rainmaker site is the home base of your business, and the importance of using social networks to attract an audience and send them back to your home base is undeniable. We think social media posting and scheduling tools have become a necessity for the savvy online publisher, but they should be integrated into your website platform with your daily workflow.
Integrated RSS Reader
So, the ability to post and schedule social media updates from your Rainmaker dashboard will be cool, but how do you find intriguing content from other sources to share with your audience? And how do you manage the very real potential for information overload?
That tool used to be Google Reader (RIP), but now, for our customers, it will be the Rainmaker Reader. This coming integrated RSS reader will be the place you’ll be able to strategically track your industry feeds, find great content to share, and glean inspiration for producing your own content.
Want to easily manage and publish a curated topical newsletter? Want that link from your RSS reader dropped into an existing post? How about effortlessly sending it out to your social media accounts?
The Rainmaker Curator will — with the click of a button — allow you to easily port the great content you find via RSS directly into a new or existing article you’re writing for your own audience. This will become an invaluable tool in your broader editorial role as a content marketer.
Serious Learning Management System
The first product ever launched off of Copyblogger, Teaching Sells, shows people step-by-step how to create sophisticated online training courses, along with the business models that power them. And since 2007, people have begged us to give them the turn-key platform that allowed for content creation, membership management, marketing, and all the other technological tasks that go with running a legitimate online business.
We’ve built that platform with Rainmaker. But we’re creating course creation tools that constitute a true learning management system — one that will help you with the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting, and delivery of e-learning courses and training programs.
What does that mean? Effortlessly create an online course without a developer, optimize your course content based on student behavior and feedback, run quizzes and surveys, and drip out your content (either paid or free) exactly as you want to, plus much more.
Marketing Automation/Adaptive Content
This is one of the most important technology applications that you’ll ever put in place for online marketing. And finally, it won’t cost you a ridiculous amount of money as with the current solutions.
Marketing automation (more appropriately known as adaptive content for those without sales teams) is not just about saving yourself from repeated tasks, or the drudgery of unscalable growth. Beyond those obvious benefits, its primary functions are:
- To vastly improve the experience of your prospects and customers
- To intelligently, and eventually effortlessly, grow revenue and profit
- To make more of the traffic you already have without chasing more
Rainmaker’s automation and adaptive content features will allow you to tag, add, delete, and manage customers or prospects from your various email lists, build specific interest lists based on real-world actions on your site, nurture leads in a way that’s sensitive to their inbox, allow you to create different content experiences for different people, and much more.
You can use Mailchimp, Infusionsoft, Aweber, or the other popular email services we’re in the process of adding. Or you can choose the integrated add-on Rainmaker email service we’re working on right now. Either way, Rainmaker Professional will go to work for you in previously unimagined ways.
Pay once instead of forever
Now, let me make this clear — there will be a charge for existing Standard customers to upgrade to Professional. It’s just that it won’t be an increase in the monthly, quarterly, or annual recurring fee. It’ll be a one-time charge that locks you in to the Professional plan for the life of your account at the Standard pricing.
In short, you get to upgrade to the more powerful version of the platform that you’ll need as your site and business grow, but you’ll save a huge amount over time compared to those who sign up once the Professional plan is released to the general public. This is an option that will only be available to existing Rainmaker customers who get on board before the Professional Plan is released.
Take a look at what Rainmaker can do, then take it on a free test drive today (or at least before Friday, December 12 at 5:00 pm Pacific time).
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