Thrive in Uncertain Times

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Subscription Growth

After 10 years of year-over-year growth, few subscription businesses are prepared to continue growing during an economic downturn. As individuals look for ways to cut costs and businesses consider layoffs, cutting back on recurring subscriptions could become an easy place to cut back. My goal is to help the subscription industry grow and I’m happy to share what I’ve seen working with some of the largest subscription brands in the world. This webinar has been designed to focus on how you can optimize the retention of each of your members, increase member lifetime value, and continue to grow your recurring revenue even as others are getting cut back. Register here => Growing Subscription Revenue Workshop At the end of this workshop you’ll have: A team united together, having made the decisions necessary so you can implement your Be Unleavable Membership Growth Plan. You have optimized each step of your new … Continued

Subscription growth through crisis

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5 Ways Subscription Businesses Can Thrive

While there are a few subscription businesses that have generated a lot of new customers in the last six weeks, most are seeing negative impacts.  However, when you get into the details you see there are opportunities within the challenges. Ad costs are down.  For some as much as 5 cents on the dollar to generate the same lead. This is a great time to do more lead generation to dominate your market. Conversion rates are down. We are seeing improvements with a few changes to the offer and marketing approach. New member engagement is through the roof. New members are using what they purchased. Which is great for the membership programs that have a solid new member on-ramp that’s designed to give new members a quick win to keep them excited. As far as long-term retention, what members want has totally shifted. I’ve encouraged my clients to refresh their … Continued

Gamify Your Products to Increase Engagement, Improve Long-term Retention and Generate Great Testimonials

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Gamify Your Products to Increase Engagement

If I told you there’s a free way to generate excellent outcome testimonials from a large number of your product buyers, improve engagement, and extend long-term member retention, would you want to know what that is? Perfect, it’s something I learned from Sean Greeley. Sean Greeley is one of the smartest marketers I know. He’s a longtime friend who owns Net Profit Explosion, Inc.: a coaching business serving fitness gyms in North America, the U.K., and Australia. In 2010, Sean and I partnered together to launch a coaching program we called Metrics Mastermind. It was a coaching group and mastermind based on tracking and reporting your key performance indicators and financial numbers. During that experience, Sean and I created a lot of products together. And he taught me an amazing strategy that he’d been using for many years. Sean called it a “Tuition Reimbursement Contest.” I’ve used other names, like … Continued

Your Members Don’t Exist to Solve Your Company’s Problems Your Membership Exists to Solve Your Member’s Problems

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Your Membership Exists to Solve Your Member’s Problems

There are so many big promises out there about the benefits of membership and subscription business models that too many people launch, expecting that offering a membership will solve their business problems. You invest money and hundreds of hours creating a brand-new marketing campaign, but it generates so few members you wonder if it’s really worth it. You try to get your members engaged, send out a survey, or ask them to provide you information and you get so few responses you wonder whether your members ever received your message. You try to improve retention by creating a new member welcome campaign and it actually makes retention worse. Members reply to your message asking to cancel their memberships. It feels like it would have been better not to email members at all and follow the old adage, “Better to let a sleeping dog lie.” Creating new content for your members … Continued

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

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


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