A Cancellation Process That Increases Member Retention

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When members quit, I take it as a personal insult. Here’s someone who tried my service and is now telling me she no longer wants what I’ve been delivering. It’s extremely disappointing. However, it’s damaging to your brand, reputation, and long-term membership growth to make the member cancellation process difficult or convoluted. When I conduct a membership program assessment, one of the 47 items I review is their cancellation process. Many times, they require members to phone or go through a challenging process to cancel. Some call this “speed bumps” on the cancellation process. Erecting a barrier between your member and that subscription cancellation button may make you feel better, if your subscriber wants to cancel, he’s going to find that button. And if you make it difficult on him, he’s going to be angry, and you’ll lose any opportunity you had to win back a long-term subscriber. Take a … Continued

What We Can Learn About Turning Subscribers Into a Vibrant Tribe from FitFabFun Subscription Box

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Turn your subscribers into a vibrant tribe of supporters by growing a relationship.

There’s a recurring problem I face when subscription companies ask me to help them lower their churn rate, improve renewals, and break through subscription rate plateaus. And in the growing subscription box world, this problem is worse than anywhere else. Subscription boxes are exploding in popularity. The number of subscribers is increasing, and this demand has caused a lot of growth within the industry. The problem, however, is that subscription boxes allow their value to be measured based on the value of the products inside the box. If the retail value of the box’s contents is $95 and the cost of the box is $25, then that’s a great value. However, this thinking doesn’t work for boxes. It’s like measuring this Sunday’s sermon based on the retail value. Or measuring the impact of the football game based on the number of great plays compared to a basketball game. Or measuring … Continued

Retention Is the Key Element of Growth

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Bonus, I learned something about membership retention to share with you.

I took the family to Ireland for more than a week this summer, and learned a lot about the people, the land, and the country’s history. It is a beautiful place, and there were friendly people everywhere we went. Bonus, I learned something about membership retention to share with you. One of the recurring narratives you hear, especially in the western part of the country, is about the Great Potato Famine. It’s hard to imagine that a nation of people can be defined by the events of 150 years ago, but it’s as real to the Irish as if it happened yesterday. In the early 19th century, the population of Ireland exploded to more than 8.2 million. Because of a number of historical reasons, more than two-thirds of the population was solely dependent on potatoes. Potato blight, a mold that destroys the plants, wiped out crops between 1845 and 1852. … Continued

Three Ways Specialized Information Publishers Boost Membership Retention

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Strategies used to improve membership retention and increase member value.

In the world of publishing, members (subscribers) are hard-won, and membership retention is even more difficult. The goal is that, once members are brought onboard, a publishing business can run like a locomotive—with unstoppable momentum that builds over time. That feeling is the magic of membership retention. On the other hand, when publishers lose members faster than they sign up new ones, it feels more like bailing out a leaky boat. So how do they run like a locomotive? I talked with leading specialized information publishers about strategies they use to improve membership retention and increase member value. Their insights will help you develop loyal members who continue to buy your services year after year. To maintain your member’s interest, you need to keep your publication content unique and necessary. Don’t simply forget about a member once there’s an order in hand. Ryan Dohrn, founder of SalesTrainingWorld.com, makes sure his … Continued

Four Ways Specialized Information Publishers Generate New Customers

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Generating New Publication based subscriptions

Business readers will invest to get specialized information that gives them the edge against a competitor. But how do publishers who sell subscription-based newsletters, magazines, reference manuals and training programs get those business readers to invest in their publications? The usual methods of direct mail and online ad campaigns figure into their marketing strategy. But the publication itself is also a powerful tool to reel in buyers, and specialized information publishers often use part of their own content to generate future sales. I asked top publishers to share the methods they use to sign up new subscribers. You will learn their tactics, many of which can be adapted for other types of subscription-based businesses. Back-to-basics marketing is a strategy many subscription publishers still use. Guy Cecala, CEO and publisher for Inside Mortgage Finance Publications says direct mail, and even old-fashioned word-of-mouth, remain part of his marketing strategy. “We get a … Continued

Essential KPIs for Monitoring the Health of Your Subscription Program

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KPI to diagnose the fastest ways to grow membership programs.

