Three Ways Specialized Information Publishers Boost Membership Retention

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Strategies used to improve membership retention and increase member value.

In the world of publishing, members (subscribers) are hard-won, and membership retention is even more difficult. The goal is that, once members are brought onboard, a publishing business can run like a locomotive—with unstoppable momentum that builds over time. That feeling is the magic of membership retention. On the other hand, when publishers lose members faster than they sign up new ones, it feels more like bailing out a leaky boat. So how do they run like a locomotive? I talked with leading specialized information publishers about strategies they use to improve membership retention and increase member value. Their insights will help you develop loyal members who continue to buy your services year after year. To maintain your member’s interest, you need to keep your publication content unique and necessary. Don’t simply forget about a member once there’s an order in hand. Ryan Dohrn, founder of, makes sure his … Continued

Four Ways Specialized Information Publishers Generate New Customers

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Generating New Publication based subscriptions

Business readers will invest to get specialized information that gives them the edge against a competitor. But how do publishers who sell subscription-based newsletters, magazines, reference manuals and training programs get those business readers to invest in their publications? The usual methods of direct mail and online ad campaigns figure into their marketing strategy. But the publication itself is also a powerful tool to reel in buyers, and specialized information publishers often use part of their own content to generate future sales. I asked top publishers to share the methods they use to sign up new subscribers. You will learn their tactics, many of which can be adapted for other types of subscription-based businesses. Back-to-basics marketing is a strategy many subscription publishers still use. Guy Cecala, CEO and publisher for Inside Mortgage Finance Publications says direct mail, and even old-fashioned word-of-mouth, remain part of his marketing strategy. “We get a … Continued

How to Accelerate Your Subscription Growth – Insight and Advice from Zuora


How to Accelerate Your Subscription Growth Insight and Advice from Zuora

Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 48:02 — 23.2MB) Subscribe: Android | Email | RSS | How to Subscribe Using Different Platforms How would you like to know the secrets of the fastest growing subscription companies? Subscriptions are exploding for everything from information, software, to monthly boxes. This growth has attracted new resources for analytics, software, and marketing to learn what works and how to grow the largest subscription companies today. These tools can give you more visibility, control and monthly recurring revenue for your subscription program. This interview reveals what the largest players in the subscription economy do to attract new customers, understand their subscribers to reduce churn, and grow their monthly recurring revenue. For starters, Zuora offers products, resources, and cloud technologies to help subscription businesses attract and retain members. Zuora has sophisticated monthly billing systems that increase revenue with better pricing models and international acceptance … Continued

Essential KPIs for Monitoring the Health of Your Subscription Program

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KPI to diagnose the fastest ways to grow membership programs.

Each year when I visit the doctor for my annual physical, the blood test results come back in a multi-page report detailing blood cells, cholesterol, liver enzymes, and more. A human body requires dozens of interconnecting systems to work properly and be healthy. Same with subscription programs. Subscription programs often reach out to me when they’ve hit an invisible ceiling. They reach a barrier that prevents their subscription program from growing. Even though they may have enjoyed a fast growth rate for months or years, when their membership reaches a certain point, they never seem to be able to push through. At that point, when they add new members, it just seems to increase the rate at which members quit. Often this ceiling is evident for many years before someone reaches out to me. It’s a shame anyone waits as long as they do — I could save them a … Continued

Increase Subscription Member Retention with Subscriber Emails: Lessons from the Subscription Boxes

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Lessons from the Subscription Boxes

While there’s nothing more exciting than when that monthly subscription box arrives, there are a lot of days each month between subscription boxes. These are days when your customer receives their credit card statement, which is often larger than they expected. And she may be tempted to try to trim her monthly expenses, possibly sacrificing the monthly box she loves. How do you avoid the chopping block? Obviously, by making the box experience surprising, engaging, and pleasant. But that’s only one day a month. What about all the other days? The first answer is subscriber emails. Unfortunately, there appears to be two extremes in the subscription box industry — either few emails or a deluge. Too few can be zero. Or perhaps no emails beyond the administrative billing and shipping confirmations. Where’s the excitement in that? Most often subscription box companies deluge their subscribers with offers, promotions, and the mundane. … Continued

The Four Essentials of Subscription Box Member Retention

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The Four Essentials of Subscription Box Member Retention

Unless your members are renewing, your subscription is like a leaky bucket, with water escaping faster than you can add more. The key to success for any subscription box business is the ability to retain subscribers. I caught up with seven of today’s fastest growing subscription box companies to discover what they are doing to stop members from quitting and improve lifetime subscriber value. Let’s take a look. My first business mentor taught me that even though I may have answered the phone 100 times today, and answered the same question 100 times, for the next member who calls, that’s his first time asking that question. It’s my duty to perform and provide that member with a great experience. For Brick Loot, they agree that the key to retaining subscribers is offering top-notch customer service. When asked, the president of Brick Loot, Erin Krex, told me: “We have excellent customer … Continued

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


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

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 Do Members Refuse to Do Anything With the Materials You Give Them and Then Quit Their Membership?

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It makes me so mad. Customers opt-in, review my sales message, talk to my people and choose to buy. Then they do NOTHING and quit. Some even have the gall to criticize the program when they did nothing with what I sent to them. I can see they never opened their emails or logged into their member dashboard. Argh! I’ve had SAAS clients with past customers who did nothing with the product, but still took the time to post a negative review of the product. Or I’ve seen subscription boxes with past customers posting on social media, saying, “Received a box, never opened, stupid.” Oh, and this is really a sore spot with my publisher clients. How many times have you heard, “When I put this month’s unopened mailing on top of a pile of four other months of unopened mailings, I decided I needed to call to cancel.”? And, … Continued

How to Communicate Your Benefits in a Compelling Way so Members Want and Appreciate What You Deliver

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“What are the benefits I can offer to stop members from quitting?” is the most frequent question I hear. Yet, for the most part, the benefits these clients deliver to their members are just fine. But there’s usually a huge problem in the way benefits are communicated. You may have an understanding of your benefits, how they’ve helped other members in the past, and how they can help your current members. However, your new member has no idea about any of this. And she’s not going to read a bunch of stuff to try to learn about everything, either. You’ve got just a few seconds to pique her curiosity and get her engaged, even if she invested in buying your subscription. Most importantly, rather than talk about what the benefits are, such as discounts, publications, or a subscription box, illustrate how each benefit helps your member. There should be a … Continued