A guide to subscription-based marketing

Connor Henman, Performance Marketing Manager - Driver #139 Connor Henman, Performance Marketing Manager - Driver #139

One of the most profitable ways to sell your brand is through subscription marketing. Popular amongst both B2C & B2B companies, subscription marketing has generated billions in income over the last decade. It's a certain strategy to keep existing clients and customers, providing them with further discounts on products and services.

And, with each passing year, the subscription service model appears to be gaining traction. Subscription businesses have a bright future. According to a study carried out by Deloitte, approximately 40% of participants had a pre-existing Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+ subscription. Over two-thirds of those polled stated they would be keeping their subscriptions long-term. This comes as no surprise, with technologies like linked TV.

What is subscription marketing?

Subscription marketing is the practice of regularly selling a company's products and services to repeat customers. The major goal of subscription marketing is to acquire new clients, whilst also keeping present, loyal customers. Business owners and digital marketers are continuously striving to provide subscribers with the best possible experience to deliver this end result.

Subscription services can include everything from monthly pet supplies to your favourite razors being replenished. The problem for these businesses is to figure out what aspects of their product will encourage new and existing customers to commit to a long-term subscription. In a subscription business, how do you maintain a customer-business relationship?

Let's take a step back and consider how you effectively profit from subscription-based business models and improve customer retention.

Importance of email marketing

Email marketing, along with social media marketing and paid advertising, is one of the most important tools in a digital marketeer's arsenal.

Email marketing is critical to the success of any digital marketing strategy and subscription-based businesses are no exception. After all, you're hoping to form long-term bonds with these individuals.

Email marketing is about much more than just having a catchy subject line (though that's important, too). While a traditional call-to-action is useful, it isn't enough to generate conversions. The likes of  'Join', 'Shop' and 'Subscribe' - none of these are intrinsically bad, they can appear impersonal and forceful. When single-word calls to action fail to showcase the benefits of your offer, they fall flat.

Email is a fantastic tool to communicate with your customers in a variety of ways. Emails can offer the recipient discounts, sales, incentives, upsells, and cross-sells. It's also a great way to strengthen and expand on the ties you've already established with your customers.  The most significant benefit of first-party data is that it provides the kind of intelligence that allows businesses to have genuine influence over their commercial destiny. Third-party data can help improve marketing's short-term success, but it can't explain the relationship with customers or their purchasing patterns.

Frequent posting

Maintaining a relevant and interesting Internet presence, in conjunction with email marketing, is beneficial to your subscription business. Your customers need to know that your business is alive and well. Maintaining full visibility by frequently posting content is a wonderful approach to do this. Engaging in SEO initiatives is a terrific strategy to expand your reach.

You must create sophisticated material for two audiences: one, your future customer, and the other, your current customer base. This two-pronged strategy entails singing your product's or service's praises on a broad level while focusing on the current benefits. In other words, why has your existing consumer already subscribed to your service?

Your value proposition

You must recognise your worthwhile advertising to potential customers. However, you should have established this before launching your digital marketing campaign.

What distinguishes you from the competition in your field? Why should a customer select you over a competitor? Always ask questions during the branding design process to properly flesh out your mission, goals, and brand voice.

Knowing your target audience is an important part of determining your worth. Knowing your customer is, once again, a crucial part of the long-term success of your proposition. If you understand these notions, you already understand your worth. And that is the secret to expanding your brand.

However, after you've established your worth, it's time to go all-in. The aforementioned emails and blog articles should provide recurrent material that will persuade people to subscribe. What makes a buyer want to buy your product? What, particularly, in your product or service inspires trust and reliability, resulting in a customer's long-term subscription?

Consider customers who are devoted to subscription-based services. Why are they the way they are? Perhaps it's due to the product's excellent UX/UI or years of customer happiness. Examine and capitalise on what makes your target audience tick

How can subscription marketing benefit your business?

One of the most appealing aspects of subscriptions is that they eliminate the need for the customer to make a decision every time. In the long run, this leads to predictability and constant revenue for online businesses. Brand advocacy may help a business stand out from the competition. It's a powerful public relations tool that works for a wide range of organisations, from B2B businesses to non-profits. The perception of a brand is crucial to its success. This is aided by brand advocacy. The adoption of subscription shopping has been championed by the anticipation as well as the ultimate ease of doing business. But the benefits do not stop there.

