At 98 Buck, we know a thing or two about subscriptions. Not only are we actively subscribed to a number of services that help keep our business running, we have built our own subscription service, and we’re continually optimizing it for better results internally and for our customers. Today, almost any product or service can follow a subscription model, and we’re seeing them crop up in all kinds of unusual places! Live music streaming? Choose your level! Toilet paper delivered monthly? There’s an app for that! Healthcare, books, date nights, you name it, businesses all over the world are changing the way people pay for goods and retaining customers while they’re doing it.
We’re always dreaming up new ways to make monthly subscriptions work a little more smoothly for everyone, and we want to share some of them with you here:
- Understand your service from the consumer side
Walk a mile in the customer’s shoes! How does your service flow, from point of discovery, to education, and sign up? After all, according to Deloitte, 62% of companies view a pleasant customer experience as a key competitive advantage! Does it change on different devices, and if so, should you have more than one pipeline to help reach each target audience? Consider also if your service has a personal touch somewhere in that process. It’s a wonderful thing to automate as many stages as possible for cost and time, but building trust as an online company is another key factor in creating a subscription service that thrives!
- Narrow Your Targets and Keep Them Coming
You wouldn’t try to explain a simple multiplication problem to a mathematics professor to sell him your tutoring services, right? Consider the language you’re using in your advertising in conjunction with your target markets. At 98 Buck Social, we have a few key targets, and each of them require different messaging, desire different offerings and expect varied levels of outcome. To ensure that we’re speaking to the consumer, we run multiple ads at all times. Many business mistakenly believe that the widest net catches the most fish, but we’ve seen that it pays to know the best fishing spots first. 😉
- Know Where Your Customers Are Shopping
By 2020, GSMA estimates that there will be 5.7 billion unique mobile phone subscribers; that’s 75% of the world’s population! And when you look at actual subscription services, it’s clear: Our customers are shopping from their phones. Right now, we’re betting that you can count at least 3 subscription apps on your phone right now. What’s behind this trend? For one, the convenience! Most adults always carry their phone (or second brain,a s we like to say) with them, use it in their downtime, and make quick transactions with the download of an app and a few touches.
Secondly, although a customer may purchase and manage their subscription from their phone, it may not be their primary device for using the service. Take Netflix for example: You may have the app on your phone, laptop, tablet and smartTV, but chances are that you’re using mostly in a single location. This reminds us that seamless UX is required for great subscription services! Be sure that your formatting across all devices, platforms and apps matches up, from the smallest details like font and design, to the actual steps of subscription and use of service.
- Make Retention Your Strongest Sale
A one-month subscriber is great (unless you’re working on a freemium model), but a continuous user is gold! For most businesses, retention is important, but for a subscription service, it’s everything! One simple scale to consider is that a retention rate of 80% is headed for failure, while a retention rate of 90% or more is headed for greater success. If you fall somewhere in the middle, it’s worth having another look over the previous steps, and the service itself, to see where you are losing your customers.
Let’s say you’re above that 90% mark! You’ve created a service so great that people want more, and now, you need to keep delivering on those promises, and set expectations. One of the ways we like to do this is to continually offer new solutions to our clients, based on their feedback and the needs that we detect as we move them through our subscription process. We communicate these special offers, suggestions and upgrades through educational materials such as blogs, social media posts, emails and even personal calls.
Although building a successful subscription service will take more than these 4 steps, each are key in helping you achieve your goal. As our own business grows, we look forward to offering you more guidance in how to develop your own subscription-based service. Contact us today to learn more about our reseller program and the consulting services available to you!