Are You Disappointing Your Members?

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 company, when I encounter these situations, I know I’m going to have a huge positive financial impact on the company.

Sure enough, the problem is really easy to spot: The product doesn’t live up to the promise. They are investing thousands of dollars into the monthly deliverables. They are written by correspondents around the world, packaged in a full-color magazine, printed, and mailed out to their customers. Trouble is, the content doesn’t deliver what is promised in the sales letter.

I’ve got a big job in front of me because I’m going to have to retrain two dozen content creators on what their job really is. They’ve been led by someone who lost sight of their publication’s essential promise to their readers.

High refund rates are more common in publications sold by direct response marketing. The typical belief is that when you sell too hard, you’ll have more people who are disappointed. There were customers who were on the fence, induced by the strong sales message, who later change their mind.

This is exactly what happens when the product doesn’t live up to what you promised. Here are the core elements of a product that stop customers from canceling or refunding and improves ongoing member retention.

Resell on value proposition.

Boldly pronounce how the product your customer is looking at will deliver on the promises you made within your sales process. If you promised earning millions in the stock market, then start by talking about how this product will deliver exactly that.

Sure, it’s easy to make bold promises in your sales letter, but then when it comes to your product, do you want to pull back? Become conservative?

If you are going to make bold promises in your sales materials, you’d better start with the same promises, then deliver on those promises. This makes your customer more excited after he gets your product than he was when he bought your product.

Prove your product delivers.

Just because your customer believed you enough to buy doesn’t mean you have his complete trust. Nope. Your sale was one point in time. The belief and hope your customer felt in that moment dissipates as soon as he returns to his email inbox and the mountain of tasks he’s facing.

In these first moments after your sale, you have the opportunity to prove that this time will be different. Show him that feeling overwhelmed is temporary, and this time, he’ll experience the success he’s been hoping for.

Above all, your newest members and subscribers are buying hope — hope that this time he’ll find something that will solve pressing problems in his life.

Incorporate success stories and proof elements into your products to grow the hope your customer had when he made his purchase. Think of your product as a hope factory that illustrates the exact path your customer can follow to finally achieve the results he’s been searching for.

Prove your product will work for this customer.

Humans are reluctant to try something new unless there’s a reasonable chance of success. No one wants to feel humiliated by failing. Thus, even if a prospective client wants what you promised, if she feels there’s a chance she will fail, she’s not going to move forward.

Include statements that emphasize with what she is thinking. Acknowledge the negative emotions she may be feeling and show her how her past failures weren’t her fault. It’ll all be different now.

Each customer feels like she is too busy or doesn’t have the right education or experience. Maybe she isn’t excited enough to put in the work necessary to learn a new skill. Whenever the work and struggle appear bigger than the payoff, your customer is going to bolt.

In your new member onboarding, help your new members create a mental picture of the positive outcome of using your product. The more vivid and exciting this mental picture becomes, the more effort your customer is willing to make to use what you deliver.

Does the quality of your products really matter?

If you don’t mind selling through a 33 percent refund rate, then no. It doesn’t matter. Keep delivering something besides what you promise in your sales message. Whenever you experience revenue dips, just sell harder.

I’m sure that’s a better plan than doing the work necessary to create products that live up to your sales promises.

About Robert Skrob

The problem with subscription membership programs is that members quit, I fix that problem. For more than 20-years I have specialized in direct response marketing for member recruitment, retention and ascension in diverse subscription members environments including non-profit associations, for-profit publishers/coaching, subscriptions and SAAS companies. For an evaluation of your current churn rate and how I can improve it, contact me here. I discover there are often two or three quick wins you can implement within a week to lower churn immediately, let’s talk about your quick wins.
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