The No. 1 Flaw in Membership and Subscription Marketing Today

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The No. 1 Flaw in Membership and Subscription

Did you wake up this morning hoping for a webinar? You’ve gone all week without one. Perhaps your spouse used to give you webinars, but no longer. Then there was that one vendor who always offered webinars, but they don’t even do it anymore. Disappointing? No, you didn’t wake up hoping for a webinar. And neither did your members. And I can promise you those prospective members you want to sign up as paid members didn’t hope for a webinar either. Not only that, they didn’t wake up hoping for a newsletter. Or a special report. Or a book. Or even a briefing. No, your members don’t want that shit. And, they darn sure didn’t wake up hoping that you’d send another email. Nope, they don’t long for an email to show up. In fact, that’s one of the things they dread. Do you agree that neither you nor your … Continued

Subscription Revenue Is a Poor Substitute for a Viable Business Plan

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Subscription Revenue

I had a tough conversation with a client this week. For the last 10 years, he’s been trying to grow his subscription business with a 30-day free trial. He’s been happy taking profit out of the business but has hit a plateau over the last few years. He gave his internet marketing team a budget of $100.00 per free trial member to acquire new customers using online marketing. After two years, membership numbers are up but profit is down. He had no idea what had happening but suspected his new members may not be profitable. He was right. I dug in. After a few minutes with his customer data in Excel, I showed him that only 30 percent of these new members were converting from free trial to paid. (He got 50 percent from his other marketing methods.) And although his subscription revenue is $39 monthly, his profit is just … Continued

This Football Phone Reveals the Secret to Attracting More New Members for Faster Recurring Revenue Growth

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the Secret to Attracting More New Members

Memberships are one of the most difficult offers to convert. Yeah, you read that right. Memberships and subscriptions are a lot harder to convert than a single product purchase. In fact, a customer will often spend more to avoid the commitment of a subscription. Think about it for a moment: Men in our society are infamous for trying to avoid commitment. Why would you choose commitment as a business model? What if I told you I had the secret to tripling your membership? Play along with me for a second. What would it mean to your business and life to triple your membership? How much more money would that generate for you? What would you do with that money each month? How much security would it provide you, your team, and your family? Do you want the secret that will triple your membership? I’m happy to reveal the secret to … Continued

Which of 3 Critical Membership Growth Elements Are Missing, Causing Your Recurring Revenue to Slow to a Trickle, Like You Have a Kink in Your Hose


Which of 3 Critical Membership Growth Elements Are Missing

You should have been there to hear what a client told me the other day. He said, “There are plenty of copywriting experts. And goodness knows there are plenty of marketing funnel consultants. Those business consultants who can optimize your processes are easy to find. But Robert, you are the only person I’ve met who is all three of those in one.” This is a huge compliment. And if I told you who said it, you’d be even more impressed. But it got me thinking. Making growing membership businesses is really hard. A lot of important pieces have to come together to make it work. And any one of those pieces can lead to slower growth, higher churn, or stall outs where membership reaches a certain plateau that you can’t grow beyond. There so many people proclaiming that you should be in the subscription business. They say subscription is the … Continued

Increase Your Member Retention by Doing and Delivering Less

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Increase Your Member Retention and Prune your Clients

The fastest growth always comes immediately after a good pruning. You likely witness this each spring. Cut back your plants that died over the winter and the bushes that got too big over the last summer. Then, over the next few weeks, you see an explosion of new growth. Pruning makes the plant stronger because now the root system is more than strong enough to supply nutrients to the plant. Pruning is every gardener’s secret weapon for a beautiful garden. All that pruning may be good and well for the gardener, but what about the plant that’s getting pruned? Imagine you’re a shrub that’s worked all summer to grow terrific branches. Then, someone comes along and chops your branches off! Even if you believed three strong branches would grow back in its place, do you think the plant would ever volunteer to get pruned? Would you volunteer for a good … Continued

What Your New Members Must Believe to Become Long-Term Members

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Beliefs to Become Long-Term Members

This month, I was the guest copywriting expert for the Agora Financial Copy Call. Each call focuses on breaking down a promotion or features a copywriting technique. I brought the list of what they must believe, and you can see it below. I learned this strategy from Dan Kennedy. He taught it as a copywriting trick to create a sales letter that outperforms what a client is currently using. You start by creating a list of what the customer must believe to buy your client’s product. Next, you break apart their current sales letter to identify the beliefs that are currently included. Then, you write sales copy to communicate the beliefs that were left out, if any. Finally, you put the sales letter back together and test it. I use this strategy to create Member On Ramp™ sequences. These are the series of emails, welcome packages, and videos you send … Continued

How Charity: Water Transforms Donors into Members

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It's focused on the feeling of why members joined

If you haven’t yet discovered Charity: Water, you should check them out right now, visit and watch the video. By bringing people clean, healthy water, they are preventing hundreds of other problems, enabling children to get an education and helping people build an economy. It’s an organization that’s changing lives in an important way. Beyond that, Charity: Water has been successful in reaching a donor segment that’s previously ignored charities — young people. The average age of a Charity: Water donor is decades younger than most organizations. These donors have made Charity: Water the single largest water charity in the United States today, even though the organization launched just 10 years ago. In the last few months, Charity: Water has launched their new membership program called The Spring. This is an opportunity to turn one-time donors into members who give monthly. Rather than feeling great about supporting efforts to … Continued

How the Largest Direct Response Marketing Company Communicates with Its New Members

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Communicating with your New Members

No one woke up this morning and said, “I hope today is the day I get an email.” I remember a day when I looked forward to receiving an email. It made me feel important that someone thought enough about me to send me an electronic message. Today, you, your prospective members, and I are receiving a deluge of email. We’d all prefer to receive fewer emails, not more of them. This can present a challenge when the core products you are selling are a series of email newsletters. One of the largest newsletter publishers in the world could be a company you’ve never heard of — The Agora. This is a $1.4 billion company headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, that has divisions around the world publishing financial investing advice, health information, and variety of other topics. I’ve had the honor of working with two Agora divisions in Baltimore, Agora Financial … Continued

Onboarding that Stops Members from Quitting

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Stops Members from Quitting

If your goal is to add 1000 new members this month but had 300 members cancel their membership, then 30 percent of your the marketing expense, your copywriting efforts and the efforts of your sales team were expended to replace members you once had. Think about that effort and expense for a moment. All just to try to stay even. Thirty percent of your month invested to keep from falling behind. It’s even worse if you experience significant refunds. Now you’ve got to expend more marketing dollars just to get back to the revenue number you thought you had achieved. Churn, cancels and refunds have been accepted as a normal part of subscription businesses. Yes, there will always be churn and some of it is normal and healthy, you can’t please everyone. But if you consider the percentage of your marketing efforts are devoted to replacing members who quit and … Continued

Creating a Subscription Business for Long-Term Growth is Worth the Investment

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Creating a Subscription Business for Long-Term Growth

Sitting in a cab, stopped in traffic, in the dark, at 5:53 am, 17 degrees outside. There’s a long line of cars sitting on the highway, each waiting to enter the Laguardia Airport. Ramit, my cab driver, tells me Laguardia has been under construction for the last two years. And, it’ll take another two years to finish the new terminal. Meanwhile we wait as traffic tries to squeeze from three lanes to one in a construction zone. Several passengers have given up on riding to the airport. They have leapt out of their Ubers and cabs and are dragging their suitcases to the airport on foot, through the snow banks on the side of the road. Hurrying to get to the gate before their flight departs. I’m in New York City for consulting days with two clients. I love my New York City clients, in May. January is too cold … Continued