How can companies with products use subscriptions or memberships to increase sales?
1. Try to bundle and finance. Consider bundling your products into groups of commonly utilized items, and offering your customers the chance to pay for a “package” on a monthly basis rather than all at once. For example, if your average client buys 10 widgets a year for a total of $110, offer a package of 10 widgets for only $9 per month. Basically, you’re offering in-house financing. People love that sort of thing.”
2. Product of the month club. Subscription plans that automate sales are a great way to get your product out to raving fans regularly. Whether it’s a cupcake, t-shirt or fabric of the month, giving regular access to your new and best sellers can build anticipation and brand loyalty.
3. Incentivize gifting to others. We have a “mod of the month club” where customers choose any one of our watches for a heavily discounted price (30-45 per cent off retail). We always make sure to thank these members by offering them first-looks at our new merchandise. The best perk: we offer an extra strap ($15-$20 value) in the package when customers tell us they are “gifting” the watch, gaining us new customers monthly!
4. Help your customers use your products. Customers come back to companies whose products and services they use. A membership program that helps a client actually learn how to effectively use what they’ve bought makes it more likely that they’ll come back to you. That can include offering case studies, in-depth training and support far beyond the typical user’s manual.
5. Promote action among your members. By positioning your membership or subscription as the best way to take action, you’ll inspire people to join. Very few things motivate people as much as spending money. If they are spending $50/month on your service, most people will actually do something with it, thus see results. These positive results become the best testimonials you’ll ever receive.
6. Start to subscribe and save. Follow amazon’s lead and implement a ’subscribe and save’ program, where you give customers a discount for setting up a subscription. It’s an added convenience for the customer and it’s a nice revenue stream for the business.
7. Create community masterminds. If you already have customers that are willing to pay for your products, there is an opportunity in bringing all of your customers together to share their ideas and network. By creating some sort of forum or mastermind platform, all of your customers will be able to enjoy an uncontested level of product support, fresh ideas, and new opportunities through your community.
8. Pick your problems wisely. Examples of subscription services with high lifetime customer values include hosting, email marketing, and other self-service apps. The key to them is that they solve an ongoing problem. In other words, you don’t just need hosting for your website next week, you need it all the time! so, pair your product with a subscription that makes sense. For instance, web design and web maintenance packages.
9. Every company is a membership! The key to long-term sales growth is developing a loyal customer base that you can tap into in order to sell new products and add-ons. And the best way to build customer loyalty is with a rewards program. Whether with points used to redeem reward items or randomly distributed benefits, any merchant can convert its customer list into a membership.
Special to The Globe and Mail
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