Customization is Key to Subscription Customer Satisfaction

woman holding credit card in hand with laptop

Why are consumers suddenly so in love with subscription services? After all, they’ve been around a long time. The difference is that 20 years ago, everyone who subscribed to a newspaper or magazine got the same newspaper and magazine. Fast-forward to 2018, and technology allows companies that offer subscriptions to tailor them to individual subscribers. They can even tailor their customer support to individual customer preferences. Customization is the exciting new pivot around which modern subscription business turns. There’s more than a little bit of psychology going on here. Customization can help customers be more satisfied with their choices.

“According to research on the psychology of consumer control and customization, we prefer personalized experiences because we want to feel in control of our lives and we want to reduce our information overload,” wrote digital content marketer Nicola Brown. “When we see our names on products, in ads, and in things like email communication, we may not actually have more control of our relationship with those brands, but we feel as though we do.”

Of course, once you’ve attracted customers, you need to keep them. Brown notes that with so much competition and high churn rates in the subscription world, strong content marketing is necessary to build long-term customer loyalty. Subscription companies must communicate with their subscriber base in a regular and timely way, with precisely the information and offers subscribers are seeking. A multichannel content marketing approach, carried out on a strong subscription management platform, is one of the most valuable ways to keep subscribers engaged and in control and help them feel they’ve made the best possible choices. Self-service features are key.

Allow Subscribers to Manage Their Accounts

To customize the subscriber experience, you’ll first need to capture the information. Subscription DNA’s membership management software allows you to quickly capture vital user information along with your custom fields for membership, event registration, sweepstakes, small, large or enterprise groups, licenses or seats. From here, you can use that information to personalize and customize the experience, whether group or individual.

Subscription DNA’s secure subscriber portal allows subscribers a variety of self-serve functionality for managing their own subscriptions, including account profile, payment methods, transaction history, and more, so subscribers can feel in control of the process. In addition, Subscription DNA’s web services API allows subscription companies to quickly develop their own solutions and push/pull their subscriber data on demand, into their application.

By giving customers more control of their subscription, you’re allowing them to feel as if they’re taking charge of the way they spend their subscription dollars. And there’s no better way to personalize a customer experience.

Contact Subscription DNA to learn more.

Improve Gym Subscriptions with Flexibility

woman lifting weights at gym

Gym memberships are often a joy of life, or a bane of existence, depending on who you speak to. How many of us (you don’t have to raise your hands) have had gym memberships that we never seem to get around to using? “I really need to go to the gym” is a common mantra, particularly after holidays noted for the consumption of large meals.

Tailor Gym Memberships for Real People

While it would be lovely if everyone had the willpower to do cardio and strength training four days a week like clockwork throughout the year, the truth is that people use gym memberships very cyclically. They may rev up in the new year only to fall back into couch potato mode by spring. They may wish to use the gym regularly before a wedding, high school reunion or beach vacation. They may wish to try a spinning class to see if they like it. They might be business travelers who’d like access to another gym location on trips. But flat subscriptions often don’t allow gym-goers to tailor their subscription to their needs. Maybe they should.

Consider a “Class Pass” Option

Specialty fitness programs such as spinning, yoga, cycling and boot camps, can be pricey (as much as $40 per class), and customers feel bad when they’ve paid for them but don’t end up using them. By offering gym members a “class pass” option to their gym subscription, they can pay for only what they use, ensuring that none of their money goes to waste. To boost gym member spending, you can even consider adding special deals for class passes (buy four classes, get one free.)

Offer Travelers Better Options

Many gym chains will allow subscribers to use their membership at any gym, but often for a steep monthly premium (as opposed to a membership centered around one club). For occasional travelers, this isn’t a cost-effective option. With a more flexible gym subscription, you can offer occasional travelers a limited number of visits to gyms in different locations to be used only when they need them.

Exercise-Specific Gym Subscriptions

Many gym members pay for their gym subscription for one reason only. Perhaps they only use the treadmill in bad weather. Maybe they only come for weight training and skip the cardio equipment. With a flexible subscription management platform, gyms can offer more limited subscriptions to gym-goers who resent having to pay for more than what they need. You can even add extra options to subscriptions such as towel usage, yoga mats or a smoothie after the workout, and bill for them only as they’re used.

Choose the Right Platform

A flexible subscription management platform can help businesses like gyms tailor subscriptions to subscribers’ needs. We provide all the tools you need to efficiently and affordably manage your subscription business, including billing, marketing, customer support and more. With our robust reporting tools, you can administer all aspects of your subscription business. Communicate with target user groups, quickly mine and analyze numerous reports, view transactions, send customizable email auto responses, track member login usage and statistics and much more.

Contact us today to learn more.

Preparing Your Business for the Subscription Model

 

man sketching model on whiteboard

It’s hard to miss the shift in consumer preferences that’s happening as the Millennial generation grows up, earns more and rejects traditional models of ownership.

In a recent interview with Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, Zuora CEO Tien Tzuo went a step further than declaring a shift.

“The reality is ownership is dead; now it’s really about access as the new imperative,” he said.

Future of Subscription Services

We’ve all gotten used to subscriptions for certain products and services: food, books and music, video content, wine, and even clothing. But where will the subscription economy go from here? Growth is staggering – the subscription market has grown by more than 100 percent a year, increasing from $57 million in sales in 2011 to $2.6 billion in 2016.

So what’s next when it comes to subscriptions?

The sky is the limit, according to Tzuo.

