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How to enrich your subscriptions: a 3-step guide

As a subscription business, you compete with other subscription businesses as well as with “regular” companies in your field. In order to stand out from your competitors, you need to offer something special - and sometimes that requires thinking outside of the box. This will not only help you acquire new customers but also help you keep the ones you already have - a very important objective for any subscription business. Let’s take a look at how you can do this.

1 Keep offering something new and different

This is key if you want to keep your subscribers onboard. If you do not keep offering value to them, they will eventually cancel their subscription. Of course, this is not equally relevant for all types of businesses. For example, it’s not as important for companies selling SaaS or buy and subscribe, whereas it’s absolutely crucial for companies selling subscription boxes or content. If Netflix never added new content, or if BirchBox same out the same products each month, its customers wouldn’t stay for long. You could also benefit from using the element of surprise. Consider adding a discount code, a handwritten note, or some candy the next time you send out a product.

2 Stand out from competitors

You are, most likely, not the only one offering a subscription on your product/service. And while the product/service itself might be hard to improve, you can add something extra to your subscription - something that people won’t get with your competitors.

Strive to be the go-to place when people need to read about your product. You can do this by adding a blog, videos, guides, tutorials, forums, discussion boards, or customer stories to your website. This will create a special little community, which could easily be the reason people choose you and not your competitors.

American BirchBox is using this practice. Its core product is subscription boxes with cosmetics, but in order to offer extra value, it runs a blog with guides and tips on make-up related topics. As a bonus, it might be able to keep customers engaged while waiting for a new box.

The blog header on BirchBox's blog 'the Mag' where they share make-up related tips.

If your main competitors sell on a one-off basis, you want to emphasise convenience, variety, and simplicity. Both to play on the benefits of subscriptions vs. one-off purchases, but also to convince potential customers that subscriptions are extremely easy and not at all scammy (as some people tend to think). Just take a look at what Dollar Shave Club does.

Screenshot from the website of Dollar Shave Club emphasising how easy their subscription is.

The convenience part is often a big selling point. With your subscription, the customer will no longer have to go to a store and make their purchase on a regular basis. They will automatically get a renewal when it’s needed. You also need to tell people about the variety you offer - let them know that they won’t be stuck with the same thing and that you keep updating your offering. Just like Netflix. By adding new content to its platform each month, it will always be able to offer something the subscribers haven’t yet seen. Netflix also offers content within a wide range of genres, meaning that there’s something for everyone. In that way, the subscription keeps being valuable.

Lastly, you need to make clear how easy your subscription is. Tell people how to sign up, how to change their subscription, and how to cancel. Make this as transparent as possible - because no one wants to risk being caught in a subscription trap.

3 Listen to your customers

Everything you do should be to please your customers - and what better way to do so than listening to them. If you ask your customers for reviews, you’ll know what they like and what they don’t. When you have this knowledge, you can tailor your product and service to them, making them even happier. The Danish company Goodiebox, which offers cosmetic subscription boxes, ask customers to review each box. To make sure it gets enough useful data, it rewards reviews with “goodiepoints”. These can be used to purchase beauty products in Goodiebox’s online shop.

Goodiebox's product review interface, enabling customers to rate products and leave comments.

Use these 3 focus point to provide as much value as possible to customers, and hopefully, it will be enough to beat competitors.

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