Is your subscription revenue threatened by the current economic climate?
Whether your organization is b2b or b2c or non-profit, whether you’re a local business or global enterprise…and whether subscriptions and memberships are your business model or your gravy – now is the time to start protecting this precious revenue stream.
Here are nine strategies to get you on the path toward preservation – and, yes, possibly growth:
1. Get creative with the packaging of your benefits and services
- Figure out what benefits and services are being used the most and which ones are not. What benefits and services are not being offered that would be logistically and economically feasible to add?
- Ask your existing customers using a quick online survey
- Study your usage data, trends, and patterns
- Pare down your packages so they include only the most popular and/or practical benefits and services and change pricing accordingly.
- For your big customers who want the existing entire enchilada: Spice the package with a few extra features and benefits (again, base this on data/feedback) and increase your price for the “premium” package by 15-20% minimum
- Consider subscription packages for “niche” audiences – for example:
- Students / Seniors
- Government / Non-profits
2. Consider changes to your Terms of Service and/or Length of Contract (this can be extended or reduced based on your strategy and market)
3. Offer an E-membership or E-subscription package at a greatly reduced rate
4. Collaborate on a joint subscription/membership with another business or organization that may offer relevant, complementary services/offerings.
5. Consider creating an online community as the heart of your subscription-based business model. Although it will require manpower to manage it, the technology is established and it’s free. Best of all, the community will be considered a valuable benefit in your subscription package.
6. Promotions, Deals, Incentives, Limited Time Offers – Make them count. Don’t bother with 10 or 15 or even 20% off. Those offers will not move the needle in this economic climate. Try 20-25% off to start, buy-one-get one free, two-for-one, multiple seats, all-inclusive, 1 or 2 extra months added at the end of the contract, whatever…just make it compelling.
7. Referral programs – It’s no mistake that this is lucky #7 on the list. The power and potential of this program alone – using the social web – is staggering (yes, even in this economy). To expound on this strategy would require a separate blog post.
8. Testimonials – I know this sounds elementary; but when is the last time you updated your customer testimonials? Are they relevant to each of your target markets? How prominent are your testimonials? How ubiquitous are your testimonials and references (yes, this ties in to #7 too)?
9. Make it as simple and seamless to renew as possible. Most important: Make it easy for your customers to give you money.
Note: If packaging creativity and flexibility are constrained by technology, it’s time to revisit your IT investments. Seriously. The collaboration and content management solutions out there today will astound you AND save you money and heartache in the near and long term.