“My colleagues and I, often over dinner and wine, would challenge each other to come up with businesses that couldn’t be turned into a subscription model,” he told Stanford Business School. “We tossed out ideas like guitars, cement. We realized it’s not about the physical product, it’s about what the customer is trying to do. And that inversion of thinking is at the root of everything.”

Making the Switch to Subscription Models

Experts are warning that companies that aren’t thinking about how they can switch to a subscription model – or at least offer one parallel to other business models – may find in the future there is no business left for them. If companies do it right, they can keep selling their products and sell new digital subscription services, as well.

To embrace the subscription economy, however, organizations need to prepare a robust administrative platform to support their subscription customers. Effective customer support and marketing are vital.

“Advertising may never go away, but as subscription services become the norm, readers and publishers alike are starting to appreciate the dividends of a direct consumer relationship,” Tzuo told Stanford Business School. “The behavioral insight that comes with membership plans and paywalls helps media companies move away from empty calories like page views toward more valuable engagement metrics like time spent.”

The answer lies in a reliable, flexible cloud-based subscription business platform like Subscription DNA.  Using the Subscription DNA platform, companies can quickly manage group accounts, automate recurring invoicing, analyze reports, communicate with targeted user groups, process transactions, generate payment requests, track member login statistics, launch marketing campaigns and much more.

Contact Subscription DNA by visiting our website or calling 513-574-9800.

Nurturing Drip Marketing Campaigns for Subscriber Bases

woman at desk in front of computer

Staying engaged with customers is a challenge for every business, but organizations that operate on a subscription business model need to cultivate their marketing even more carefully. Send too many messages, and customers might unsubscribe. Target them incorrectly, and you’ll also lose your list. Drip campaigns, conducted properly, are great for your email marketing efforts and can get dramatic results in engagement and sales, but they must be the right message at the right time.

 

What’s a Drip Campaign?

Automated email drip campaigns are set up to send emails to subscribers over a set period of time. You can also set up triggers or other conditions for the campaign based on the actions of the recipients, which will automatically launch an email in response to an event (think: when the customer reads a white paper, views a video or reaches a milestone in his or her membership). While normal email marketing is based on the schedule of the marketer, a drip campaign is built around the timeline of the customer. According to this infographic, drip campaign open rates are about 80 percent higher than single sends.

Choose the Right Subscription Drip Marketing Platform

Ensure that when you embark on a drip campaign, you’ve chosen a solution that is built for subscription-based businesses. Subscription management platform Subscription DNA includes an email marketing campaign engine and allows companies to conduct end-to-end drip marketing to all their subscribers, or just chosen segments of their audience. Subscription DNA’s communication management software features preset HTML email templates that you can use and re-use for scheduled email delivery making your work more efficient. Users can create email blasts to targeted subscriber groups and use optional variables to personalize each email for a more effective campaign. The email blast can be sent to the filtered audience immediately or at a future date and time.

Send Emails at Predetermined Times

With Subscription DNA’s add-on drip marketing campaign module, users can easily create a series of sequential emails on a schedule relative to their subscription anniversary. (“You’ve been a valued member for a year! Here’s a discount to show our appreciation.”) Users can control and configure the emails and the filtered audience, frequency or schedule. It’s a great solution for retaining old members and nurturing new leads.

Contact Subscription DNA today to discuss how we can help your organization effectively manage and market to your subscriber base.

Movie Subscription Company’s Woes Due in Part to Customer Support Problems

roll of vintage movie tickets

Early discoverers of MoviePass, the “all-you-can-eat” cinema subscription services, often wondered how long the sweet ride was going to last. In its earliest inception, subscribers to MoviePass paid a flat fee of $9.95 per month and were able to see as many movies as often as daily. For frequent cinema-goers, the deal seemed too good to be true.

Turns out it WAS too good to be true, as the subscription service’s three million subscribers are discovering.

Going forward, MoviePass subscribers will find that the standard plan will be $14.95 a month, and the service will begin putting limitations on what basic subscribers can see, with some blackouts on new, popular films. Subscribers will also be limited to three films per month. According to the company, the measure is being implemented to “drive attendance to smaller films and bolster the independent film community.” Snafus with the app prevented many moviegoers from using the service for some of the summer’s most popular hits, including Mission: Impossible—Fallout, leaving subscribers angry.

Whatever its woes, MoviePass is about to have more competition. Last month, cinema giant AMC debuted its Stubs A-List, which allows consumers to see up to three movies per week for about $20 a month. The service includes Imax and 3D films. Analysts wonder if this model can be sustainable, even with the higher price tag.

Experts believe that MoviePass’ troubles are due to 15 percent of its subscriber base, who are “super users” who see more than three movies per month. MoviePass pays full price for tickets from theaters, so the company has been hemorrhaging money. Another reason for its troubles is a more familiar woe: customer service.

“It seems to be the official end of company’s unlimited offer,” Daniel Loria, VP of content strategy and editorial director at Box Office Pro, an industry trends and data site, told Fortune. “The big issue for MoviePass is they haven’t gotten it right when it comes to customer service.”

The subscription business model simply can’t work without a good customer support framework such that offered by Subscription DNA. Our powerful software-as-a-service platform creatively integrates subscription billing, subscription management, customer support, paywalls, and authentication.

Using the solution, customers can login and manage their own accounts right from our website. Subscription companies can quickly manage accounts, automate recurring invoicing, analyze reports, communicate with targeted user groups, process transactions, generate payment requests, track member login statistics and much more.

While many companies are finding resounding success with the subscription model, it’s important to ensure that you have the right subscription support solution in place to ensure that customers’ needs are being met, and your cost of doing business doesn’t exceed your profits —  to evade the fate of MoviePass.