The subscription-based business model is flourishing these days, and this trend seems to get only stronger in the years to come. According to Gartner, 75% of companies that offer products or services directly to consumers will offer subscription services by 2023.
It's no surprise that subscription-based business has become an increasingly competitive field. From fashion to healthcare, SaaS to entertainment, almost every industry has adopted the subscription model to secure repeat customers.
Today, it's impossible for a business to survive without a proper marketing strategy, and the subscription-based model is not an exception. But does subscription marketing differ from promoting a traditional selling model? What are the strategies that can strengthen your subscription marketing efforts? Read our guide to find out.
What is subscription marketing?
Subscription marketing means promoting products and services to consumers on an ongoing basis. It requires a slightly different approach to marketing as its principal focus is shifted towards retaining customers long-term for repeat purchases.
8 robust strategies for marketing your subscription service
1. Use special offers to drive new customers
To get your audience interested in your product or service, it might be a wise solution to provide people with a sneak peek of what you offer. That's why it's a great idea to present your potential customers with free trials or freemium.
Free trials enable your prospects to try your offering for a limited period before they are billed. On the other hand, with freemium, businesses provide users with free access to basic features but make richer functionality available only for a subscription fee.
2. Let users help advertise your product
If you're engaged in a subscription box business, remember that an attractive custom subscription box design means a lot to the success of your box. People are getting increasingly active on social media. They often post unboxing videos to share their joy of revealing delightful new possessions.
A beautiful, unique box is more likely to encourage your subscribers to feature your product in a video and share it with their friends. Don't forget to create a hashtag for your box that folks will use when they post any pictures of the box on their social media pages.
3. Offer discounts for advance payments
It's a no-brainer that the more extended period a subscription lasts, the higher your revenue. However, pressuring your customers into a long-term subscription doesn't sound like a logical step. People are more into having the option to cancel the subscription any time they like.
For this reason, monthly subscriptions remain the most popular among consumers, but they are not so attractive for businesses. That's why you need to consider encouraging people to buy a long-term subscription by offering a discount if they sign up for a six-month or annual contract.
4. Make your product stand out
Since the subscription business has been around for a while, you can already have competitors providing similar products. Your task is to differentiate your offering from your competition. For starters, you need to do an in-depth competitor analysis to find out what consumers love about your competitors' products and what those products lack to fully satisfy your target audience's needs.
If possible, based on this data, add features to your product that will help you win a competitive edge. Tailor a message that will tell people what pain points your product can solve.
5. Leverage the opportunities of email marketing
Good old email marketing is a tangible way to reach new audiences, so you need to start building your mailing list as early as you can. Beyond acquiring new customers, email marketing allows you to send upsell or cross-sell promotions and keep your existing audience in the loop about your latest news.
6. Craft quality content
Every day, millions of users turn to search engines to get answers to their questions. Your task is to help people find you when they're searching for a question your business can answer. One of the most effective ways of achieving this is by implementing a well-thought-out SEO strategy on your website.
Regular quality SEO-powered content is a sure-fire tool to keep you on top. So don't underrate blogging, especially today, when creating an attractive website is easier than ever with automated platforms such as Subbly.
7. Partner with social media influencers
According to statistics, 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations, and a whopping 40% have already bought a product or ordered a service after seeing it on Twitter, YouTube, or Instagram. Without a doubt, partnering with influencers can enormously boost your subscription marketing strategy.
Influencers usually have huge, active audiences, so your business is likely to get way more leads and conversions after an influencer has shared (or at least mentioned) information about your offering.
8. Invest in a box giveaway
Hosting a subscription box giveaway is one of the quickest ways to promote your box and grow your social media audiences. Again, if you can't boast an impressive number of subscribers on Instagram or Facebook, you can turn to influencers to announce your giveaway and provide their followers with details on how they can take part in it.
To increase the number of your subscribers, it's a good idea to require people to follow you on Instagram or Facebook to be entered into the giveaway.
In many ways, subscription marketing is quite similar to traditional marketing. However, although it's based around the same channels and tactics, it's imperative to adjust your strategy to keep subscribers. It's safe to say that subscription marketing is more about retention than acquisition, so make sure you stick to this principle while mapping out your marketing plan.