Subscription Service Businesses See Holiday Season Boost

Subscription services have become a hot business. Today just about everything you can imagine from your weekly groceries to the car you drive can be attained with a subscription service. Most appealing about these services is the convenience, discovery and trendy possibilities they provide. For the 2019 holiday season, they were also a hotly requested item on most people’s wish lists.

According to reports, Cyber Monday, which was one of the biggest online shopping days in history – $9.2B in sales according to calculations by Adobe, also saw an increase in people signing up for subscription services.

Box-of-the-month and digital media streaming services topped this list of subscription services people are signing up for today and online courses came in a close third as what people are signing up to pay for monthly.

Giving these as gifts have become a popular choice because of the variety and personalization options possible. For those with beer lovers, foodies, or make-up junkies on their shopping lists, for example, there are a plethora of options to pay for a monthly or yearly delivery of curated boxes without having to do much else for the gift than to set-up the payment method.

For subscription service providers this increase can also be profitable for the overall business. Once a customer chooses to gift a subscription service or box to someone there is a likelihood they too will become customers and create additional profit for the company.

Choosing subscription services for holiday gifts this year was also interestingly followed by a change in payment options for subscription offerings. Many people were found to use payment solutions like PayPal to process their fees which shows an additional push for the ease and convenience that automated, all online commerce and solutions are continuing to have on consumer spending habits.

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How to Manage Group Subscriptions

Group subscriptions are a way for organizations to buy digital access for a specific group of members: employees, for example, or students at a school. When it’s configured properly, a group subscription provides authorized access to a set number of users and allows an account administrator to manage the list of users. Group subscriptions might be paid in advance by the organization, or it might be paid for by subscribers (perhaps with a special discount offered to the group). In any case, it’s important to manage these subscribers as a group when it comes to marketing and communications since it’s likely they have similar interests in your subscription-based business.

Choose a Subscription Management Platform with Group Capabilities

To manage group subscriptions, look for a software solution that allows you to generate group packages and lets a group “owner” manage the members of the group. The solution should allow the group’s billing to be automated according to the group owner’s preferences. In addition, customization for group members is important. Ideally, group members should be able to manage their own subscriptions within the group.

Important Tips for Group Subscriptions

Create a customized sign-up process for the group. Choose a solution that allows for the creation of a unique signup form that each group’s members can use to register into their group.

Find the right balance of group owner functionality and individual member flexibility. Group owners should be able to optionally add members from within their account. At the same time, each member should still remain a unique login and statistic so you can retain visibility into individual activity.

Set up group communications. This way, you can customize email responders and generate batch email blasts to target either the group’s owners or the group’s members and then populate the email body using a number of optional variables.

Market to the group. Look for a solution that allows you to create HTML email templates that can be reused quickly for future emails when it’s time to market to the group as a whole. Email blasts can be scheduled for a future date and time, while responders are triggered instantly on various user actions.

Contact Subscription DNA

Cloud-based subscription management platform Subscription DNA provides subscription billing, membership, and paywall software that can be used to manage and customize group subscriptions. Enrollment tools designed to accommodate group subscriptions help organizations manage, bill and market to groups seamlessly, and provide the flexibility groups need to offer their members easy-to-manage subscriptions. Contact Subscription DNA via Web site or phone at 513-574-9800 to learn how you can add group capabilities to your subscription management.

What Makes a Subscription Service Work?

Subscription services appear to be all the rage these days. Brands like them because they cut out a retail middleman and create a more regular revenue stream. Consumers like them because they’re convenient, offer greater choice, and allow customers to tailor their buying experiences to their needs. But not every product or service is suited to a subscription model, and if you can’t help consumers see the benefits of yours, you won’t get very far.

In a recent article for eConsultancy, Rebecca Sentance recounted a panel discussion that took place recently where panelists discussed the distinction between products that we need, such as food and toiletries, and products that we want, like wine or beauty products. The nature of the products themselves will dictate whether a subscription plan is viable, and the success of similar products as a subscription doesn’t guarantee that a product will go down well on a subscription basis.

“Certain products just don’t work well as a subscription service,” wrote Sentance. “Underwear and socks are a tricky proposition for a subscription because people only need them semi-regularly, but they also don’t work as a rental item, which is how other clothing subscriptions like Rent the Runway succeed with a subscription model.”

An Incentive to Buy

Panelists agreed that to succeed, subscription-based items must offer a regular incentive to buy. The subscription model works best for products and services that customers need regularly (or higher-priced items that they need semi-regularly). But the management of the subscription process is also key: customers won’t be wowed by a subscription process that’s cumbersome, limited and hard to manage. For this reason, it’s critical that subscription businesses have a good management platform in place.

