When growing a subscription business, there are many things to be aware of. You’re not just selling a product, but cultivating the customer’s desire to engage in a relationship with your company. It’s not easy, but creating a setup securing you a steady stream of new customers pays off so you can concentrate on creating the best experience for your subscribers.
Through 4 steps, we present the main considerations to make when getting ready to grow your subscriber base through lead generation.
Step 1: Identify the channels where you would like to reach your customers
At Subscription Growth, we work with almost every marketing channel and we have specialists for each area. But that doesn’t mean that you need to be present on all channels from the start. When starting out, it makes sense to identify 3-4 channels and focus heavily on them. Where to advertise, depends heavily on the target groups that fit your subscription. If your primary target group is over 40, it makes sense to advertise on Facebook and Instagram. But if you want to reach a younger subscriber base, you might want to consider advertising on TikTok or Snapchat. If you’re selling a B2B subscription, it makes sense to have an awareness on LinkedIn.
However, there are many other ways to reach your customers. Advertising on Google offers some different possibilities and here, you can highlight your website in specific search results. You can also update your website with content that is relevant to your product, making it easier for people to find your service, when searching for solutions to a specific problem. One of the benefits of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is that the customer is already motivated to find a solution for his/her problem. Hence, it’s not your company who is being proactive. The customer is.
A final channel which can be extremely effective is e-mail marketing. If you can make potential customers sign up for your newsletter, you are able to send them unique offers and start building a relationship. E-mail marketing is especially valuable for a subscription company, because your customer relation is the single most important way to ensure Customer Retention, making sure that your subscriber hangs around for a long time.
When you’ve identified your channels, you can move on to identifying your ‘hero’ channel, meaning the channel where your main target group is most present. The goal of this is to identify low-hanging fruits, so you can focus all of your energy on the channel that gets the most out of your advertising dollars. Perhaps you already know what channel that is. Or you might find out along the way, when you start to measure and compare your results.
Step 2: Create inspiring and entertaining content for your ads
The modern consumer is exposed to more than 4000 ads every single day, so the competition for the attention of users is intense. As a result, we have all become extremely skilled at assessing, whether an ad deserves our attention. When you have only a few seconds to impress a potential customer, it’s important that you choose the right content. Ads come in many different shapes and sizes. With Google, you can advertise on specific search terms and link to your website, where you can present your subscription offer. This can be useful, since the customer has high motivation for clicking, since they are the ones searching for a solution to their problem.
If you’re selling a B2C subscription, you’re gonna have to be present on social media. And here, a video ad is often the right choice. A video offers the opportunity of communicating a lot of information quickly and you can create more attention with special effects. In addition, videos are great for conveying brand identity and tone of voice.
Video ads are also useful for B2B, and here, you should make content that is useful for the customer here and now. If your company has expertise in a certain area, you can link to a podcast, a whitepaper or another product that the customer can receive, if they sign up for your newsletter. This way, you’ve established a communication channel where you can begin to build a relation and ultimately, make a sale.
Step 3: Make sure that your subscription product is presented in the best possible way
If you succeed in making the customer click on your ad, you’ve made it a long way! However, it’s extremely important that they won’t be disappointed when clicking through to the landing page. Whether you want the customer to learn more about your produkt, sign up for a newsletter or to buy a subscription right away, it’s important that the destination page is good-looking and informative.
Some choose to include a longer video, explaining the concept in further detail, but if you’re good at writing, you can easily explain your subscription product in writing. When doing so it’s important that you present your USP’s (Unique Selling Points), so the customer is able to quickly identify the benefits of your subscription and understand how you differentiate from competitors. But the most important thing is that your landing page is graphically impressive and inviting, encouraging the customer to explore your page. If you’re missing inspiration on how to present your subscription product, have a look at BarkBox, Simple Feast or Masterclass.
Step 4: Make sure that the new-found interest doesn’t go to waste
Regardless if the customer converts or not, it’s important that you’ve done everything in your power to start a relationship. As I mentioned earlier, newsletter sign-ups are extremely valuable. You can do this with an introductory offer, a trial period or by explaining, what value that the customer gains from starting a relationship with your company. You can also use a more personal approach and engage in a dialogue with your customer service, using a live chat function.
When the customer signs up for your newsletter, it’s equally important that you start them off with a welcome flow that offers value for the customer and that sets you apart from competitors. Here, it’s all about being creative and spend some time on finding out, what problem your subscription solves – and especially – what makes the subscription worthwhile in the long run.
In the subscription industry, we call this “The Forever Promise”. Your subscription should hold enough value that the customer sees an idea in subscribing, year after year. So see if you can communicate how your product makes the life of the subscriber either easier, cheaper, more fun or better. Because this is the reason we subscribe. Because subscriptions give us more than products do. And your subscription should too. And it starts with your lead generation.