What Impact Does Email Marketing Have on the Subscription Business Model?

Subscriptions existed before the internet. Magazines, newspapers, and milk crates arrived on your doorstep periodically like magic. Now, the subscription business model is so popular that it’s roping in unlikely industries, such as auto and healthcare. After all, subscriptions give businesses an edge when it comes to retaining customers.

Additionally, the internet makes it easier than ever to manage those subscriptions. Most consumers look online for products and services, so it makes sense to offer recurring solutions to their pain points. The trick is reeling in sales-qualified leads (SQLs) that will be interested in subscribing to what you’re selling.

How To Market a Subscription Service

While many types of businesses can package their products or services to implement a subscription model, it takes some strategy and preparation. Of course, you have to decide if a subscription is applicable for your consumers. Ask yourself whether your product or service is unique and solves a problem that your consumers will need on at least a semi-regular basis.

subscription business model

Source: Fishbowl

You will need to determine why your target demographic would be interested in a subscription. Typical examples of subscriptions include:

  • A curation service that sources and/or delivers goods
  • Access to online tools and/or content
  • Premium status and discounts
  • Replenishment of products.

To get this information, you should dig into your target audience’s world to start compiling data on the potential market.

Conduct a Market Analysis

About 15% of e-Commerce consumers have reported signing up for one or more subscription services within a year. Those consumers tend to be between 25 and 44 years old, relatively wealthy, and live in more urban areas. 60% of those subscribers identify as women.

However, this is a general overview of the consumer base of a huge industry. If your target audience doesn’t fit within those categories, that’s okay. Each subscription service is different and garners various results. For example, 46% of consumers surveyed subscribed to a streaming service for media content.

Analyze your current consumer base and ideal subscriber. Find out as much information as you can about their demographics, purchasing behavior, and online presence. This way, you can tailor your subscription offerings to their precise needs.

Create Useful Content

A subscription-based model also operates on subscription-specific content. Marketing your business starts with creating content that will appeal to your target audience. Apply the market research aforementioned and start to develop a content strategy and execution plan. Need some help? Divvy has a great ebook for this below.

The Definitive Guide to Content Planning - Download it Now!

Tactical execution may dictate a wide variety of content tactics, including:

  • Website copy
  • Landing pages
  • Blog articles
  • Social media posts
  • Videos and photos
  • Customer testimonials
  • Product or service guides
  • Email messages.

Get creative with your content and build up a backlog. This way, you can schedule content on a content calendar and have time to nurture the leads you gather.

Build and Nurture an Email List

It may be tempting to purchase a random email list and blast out an introduction for your subscription service. However, this is sometimes illegal — like under the GDPR — and always at least a little unethical. It’s in your best interest to gain email addresses honestly. Use paid media channels, contact forms, contests, referrals, and email signup forms to garner SQLs that are genuinely interested in your product or services.

Email Marketing for Subscriptions

People enjoy personalization, and that’s likely part of the reason they subscribe to premium accounts, streaming services, and curated boxes of clothes. A great way to interact with your customers on a more personal level is to show up in their inboxes. While you shouldn’t inundate them with spammy messages, there are ways to use email marketing to enhance your subscription model strategy.

email marketing for subscriptions

Attract New Subscribers

Some methods of gaining email addresses mean that not all of your recipients are already paying customers. Especially if your subscription service is new, use this as an opportunity to send a welcome message. Introduce your company, including any testimonials, videos, or other content that you curated during your strategizing.

Attract new subscribers by making it easy to sign up. Once they are aware of what you offer and see the value in subscribing, they will be more likely to do so if it is relatively simple. Include a subscription offer and signup in the email or link to a landing page that has a website pop-up for subscription signup.

Engage Existing Subscribers

Your email list will also include those that are currently signed up. While subscriptions are typically something that consumers tend to “set and forget,” there are ways to keep them engaged and less likely to cancel. Send them blog posts that they may find useful, or suggest upgrades to their current subscriptions.

Email support is also crucial. In addition to chatbot, phone, and social media support contacts, you will likely receive emails from customers with inquiries or that need assistance. Always try to keep this personal, but AI-generated content can help answer basic questions and give a timeframe for people to expect a response.

Convert Existing Customers to Subscribers

You may also have an existing business to which you are adding a subscription service. In this case, you can email existing customers to make them aware of this new addition. For loyal customers, it may be helpful to offer a signup discount. A loyalty offer shows that they are appreciated and gives them an immediate incentive to sign up.

Remind Inactive Accounts to Resubscribe

Many email marketing platforms allow you to automate emails to segments of your email list. Similar to “abandoned cart” emails, you can automate reminders to inactive accounts. You can identify these accounts and send them reminders to resubscribe. What’s more, you can ask for feedback on why they are inactive, giving you insight into how to improve your subscription model in the future.

Remember to Provide Updates

Just like subscribers tend to “set it and forget it,” business owners tend to let subscription models fall by the wayside. While subscription offers can provide predictable revenue, you need to constantly refine your process to retain subscribers. Send out emails with updates like delivery tracking, product enhancements, and service expansions. Remember to nurture your subscribers to keep them coming back.

Moving Forward With Email Marketing for Your Subscription Service

The subscription business model can clearly benefit from email marketing. If you use the guidelines above, it will be easier to integrate email campaigns into your marketing strategy. The resulting ROI will be worth the extra effort upfront. Make your way into the inboxes of potential, current, and inactive customers to boost your subscription marketing.

For more great tips, tricks, and how-to’s, subscribe to the DivvyHQ blog today!