An increased customer base

Subscription-based pricing attracts more customers and lowers the barrier to entry for products and services, making your product or service more accessible to more people. Your customer will be able to receive rapid access to the product or service they want at a reasonable price. They also appreciate the enhanced perks you may offer as your company expands and your product or service improves over time. Global markets are easier to access because you are not burdened by transportation costs and may have the option to accept various types of payments.

Financial forecasting

Recurring charging ensures a steady stream of income. In order to generate income with a 'pay once' model, you must constantly acquire and convert clients. This can be costly, and if your firm performs poorly for a month, you could lose a lot of money. Customers can make monthly payments to your company using a subscription-based business model. Because the quantity of recurring payments is determined at the time of the original sale, you can forecast your monthly revenue. Billing automation helps to plug revenue leakage by reducing the time between billing cycles.

Enhancing your strategies

Up-selling and cross-selling can help you earn more money. This is due to the fact that you are in constant communication with your consumer base and are forming a strong bond of trust. It will be easier to promote extra and complimentary items or services as a result of this. Upsells are usually easier with a subscription business since the consumer has already established a relationship with you and will be open to any more value you can offer. Customers will find it easier to consider new services as cheaper once-per-month membership payments have become a part of their planned budget. This is especially true for consumers who are using your subscription to learn or grow, as add-ons may help them attain their objectives more quickly.

Amazon is well-known for implementing cross-selling and up-selling strategies to perfection. If you've ever shopped on Amazon, you'll notice that when you add an item to your cart, the company suggests other items with phrases like 'You might also be interested in...' or 'Most customers buy these products together,' effectively implementing cross-selling because the complimentary items are related to the ones you already want to buy. Similarly, Amazon uses Amazon Premium to implement up-selling, and in both situations, they do so in a non-intrusive manner that does not detract from the user experience.

A data-driven approach

There's a reason why data-driven marketing and sales have become buzzwords. For years, 79% of top-performing organisations have used marketing automation solutions. Choosing a payment service provider that keeps up with market dynamics and continual changes allows you to track subscriber data and translate it into meaningful information. Subscription management software that is well-designed can tell you which subscription plans are the most popular and how much revenue they earn overall. Such indicators enable organisations in comprehending the causes of subscriber churn, which is regarded to be the most difficult difficulty facing subscription-based enterprises.

Improved retention rates

Retention will be emphasised much more. Subscribers are a unique type of consumer since they are more loyal, emotionally invested in your business, and earn more income over the course of their relationship. To make this all a reality, your company must treat them with exceptional care. Client retention is becoming more important than customer acquisition in the subscription industry. So take your time, gather data, and get to know who your true customer is. You must have a clear understanding of what they truly desire and want from the items or services your company provides.

Loyalty programmes

Loyalty programmes aren't going away anytime soon. Subscription-based businesses are increasingly rewarding users for promoting products or remaining loyal to the company. For creating a new account, both recommenders and new customers receive a bonus. Loyalty programmes, which are sometimes complemented by gamification, reward users for sticking with a company and not switching to competitors. Both are powerful and intelligent subscriber retention tools. Although loyalty programmes are a common marketing strategy, they are extremely effective. Because of a brand's loyalty programme, 70% of customers are inclined to suggest it.

Focus on differentiation

Concentrate on differentiating yourself. Differentiation is one of the most effective techniques to carve out a niche in the market. Differentiating your products or services from those of your competitors will help you build a stronger brand and stand out from the crowd. There are numerous ways to change and adjust your brand's message. One of the finest methods to stand out is to have a solution for your consumer; knowing your customer better than the competition is the essential aspect here. Because subscription-based buying is becoming more competitive than ever, enlisting the help of a digital marketing firm with experience in subscription-based marketing can help your brand stand out.

The key to brand growth?

Subscription marketing is extremely adaptable and requires flexibility to thrive. Your new marketing efforts should offer up more options for your subscription business when you implement these methods.

When you and your digital marketeer implement these new methods into your business model, your customer will be hard-pressed to ignore your efforts. Remember to invest in good email marketing, post new content often, and sing the praises of your unique product.

Conversions and sales will speak for themselves in the end. And, hopefully, you'll get a plethora of new long-term clients. If this is of appeal to you, take a read of the services we offer or get in touch to determine which channels would suit your needs.