Each year when I visit the doctor for my annual physical, the blood test results come back in a multi-page report detailing blood cells, cholesterol, liver enzymes, and more. A human body requires dozens of interconnecting systems to work properly and be healthy. Same with subscription programs. Subscription programs often reach out to me when they’ve hit an invisible ceiling. They reach a barrier that prevents their subscription program from growing. Even though they may have enjoyed a fast growth rate for months or years, when their membership reaches a certain point, they never seem to be able to push through. At that point, when they add new members, it just seems to increase the rate at which members quit. Often this ceiling is evident for many years before someone reaches out to me. It’s a shame anyone waits as long as they do — I could save them a … Continued

Increase Subscription Member Retention with Subscriber Emails: Lessons from the Subscription Boxes

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Lessons from the Subscription Boxes

While there’s nothing more exciting than when that monthly subscription box arrives, there are a lot of days each month between subscription boxes. These are days when your customer receives their credit card statement, which is often larger than they expected. And she may be tempted to try to trim her monthly expenses, possibly sacrificing the monthly box she loves. How do you avoid the chopping block? Obviously, by making the box experience surprising, engaging, and pleasant. But that’s only one day a month. What about all the other days? The first answer is subscriber emails. Unfortunately, there appears to be two extremes in the subscription box industry — either few emails or a deluge. Too few can be zero. Or perhaps no emails beyond the administrative billing and shipping confirmations. Where’s the excitement in that? Most often subscription box companies deluge their subscribers with offers, promotions, and the mundane. … Continued

The Four Essentials of Subscription Box Member Retention

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The Four Essentials of Subscription Box Member Retention

Unless your members are renewing, your subscription is like a leaky bucket, with water escaping faster than you can add more. The key to success for any subscription box business is the ability to retain subscribers. I caught up with seven of today’s fastest growing subscription box companies to discover what they are doing to stop members from quitting and improve lifetime subscriber value. Let’s take a look. My first business mentor taught me that even though I may have answered the phone 100 times today, and answered the same question 100 times, for the next member who calls, that’s his first time asking that question. It’s my duty to perform and provide that member with a great experience. For Brick Loot, they agree that the key to retaining subscribers is offering top-notch customer service. When asked, the president of Brick Loot, Erin Krex, told me: “We have excellent customer … Continued

Why Donald Trump Won’t Make America Great Again and Neither Will Trump’s Critics


Donald Trump identified a silent movement of fear and loathing within white America that delivered him to the White House. But, Trump didn’t invent fear-based movements; he’s simply a current practitioner. There’s evidence that fear has been used to lead and control people since the beginning of human history. The primary purpose of public crucifixions for Roman emperors was to make subjects fear the authorities. In the 19th century, whites in the South justified killing blacks by sowing the fear that they would rob whites or dishonor their women. And today, Donald Trump is using the fear of Islamic terrorists to order a travel ban. He’s stirring fears of Mexicans taking American jobs, burdening our hospitals with unpaid medical care, or taking advantage of welfare to justify building a wall. He claims news reporters who write unflattering stories are mentally unbalanced people with an agenda. Many of Trump’s critics are … Continued

You Don’t Have to Fight Churn Alone, Instead Create a Community


Community fights churn

How many times have you picked what looked like the fastest line at the grocery store, and it turned out to be the slowest? Argh! Isn’t it frustrating? Today we are in the “subscription economy” or the “membership economy.” Growing a subscription business is the fastest way to scale a successful business. Or so it may appear at the outset. Fact is, most approach the subscription business in a transactional mindset. They offer their thing on a monthly basis. This trips up too many. They believe they are getting into the subscription fast lane, only to discover later — perhaps years later — that they’ve been futilely building their business in the wrong way. What was supposed to be the faster line turned out to be the slowest, most frustrating path. Even with the hundreds of tools available today to create an engaging and vibrant community, too few subscription companies … Continued