Have you checked out our Powerful & Profitable Subscriptions Playbooks? In this post, we’re taking a closer look at our Scaling Your Subscriptions playbook.
Our playbooks were created by bringing together 12 of the industry’s most successful ecommerce agencies and getting their insights on growth strategies they use with their top clients. Topics include marketing (social media and advertising), cross-selling and upselling, customizing the customer experience, building a brand community, and more.
Now, let’s talk about some of the strategies and techniques covered in this subscriptions playbook to scale from the ground floor to your first 1,000 subscribers and all the way up to your first 100,000 subscribers.
Subscription Business Model
The subscription business model involves the purchasing of products or services that repeat on a set cadence—the most popular being monthly subscriptions.
SaaS (software as a service), curated subscription boxes, replenishment deliveries of household staples, streaming services, and memberships are all examples of subscription model businesses.
Are you new to subscriptions? Learn how you can turn your one-time transactions into long-term customer relationships. Implement subscriptions on your store to give you more predictable revenue, reduced churn, and higher average order values.
Scaling Subscriptions (From 1 to 1000)
Now, whether you’re just starting your subscription program or feel like your scaling has plateaued—let’s zero in on key things to focus on to go from 1 to 1000 customers.
One of the most important things any business can do is make sure they have a robust and responsive customer support system. If your customers have questions or issues with your products and services but aren’t supported when they reach out in a timely manner your brand affinity will suffer.
Your early customers as we should be viewed as the beginning of the brand community you’re building around your products and business. Their input is huge to helping you better craft products that are desired and valuable to your subscribers.
The key step here is to go big on customer service at a reduced margin. Making sure that every customer has an incredible experience and that they tell others (through reviews and word of mouth) is key. While the margin will be smaller, this is the time to learn what early adopters think and want.
Adam Pearce, CEO at Blend Commerce
Your analytics are also an important piece to consider when looking to better optimize your subscription business. Whether it’s experimenting with your pricing model, A/B testing your marketing messages, or looking to utilize cross-selling and upselling, your analytics will give you a black and white picture of what’s working and what isn’t.
Brands need to embrace analytics and be adaptable to change based on what those analytics reveal. Pivoting your strategy based on what you’ve learned through analytics sets the stage for continued optimization and growth.
Mick McCarthy, Chief Design Officer at Zehner
We touched on it earlier when addressing the importance of a responsive support team and that would be managing and building your community. Customers these days are looking more and more for brands that align with their personal values and beliefs. It’s important to tell the story of your brand, to have a voice and point of view that your customers can relate to or engage with.
Adding content to your channels, having an active social media presence and branded hashtags will grow your brand awareness. Show off your latest subscription box and the products inside to entice new customers, share reviews from your most loyal customers beneath product photos, tell your own personal story and share behind the scenes photos while you’re working. Customers love knowing more about the products they’re buying and the people behind them. So don’t hesitate to create original and engaging content and share it with your customers through email and social media.
When a brand is unknown there will be friction for users who do not know much about it or can’t find much information about it. But, if they see a face and an entrepreneur who is working hard and who is transparent with everyone, there will be someone for them to trust. Someone who they will support.
Amer Grozdanic, CoFounder & CEO at Praella
Scaling Subscriptions (From 1k to 10k)
You’ve already hit the four digit milestone of 1,000 subscribers. Now it’s time to set your eyes on the next level up, getting to 10k repeat customers with your subscription business. Here are a couple of ideas to help you get more subscribers and grow your sales:
When it comes to growth tactics, some might include updating the default shipping frequency, increasing the discount for subscriptions, and creating an automated email campaign for customers who have purchased three times, offering them a one-time discount to buy a subscription. These are very simple tactics that can lead to growth.
Sean Glass, Senior Strategist at BVA
At this level of scaling, getting more eyes on your brand and your products is one of the best ways to grow. As you’d then expect, your marketing communications are vital in this phase as you look to best position yourself in the eyes of new customers.
Levelling up your email campaigns with relevant content and personalized product recommendations is another way to bolster relationships with subscribers and boost LTV. Churn is another common hurdle to overcome for a subscription business. Make sure you have a detailed understanding of when people are churning and why. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll have a fighting chance of combatting cancellations and keeping your subscriber base growing.
Suzannah Cranwell, New Build Service Team at Swanky
Need More Tips? Grab The Playbook
If you’re looking for more effective ways to grow your subscription business, be sure to download the Scaling Your Subscriptions playbook, and check out the rest of the Powerful and Profitable Subscriptions Playbooks under guides on our resources center.