Subscription marketing is a strategic approach aimed at transitioning customers to a subscription-based business model, where clients pay a specific fee to access a product or service. This method enables companies to forecast their revenues, foster long-term relationships with customers, and maintain their loyalty.
In this article, we’ll unveil why businesses opt for subscription marketing strategy and guide you in building an effective one for your company. In addition, we’ll provide you with 8 best practices to implement a subscription marketing strategy.
Why do businesses choose a subscription marketing strategy?
Subscription marketing provides a way for business owners to acquire and retain customers. However, this isn't the sole reason for companies to adopt this approach. Further, you’ll find out some more arguments why it’s crucial.
- Customer retention. A subscription-based business model is a perfect way of keeping repeat customers. With its help, you can retain existing customers without any need to spend additional costs on acquiring new ones. Customers can renew subscriptions to your product or service on an ongoing basis.
- Recurring revenue. After buying a subscription, people usually stay with the company for months or even years. By doing so, customers create a stable stream of recurring revenue for such companies. Usually, subscription-based businesses have a small number of loyal customers who bring most of the revenue to their companies.
- Lasting relationships with customers. Subscription helps establish a long-lasting bond with clients. This business model differs from usual for all buying-selling processes because it lasts longer. When customers stay for a long time with a business, they become familiar with it. It makes them repurchase the subscription.
- Upselling and cross-selling. Customer loyalty enables the smooth implementation of upselling and cross-selling strategies. Loyal subscribers, trusting your business, are open to additional features for an extra charge, contributing to increased revenue.
- Demand forecasting. The subscription-based business provides owners with insights into customer preferences, their needs, and problems. By analyzing customer behavior and desires, you can improve their products with some additional features and add-ons. This way, you’ll be able to satisfy a wider audience and encourage them to purchase a plan.
Implementing this strategy positively impacts various aspects of brands, including revenue, and comes with several benefits:
- Cost-effectiveness. With a subscription model, your focus is on building a loyal audience for long-term subscriptions, eliminating the need for continuous customer acquisition efforts. Unlike brands where customers make a single purchase and leave, a subscription model ensures predictable revenue without ongoing lead generation costs.
- Customer satisfaction. Subscription service allows you to provide your customers with personalized experiences. This makes a huge difference when it comes to buying decisions. If you manage to meet clients’ needs and desires, you’ll be able to get new loyal subscribers.
- Reduced customer acquisition cost. Since the subscription business depends a lot on loyal repeat customers, you don’t have to pay again and again for customer acquisition. This way, you can avoid the time and money-consuming process of acquiring new customers all the time. However, you’ll need to do it once to generate leads. Yet you won’t do it regularly so your costs will be secure.
- Steady income. Loyal repeat subscribers mean that your company is supported. If they stay with your brand, these customers bring you steady revenue. So your company can succeed and expand.
Now that you know about the pros, it’s time to proceed with building an effective subscription marketing strategy for your business.
How to build an effective subscription marketing strategy?
Creating a loyal customer base that continuously subscribes and provides consistent revenue requires a well-thought-out subscription marketing strategy. Though it may demand effort from your team, the results will be worth it. In this section, we'll guide you on how to manage this process effectively. Let's dive in.
- Think of the right pricing model. Customer decisions are heavily influenced by the subscription price. Choose a fee that is competitive yet affordable for your company and target audience. Avoid overpricing your product to maintain customer interest and prevent them from exploring alternatives.
- Develop an intuitive site. If you want your potential customers to instantly explore all the benefits and features of your product, make sure that your site works properly. The features, essential information, and a call to action button should be visible. Prioritize site speed and error-free functionality to enhance user experience.
- Attract customers with free trials and free plans. Offer free trials to allow prospects to experience your product or service before committing. Free plans can showcase basic features, enticing leads to upgrade to premium options. This approach gives customers a firsthand understanding, empowering them to make informed decisions.
- Incorporate an auto-renewal system. Simplify the subscription process with auto-renewal systems. Customers only need to set up their payment method once, eliminating the hassle of filling in details for each transaction. Streamlining payments enhances user convenience and encourages subscription renewals.