A Good Subscription Platform

Subscription DNA’s subscription management software is ideal for small and medium-sized businesses that wish to build a startup subscription business model. It features group enrollment tools and group communications, email marketing automation, cloud billing automation and payments, intuitive membership management, CRM and premium content, and paywall management. Your customers can even log in and manage their own accounts right from your Web site.

To succeed in the business subscription model, it’s important that you build the type of community that keeps subscription customers engaged, interested and loyal. Contact Subscription DNA via to learn how you can market to, communicate with and support younger consumers.

Top Paywall Considerations for Consumers

Many businesses, such as newspapers, blogs, and video and music streaming services, utilize paywalls that only allow paying subscribers to access content, or that offer samples free of charge to entice viewers into subscribing. Some companies have found this model lucrative, but to be successful, it’s essential to understand the mindset of consumers.

Types of Paywalls

The way your paywall is designed will have a major impact on the number of people who subscribe. Some paywalls don’t allow people to view any content unless they have purchased subscriptions, while other models give access to a limited amount of content before a subscription is required, or provide access to premium content for a fee and access to non-premium content at no charge.

Why Do Consumers Pay for Subscriptions?

A paywall model in which some content is freely accessible and other content is viewable only by subscribers can be successful if your company offers plenty of unique and interesting content. It’s important to put your most desirable content behind the paywall to attract and keep subscribers. This is where market research comes in. Analyzing which content gets the most attention and surveying current and prospective customers to find out which types of content are most appealing to them can help you figure out what people would be willing to pay for.

If your company already has a strong brand identity and produces copious amounts of content, a metered paywall, in which customers can view a set number of pieces of content for free, they must subscribe to view more, maybe the best solution. This model can be successful if customers are already familiar with the type of content your company produces. Providing subscribers with access to high-quality content can elevate the perception of your brand and increase customer loyalty. If you decide to utilize this model, choose a threshold carefully. You don’t want to give away so much free content that few people have an incentive to subscribe, but you want to give customers enough of a taste that they will be intrigued and want more.

Learn How a Paywall Could Help Your Business

Subscription DNA offers paywall software and premium content management features that can be utilized in a variety of ways to suit the needs of your business and to help you attract and retain customers. Our software can be used to restrict access to news articles, white papers, blogs, videos, podcasts, infographics, and other content.

Subscription DNA’s software can verify a user’s subscription status at each visit and prevent workarounds, such as logging in on different devices to view more than the amount of content allowed without a subscription. It also includes a secure subscriber portal where members can manage their subscriptions, profiles, and payments. Contact us today to learn more about how our paywall services can help your business.

How to Create a Unique Subscription Service in a Crowded Market

Subscription services have exploded in popularity in recent years. Customers choose subscription services to sample a variety of products or to receive items they regularly use automatically. The field has become so crowded that subscription companies need to identify ways to stand out from the competition. The key is to find a unique niche and to fill a gap that exists.

How to Find Your Niche

Start out with a general idea about the type of products you want to sell. It’s best to focus on an area where you have prior knowledge through education, professional experience, or a hobby.

As an insider, you will understand why people are so passionate about the topic. You may have had personal experiences that others can relate to, or you may have tried and been disappointed by other products, just as your potential customers have been.

The internet can be extremely helpful when it comes to identifying a niche for your business. Blogs and online forums give people of all backgrounds an opportunity to ask questions, share advice, and vent about their frustrations. Reading comments can help you learn what is on people’s minds and identify problems that your business can solve.

Identify Ways to Set Your Company Apart

Research existing subscription services that sell products in the same general category you are thinking about selling. Consider the variety and quality of the products offered and compare those to the cost. Are customers getting their money’s worth? Are they receiving unique or innovative products that they would be unable to find in local stores or online?

If most subscription services in your target area appeal to a wide audience, think about specific groups who may feel left out. For example, if you want to sell meal kits, you might decide to focus on recipes for people who have a limited amount of time, who are vegetarians or vegans, or who have allergies. Perhaps your prospective customers would like to broaden their horizons with meals from other cultures or find healthier ways to make classic favorites.

Create a Unique Subscription Service

Starting a subscription service isn’t necessarily difficult, but standing out in a crowded field can be challenging. Understanding what makes your potential customers tick and recognizing the limitations of other businesses can help you differentiate your subscription service from competitors’.

Signing up for your subscription service and making regular automatic payments should be as straightforward as possible. Subscription DNA can make it easy for customers to enroll and pay for your service so they can focus on enjoying the products they receive. Contact us today to learn more about our subscription membership management services.