Most Subscription Marketers Should Ignore My Advice: How to Decide if I Can Help You

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Most Subscription Marketers Should Ignore My Advice

Why are you offering subscriptions to your customers? What is your subscription program for? Did you start a subscription program because it was the best way to serve your members? Or did you hear that a subscription is a great way to make money, and you want to pursue 2019’s version of the Gold Rush of 1849? When James W. Marshall discovered gold at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, California, on Jan. 24, 1848, the news attracted more than 300,000 people to California from the rest of the United States and abroad. The promise of easy wealth was as powerful then as it is today. Rather than searching for nuggets of gold, today’s prospectors are seeking ever-increasing recurring revenue deposited into their checking account by automated software each month and a big valuation when it’s time to exit their company. Both of these are proven to be a real and possible … Continued

Are You Fishing With Holes in Your Cast Net? Is Your Recurring Revenue Slipping Away?

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Is Your Recurring Revenue Slipping Away?

Even though I grew up in Florida, I never learned how to fish with a cast net. You are supposed to throw the net into the water, it’s water-laden and made heavy by the lead weights meant to drop the net to the bottom as you let out the line you are also holding in your hand. The net is meant to trap fish on its way down. Then you use the line to haul the net back up. As the net emerges, you look to see what fish you caught. I couldn’t figure out how to toss the net so that it landed on top of the water in a big circle, casting the widest possible fish-catching surface. For me, the net flew from my hand and dropped into the water in a big, useless ball of tangled net. I’d drag the thing back to the surface and untangle … Continued

Retain More Members By Fostering Connection, Passion and Identity


Retain more members

Happy New Year! We have the blessing of a fresh start — a new set of months to create magic, connection and joy. Thank you for inviting me to be a small part of your day. Thousands of books have been written about having a great marriage, and there are certainly hundreds of books that purport to reveal the secrets of employer-employee relationship success. Why so little on the subscriber member relationship? The first problem is that so few people think of it as a relationship. Rather, member marketers think they are selling a product, but instead of selling a product, they call it a membership so they can auto bill if they don’t cancel. Are you passionate about a sports team? Why? Why do you feel happy when they win and sad when they lose? Unless you had a wager on the game, you earn nothing from supporting the … Continued

Your Monthly Member Calls Have Become Social Proof Documenting the Problems With Your Program

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Your Monthly Member Calls Have Become Social Proof Documenting the Problems

Members are calling each week, presenting their problems, their self-doubts, their questions about the strategy, their fears about whether the program works — and if it does work, whether it will work for them. Although it’s important to challenge your members to expand beyond their comfort zones, if your calls are one doubt after another, you are sowing discontent, frustration, and disappointment. I am constantly reminded how lucky I am to be in this line of work at this time. The number of subscription businesses is growing exponentially each year. At the same time, there is a huge knowledge gap regarding how to engage and retain subscribers. The number of companies who need what I deliver is exploding! Each time, I’m working with an awesome team, the best marketers in the world. Some are generating hundreds of millions of dollars. And I’m able to provide a little bit of insight, … Continued

Motivation First, Engagement Second, and then Retention for Life

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Retention for Life

Zander Marshall, son of my friend and client friend Perry Marshall, told me this quote in a conversation we had at the Connemara National Park in Ireland. I made note of it in June when he said it, and I’ve been reading and rereading it ever since. Too often, when I’m asked to review why a membership program is failing to grow, I’ll see they have a great new member promo, but the new member onboarding flips right to instructions and how-to. The dream is gone. So rather than making that mistake myself, I’m going to follow a bit of my own advice. I’m going to apply my own new member onboarding copywriting template to get you fired up about membership rather than teaching you about it. No Bigger Opportunity Today Than Subscription Memberships There is nothing better in business than waking up on the first day of the month … Continued

Hidden Peril or Power of Your Member Stakeholders

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Power of Your Member Stakeholders

