If your goal is to add 1000 new members this month but had 300 members cancel their membership, then 30 percent of your the marketing expense, your copywriting efforts and the efforts of your sales team were expended to replace members you once had. Think about that effort and expense for a moment. All just to try to stay even. Thirty percent of your month invested to keep from falling behind.
It’s even worse if you experience significant refunds. Now you’ve got to expend more marketing dollars just to get back to the revenue number you thought you had achieved.
Churn, cancels and refunds have been accepted as a normal part of subscription businesses. Yes, there will always be churn and some of it is normal and healthy, you can’t please everyone.
But if you consider the percentage of your marketing efforts are devoted to replacing members who quit and replacing sales that have refunded, doesn’t it make sense to invest some of that time and money into creating better onboarding systems that stop members from quitting?
A couple of weeks ago I showed you the new member welcome page for Bradford Tax Institute new trial members. Would you also like an inside peak at what comes next and why? You are so greedy.
Don’t be afraid to use the words, “Free Trial Membership”
For more than a decade I sold memberships a year in advance. It wasn’t until 2004 that I started using the free trial strategy. At the time “experts” taught that you don’t want to talk to much about the free trial. After all, if you remind the member they are in a free trial they may just quit.
Like so much of what the “experts” say, I discovered that was total garbage. Instead, I make every effort to let the member know they are in a free trial. And, I tell them my goal of offering them the free trial is to sell them into becoming a paid member. Finally, I challenge them to get as much value during their free trial as they can so they’ll recognize the value of their membership.
Use the Alarm Button Sparingly
I left the gym today after my swim. There was a car in the parking lot with it’s alarm going off, horn blowing and lights blinking. Nobody gave it a second look. People ignore car alarms today. When’s the last time you heard a car alarm go off and it was actually getting broken into? Versus, how many false alarms have you heard?
With your members you are in a relationship. You are providing them what you promised to help them solve problems in their lives. There’s no need to sound the alarm about how some big important thing is happening and they must act immediately. Not unless it’s really that important. Otherwise, they’ll quickly tune you out. Your alarming messages will have as much impact as a car alarm going off in a parking lot. Your emails will become an irritation rather than a welcome message from a trusted friend.
Never Assume They Know How to Use What You Send Them
Since I was 14-years old I’ve been the person people call to help them work their computer. I’ve got the gadgets and am a quick study when it comes to using software. Because of a new vendor relationship I’ve started using one of those popular secure password tools that allows me to store passwords and securely share them. It is totally kicking my butt. I open the dialogue box, have no idea what the symbols mean. I click around and nothing seams to work. It is constantly asking me to enter my password and I have no idea if I’m sharing EVERYTHING with this vendor or nothing. And, it won’t sync passwords between the workstation at my office and my laptop at home. And, I’m a techie person! How do other people figure this out?
Explain exactly what should your new customer DO with what you are delivering to them to get results. My favorite subscription box is FabFitFun even though it delivers women’s clothes I can never wear. But what it also delivers that I love is an insert that clearly explains how the customer should use the products in the box. Even if it’s a scarf, FabFitFun has illustrations with three to five ways to wear that scarf. Chances are, what you are deliver is more complicated than a scarf. Are you helping your customer quickly understand how to use what you deliver?
Use the First 7-30 Days of a Membership to Engage, Entertain and Build a Relationship
You are working too hard to generate new members to let them go so easily. You invest too much money in generating sales to let them refund because they didn’t do anything with he product you delivered.
Use the first four weeks of your new member relationship to resell your member on the benefits of the problems you solve. Show her how terrific her life will be like after she uses what you deliver. Sell the value of any free trial membership you are extending. Meet her where she is rather than trying to yell loudly to get her attention. And, never assume she knows how to use what you deliver, always show her what to do, how to navigate your site and where to get additional support.
Creating systems and communication that deliver a little bit of love for your newest members is a lot easier and cheaper than replacing them every month.