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 each one prepared and shipped. That feels like a lot of work already!
However, just because it takes a lot of work and expense to send out your box doesn’t entitle you to any breaks in the retention department. In many instances, Retention Deficit Disorder™ is worse in subscription boxes than newsletter publishers whose subscribers get only a paper newsletter or perhaps an email with a PDF attachment.
Each subscription box you deliver has an important job. To sell the next subscription box, most subscription boxes include a small postcard with a sentence or two describing what’s enclosed.
The FabFitFun subscription box includes an eight-page insert that details how amazing it will be to use each of the products, and they feature artists or designers who will have products in upcoming boxes.
Incorporate promos in your fulfillment. One, this is a perfect upsell opportunity. And two, it’s crucial to ensure your subscriber is eagerly anticipating the next box — and her spouse is too.
For the engineer who hopes to get rich by options investing with the help of your options training program and subscription service, where you provide recommended options trades each week, the new member onboarding has never been more important. You are inviting your new customer to step away from the crowd to invest their money in a unique way. You may see this as a benefit, but people are often most comfortable when they are doing what everyone else is doing.
Plus, he needs to work with his current brokerage account to get options clearance or get a new brokerage account. Then he must transfer money and start making trades that are notoriously risky.
Sure, you are giving weekly recommendations specifying exactly what to trade and why. What you are describing may be second nature to you, but to your new subscriber, it’s foreign. And this is made worse if you don’t have the spouse onboard. She could be encouraging him to quit and get a refund of the $2,000.00 he spent to buy your product.
Instead, think of your new member onboarding as an opportunity to cement your relationship with another product promotion: a promo to make your new subscriber more excited after he receives your first delivery than he was when we saw your promo and to help sell the spouse on your proposition. Before you focus on the long list of new things he needs to learn, deliver a second promo, one written to make him more excited than ever.
And what about the IT professional who needs to convince his boss? I ran into this exact problem with my client Directions on Microsoft (DOM). DOM publishes everything IT planners need on Microsoft product licensing. If you have 5,000 or 50,000 employees with hundreds of servers and thousands of workstations deployed around the world, you are paying millions of dollars in Microsoft product licensing fees for Microsoft Office, Azure, and other products.
DOM gives the IT professional all the answers they need in one place. But many times, there’s turnover at member companies and the person who bought the subscription isn’t around. Or the person who bought the subscription is delegating compliance to someone else. The product demo video on their site taught a user where to find and how to download documents, but there wasn’t anything on what to do with them.
To address all of these challenges, we created an onboarding video that resells the new member content on the value of DOM’s materials. Here’s an excerpt from the new member welcome:
Microsoft licensing and IT planning may not be the most glamorous job at your company. But it could be one of the most important. The productivity of the people within your company as well as a large cost center are both riding on how well you handle these roadmaps, migrations, and negotiations.
And, thanks to Directions on Microsoft, you will not only become a licensing master at your company, you’ll become one of the most knowledgeable and effective IT planners and license negotiators in the country.
We are not Microsoft. Directions on Microsoft is your INDEPENDENT expert on Microsoft licensing and roadmaps to support you. You won’t get any Microsoft marketing hype or happy speak around here. Instead, you get the facts and strategies you need to make some of the most important and expensive decisions your company faces.
Do you see how this new member onboarding script is focused on how the subscriber feels about their subscription? Getting them excited is the first step to getting them to take action.
And if an IT professional is dealing with a new C Suite executive who has to sign off on this purchase, this video acts like a sales video to resell this stakeholder on the importance of this investment.
Your new member buys because of excitement and hope. How can you deliver more excitement and hope after your member joins and each month you want to retain your customer?