I bet when you hear the word subscriptions; you may think about magazines, newspapers, and newsletters. But did you think of SaaS? Software as a service.
Netflix? Amazon? Microsoft Office 365?
Today, it means more. So, let us start by redefining what a subscription is.
A subscription is a sales growth tool in which customers and clients pay today for goods, services, programs, or benefits they will receive. If you are in the service business, it is a good customer service tool. Customer retention? You bet. Personalization? Right on.
In terms of your business, subscription marketing could help you create a valuable and predictable future revenue stream. Just think how nice it would be to know that you have money in the bank right now to cover your fixed overhead for six months or more.
The benefits of subscription marketing are that you accelerate your cash flow today at the same time you build customer loyalty and connect your customer to your company and services. In addition, you add value to the products and services you sell, and you develop good will. Both the customer and the business stand to gain from the venture.
Options to use in building your subscription base.
Interestingly, the best way to build a subscription base is using a communication channel you are comfortable with, as well as your target market. It can be social media. Direct mail. Email. A blog. A community you may belong to. Depending on the type of your company, anywhere your customers and prospects hang out.
But why? Historically, look at the previous twentieth century of magazine subscriptions, such as Time, Saturday Evening Post, Life and a variety of men, women, and child’s magazines. They were hot on your trail months — sometimes years — before your subscription was up for renewal.
Service maintenance contracts work extremely well in several industries — both consumer and business-to-business.
For example, an air conditioning or a heating service company would offer an inspection regimen that includes two inspections and free service throughout the year. This type of maintenance contract is really a subscription for services paid for now, to be performed at some future date.
When you use direct mail to sell a subscription of any kind, you are selling prepaid services. You are getting paid today for services you may not have to provide until some future date… if at all. If they never need you, it is money in your pocket.
Subscription marketing connects your customer and clients to you. After all, they have already paid for you. So why would they ever think about calling someone else for their air conditioning? Heating service?
Marketing and selling are a best friend when using a subscription.
There was a time when the world predicted that the postage stamp would follow in the dinosaur’s way, disappearing entirely from the face of the earth to be replaced by an electronic upstart called email.
But the fact remains that email ––and the internet ––are a relevant and powerful ally with direct mail for building customer and client relationships. Opportunities for greater frequency and contact with clients and prospects. Encourages consumers to interact with you, speeding transactions, better personalization with marketing and sales. Plus, everyone has a mailbox.
The key to build a better business is your marketing and selling campaigns should mirror everything:
- customer and prospects communication channels,
- content and
- your call to action.
The tone of your marketing message should reflect the same tone as your corporate marketing and selling tactics. The best way to accomplish this is to think about your writing and design as a continuation of your corporate message. It’s like a part of an ongoing conversation that you are having with a friend.
Second, give the subject lines and titles as much care as you do with direct mail headlines. As in the world of direct mail, the headline, or subject line, can make or break you.
Finally, use body copy that reiterates the benefits you describe in your direct marketing campaign. But keep in mind that website visitors and email readers are scanners. To get your message through, you want to keep copy short and concise. Keep paragraphs short with space between them. Include direct marketing most effective words such as free, guaranteed, and limited time offer.
Email is not going away. Direct mail is not going away. They are many communication channels used with a variety of marketing tactics to reach your customers. Ask them. They each play a vital role in you and your business marketing campaigns.
Subscription payments lower the barrier to entry for products and services and allow more potential customers to purchase your product. While they may pay a larger amount over the long term, they can get immediate access to the product.
I helped thousands of companies build successful marketing and sales. So, when I share my information with a company, I always base it on my experience. So, when you read my articles, I share as much information as possible. Don’t be like the direct mail companies of the past. Throwing money against the against the odds of failure is a no-win situation leading to poor business.
Visit our “Build A Direct Path to Customers” today.