Convertible subscriptions have probably turned you into a bonafide subscriber of at least one service.
The most prevalent example is Netflix. Their introductory offer of a week free (it used to be a hole month!) is likely a big part of why they have millions of paying subscribers. That free week gives people the little push they need to go from thinking about signing up to actually becoming a member — but only after entering their credit card information.
Hesitation is one of the biggest barriers to getting people to commit to a subscription. That’s why many business go convertible: Offering would-be subscribers introductory offers, free trials, discounted first orders, or starter kits as an incentive to sign up.
It gives people the chance to “try before they buy” while feeling like they’re getting huge value up front.
Other entertainment streaming services do the same thing as Netflix, like Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Prime, but an introductory convertible offer can work for almost any subscription.
They’re a great fit for convertible subscriptions are most often used with consumable or refillable products, as well as less obvious products or services. For example, a sock company could charge $1 for the first month of a sock club then $9.99 for future months.
These introductory offers put consumers’ minds at ease and give them a reason to subscribe now and think about the cost later — usually after it converts to a standardized subscription and they’ve already seen the value it brings them.
Generally, there are two ways to price and position the introductory offers of convertible subscriptions.
1. Low to high
Give your subscribers a lower-priced offer, like their first order for 50% off, and then charge regular price for forthcoming deliveries. You can also try offering a sample or trial version of your products before converting to a full-sized (and full-priced) item.
2. High to low
Get your members started with a higher priced entry kit. An example could be a tea subscription: First box includes a pot, infuser, and three popular blends, with follow-up orders of (lower-priced) tea refills.
So even though streaming services might be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about convertible subscriptions with introductory offers, they can work for a wide variety of businesses. Here are a few examples of businesses thinking a bit outside the box with convertible introductory offers. Most of these merchants use Bold Subscriptions to serve their customers.
Eco-friendly and all natural, Soaked kicks off its shampoo subscription with a high-to-low introductory offer.
The first order comes with a Forever Bottle made of glass or “hard wearing plastic” that’s not only reusable, but can help reduce the cluttered look of half-squeezed plastic tubes and bottles in your shower. After that, subscribers get a regular delivery of refills.
Smoothie subscription kencko offers up a shaker bottle to subscribers with their first subscription order; they even offer it with their trial-sized subscription, which includes only three smoothies.
They position it as gift to try to give first-time subscribers a little incentive to get on board.
Olympia Coffee serves up a free brew before automatically putting customers into their recurring subscription program. And if customers decide they’re not fans, they can always cancel before it kicks into a full-blown subscription, similar to Netflix or Amazon Prime’s introductory trial periods.And similar to those services, Olympia eases customers in with a free offer so they’ll be more comfortable committing to long-term payments.
What will work for your subscription?
There are plenty of strategies you can use to optimize your convertible subscription, like incentivizing sign-ups with long-term savings, getting full payment up front, using bounceback coupons, and more.
You should also consider adding aspects from other subscription models to your convertible offering to create something that will appeal to and serve your customers best.
Learn about optimization strategies and other subscription models, including dozens of real life examples, in our free ebook, 7 Subscription Models to Master.
We hope this inspired some ideas for your own offering. If you’re looking to launch or elevate your subscription, Bold Subscriptions can help. If you download our ebook you can try it for free for 100 days (yet another example of convertible subscription!)
Is convertible the way to go? Has it worked for you? Have you ever been hooked by a convertible subscription? Let us know in the comments below!
This article originally appeared in the Bold Commerce blog and has been published here with permission.