Using email marketing for subscription businesses

Businesses are increasingly shifting services to subscription-based payment models, as these pricing plans can offer benefits to customers while providing a tremendous source of recurring revenue for companies. However, switching over to a new business model takes more than simply implementing a subscription billing system. Getting the word out to your customer base is important – let them know just how this will work and how this can benefit them. Here are some email marketing tips for subscription business models that could help your company make an effective migration.

Comprehensive marketing efforts
According to eMarketing and Commerce, traditional time-based subscription models, such as weekly or monthly, are popular among consumers due to the cost savings that they could receive. Additionally, subscribers value being exposed to new products, as well as the element of surprise that comes with each delivery. To take advantage of these facets of consumer behavior, the news source suggests employing a comprehensive pre- and post-product delivery email campaign.

Before an upcoming shipment of products, for example, companies could email their subscribers about a topic related to the goods received. This helps build anticipation while providing more incentive for a customer to continue subscribing, due to the tremendous value added in information. After the delivery, a followup email could drive subscribers to a social media site to share their experiences, creating a community of engaged users.

Social email
The prevalence of social media networks has put an onus on companies to more actively engage with their customers. To this end, combining social media and email can accomplish several online marketing tasks, according to eMarketing and Commerce. Combining these two facets allows companies to deploy comprehensive, triggered welcome campaigns that are personalized and based on a new subscriber’s social networking profile and habits. Engaging with and targeting users through multiple channels creates an optimized marketing environment, where only the most socially valuable email subscribers and loyal customers are specifically promoted to.

Promote special features
Oftentimes, subscribers to services start out with a free trial, or what is known as a ‘freemium’ program. Upgrading their accounts to a regular paid subscription is usually a step to gain access to special features that are not offered through the free service. Marketers should take advantage of this through their email marketing campaigns. The news source suggests reinforcing the value of the additional features while emphasizing the exclusivity of the subscriber’s club. Furthermore, special offers for subscribers only could be sent through emails, helping to prevent customers reverting back to free versions.

About the Author

Editorial Team

The Forrester Wave: Subscription Billing Platforms, Q4 2015

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