Is your subscription ready for the new year? While you’re in the thick of the 2021 holiday season, don’t forget about 2022, because there are tremendous opportunities that you could already be taking advantage of without increasing your customer acquisition cost.
The key to your short-term — and potentially long-term — success lies within your subscriber base.
Read on to learn six effective business strategies that will help you leverage your existing customers to increase your 2022 revenue.
Strategy #1: Implement Referral Programs
Your subscribers are your best brand ambassadors, according to John Haji, Co-Founder of SUBTA. They are the ones using your product, so how can you leverage their knowledge and love for your brand to increase sales?
The first method is simple: referral programs.
The most common referral programs are the ones that offer one-time rewards. For example, BoxyCharm offers 500 ‘charms’ (points) to subscribers who get one of their friends to sign up for an active subscription.
While this tactic can quickly drive up your acquisition rates, it doesn’t always ensure long-term loyalty
“When people see [common] referral programs, a consumer is not as likely to go out of their way to refer a friend because it’s also asking a commitment out of them,” Haji says.
Milestone referral programs are much more effective, according to Haji. They gamify the consumer experience to refer as many people as possible in order to reach the top of the reward ladder. “It engages the consumer into wanting to actually refer people,” Haji says.
Here is an example of how your subscription can use a milestone referral program:
- Refer one friend — get $5 off of shipping.
- Refer five friends — get a t-shirt.
- Refer 10 friends — get something more tangible in value.
If the milestone referral program doesn’t work for your current subscription offering, Haji recommends rewarding customers with products that they can put to immediate use.
Your referral program can also be leveraged to build brand loyalty. Nearly 60% of brands that have a loyalty program in place reported an average customer lifetime of one year or more, according to a report by Bold Commerce.
“Merchants can leverage their loyalty programs to increase subscriptions with flexible incentives, offer redemption points for subscription products, and give referrers credit when their friends make their first purchase,” said Katie McKeever, the Product Marketing Manager of Loyalty & Referrals at Yotpo, in the Bold Commerce report.
Strategy #2: Create Interactive and Engaging Content
When you’re putting out content, whether it’s a video, a blog or social media posts, make sure that each piece is human-focused.
According to Rai Cornell, Founder and CEO of Cornell Content Marketing, business owners need to ask, “What are people actually going to want to read? What are they actually going to click?” Then, work those answers together alongside an SEO strategy to create truly useful, shareable content.
For example, College Packit — a monthly subscription box designed for college students — is helping parents through content tailored to questions they might have, like what to know about college drop-off day or how to stay in touch with your kid.
Additionally, you can produce interactive content that attracts your audience.
In January 2018, Gentleman’s Box anonymously featured J.J. Watt, a National Football League (NFL) player, in its monthly box reveal. The first subscriber who correctly answered a series of questions surrounding the NFL superstar won a $200 mystery box.
Strategy #3: Encourage Subscribers to Share Their Products
Encourage subscribers to promote your brand by adding goodies to their order. You can also invite them to use a specific hashtag if they want a chance at being featured on your social media feeds. Each marketing campaign you design can exponentially grow at a tremendous rate if you can count on your community’s support.
Contests or giveaways are another way to encourage customers to share their products and your brand online. TasteCrate recently hosted a giveaway in partnership with HEROBOARD Fitness. The post generated a lot of excitement for the two brands, resulting in many followers tagging their friends and sharing on their profiles.
Brand partnerships, contests, and giveaways can help you engage with your customers, easily increase your brand exposure, and generate extra revenue.
Strategy #4: Offer Gift Boxes
Subscriptions are the gifts that keep on giving. They’re perfect for surprising someone during the holidays and can also be leveraged to attract new customers in the new year.
When a customer purchases a gift subscription, make sure to gift them something back.
“When you do something for your audience, they’re more likely to do something for you in return,” said Alex Chahin, Senior Director of Product Marketing and Development at hims & hers, at SubSummit 2021. Think about how you can make the customer feel like they’re already getting something before they buy, he explains.
For example, Sarah Williams, Founder of Framed! By Sarah, offers six or 12-month t-shirt gift subscriptions that must be paid in full at the time of purchase. If a customer chooses the 12-month gift option, they will then receive two free months on their subscription.
“What’s the value of not having to chase their payment for twelve months?” asks Williams. “That’s a real high value to me so I’m willing to give them two months for free.”
Think of it as a no-brainer offer for the customer, she explains.
Now, what happens to the gift recipient? Don’t let that referral go to waste! Include an incentive offer within the gifted box to convert the new customer into a paying subscriber. If both scenarios go according to plan, you will increase your retention AND acquisition rates!
Strategy #5: Release Limited-Edition Boxes Exclusive to Subscribers
Providing exclusivity to your current subscriber base is one of the most successful business strategies that can bring in extra revenue, according to Haji.
Gentleman’s Box used to offer limited-edition boxes that only current subscribers were able to purchase.
“It was the easiest thing that we could do to launch something for our membership community but also drive in tons of revenue,” he says. “If we sold 1,000, we just made $100,000.”
Similarly, BootayBag offers its subscribers limited-edition underwear sets. And by posting the perk on social media, the brand is creating FOMO for those who don’t subscribe.
A quarter of brands that offer extra benefits to their subscribers grow more than 50% month over month, according to Bold Commerce. Ask yourself: Is there something within your offering that should only be made available to your subscriber base?
Strategy #6: Prioritize Customer Service
Word-of-mouth referrals are the cheapest way to advertise.
It all starts with customer service, both on a technical and on a communicative level. The language used in customer service interactions makes a significant impact on customer retention and acquisition rates, said Jonah Berger, a marketing professor at The Wharton School, in a podcast.
“We found [that] speaking more concretely, using more concrete language in a variety of customer service or sales interactions, can not only make the customer more satisfied, but also make them more likely to buy in the future,” he said in the podcast.
Berger explains that a customer won’t feel listened to if responses don’t include the solution. Instead of saying, “I can help with that,” try replying with “Sure, I’ll help you find out what happened to your order.”
This concrete language “shows [the customer] that I heard what [they] said, that I was listening, that I paid attention, and that I’m more likely to be able to help [them] in the future,” said Berger.
Positive customer service experiences are critical in retaining and acquiring subscribers. If your customer service is excellent, don’t be shy to ask your loyal members to write a review! Nearly 90% of people are willing to write a review of a business, but barely 50% of e-commerce consumers have been asked to write one, according to Sitejabber. Those online reviews impact more than 90% of customers’ purchasing decisions, according to Podium.
Use Detailed Business Strategies to Sell More & Spend Less
You don’t need to spend all of your money on advertising your product; you have the perfect group of subscribers already at your disposal to promote your brand — all they need is an incentive to do so.
Investing in different, proven business strategies will help you generate a higher revenue and increase your subscriber count, therefore enabling you to accomplish your business goals in 2022.