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Expert Tips for Growing Subscription Revenue

Learn how to supercharge your subscription revenue. Read these tips to optimize your subscription strategy and secure more recurring payments for your business.

If you have ever been a “regular” at a restaurant, store or other establishment, that business has something special that keeps you coming back. Many ecommerce merchants and brands know their subscription services are the special sauce that turn one-time customers into loyal regulars — even in the digital world. But simply understanding how beneficial subscription services are for generating predictable revenue is not enough in this competitive landscape.

Ecommerce merchants and brands must adopt subscription revenue strategies that resonate with changing consumer expectations and doing so could prove extremely lucrative. For example, our recent Subscription Commerce Conversion Index found 65% of surveyed shoppers who signed up for grocery and food subscriptions (and whose free trials have ended since the pandemic began) have kept and are paying for those subscriptions. However, the same study also found 33% of surveyed consumers either cancel subscriptions after their free trials expire or create new accounts to get free services.

Consumers will hold on to the subscriptions they find convenient or valuable and will quickly unsubscribe if the subscription no longer suits their needs. To increase subscription revenue, brands and merchants must continuously prove subscription value and follow these tips for increasing subscription revenue growth.

Fine-tune Landing Pages

Landing pages are effective tools for quickly growing subscription revenue because merchants need a place to direct interested prospects who see an online advertisement or click an affiliate link. Unlike typical website pages, landing pages should show prospects your offer and nothing else. Use the following tactics to fine-tune your landing pages like this example.

Wellness brand SkinnyFit leverages colorful landing pages with social proof.

Keep it focused — Avoid directing the prospect to take multiple actions or jump to different pages. By eliminating distractions like unrelated products, articles and additional links, you can turn a landing page into a high-converting engine.

Test and learn — Whether it’s updating copy, CTA button placement on the page or even colors, remember to test which changes create the most conversions. Be sure to avoid making more than one change during a test so you can accurately pinpoint what caused the conversion increase on your landing page.

Break the mold — Sometimes a templated landing page can be limiting. Make sure you use a landing page builder that enables customization. If you are considering working with a web developer, ensure the person can quickly create unique landing pages and ask for sample work.

Create urgency — Add a countdown clock or show when your special subscription offer will expire to motivate shoppers to sign up right now.

Include social proof — Inspire trust and play on consumers’ fear of missing out by showcasing other satisfied customers on the landing page. Use written or video testimonials that feature real names and pictures.  

Bundle Relevant Products

Entice your customers with other relevant products by showcasing pre-built bundles of related products or targeted upsells based on buyer behavior data. Research shows customers appreciate when brands curate offerings. In fact, a study from marketing research firm Epsilon found 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized experiences.

Be sure to clearly communicate that the products in the bundle cost less money than if the customer bought the product individually. Not only will you generate more revenue, your customers will be eager to snatch up the savings and try new products within the bundle.

Fitness brand TB12 shows how much money shoppers can save with a bundle.

Establish Multi-channel Presence

Consumers jump between several channels before buying, so make sure they can purchase your offer from any one of them. Allow your customers to buy directly from your ecommerce store, in addition to third-party marketplaces like Amazon and social media platforms like Instagram. Remember that consumers increasingly want a seamless end-to-end commerce journey along with brand consistency across every channel.

Empower Customers to Self-manage Subscriptions

Give customers the gift of control and watch brand loyalty and customer lifetime value soar. Enable your customers to easily modify their subscriptions, pause or cancel subscriptions and adjust reorder frequency.

60% of subscription providers offer pause features in 2021, according to the Subscription Commerce Conversion Index. While that figure has grown by 11% since 2019, some brands still fear pausing subscriptions will negatively impact revenue. It is an understandable concern, but making customers jump through hoops or complete a laborious process just to pause will drive them away for good. Always keep the door open for returning subscribers.

Create a Two-step Checkout

Customers abandon their online shopping carts before completing a transaction about 77% of time in 2019, according to a Barilliance study. Reduce the risk of prospects slipping through your fingers by separating the checkout process into two pages.

The first page should ask for the prospect’s contact information like full name, email, phone number and address. That way, if the prospect leaves before completing the transaction, you will have multiple ways to follow up with the same offer, a reduced price, related products and more. Securing contact information is the best way to establish relationships with customers.  

Keep Credit Cards Current

Credit cards expire every few years. This is a huge challenge for subscription service providers who rely on recurring revenue. In the past, a revenue stream stopped the minute a card declined. But features like sticky.io’s Account Updater have completely changed the game. An Account Updater solution ensures credit card payment data is always accurate before a rebill cycle. Brands that leverage an ecommerce platform with this type of feature minimize opportunities for billing failure, while sparing customers the aggregation of a disrupted subscription cycle.

Stay Ahead of Chargebacks

A chargeback happens when consumers dispute a charge with their credit card company and the credit card company files that dispute. The credit card company will then issue a chargeback to the merchant. Chargebacks cost businesses over $80 billion annually, according to leading fraud solutions provider Kount, an Equifax Company.

Merchants can stay ahead of chargeback claims by getting alerts. These notifications give merchants time to review and rectify a customer’s chargeback claim before it is officially filed. This keeps more money in merchant pockets and protects MID relationships. (MIDs terminate partnerships with merchants if they have too many chargebacks.) And if a chargeback does get officially filed, merchants can turn to outside experts for representment to help fight chargebacks.

The Takeaway

More predictable revenue means more resources to funnel back into your business or support other initiatives. Whether you are new to subscription services or you need to optimize your process, utilize these growth techniques to focus on retention and monetization. Leveraging these tips, along with staying agile and listening to customer needs, can ensure your ecommerce business grows quickly and efficiently.  

Discover how sticky.io supercharges subscription growth strategies. Sign up for a demo to learn more.