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Best Practices for Marketing Your Subscription-Based Business

A subscription-based business is a model that works. High growth rate and easy scalability are qualities typical of this archetype, but only if you market your business well. Email marketing is a particularly good medium to promote and fulfill subscription-based services. No matter the product or service, marketing success is inspired by reaching your target market, effective engagement with subscribers, and controlled churn rates – all strengths of email marketing. If you’re looking to improve your subscription business marketing strategy, follow these best practices:

Use data to inform your marketing strategy

All marketing for subscription-based businesses should be highly-data driven to generate sales as quickly as possible. Accurate data allows marketers to quickly identify new super users, so you can allocate marketing resources accordingly. Let data drive triggering emails and re-targeting campaigns, or even more general decisions like website features and customer service tools.

Give away free tools and resources

Everyone loves something that doesn’t cost them money, which is why giving things away for free is a popular subscription marketing tactic. Providing free special reports, white papers, tools, resources or any number of premium ideas can be simple (especially when re-purposing existing content or tools) and one of the most effective ways to attract new customers.

Subscription-based companies typically offer potential users a trial period with a usage cap or restricted features. It’s essential to consistently communicate with prospects during this trial period to monitor any at-risk users that are on the fence about your product or service. More importantly, marketers should not give too much away to allow potential users to take advantage of your offerings. Give prospective customers a taste of what you can offer and convince them they can’t live without it.

Embrace user-churn

Subscriber churn can be frightening for subscription companies, but it’s normal, and should be used as a tool for marketers. As potential users increase and enroll in the trial period, churn rate will also increase as your user base diversifies.

If you find that your churn rates are low and stable, it’s a sign that your product is working. If your churn rates are high, you may need to assess and improve the benefits of your business, whether it’s modifying your marketing strategy or improving your product or service. It’s imperative to establish a solid user base to keep your business growing.

In summary, if your business adheres to a subscription model, it’s in your best interest to ensure your user experience is seamless, easy to navigate, and generally improves your subscribers’ lives. Email marketing is a proven medium to manage subscription-based businesses. Invest in data to inform your strategy, give away freebies to potential subscribers to hook them on your offer and let churn act as a litmus test for your strategies. Creating discipline around these tactics (and testing, testing, testing) can transform an idea into a vibrant, renewable subscription-based community filled with loyal subscribers.