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
Did you wake up this morning hoping for a webinar? You’ve gone all week without one. Perhaps your spouse used to give you webinars, but no longer. Then there was that one vendor who always offered webinars, but they don’t even do it anymore. Disappointing? No, you didn’t wake up hoping for a webinar. And neither did your members. And I can promise you those prospective members you want to sign up as paid members didn’t hope for a webinar either. Not only that, they didn’t wake up hoping for a newsletter. Or a special report. Or a book. Or even a briefing. No, your members don’t want that shit. And, they darn sure didn’t wake up hoping that you’d send another email. Nope, they don’t long for an email to show up. In fact, that’s one of the things they dread. Do you agree that neither you nor your … Continued
Have you ever been disappointed when the secret behind a magic trick was revealed to you? At first you were amazed when the trick was performed. It’s amazing to see a skilled magician executing a trick so perfectly you can’t imagine how he did it, except by some form of magic. For instance, I always thought the David Blaine levitation trick was just amazing. He just lifted up off the ground. But, from a different angle you could see he’s just lifting his body with the front of one foot while keeping his heels together. From the back you can’t see that foot and the trick looks amazing. And, as long as you don’t know the trick, it does look amazing. And, when used with skill, it makes the performer look, well, magical. There’re a lot of these tricks in marketing. There are tricks that get stated so many times … Continued
When you are ready for a good cry, do a YouTube search for “marriage proposal.” There are thousands of amazing videos with gentlemen (and ladies) making marriage proposals. If it doesn’t make you emotional, nothing will. It’s impressive how many different ways there are to propose. Skywriting is so passe. There’s the surprise proposal at a sporting event, the boyfriend as a hospital patient turned proposal, fancy custom written songs, jumping out of airplanes, and I even saw a proposal in a duck blind. While the proposals can be impressive, the answer delivered in response to the proposal is always based more on the relationship leading up to the proposal than it is on the proposal itself. Sure, it’s good to make it nice. But in reality, if the relationship isn’t there, the answer will be “no.” And, trying to deliver an elaborate proposal when there’s not a good relationship … Continued
Thousands of people died from infections in 1846, while doctors refused to admit they could be spreading disease from one patient to another. Yet when Hungarian doctor, Ignaz Semmelweis, promoted the idea that doctors wash their hands and medical instruments with soap and chlorine between patients he was ridiculed, even after he was proven to be correct. The way we do things gets ingrained, we develop patterns for completing projects quickly. And with the never-ending anxiety from approaching deadlines, it’s a lot easier to get something done, than rethink why and how you are doing it. Over the last 12 months I’ve encountered hundreds of instances of membership programs doing things because that’s the way they’ve always done them. And they’ve showed me, with pride, the onboarding campaigns they’ve created for their newest members that ignore all of what we’ve discovered that generates engagement, retention and increases revenue through upsells. … Continued
While the functional value of your subscription membership is an important element, the key drivers for breaking through plateaus and maximizing subscription and membership growth are all about emotion. How does your subscription solve problems for your members? How do your customers feel about the problems they face? What mistakes do your prospective members make that they don’t know they are making? While its competitors advertise their motorcycles’ features, horse power, and price, Harley-Davidson promotes the feeling of freedom you’ll experience when you ride a Harley. That feeling drives more sales than all the features and price data. Do your promotions focus on what you deliver to your members or on how they’ll feel after becoming your member?[/cs_text][x_custom_headline level="h2" looks_like="h5" accent="false"]2. Your race to maximize lifetime member value begins right after the sale.[/x_custom_headline][cs_text]Too many subscription marketers are focused on what I call “a series of one-night stands.” Once they get … Continued
Your members and prospective members receive thousands of messages a week. Your member reads emails with one finger on the delete key, trying to scroll through the deluge as quickly as possible. How do you stand out, get read, and inspire your member to action? Not by talking about yourself. To everyone in my office, I must sound like a ringtone, constantly going off with the same noise. “Write copy about your customer and what he or she wants; stop writing about you and what you deliver. Write only about how what you deliver helps your member solve a problem in his or her life.” Longtime monthly client Brandon Lewis of Painter’s Academy sent me a copy of an email he wrote to his members. Brandon is a brilliant marketer who helps painters revolutionize their business by generating referrals, maximizing the value of each painting job, and getting repeat business … Continued
Too many people create a subscription business because they heard it’s a lucrative business model. While it’s true that the membership model can help you scale your company faster, generate long-term stability and enable you to grow a vibrant tribe of thrilled members, generating revenue can’t be your only priority. Instead, when you focus on generating a positive impact on your members lives, they’ll reward you with membership and subscription growth. In a recent interview for the Membership and Subscription Growth podcast, I spoke with Tim Broom, the co-founder and CEO of ITPro.TV. Tim transitioned to a subscription business model four years ago and is set to hit $8 million in revenue this year. What he has done, you can do. Your product may be much different than his, but the keys to his success can be applied to any subscription model. ITPro.TV is, as Tim describes, “a Netflix for … Continued
Passion, customer impact, focus, feedback and service are crucial for maximum subscription and membership growth. For an example, take a look at PopSugar and their subscription box, PopSugar Must Have. While I recommend you subscribe to learn more about building your own subscription program, here’s five “Golden Rules” you can use immediately from a recent interview with Lisa Sugar, PopSugar’s founder and CEO. Continued
Customer success determines retention rates in the membership economy. If your member does nothing with what you sell her, she’s going to cancel your subscription.
The old model of leaving it up to your customer to figure out how to get value from what you sell may have worked in the old one-and-done product sale world.
Your membership and subscription growth is determined by how well you ensure customer success. It involves helping your members find a lifetime value in subscribing to your product or service. I refer to it as turning your subscribers into a vibrant tribe of followers. And, it starts with how you attract your them.Continued