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Subscriptions – How CRM can help you get ahead of the game

Publishers and media houses? You are fighters! As free online content burgeoned and traditional advertising revenues dropped, you have had to work much smarter to make your businesses profitable. Subscriptions have been an important part of that picture, as they turn one off payments into recurring revenue. Free subscriptions are vital too – proving your customer base is loyal makes your media outlet a more valuable proposition for advertisers.

But building a subscription model isn’t easy. In 2017, just 3% of Brits paid for an ongoing news subscription (Reuters Institute Digital News Report). Having a robust subscription management process in place, underpinned by CRM is absolutely vital for your subscription model to be a success. And there are certain stages a customer goes through in the subscription lifecycle that you need to capitalise on – and you need technology to do that:

  • Trial: will they, won’t they – if a reader signs up for a trial then the volition is there, right? It’s down to you and your process to convert them into regulars. You need to use tools to schmooze them and prove how valuable your content is – get them to sign up for newsletters around topics they like, for example. Have the flexibility to extend trial periods for readers who might be wavering. CRM helps you do this.
  • Ongoing subscriptions: your readers might have signed up to a rolling monthly subscription that just gets renewed, but have you checked in with them lately? Are they happy? Or are there some clouds on the horizon? They might want to downgrade their subscription – or upgrade it. They might have a query about finance or delivery. The subscription management team needs to have the intel to find out about and then effectively deal with those issues. CRM helps you do this.
  • Renewals: everyone knows that it is a LOT cheaper to retain existing customers than find new ones. Research by Friedrich Reichheld of Bain & Company has showed that increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by a minimum of 25%. Clearly, retention is key. So it’s important to understand attrition rates – why customers might want to leave, the nature of your relationship with them. You need to understand the red flags – maybe a customer hasn’t logged on to your website for months. If you know the signs, you can give them a call and find out why. CRM helps you do this too.

It’s a battle for eyes out there. Winning the attention of customers and holding it is no mean feat, particularly with the level of competition you’re facing. So CRM is an important weapon in your armoury. Having technology that connects the dots, analyses the data and keeps your team informed is essential to a successful subscription model.

To learn more about building a successful subscription management solution, read our white paper How to revolutionise your subscription business with CRM or contact one of our team on: 0118 3030 100