You may remember Dad’s monthly excitement of receiving his Sports Illustrated, or Mom giggling away with the jokes in Reader’s Digest. Well the subscription had seemed to be just about out-of-date when online marketing saved it from getting lost. The format is a little different, now it isn’t the daily newspaper you might receive, but subscriptions for online companies and marketers is working, and working well.
More and more consumers are opening up to the subscription idea, especially in the music industry. After the initial blowout of illegal downloading, consumers never really wanted to go back to having to own CD stacks in order to get their music, nor did the artists want to keep losing money on sales. Groups like Rhapsody hold a monthly subscription fee that lets its users download and listen to an unlimited about of music. The fee not only saves the consumer money over buying hundreds of songs on iTunes, but also gives them a monthly reminder to go back to Rhapsody and download some more hits.
This subscription gives you the opportunity to keep a continual revenue flow, but it comes with some other perks as well…
- Keep a lower inventory by knowing what you will need and not overbuying with no promise of a sale
- Get better bulk deals from suppliers knowing you will sell what you’ve ordered
No More Freebies
- You can stay away from the blowout sales just to get your stuff out of the door. Less discounts equals higher revenue
- With a subscription you can create a lasting relationship to keep up the revenue flow
- Cut costs of searching day in and day out for more and more customers
Show Them The Money
- With a constant revenue stream, pulling in the next batch of investors for expansion will be easier. Everyone likes a little proof that you weren’t just a one hit wonder.
Subscriptions don’t work for everyone
Make sure you are a product that is finite. For instance, a subscription to a pet food company would make much more sense than a television company. Know your product and use that to your advantage.
It is also wise to really understand your digital customer journey map. We all know some women don’t have enough things to wear or shoes to stuff in a closet, so a subscription for them to your site lets them feel like they belong to the group. Men on the other hand don’t always enjoy their browsing time going over the latest fashions, so cater to their needs. Sports blogs, new grilling gear, and basic shopping needs might be a little more up their alley.
Be wary of complacency as well. Just because you have a consumer paying you monthly doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work just as hard for them as you would a new customer. Loyalties can fade if there is something better out there, so stay on top of your game. A re-up for your subscription is even better than a one-time sale, so keep them coming back.