— September 21, 2019
The subscription-based business model is getting more visibility than ever. The reason is obvious. Recurring payments help companies predict cash flow. So, what do you need to do to start a successful subscription business?
Running a SaaS business that offers subscription boxes, applications, or membership fees can bring you many benefits. It saves time, provides convenience, and gives you better control over your profits. You know when you’ll receive payments, so you can make well thought out plans for the future.
Moreover, subscriptions make it easier to build strong and lasting relationships with customers. That’s because a customer journey is longer than a one-time purchase. You gain time to focus on your business and for making improvements.
Sounds good? What if I tell you that it’s at your fingertips — but only if you do it right? Here’s what you should consider when your goal is to run a successful subscription business.
Is it for you?
Before you start, make deep research to determine whether the model you want to choose is right for your business. Prepare in-depth analyses and make sure it is a product or service your potential clients would pay for.
Also, check if there are any competitors in that field and, more importantly, whether the product you want to offer answers your customers’ existing problems or fulfills their needs.
Reliable recurring payment provider
The success of a subscription business mostly depends on which payment solution you choose. When you want to start a subscription business model, you need automatic recurring payments to make it easy for customers to use your products or services.
As you can find lots of payment providers on the market, focus on your needs and goals. Then, find out one that fits your needs best. Look for convenience, user experience (the lower number of clicks, the better), and top-notch technology.
Speaking of technology, implementing payments on your website doesn’t have to be difficult. The better you choose, the more control, flexibility, and features you’ll get. If you choose wisely, you can set any payment scenario you need to run a successful subscription business.
You can also be interested in providing free trials or autorenewals, so ask payment companies whether they support these solutions.
When you let people try your product or service before they buy it, it helps them make better decisions. They are more confident about the product, so it’s easier to retain customers and increase customer lifetime value.
You can also offer your product in a freemium model. This means that people can use the basic version of your product or service for free, but need to pay for extra (premium) features or virtual goods (e.g. in apps and games).
The right pricing strategy
Pricing should always be clear, no matter whether you offer one or several pricing plans, downgrades, or upgrades. Make pricing simple to understand for potential customers without hiding extra fees and conditions. Simplify the pricing structure and don’t offer too many possibilities. Otherwise, people will find it confusing.
Offering pricing packages is a good idea overall. Let people choose a lower price at the beginning and scale later. It is best to provide two or three pricing tiers and adjust them when you have proven feedback from your customers.
Keep in mind that customers’ needs change over time. Consider offering discounts for long-term subscribers. It’s a great way to attract customers and increase your revenue.
What’s also important to keep your customers happy is data analytics. When you know how your business performs based on business metrics, it is much easier to improve your service.
Make it easy for customers to auto-renew their subscriptions. It’s possible with a reliable payment platform so that customers don’t have to take any action every month (or another billing period), which makes them stay with your company longer. However, they should always have the option to opt-out.
Responsive customer support
Customers are the core of your business, so taking care of them should be on your daily agenda. No one likes to have their questions left unanswered, so always address your customers’ inquiries as quickly as possible. You’ll be surprised how superior customer service can create loyalty and buzz.
Moreover, consider communicating with your customers regularly. Show that you care and make them long-term and happy customers. Listen to customers’ needs — it will help you plan future changes, features, or pricing level to make your solutions fit users’ expectations.
As you can see, a successful subscription business is within your reach. Recurring payments come with a predictable revenue, so it will be easier to nail the next steps on your business journey. When you have control over your cash flow, you can make smarter decisions that will make you grow.