Thousands of people died from infections in 1846, while doctors refused to admit they could be spreading disease from one patient to another. Yet when Hungarian doctor, Ignaz Semmelweis, promoted the idea that doctors wash their hands and medical instruments with soap and chlorine between patients he was ridiculed, even after he was proven to be correct. The way we do things gets ingrained, we develop patterns for completing projects quickly. And with the never-ending anxiety from approaching deadlines, it’s a lot easier to get something done, than rethink why and how you are doing it. Over the last 12 months I’ve encountered hundreds of instances of membership programs doing things because that’s the way they’ve always done them. And they’ve showed me, with pride, the onboarding campaigns they’ve created for their newest members that ignore all of what we’ve discovered that generates engagement, retention and increases revenue through upsells. … Continued
While the functional value of your subscription membership is an important element, the key drivers for breaking through plateaus and maximizing subscription and membership growth are all about emotion. How does your subscription solve problems for your members? How do your customers feel about the problems they face? What mistakes do your prospective members make that they don’t know they are making? While its competitors advertise their motorcycles’ features, horse power, and price, Harley-Davidson promotes the feeling of freedom you’ll experience when you ride a Harley. That feeling drives more sales than all the features and price data. Do your promotions focus on what you deliver to your members or on how they’ll feel after becoming your member?[/cs_text][x_custom_headline level="h2" looks_like="h5" accent="false"]2. Your race to maximize lifetime member value begins right after the sale.[/x_custom_headline][cs_text]Too many subscription marketers are focused on what I call “a series of one-night stands.” Once they get … Continued
Your members and prospective members receive thousands of messages a week. Your member reads emails with one finger on the delete key, trying to scroll through the deluge as quickly as possible. How do you stand out, get read, and inspire your member to action? Not by talking about yourself. To everyone in my office, I must sound like a ringtone, constantly going off with the same noise. “Write copy about your customer and what he or she wants; stop writing about you and what you deliver. Write only about how what you deliver helps your member solve a problem in his or her life.” Longtime monthly client Brandon Lewis of Painter’s Academy sent me a copy of an email he wrote to his members. Brandon is a brilliant marketer who helps painters revolutionize their business by generating referrals, maximizing the value of each painting job, and getting repeat business … Continued
Georg has been an executive at the highest levels of some of the largest, fastest-growing subscription businesses for the last three decades. And, for you, he reveals the biggest subscription mistakes to avoid, how to deliver value subscribers will eagerly pay to receive, and the single most effective strategy in jump-starting membership growth after it has plateaued. And for inventory, Georg advises against getting carried away. “People say, ‘No, I’ll have 100,000 members immediately,’ and then they buy inventory like crazy, and they sit with a pile of stuff they can never sell, which is a sad story. I would always encourage people to be conservative in the beginning, rather work with scarcity and build up slowly. Conserve your capital. Be very cognizant of capital and spend it in media, and try all kind of channels you can try.” He suggests adding surprise to pique interests. “A little cliffhanger, little … Continued
Your subscription product is more than a simple transaction and needs to be treated differently. Rather than selling that product, you need to be selling results. The results that your customers are going to personally experience by using or receiving your product are where the focus of your sales message should be. Every time you mention your product, rather than talking about it, talk about the transformation or how that customer will feel because of your product. “You’ve got to be different from what everyone else is talking about,” suggests Babak. “I am talking so much more about brand and, really, the sense of experience, because that is one of the bigger things that I’m starting to see across pretty much every industry. That focus on creating an experience and creating a memory and stories around it is a big deal, but at the end of the day, it’s, what’s … Continued
I just heard the most ridiculous statement from a subscription economy* owner who should know better: “The value of what I deliver to my members drives retention.” The value of what you deliver is less than 20 percent of the reason your member renews or not. There’s a value- and quality-driven brand within the motorcycle industry, Honda. The quality of their product is exceptional. The value for the investment is excellent. Yet, they represent a fraction of the sales that Harley-Davidson generates in the categories where Harley-Davidson chooses to compete. In those categories, Harley-Davidson has more than 50 percent of the market share for their products. Yes, customers buy Harleys more than any other motorcycle, even though Harley-Davidson is the premium priced product. Can you name another industry where the premium provider owns more than half of the market share? In retail, this would be comparable with a company such … Continued
Too many people create a subscription business because they heard it’s a lucrative business model. While it’s true that the membership model can help you scale your company faster, generate long-term stability and enable you to grow a vibrant tribe of thrilled members, generating revenue can’t be your only priority. Instead, when you focus on generating a positive impact on your members lives, they’ll reward you with membership and subscription growth. In a recent interview for the Membership and Subscription Growth podcast, I spoke with Tim Broom, the co-founder and CEO of ITPro.TV. Tim transitioned to a subscription business model four years ago and is set to hit $8 million in revenue this year. What he has done, you can do. Your product may be much different than his, but the keys to his success can be applied to any subscription model. ITPro.TV is, as Tim describes, “a Netflix for … Continued
Passion, customer impact, focus, feedback and service are crucial for maximum subscription and membership growth. For an example, take a look at PopSugar and their subscription box, PopSugar Must Have. While I recommend you subscribe to learn more about building your own subscription program, here’s five “Golden Rules” you can use immediately from a recent interview with Lisa Sugar, PopSugar’s founder and CEO. Continued
Customer success determines retention rates in the membership economy. If your member does nothing with what you sell her, she’s going to cancel your subscription.
The old model of leaving it up to your customer to figure out how to get value from what you sell may have worked in the old one-and-done product sale world.
Your membership and subscription growth is determined by how well you ensure customer success. It involves helping your members find a lifetime value in subscribing to your product or service. I refer to it as turning your subscribers into a vibrant tribe of followers. And, it starts with how you attract your them.Continued
It’s not easy bringing you all this great member retention insight. Just last month, I spent a week in Northern California meeting with two clients. I was at the beach a full week for the Florida tourism marketing industry. And, at the end of October, I traveled to Mumbai to work with an Agora Global affiliate on subscriber engagement and retention. Northern California was beautiful. After spending three days in Sacramento working with the team at the California Chamber of Commerce, I moved on to Napa to work with Gene Kelly and his team at the Gun Club of America. The photo for this blog post is the team of the Gun Club of America. Gene Kelly started GCA in 2007 to create a community for people who love guns, know how they work, and enjoy collecting them. We worked together as a team to create a brand-new value proposition, … Continued