Subscription growth through crisis

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5 Ways Subscription Businesses Can Thrive

While there are a few subscription businesses that have generated a lot of new customers in the last six weeks, most are seeing negative impacts.  However, when you get into the details you see there are opportunities within the challenges. Ad costs are down.  For some as much as 5 cents on the dollar to generate the same lead. This is a great time to do more lead generation to dominate your market. Conversion rates are down. We are seeing improvements with a few changes to the offer and marketing approach. New member engagement is through the roof. New members are using what they purchased. Which is great for the membership programs that have a solid new member on-ramp that’s designed to give new members a quick win to keep them excited. As far as long-term retention, what members want has totally shifted. I’ve encouraged my clients to refresh their … Continued

Your Members Don’t Exist to Solve Your Company’s Problems Your Membership Exists to Solve Your Member’s Problems

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Your Membership Exists to Solve Your Member’s Problems

There are so many big promises out there about the benefits of membership and subscription business models that too many people launch, expecting that offering a membership will solve their business problems. You invest money and hundreds of hours creating a brand-new marketing campaign, but it generates so few members you wonder if it’s really worth it. You try to get your members engaged, send out a survey, or ask them to provide you information and you get so few responses you wonder whether your members ever received your message. You try to improve retention by creating a new member welcome campaign and it actually makes retention worse. Members reply to your message asking to cancel their memberships. It feels like it would have been better not to email members at all and follow the old adage, “Better to let a sleeping dog lie.” Creating new content for your members … Continued

Your Monthly Member Calls Have Become Social Proof Documenting the Problems With Your Program

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Your Monthly Member Calls Have Become Social Proof Documenting the Problems

Members are calling each week, presenting their problems, their self-doubts, their questions about the strategy, their fears about whether the program works — and if it does work, whether it will work for them. Although it’s important to challenge your members to expand beyond their comfort zones, if your calls are one doubt after another, you are sowing discontent, frustration, and disappointment. I am constantly reminded how lucky I am to be in this line of work at this time. The number of subscription businesses is growing exponentially each year. At the same time, there is a huge knowledge gap regarding how to engage and retain subscribers. The number of companies who need what I deliver is exploding! Each time, I’m working with an awesome team, the best marketers in the world. Some are generating hundreds of millions of dollars. And I’m able to provide a little bit of insight, … Continued

Motivation First, Engagement Second, and then Retention for Life

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Retention for Life

Zander Marshall, son of my friend and client friend Perry Marshall, told me this quote in a conversation we had at the Connemara National Park in Ireland. I made note of it in June when he said it, and I’ve been reading and rereading it ever since. Too often, when I’m asked to review why a membership program is failing to grow, I’ll see they have a great new member promo, but the new member onboarding flips right to instructions and how-to. The dream is gone. So rather than making that mistake myself, I’m going to follow a bit of my own advice. I’m going to apply my own new member onboarding copywriting template to get you fired up about membership rather than teaching you about it. No Bigger Opportunity Today Than Subscription Memberships There is nothing better in business than waking up on the first day of the month … Continued

Hidden Peril or Power of Your Member Stakeholders

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Power of Your Member Stakeholders

Most membership marketers ignore the people around their member. What does the husband say to his wife about her monthly subscription box credit card charge? What does a wife say when her husband of 50 years, a retired engineer, buys a $2,000.00 subscription trading service on stock options when his past stock picks include Lucent Technologies, Enron, and General Motors? How does the IT manager ask his boss to renew a $10,000.00 subscription to buy access to information that makes it less time-consuming to search for information needed to do his job? The people around your subscriber can be the cause of a cancelation. Instead, turn this problem into your advocate. Subscription boxes are one of the worst subscription businesses at onboarding. It’s easy to understand why; a lot of logistics go into acquiring all the items, getting them distributed into boxes, accommodating customization requests, labeling the boxes, and getting … Continued

Connect Your Members to Dramatically Increase your Retention Rates

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Dramatically Increase your Retention

Every Tuesday morning, my wife and I participate in an interval training group at the running track. The group is led by a Hall of Fame track coach who will help you become a faster runner by running fast-paced intervals once or twice a week. But my wife goes to chitchat with her friends in the group. I started going to track intervals sessions weeks before Kory did. I enjoyed the workouts; it’s fun to train hard. And as my times improved, Kory wanted to increase her speed as well, so she started attending each week with me. Each week, our coach chooses a different workout to keep it interesting, and he keeps us on task to minimize loafing. It’s a good value that solves a problem: I wouldn’t do this type of workout on my own, but I can get to the track, and he’ll lead me through it … Continued

There’s a Lot More to Retention Than Value, and That’s Good News for You

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The good news about membership retention

It’s expensive to deliver value. Solutions to your members’ problems are expensive to conceive, test, and produce on a regular basis. It should be good news that members are looking for a mix of benefits and aren’t focused solely on value. Members want to be part of something bigger than themselves. Memberships that are about having a greater impact have higher retention than those that rely on value alone. Your mission is an essential part of your Retention Deficit Disorder treatment. What do you want to accomplish by creating your membership? What is your movement about? How do you want the world to be different?   These are important messages to include in your marketing. This is often where villains crop up. There’s little value in creating villains for the sake of villains. Instead, how will your membership vanquish the villains? Let your member experience the satisfaction of feeling like … Continued

Are You Disappointing Your Members?

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Are you disappointing your members

What you sell damn sure better live up to your sales promises. There’s no retention without fulfillment. I had a great discussion with a client today. We are creating a new onboarding product that will become a “gift with purchase” that we can offer to increase sales conversions. He asked me, “If this video is longer than a few minutes, will someone watch it?” My answer was, “I don’t care if the video is three minutes, 30 minutes, or three hours long, the priority is that it delivers everything promised during the sales process in a satisfying way.” Above all, deliver what you promised. I have an assessment on my desk now — a client asked me to review their business because they have a 33 percent refund rate on purchases. While it’s amazing and wonderful they are able to sustain a 33 percent refund rate and still grow their … Continued

It’s Easy to Make Your Membership Complicated. Simplification Is Difficult and Important

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Simplifying Your Membership is Important

Pointless. I was writing, printing, and mailing a 24-page full-color newsletter for 36 people. That’s all that signed up. It was so humiliating to write and preparing a newsletter for only 36 members. Expensive too — although each member paid $199.00 monthly, total dues collected was not enough to cover my production and fulfillment costs with so few members. Membership would exceed 360 in just a few months, and a year later there were more than 1,000 members. By then, I’d forgotten about running negative that first month. But at the time, it felt pointless. The release of my new book, Retention Point, has generated a lot of discussions with potential new clients. At some point, I’ll charge for the subscription assessments I deliver. They really are amazing and well worth investing $2,500.00, $5,000.00, or more. Heck, I put 5–10 hours into reviewing your subscription marketing, onboarding, and deliverables before … Continued

Member Retention Secret for Getting More Lifers and Becoming the Membership That Doesn’t Get Canceled

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Subscription Membership That Doesn’t Get Canceled

“I can’t even get my member to return my call.” I’ve heard it a million times. This person has been a member for months, but now they’re getting canceled because their monthly charge didn’t go through. The team emails, calls, and even sends a letter … no response. In the beginning, there were just a few of these, but now, you can see there is a disease. Members won’t return your emails and calls. This problem started in the hours and days after this member joined. You just don’t excite them anymore. Have you ever gotten excited about buying something, then a few weeks after you bought it you didn’t even remember you had it? And if the company who sold it to you calls you, are you going to take that call? Heck no! Even if you liked them well enough, it wouldn’t matter. No one likes talking to … Continued