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How To Sell Paid Subscriptions… and See Success Part 1

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How To Sell Paid Subscriptions and See Success: This was NOT an easy post for me to write.  The usual methods to sell have become limited at best in the current Coronavirus / COVID-19 Pandemic that the world is being gripped in and we in the United States are seeing in full-force.  If news reports are correct and the doctors from N.I.H. are also correct, this “stay-home” “work-from-home” situation is going to last for some time to come.

by Kevin James Culp

Photo by Icons8 Team on Unsplash

Hello My Friends!  These are crazy days that we’re living in right now and yet sales need to continue along with life.  I was recently tasked with assembling a sales plan for a paid medical subscription program service from scratch in under fourteen days.  I completed the basic outline a week before COVID-19 started to really make news here with talks of shutdowns.  With some minor adjustments, I was ready for a short shutdown and so was my sales system and then more news hit.  Now things changed and so did subscription sales for many for what seems like a very long time.

It was at this point about two weeks ago that I realized that I was not prepared for a long shut down with the inability for door-to-door and person-to-person meetings could take place in my plan.  The plan I drew up was not viable in today’s current economic climate or even the ability to move about.  A total shut-down and a stay-home order just three months ago would have been laughable by most.  Well, here we are- you are reading this from your mobile, desktop, iPad whatever at home is my guess.  Marketing will now need to shift to reach buyers at home using proven free methods.

Life has changed and for how long is uncertain.  I was also not prepared for sales people who didn’t have much technical abilities to market the subscription service online.  Now, suddenly marketing and selling online is one of a few ways to sell a paid subscription program free.  Further, some sales people were so reliant on outside sales that they didn’t have any social presence at all to even start from.  This lead me to write this arcticle to help anyone trying to sell a paid subscription program using some free basic tools.

According to John Warrillow, Founder of The Value Builder System and author of the bestselling book The Automatic Customer: Creating a Subscription Business In Any Industry, “Consumers are aware that a subscription relationship is much more valuable to you than a onetime purchase.  So to get them to commit you’ll need to give them a big return on their investment.  A consumer with an acute case of subscription fatigue is unlikely to subscribe just to save 10%, but he/she might be convinced to subscribe if you could make a case that she will enjoy 10 times the value of the alternative.”

This 10x’s approach is a key selling technique to use.  In my sales book, I’d come up with 10 ways the customer will benefit from buying the service.  This allows the customer to see them using the service.  Allow them to know how and why these 10 ways can have a dramatic affect on their lives if applied properly.

So, what are the best methods for selling subscriptions using free tools and methods?  Selling paid subscription programs is a tough business in the best of times.  Without being able to leave your home presents challenges for people who do not have any ad budget at all.  What everyone seems to have right now is more time than usual and that time is near a computer.   Let’s dig into some ideas on how to work-from-home and sell subscriptions with success.

Quick Rules for Selling Subscriptions…

  1. DEFINE YOUR AUDIENCE and DESIRED BUYER age, gender, and as much demographic information that you can gather.
  2. People BUY because of what they can get RIGHT NOW.
  3. People don’t LIKE commitment or ongoing obligation so SELL ANNUAL PROGRAMS.
  4. People do like convenience, and will accept ongoing payments if the benefit justifies it.  People will stick with your program but it needs to to deliver a specific nice service that is either hard to find elsewhere or doesn’t currently exist.
  5. Is FREEMIUM the best way to sell? My opinion Yes and No – for the purposes of this blog I’m going to stick with selling paid program rather than give a free trail and attempt to covert into monthly or annual customers.  ‘Freemium’ as this type of marketing is nicknamed is not something for the newbie to marketing.  Serving up customers with a ‘freemium’ plan to get them in the door is brought with issues in short.  Lastly, Most people don’t use free trials for the full duration.Take a look at your data and you’ll see that the vast majority of your trial users duck out after about three days.
  6. People LOVE to buy from FRIENDS and FAMILY.
  7. People LOVE to buy when a family member or friend makes a recommendation.
  8. People LOVE to see video testimonials of the actual SERVICE is working for them.
  9. Offer MULTIPLE LEVELS and varied price-points for BUYERS of ALL LEVELS.
  10. Have a HIGH-QUALITY Product with a SEAMLESS USER EXPERIENCE.
  11. Keep your marketing short, to the point, and personalized.
  12. Don’t give discounts: Discounts might seem like a great way to get reluctant prospects on board, but they end up doing more harm than good.

How To Sell Paid Subscriptions and See Success: SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING

Top Tip! Social Posting. No, this doesn’t mean selling your lotions, potions and whatever to your friend and family.  Social posting can be so much deeper, richer and a better expericene for people to digest your media.  To digest your offer and to know they can click-n’-buy with ease is super important to join and post to as many groups as possible.  This article: The Social Post Checklist: 9 Examples of Engaging Social Media Posts truly has everything you might need in respect to gaining social media engagement.

How To Sell Paid Subscriptions and See Success: USE FREE EMAIL SERVICES

Use “human” email addresses. Don’t ever send an email from a department. Instead of “info@YourBusiness.com”, use “YourName@YourBusiness.com”.

Send a lot of emails. Christoph Janz’s, one of the most successful SaaS investors of all time, advice to SaaS founders is, “If no one is calling your emails ‘spam’, maybe you’re not sending enough emails.”

Send activity-based emails. Your drip campaign should automatically email your leads for a number of “If no one is calling your emails ‘spam’, maybe you’re not sending enough emails” situations, including when they sign up, if they visit the account or cancellation page, and if their trial is about to end.

We like MailChimp to start free email campaigns.  Remember to email only those you have permission to email.

MARKET TO MILLENNIALS VIA EMAIL – Align your product with a purpose.

John Warrillow, founder of the Value Builder System, defines the access generation as “a growing cohort of mobile, technically savvy young people who value access over assets. They prefer to rent a home rather than own one; listen to a song on Spotify rather than buy it from iTunes; and subscribe to Oysterbooks.com or Scribd rather than buy from a Barnes & Noble store.” According to the American Press Institute, “87 percent of Millennials personally pay for some type of subscription.” Think “purpose over price,” and focus your messaging on how your product/service will improve our lives. “Marketers need to speak to millennials in terms of our values,” says Ritika Puri.

My next post will feature the top paid methods to sell paid subscription programs online.  Make sure to keep coming back for all of our posts!  We hope they help, inspire and above all increase your bottomline.  Part 3 will deal with both free and paid Tools To Use When You Reach Your Customer!  The final Part 4 in this series will provide list of strategies you should try out that will help you see success with your membership sales overall.

Thanks for Reading and Carpe Diem My Friends

SOURCES: Chargify.com Close.com Forbes.com

3 thoughts on “How To Sell Paid Subscriptions… and See Success Part 1”
  1. We recently purchased a business opportunity through your wonderfully growing website. Add some more posts and add some more listings! The one I purchased has made me money already. Thank you SmartBizOpps!!!!! Smartest move we have made during pandemic.

    1. Cindy!!! Hey, I know you lol. I see we have been reading to get some idea on how to sell subscriptions. I like that!!! This pandemic has presented some challenged to marketing this program. It is ironic since it is so needed. EDDM will slowly solve that problem for more reps. Can’t wait to see what you do with your new business in 2020/2021. Cheers Cindy!

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