I’m often shocked by how few subscription companies consider the objections their customers may have to retaining their subscriptions.
When designing a marketing campaign, sales letter, or video sales letter, it’s standard practice to outline all of the objections your prospect may have to buying your offer. This gives you the opportunity to address each objection within your sales process.
The simplest way to address this is to think about the reasons your members give when they quit:
- Didn’t get anything out of it
- Not enough value
- Too expensive
- No time
- Not for me
Each of these are an objection to retention, and in the case of a canceled subscriber, an objection that went unaddressed. Good salespeople know you have to address objections head-on if you are going to make the sale. If you want to stop your members from quitting, you must address their retention objections head-on.
Since January, I’ve had the opportunity to work with Money Map Press, the largest financial publisher in the world. I help them on-board new subscribers with the goals of reducing refunds and increasing retention.
According to one of the editorial teams I’m working with, the most helpful exercise has been listing out all of the reasons their new subscribers would quit and ask for a refund. This has enabled us to create a member on-boarding sequence to overcome these objections.
Many of the objections we discussed are proprietary to Money Map Press, so I can’t share them with you. But I can give you a list of objections that are universal and would be useful and relevant to your needs.
These objections are for a new customer of a financial publisher that provides actionable investment advice. This customer is most often a male head of household a few years before or after retirement, 60–70 years old.
Their spouse or children don’t want them spending money. Your video sales letter got him excited enough to believe he could invest money himself, with your expertise, to accumulate wealth more quickly and make up for not saving enough for retirement. But it all comes crashing down when his wife finds out this plan. She reminds him of all the times he’s failed in the past, gives him the advice her dad taught her about never beating the market, buy and hold, and no-load mutual funds, and your new subscriber is gone. Your new subscriber will never be as good at selling his wife on your system as you would be. Plan to make a second, third, and fourth sale for all of the people who matter to your customer.
Pressure from friends. “What, you can’t do this yourself?” “I pick my own stocks.” “Listen to my broker, that guy with the VSL is a thief out to take your money.” These are just some of the things your new subscriber’s buddies could be saying to him, if he takes the hit to his pride that would be required to admit to his buddies that he sought out expert help. When I was an Amway distributor in the mid-1990s, I was taught to tell my new distributors that their family members may have had a past experience with Amway and tell him all about the business. But that was in the past, and his experience with me would be different.
The program is difficult/confusing to implement. Learning a new skill is hard. Last summer, I learned how to swim for a triathlon, and I thought I’d get kicked out of the pool for swallowing all the water. I was so bad, it was humiliating. Other swimmers took notice and told me. This is what your new subscriber is going through with your system. He’s trying to learn your terminology, your communication tempo, and how to achieve his goals through your product. Make it absolutely as easy as possible and, to the extent you are able, provide support.
No time. Your customer is busy before she buys from you. The last thing she needs is a flood of emails, newsletters, and reports to read, unless these are tied to her goals, dreams, and aspirations. Remind her of the reasons she invested in your program and connect everything you deliver to helping her achieve her dreams.
Fear of failure. For the first 12 years of my working life, I set aside 10 percent of my earnings for savings. Even when we owed more on credit cards than I made a year, I was still saving money. Then, in 2008, when the value of my holdings dropped in half, I pulled it out of the market to protect it from another drop. The drop never came. Had I not let fear overrule my good sense, that account would be triple the value today. Your subscriber fears that implementing your solution will result in failure. Maybe he fears an economic loss, a waste of time, or criticism from someone about the mistake. Whatever the reason, you need to acknowledge and help him overcome his fears.
What is your list of reasons subscribers quit? Not the list that subscribers actually give you — though there are a few that are sincere enough to tell you their wife forced them to quit, most are too proud to admit their spouse doesn’t trust their judgement. Create a list of the real reasons your new members quit so you can address these during your new-member on-boarding marketing system.