- Provide discounts for longer subscriptions. Encourage long-term commitment by offering discounts for extended subscription periods. For instance, a 10% or 20% discount on yearly subscriptions incentivizes customers to stay loyal. This benefits subscribers and strengthens their relationship with your company, reducing the likelihood of exploring competitors.
- Retain customers with special offers. As a wise business owner, you need to care not only about new customers but about your loyal clients as well. You can use special offers, loyalty, and referral programs to show your care. By providing customers with rewards, you can appreciate them for their loyalty. It’s a perfect way of establishing long-lasting relationships with them.
- Monitor performance metrics. Focus on long-term metrics to evaluate your subscription model's performance effectively. Key indicators include customer lifetime value, churn rates, customer engagement, retention rates, and referrals. These metrics provide valuable insights into customer behavior and help optimize your marketing strategy for sustained success.
Now that you know the process step by step, it’s time to find out what will help your team succeed with a subscription-based model. We’ve prepared some of the best practices to apply.
8 Best Practices to Implement a Subscription Marketing Strategy
There are plenty of subscription marketing strategies, yet they don’t guarantee success for your business. In this section, we’ve gathered all the strategies that work and bring measurable results to companies. Let’s explore them in more detail.
- Add positive reviews from satisfied clients. There’s nothing better for customers than other clients recommending a specific product or service. Effective marketing campaigns, calls, and offline events don’t have the same influence on the audience as personal recommendations. That’s why it’s crucial to have those on your website. To gain customer trust, you need to ask your satisfied customers to leave their positive reviews. It’ll be great to encourage them with special offers, discounts, or free renewals for their feedback. Once you get the reviews, make sure to add them to your site. They’ll positively influence buyers’ decisions in the future.
- Collaborate with opinion leaders. Now when almost everyone is active on Instagram, it’s essential to establish an online presence on the most popular social media platforms. One of the fastest ways to reach a wide audience of your potential customers is by partnering with influencers. Their endorsement introduces your product or service to a vast audience, making your company a viable solution for potential customers seeking similar products.
- Incorporate a referral program. A referral program is an excellent way of attracting qualified leads. You don’t have to spend additional costs on customer acquisition and encourage uninterested people to purchase your subscription plans. The referral program enables your loyal customers to bring people who already know about the benefits of your product and have a clear understanding of your company. They come and purchase subscriptions to receive their perks. Such a program streamlines the lead generation process.
- Run a loyalty program. A successful business always has a base of loyal customers who bring the most of its revenue. To become loyal, clients should trust your company and be happy with it. After making sure that your audience is satisfied with your product, consider implementing a loyalty program. Reward your clients for being loyal to your business and repurchasing the subscription. You can provide various rewards presented in the form of a discount, special offer, gift, add-ons, free advanced features, or a monthly subscription. Such incentives will help you continue good relationships with your customers.
- Offer no-commitment free trials. The free trial works well with prospective customers. If you have a free trial that doesn’t require credit card information, people can come to you and try your product. After testing it, they’ll make up their minds about whether it suits them. This way, you can showcase the benefits of your products and generate more subscribers.
- Provide special offers. Special offers work well for new and existing customers. They might differ based on the stage of the customer journey. For instance, you can provide free trials and zero sign-up fees to generate more prospects and give free renewals to retain existing clients. As a result, you get more potential customers and reduce customer churn.
- Give discounts for repeat purchases. Cultivate customer loyalty by offering discounts on repeat and significant purchases. Appreciate customer loyalty and encourage higher spending. Discounts serve as powerful tools for fostering customer relationships and boosting revenue.
- Provide reduced pricing for yearly subscriptions. If you want customers to stay loyal to your company longer, provide discounts for annual subscriptions. This way, you offer benefits to clients and ensure that they’ll stay with you for one more year. It results in a stable income.
Congrats, now you know what subscription marketing is and why it’s essential. Hope that our step-by-step guide and effective strategies will help you reach your business goals.
- This article defines the term and unveils the benefits of subscription marketing.
- In this article, you’ll find the best subscription marketing strategies to drive revenue.
Last Updated: 06.11.2023