Subscription programs are everywhere.
There’s no doubt you have seen them whether it’s Netflix, Hello Fresh, Amazon Subscribe & Save, or even Brian Tracy University which is known as the Netflix of Personal Development.
Now even though all of these companies and programs offer different content or products for subscribing – the end goal always remains the same.
The end goal is to provide your customer with enough value to keep them engaged and coming back month after month.
Whether you are creating your subscription-based business model on eCommerce, entertainment, or coaching there are a few critical components to make your program successful long-term.
The following 5 strategies will guide you onto the path of unlimited recurring revenue and a customer base that stays loyal to your brand or service.
1. Create Exclusivity
One of the most important parts of creating a successful program is that your customer wants the program.
This goes beyond making the sale and getting them into the first month, you have to make them want it indefinitely. You can do this in a variety of different ways but some of the most beneficial are….
Secret Members-Only Groups & Portals
It’s the allure of a Speakeasy that plays into our basic human curiosity…
We, as humans, do not like to be left out and even more so if we feel and believe we are missing out.
Not only do we want to know what is happening in these groups, but if we feel as if we are losing out on some type of insider knowledge or growth opportunity if we do not join then we will feel compelled to bring out our wallets and find out.
Private Events or Once In a Lifetime Opportunities
Some people will purchase subscriptions for the daily value, product, or service they get. Others, might be more persuaded by a specific bonus being offered.
Whether it is a private event or some otherwise inaccessible opportunity, this can be “exactly what they were looking for” and they could very well be willing to pay a price for access.
You can see this a lot when public figures create private subscribers groups or “fan clubs” – these members will often receive exclusive access and private events.
People want to be connected and if you can help them facilitate a way to connect with a person or group of people that share common interests with them, they can easily see the value in the cost associated.
Private Discounts, Sales, Content, and Giveaways
This is a strategy that will help you keep your customers indefinitely.
By providing ongoing value whether it is a monthly gift, a weekly podcast, or a discount you are inherently providing small little reminders every so often of why your customer loves your brand or service.
Think about Costco, people are paying money upfront to receive discounts throughout the year. How could you create your subscription to do provide the same immense value to your customers month after month?
2. Thank Your Customer
The best way to make a friend (or a long-time customer) is to genuinely appreciate them.
No, sending a, “Thank you for your order” automated email is not enough, unfortunately.
We are inundated with emails, text messages, sponsored social media ads, and advertisements every day. We also make transactions, pay bills, and discover new brands daily – thanks to the digital world that we all live in now.
So, how can you stand out? Here are a few ways to start today:
- Recognize your most dedicated customers publicly on forums, calls, emails, and at every opportunity you get.
- Go beyond automation and personalize your communication or add a humanistic touch to it.
- Celebrate milestones with your customers by offering quarterly or yearly gifts, or even a re-enrollment bonus.
- Offer a loyalty discount, gift, or reward as often as you can.
- Offer free upgrades or little gifts of appreciation that come unexpectedly.
- Send handwritten thank-you notes to your customers – everyone loves, “Happy Mail!”
These small touches of appreciation will create a connection with your customers that is harder to break than a traditional transactional relationship because you have created something meaningful and valuable for your customer.
3. Make Them Excited for the Future
How can you keep your customers coming back month after month if they got everything they needed within their first month of the program? What will be new and different next month?
Most customers will want to rationalize their purchases and they will be looking at what they are getting or looking forward to.
Make sure you give them more “pros” than “cons” when they are evaluating your monthly charge.
We like to do this by planning ahead for big events, sharing sneak peeks of what is to come, and posting lots of polls to make sure our customers are looking forward to what THEY want!
4. Send Physical Mail
Wine and Dine Baby (or just send surprise gifts). In the digital world, nothing goes further than a piece of physical mail.
Yes, like in your mailbox.
You know the feeling of getting a thank you card instead of a bill? Give that feeling to your customer month after month.
You have to make them feel important and valuable. These small individual actions like private events, early access, a concierge, and yes, even material presents will all make your customer feel like a million bucks.
If they feel amazing, they are likely to continue coming back month after month for more.
5. Make It Easy
The less friction the better when it comes to your customer’s journey through your program.
You want to make the experience enjoyable and easy with many avenues for communication with customer support, hubs for information they can find quickly in one place, and creating the program with your customer’s schedule, finances, and preferences in mind.
It’s best to create your program around every different personality type and customer avatar that you have in your business.
Some will want email communication, others might want a member portal. Others will value being able to connect with someone on the phone, while some might prefer the accessibility of email.
Make sure you removing any potential roadblocks that could keep your customer from getting frustrated.
One of the best ways you can do that is to adopt the phrase: “I will take care of that for you.”
We do this by dedicating a concierge to specific membership programs so customers feel well taken care of.
No matter the issue – whether it’s updating a credit card, helping them find what they need, or responding quickly to a question – these are the moments that will define your customer’s perception and level of satisfaction with your subscription program.
The subscription e-commerce market has grown over 100% in the last 5 years, but churn rates are also high.
If the service delivered doesn’t exceed expectations – customers are quick to cut the cord and go somewhere else (there are lots of opportunities).
Consumers have the advantage of choice in a large and saturated digital market, so you need to do your best to stand out.
Fortunately, if you even just adopt a few of these ideas or strategies, you will be headed in the right direction.
What added value are you offering to retain your customers?