How To Create A Winning Marketing Strategy For A Subscription Service Business

Posted by Rodney

The modern subscription model has a lot to offer, which is why so many businesses are embracing it. It lessens the burden on the point of investment, most notably: a large upfront cost is swapped out for an ongoing commitment that seems much less of an immediate concern. It also delivers remarkable revenue consistency. Once a customer is signed-up and engaged with your services, you can rely on their business for an extended period of time. Done well, it benefits everyone.

We want you sign
Photo credit: Nick Fewings

Reducing the impact of investment doesn’t make subscription a simple decision, though. It’s still a substantial financial move — particularly given how easy it is for the average person to lose track of their subscriptions and discover down the line that they’ve paid far more than they ever anticipated spending. If you want subscribers, you need to earn them.

So, how are you supposed to convince people to give your subscription service a try? Well, above all else, you need to get your promotion right. In this post, we’re going to set out some tips for creating a winning digital marketing strategy for a subscription service business. Let’s begin.

Researching and countering main competitors

We’ve outlined how you can create a winning marketing strategy for a subscription service business, explaining the benefits of each part of the process and providing helpful resources. All you have to do is put our strategy into action and reap the benefits of doing so

No service (or product, for that matter) exists in a complete vacuum. Even if there aren’t functionally-identical options already on the market, there will be those that are sufficiently similar to invite comparison — so when you’re trying to make a business successful, you need to be highly aware of the competition you’re facing. That means carrying out extensive research.

What messages are your rivals building around? How are they designing their marketing materials? What strengths are they highlighting? If you understand that everyone else is doing things one way, you can pointedly go in a different direction to counter them. This is very useful when dealing with SEO. When others have saturated a hyper-relevant keyword, it’s more sensible to find a longer-tail keyword to target than it is to attempt to outperform them.

Offering free trials with automatic renewal

People always like getting things for free, and the free trial is the cornerstone of every good service-marketing strategy. It allows you to demonstrate the value you have to offer in a risk-free setting. And while it’s true that some people are inclined to take advantage of free trials by cancelling them immediately, or even using multiple email addresses to get several trials, most people won’t bother doing anything like that. It’s too much effort.

And when you factor in the prospect of automatic renewal, you have a great pipeline for earning subscriptions without needing to do much. Someone who didn’t intend to use your service properly can forget to stop it, pay for the first month (or whatever period you define) without meaning to, decide to use it because they already paid for it, and end up opting to keep it.

You’ll need your payment process to be as slick as possible for this, because requiring payment details for your free trial — necessary for automatic renewal — will put some people off. Using subscription management software will help enormously, and you should put a fair amount of time into polishing every step along the way to minimise potential obstacles.

Produce content to provide additional value

Content marketing is a big priority for so many companies because it achieves two significant things simultaneously (if done well, of course): it bolsters traffic by earning backlinks and generates visibility in search engines for whatever keywords you choose to target, and it impresses current and potential customers by offering further value. It’s absolutely something you should focus on as part of an integrated digital marketing campaign.

So what content should you produce? Think first about frequently-asked questions. What do people want to know about your service? Producing an FAQ (or even a full knowledge base) covering each area in-depth will help you earn conversions. You should also think about entertainment and general education: PR assets that catch the eye (such as infographics) can make your brand more memorable and lead to people viewing you with more respect.

And then there are case studies of happy clients. Social proof is a vital consideration for many, so being able to talk at length about how impressed people have been with your service will do more to convince prospects than any direct argument you could make. The bigger the client, the better: laying claim to a strong partnership with a respected brand is a huge benefit.

Incentivising referrals with rewards

One of the best ways to pick up new customers is to motivate existing customers to refer them to you. As we just noted, positive comments about your business are so much stronger when they don’t come directly from you. But only those who are truly dazzled with your service will feel inclined to send referrals your way without the prospect of being rewarded — so it’s important that you create a strong loyalty system to offer your customers rewards.

The best rewards motivate current and potential customers alike, and the classic example is the discount that goes to both the referrer and the new customers. Even a small monetary reward can be enough to push someone to seek an opportunity to recommend your brand. And if you’re not noticing enough of an impact, think about improving your rewards until you see customers really making an effort: provided the value of a new customer is high enough to cover it, it’s worth doing (at least until your brand is big enough to be considered a default recommendation).

We’ve outlined how you can create a winning marketing strategy for a subscription service business, explaining the benefits of each part of the process and providing helpful resources. All you have to do is put our strategy into action and reap the benefits of doing so.