Most membership marketers ignore the people around their member. What does the husband say to his wife about her monthly subscription box credit card charge? What does a wife say when her husband of 50 years, a retired engineer, buys a $2,000.00 subscription trading service on stock options when his past stock picks include Lucent Technologies, Enron, and General Motors? How does the IT manager ask his boss to renew a $10,000.00 subscription to buy access to information that makes it less time-consuming to search for information needed to do his job? The people around your subscriber can be the cause of a cancelation. Instead, turn this problem into your advocate. Subscription boxes are one of the worst subscription businesses at onboarding. It’s easy to understand why; a lot of logistics go into acquiring all the items, getting them distributed into boxes, accommodating customization requests, labeling the boxes, and getting … Continued

They’re Not Buying Your Membership, They’re Buying Your Promo

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They're Not Buying Your Membership

Membership subscription businesses are a Utopian business model where your revenue grows every month, we all get fat bonuses, and everyone lives happily ever after. Of course, this is crap, but that’s what some appear to promise and many believe. I had a long conversation with a company analyst and business newspaper reporter about a number of subscription businesses and their churn rates. I was able to forecast revenue and demonstrate that the company’s revenue targets are overstated unless the company doubles new customer acquisition rates or cuts their churn rate by 75 percent. Neither of those is likely. (P.S. I have a hot tip if you like to trade options or ever short sell a stock.) The problem is in the approach. What are memberships and subscriptions for? Is the goal of creating them to get rich? If that’s your approach, then the membership model isn’t going to work … Continued

How 24-Hour News, Social Media, and Our Culture Cause Retention Deficit Disorder, and How You Can Become Part of the Cure

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How 24-Hour News, Social Media, and Our Culture Cause Retention Deficit

No amount of acceleration will get you to your destination when you are headed in the wrong direction. And, you can’t change direction until you recognize you are following the wrong path. There are three important ways we create Retention Deficit Disorder within our membership and subscription programs. But it’s not your fault; our culture is leading us astray, creating anxiety, confusion, and frustration both within us as well as the people we are trying to attract to our membership. Here’s how you can take control, break through membership growth plateaus, and grow your recurring revenue. Trade Information for Wisdom I’m a recovering news junkie. I followed every story, always had an opinion, and happily debated the big stories of the day. Even as I write this, I feel the urge to check out what’s happening right now and what everyone has to say about it. I’ve been programmed to … Continued

The $651,958.00 Email Series


series of emails generating $651,958.00

Can you imagine a series of emails generating $651,958.00? It’s hard to believe, isn’t it? This is the power of retention. And if it’ll work this well with this example, it’ll work for you too. Bradford Tax Institute delivers tax-saving strategies to members of the Tax Reduction Letter. How much do you enjoy working on your taxes? Exactly! This is a tough sell because most people 1) hate thinking about their taxes and 2) are paying someone else to take care of this so they never have to worry about it. Why would anyone ever subscribe to the Tax Reduction Letter? Murray Bradford’s information is different from anything else out there. All other tax-information services explain the law and how to comply with it. Murray Bradford delivers strategies for using the law to pay less in taxes. Murray’s strategies are so unique that few professional tax preparers know about them. … Continued

Lessons Learned from an Email Series that Generated $651,958.00

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Email Series that Generated $651,958.00

I’m coming to you this month from seat 6E in the first-class cabin of flight AA1229 from San Diego to Dallas where I’ll catch a flight home to Tallahassee. I’ve been traveling a lot this summer. There’s a lot of Retention Deficit Disorder out there, and I’m the guy subscription membership programs call to treat it.. We’ve had a tumultuous October with Hurricane Michael. Overall we were extremely lucky. We did spend several days without electricity or internet. Lots of trees fell in Tallahassee, luckily none of them hit my house or cars. The days without electricity gave us an opportunity to clean up. This month, I have some personal travel. First, my wife and I are flying to Raleigh, North Carolina, for the FSU Seminoles versus NC State Wolfpack football game. My wife, Kory, graduated from NC State, so we’ll be catching up with a lot of her college … Continued