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akust0m

Seeking advice on how to handle this upsell product

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Hi there, WHMCS Community 🙂

We have an account with Spam Experts, and up until now we have been including Spam Experts inbound filtering with our web hosting packages. However, due to various reasons (one of those being cost), we are considering making Spam Experts inbound optional with an additional monthly cost for new customers.

The question is, how to handle this within WHMCS. Here are my thoughts so far:

- Set it up a standard product
This could work, however, Spam Experts (since they were acquired by Solarwinds) do not allow the resell as a standalone product, it must be accompanied with another product such as a web hosting package.

Setting it up as a standard product in WHMCS could allow non-existing customers to purchase the product standalone.

In addition, we'd like the optional Spam Experts product to be offered or made visible to the customer during the checkout of a web hosting package.

Due to the above, setting it up as a standard product may not be ideal

- Set it up as an addon

Unfortunately, as addon's cannot be set up as pro-rata and tied back into the same billing schedule as the primary product, it throws out this option straight away.

Other functionality of add-ons is great, such as the ability to offer an add-on during checkout and the ability to connect it to a module create function. But, the inflexibility of the add-on system in terms of billing is a deal breaker.

- Set it up as a configurable option

I think this may be the only viable option given the information I've provided so far:

  • It allows the ability to show this optional product via checkout
  • It ties the billing on the same schedule as the primary product

However:

  • It doesn't seem to be able to connect to a module create function which would be required to automate the enable/disable process for Spam Experts. Due to this, provisioning would be a manual procedure.
  • There doesn't seem to be an option to send an email specifically for when a customer upgrades their service with this configurable option. I suppose we could put some information about Spam Experts and that our team will be arranging their Spam Experts activation in a general product upgrade email, but it would be much better if we could target those that only choose to upgrade to Spam Experts

Is my train of thought on the above correct?
Am I missing anything?
Is there any way possible to make add-ons tie into the same billing schedule as the primary service?
Is there a way to offer this with our requirements that I haven't thought of?

Thank you.

 

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Hi @WHMCS ChrisD,

Thank you for your reply.

I see that it's more expensive through MarketConnect, but I understand that WHMCS would be taking a cut and there is a convenience factor involved.

Would using MarketConnect allow the Spam Experts service to be tied into the same billing schedule as the hosting service? Or does it follow the same issue mentioned earlier in regards to addons (the lack of pro-rata)?

Are we given access to an admin level interface for Spam Experts when using Market Connect? The reason I ask is that during cPanel server migrations, it would be help to have access to the same bulk destination host change tools that are available in our current Spam Experts account.

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If you are paying spamexperts already, using the marketconnect option just means you're paying them again for a separate service unless it can be tied to your existing spamexperts instances.

The standard product option is the best option really while using their WHMCS server module. 

With that said, could you point out where they specifically say you can't sell spamexperts filtering service to those that are not otherwise hosting with you? 

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Hi @steven99

Yeah, we have a reseller account with Spam Experts directly.

Thank you for your input regarding the standard product option.

In regards to not being able to sell Spam Experts as a standalone product, I was advised this via an Account Manager in a support ticket:

"Unfortunately, selling IN and OUT filtering as a standalone service is not something that we allow, not even under the reseller license. We only allow reselling on top of other services, hence only as an add-on."

When I asked why this is:

"Since SpamExperts was acquired by Solarwinds, we have changed a bit our licenses, including their policies. We stopped offering our customers the option of selling SpamExperts as a stand alone product, due to the pricing policy."

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Okay, well, never got a notice of that and so have contacted them.  If they did change this and gave no notice, I will be looking for a new filter as I don't take kindly to policy changes that can affect my offerings without any notice given.  Plus, on their WHMCS server module page, they should state this. 

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Also, couldn't the marketconnect spamexperts give standalone?  If so, isn't that breaking their policies of no standalone?   Seems odd that they allow WHMCS to offer this but not a host.

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3 minutes ago, steven99 said:

couldn't the marketconnect spamexperts give standalone?

That was my thought also!

I never received a notification in regards to the change of policies either. I only came across this response during a support ticket discussing some changes we're making in our own business.

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One option to do the spamexperts + service is to a bundle and have them together.  That way if this standalone policies is indeed the case, you're technically covered. 

You mentioned a reseller account directly, so that isn't a local or hosted cloud?  Wonder if that would be a difference here for us. 

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2 minutes ago, steven99 said:

One option to do the spamexperts + service is to a bundle and have them together.  That way if this standalone policies is indeed the case, you're technically covered. 

Hmmm, I'll look into this!

3 minutes ago, steven99 said:

You mentioned a reseller account directly, so that isn't a local or hosted cloud?  Wonder if that would be a difference here for us. 

Sorry for the confusion. I've got a hosted cloud incoming reseller account with Spam Experts.

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I'm going to hit up ModulesGarden to see if they can fix the WHMCS add-on functionality to work with pro-rata.

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