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How To Use Email & SMS To Magnify Growth Of Your Subscription Business


Sources report that 99% of email users check their inbox daily, and 91% of customers say they are interested in signing up for text notifications. It is clear that both email and SMS can be valuable tools to reach your audience and drive conversions. 

If you are a company with a subscription-based service, you have the unique challenge of keeping your customer base consistently engaged so they maintain their subscriptions. The right email and SMS marketing strategies can make all the difference to ensure that you are delivering effective messages that resonate with your audience at the right time. 

Here are our top methods of using email and SMS marketing to grow your subscription business.

Send a welcome message to customers 

As a subscription service business, your customers are inherently returning customers. Therefore, it’s important to nurture your relationships with them to encourage them to continue their subscriptions. Once customers have signed up for a subscription, start your relationship with them on the right foot with a welcome email to show your appreciation and welcome them into your community.

In your welcome email, take the opportunity to remind your customers about the services they signed up for or what they can expect in their delivery, depending on what kind of subscription business you have. 

For example, here, YouTube greets a new YouTube Premium customer to greet them with this welcome email and includes a description of the benefits they will enjoy as part of their membership:

Youtube Premium’s welcome email lists the membership benefits of the subscription.

Keep customers in the loop about orders & deliveries

Email and SMS can be great ways to communicate with customers, keeping them informed about orders and deliveries and enhancing their customer experience. 

Let customers know when their next shipment is on the way

Even though subscription customers expect that they will receive their next order on a certain timeline, it is a courteous gesture to keep them in the loop about when exactly they can expect their delivery. For example, send customers with monthly subscriptions an email to let them know that their next month’s delivery has shipped, along with tracking information. 

Another example: Ipsy, which offers makeup subscription services, sent a customer the below email to let them know that their April glam bag had shipped and was on its way to them. The email also includes a CTA to enable the customer to track their bag.

An email from Ipsy letting a customer know that their order is on the way with a link to track the delivery

Use SMS to your advantage 

Sources say that people check their phones approximately 96 times a day. Take advantage of the intimacy of SMS messages by following up email messages to customers with SMS messages about their deliveries.

CookUnity, which offers food subscription boxes, sent this SMS message to a customer letting them know that their order has been delivered with tracking information:

A text message from CookUnity letting a customer know their order has been delivered

Give customers the opportunity to make changes to their order

Make sure that every message you send customers offers them value and is relevant to their needs. Use email and SMS messages to give customers the opportunity to make modifications to their orders before they are shipped out. Doing so will help customers feel acknowledged and ensure that they are satisfied with their order. 

For example, CookUnity sent a customer this email thanking them for their order and informing them that there was still time to make changes to their order:

An email from CookUnity thanking a customer for their order and offering them the ability to edit it

Inform customers about deals & promotions 

One great way to incentivize customers to begin a subscription membership with your company is with an exclusive deal or offer they can enjoy upon starting a membership with you. Email or SMS are ideal channels to send such a message that will not only make your customer feel valued, but also encourage them to continue business with you.

An example of this: ClassPass, which offers fitness classes, sent an email encouraging a customer to join their membership services with 1 month of free classes with the CTA “get 1 month free to try.”

An email from ClassPass offering customers one free month of classes

Another example: Good Pair Days, which offers a wine subscription service, incentivized a customer to sign up for a membership with a free $100 welcome pack. Language like “Reserve Yours Now!” in the subject line and a CTA of “Secure a Free $100 Welcome Pack when you sign up” helps motivate the customer to take action and sign up for the membership.

An email from Good Pair Days incentivizing customers to sign up and receive a free welcome pack

Gain insights about your customer base 

Email and SMS are ideal communication channels to reach out to your customers, gaining deeper insights into their needs and preferences and informing your future communication and strategy. Use email and SMS messages to ask for feedback from your customers and learn information about how to make customers’ subscription services more satisfying and relevant to their specific needs. 

This email from Ipsy demonstrates a great way of asking for feedback from a customer. Ipsy asks the customer to review their Glam bag so that they can be matched with better beauty products in the future:

An email from Ipsy asking for customer feedback for better order personalization in the future

Encourage customers to give you feedback with exciting offers, like chances to enter a sweepstakes competition. Below, Shopify shows an example of how to incentivize a customer to take a survey to leave feedback in exchange for the chance to win an $800 voucher:

An email from Shopify, offering a customer the chance to win an $800 voucher in exchange for their feedback

Personalize messages to customers 

As an immediate and intimate form of communication, SMS is an ideal channel to send personalized messages to customers. Based on their shopping history, send SMS messages to customers to suggest products you think they would enjoy in their next package.

Below, CookUnity shows a great example of a personalized SMS message to a customer. The message begins by greeting the customer with their name, then recommends several meals to the customer to include in their next order that CookUnity believes the customer will enjoy. The brand also uses this email as an opportunity to send a personal reminder to the customer to select their meals before the cutoff time the following day.

This transactional text message from CookUnity provides a reminder to a customer to select meals for their next delivery.

Maintain communications to customers to strengthen bonds 

Sure, new third-party marketing channels like TikTok are picking up speed, but the first-party channels of email and SMS remain powerful modes of connection with your audience. If you are not taking advantage of email and SMS, you could be missing out on valuable opportunities to cultivate bonds with your customers while enhancing their customer experience. 

Remember, customers want to do business with brands who make them feel valued and who they feel a kinship with. When used effectively, email and SMS can help you strengthen customer relationships to supercharge retention of your subscription customers.

Special thanks to our friends at ReCharge Payments for their insights on this topic.
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