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

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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

3 Biggest Lessons of 2nd Quarter of 2017 To Help Stop Your Members From Quitting

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stop members quitting

I had the pleasure of visiting Bonn, Germany, for full week to work with the team at VNR Verlag für die Deutsche Wirtschaft AG. I conducted a seminar on Monday with more than 50 members of the team. Then, Tuesday through Friday, I conducted workshops with nine different publishing divisions from family magazines, health, financial, and technology publications. While everyone on the team is wonderful, Katrin Frößler, Daniela Birkelbach, and Stanislava Albert-Stoykova, pictured from left to right, are clearly my favorite members of the team. I’m wearing a T-shirt representing the guru for their fitness publication, Thomas Wessinghage, a German celebrity and former Olympic athlete. Over the last three months, I’ve been from coast to coast in the U.S., Germany, London, and Ireland to stop members from quitting. Wherever there are members quitting, I’m going to respond to stomp out high churn and make running subscription businesses fun again. During … Continued

How Much Money Do Failed Credit Card Transactions Cost You Each Month?

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How Much Money Do Failed Credit Card Transactions Cost You Each Month?

I remember, early in my monthly continuity days, waking up on the first of the month, looking at my Blackberry, and seeing hundreds of emails from my credit card processor — one for each transaction, indicating all of the credit card pre-approved subscription payments getting processed for the month. It was a moment of sweet appreciation. Even now, as I see the monthly credit card charges flow through, I take a few moments to express my appreciation for the members who have confidence and faith in me to subscribe. It’s an honor. Then it all goes off the rails when you log in and discover how many pre-approved transactions failed. The credit card number was correct last month. The card expiration date is still valid. But the card declines for some reason. This is often 7–10 percent of total charges each month. And, unless you have an active system for … Continued

I Hate Churn, and You Should Too

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High Churn Rate

Graduations are an amazing opportunity for reflection. For starters, they last for at least three hours once they begin. And my family has to arrive at least an hour early to make sure we get a good seat, near the front. This gives you plenty of time to think. As I mentioned a couple of months ago, our son, Robert William, is headed to the University of Florida, joining their honors program to study business management and entrepreneurship. For the last several months, he’s been applying for scholarships, and has done really well. His honors include Ignite Your Future Scholarship Award, Lir Sullivan Scholarship Award, Marvin Henderson Technology Award, Drive Smart Video Contest, and Best and Brightest of Tallahassee. Kory and I are really proud of him. And he’s excited to have put some extra cash in his pocket before he starts college. In between all the awards ceremonies, events, … Continued

Why Subscribers Join and What Keeps Them From Quitting

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What keeps members from quitting

Have you heard about those OPEC meetings where leaders from oil-producing nations agree to production rates to control the price of oil around the world? Have you ever wondered what those meetings are like? Is everyone at these OPEC meetings sitting on chairs made of solid gold, speaking while a team of servants fans them and feeds them grapes? Or are these meetings remarkable because they are as normal as a school board meeting in Lincoln, Nebraska? Dr. Kent Moors, an investing guru for the Agora affiliate Money Map Press, attends those OPEC meetings. Each month in his publication Energy Advantage, Dr. Moors provides insights on which companies consumer investors should buy based on his insider knowledge. I had the opportunity to work with the cracker-jack editorial team at Money Map Press this spring. Dr. Moors has always been a great storyteller. He provides in-depth analysis into the companies he … Continued

The Secret for Faster Recurring Revenue Growth, Invest More on Member Retention

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It’s been exhilarating working with several $100 million — and larger — publishers over the last couple of months. These companies spend millions of dollars on member acquisition. They track their numbers and know what’s working — and what’s not — within their marketing and sales funnels. Some have weekly training seminars for copywriters. They get together, analyze promotions that are working, talk about what’s effective, and consider how they can use these ideas to improve their own promotions. They make a tremendous investment in new-client acquisition. Many of the top copywriters are paid more than $1 million a year to create winning subscriber-acquisition promotions. And these great promotions are art; they are interesting to consume, and I can feel myself get excited when I look at them. I agree that customer acquisition is important, but what about the art of keeping subscribers? It’s one thing to make a sale. … Continued

Discover Your “Retention Point” to Turn Subscribers Into Lifetime Members of Your Vibrant Tribe

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Since completing the Boston Marathon last April, I’m often asked, “When is your next marathon?” “My next marathon is going to be a Netflix binge-watching marathon,” is my current answer. “With all of our training, my wife and I fell behind on our binge-watching of the new season of ‘Orange is the New Black.’” But what makes a show binge-worthy versus a show you watch once and move on from? I was fascinated by Netflix data published by Wired magazine that shows when a series becomes addictive. The chart shows the length of each series in minutes together with cubes representing episodes. The gold cubes represent the “hooked episode.” This hooked episode is the episode after which 70 percent of the viewers complete the entire series. Some complete the series within a week, others savor the show over several months. Yet, after the hooked episode, 70 percent stick with the … Continued

Copywriting for Customer Engagement, Retention and Lower Churn

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The biggest mistake I see in ongoing content is that it’s 100 percent “how-to” information. Too much how-to is boring, overwhelming, and monotonous. Plus, there are billions of pages of how-to content available for free on the internet. Yes, “how-to” is important, and when you ask your members, that’s what they always say they want; however, when you deliver content in the right way, it’ll result in a huge reduction of your churn rates. I was speaking about this with a client in December. On that call I created the following formula for content: Content = Vision + Clarity + How-To + Personality Throughout the month of January, I’ve had the opportunity to work with Money Map Press, an Agora affiliate and one of the largest financial publishers in the world, to implement this model within their editorial department. As a large publisher, they have several different experts who provide … Continued