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7 Ways To Sell Subscriptions

This information is from John  Warrillow’s, book: The automatic customer: Create subscriptions in any industry and from Zuora’s blog,

1 Think 10x vs. 10%

Customers are aware that a subscription is more valuable to you than a one-time purchase. So, to get hem to commit, you need to give then a significant return for their investment., They are unlikely to subscribe to a “Save 10%” but might if they could enjoy 10x the value of the alternative.

Net; “provide a ridiculous amount of value.”

2 Appeal to their Rational Side

The subscription model has gone mainstream, and people are demanding a better value than the alternative. Subscriptions are sold by appealing to convenience — especially B2B.

3 Give Customers an Ultimatum

Most customers would prefer to keep their freedom and buy your product a la carte, on an as-needed basis. YOu might consider making a subscription the ONLY alternative (they have) you sell, You can’t buy one movie from Netflix.

4 Give Them a Freemium Option

Give them a free taste of what they will get from a full-blown subscription. Magazine publishers found it virtually impossible to sell first-time visitors a subscription to an information product (e.g., magazine or membership website) until they have first opted into a free email newsletter to sample the value of the content,

Once they opt into the free newsletter, they convert to paid at a rate of 3% to 30% per year depending on the number of offers are presented and how carefully the publisher manages the list (weeds out undeliverable addresses and those who have opted out.)

In this freemium, you want to leave plenty of value off the tale to instill a sense of intrigue about what the customer will get from subscribing. A good taster gives just enough to access the product but leaven plenty of temptations behind the curtain

5 Offer a Trial

If your product or service is hard to describe or has to be used to be understood, it (the benefits) consider offering a trial subscription. Unlike freemium, usually available forever, a trial has a start and end date.

6 Offer Your Subscription as a Gift

The problem with a gift is that it is forgotten in a few days, but if you give a subscription, it expresses that appreciation over time, Standard Coca offers 1, 3, and 6-month subscriptions. They get a 75% increase in sales for Christmas and Valentine’s day. BUT, gift subscriptions are difficult to renew, but you can use them to top off your regular subscribers,

7 Set Fire To The Platform

One of the best things about a subscription company is it is always on, always available. Customers love it, but it is challenging to sell a subscription if it doesn’t change from day to day, why buy today?

One thing to do is artificially simulate a burning platform that causes the customer to act to avoid losing something (they keep thinking about it but never do it). You could put a compelling offer out there (e.g., buy the first year for half price) through the end of the month (BUT only for those interested but not signed, don’t advertise it, use it discreetly.