Subscription brands were one of the sectors fortunate enough to be positively impacted by the pandemic, due to the lockdowns and people working from home.
This claim is not just rhetorical, as the statistics speak for themselves. Surveys have shown that around 20 percent of all American households subscribed to some form of retail service during the pandemic. This increased activity resulted in overall sales leaping to $23 billion.
You can put down some of the increased activity to people wanting to treat themselves at a time when good news seemed scarce. Such activity is not restricted to the pandemic; it also occurred during the global recession. At this time, sales of beauty products quadrupled compared to the previous five-year period.
Therefore, it is unsurprising that over half of subscription service consumers signed up because they wanted to bring some cheer to their lives (and the lives of their loved ones) during the pandemic.
However, we are now navigating through the new normal in the post-pandemic world, and scalability has become more challenging to achieve.
With that in mind, here’s what you should be doing for your subscription brand, to stay on track for continued growth through the course of 2022 and beyond.
Improve data collection and activation.
Having the infrastructure for data connection analysis and activation is essential to support your subscription brand’s growth in the future. Increasing your relevant data will increase your chances of achieving successful growth.
You can boost your chances of success by incorporating more zero-party data, which refers to information that a customer gives you proactively and intentionally. It includes their preferences, purchase intentions, and how they want to be recognized by your brand.
Using zero-party data will help you gain a better understanding of which customers demonstrate high LTV, and enable you to acquire more customers who demonstrate similar LTV. This is especially the case when you use an LTV predictive model.
How do you get hold of zero-party data? It’s pretty simple; you ask them the right questions from the start.
Ask the right questions from the start to combat churn.
As your subscription service starts scaling, it is often easy to overlook resurrection or win-back potential. You also need to consider how you can convert previously churned subscribers into paying customers once again.
Churn is inevitable, even if you are one of the more prominent brands. However, you can reduce it and start with a focus on high-value users. Of course, this raises another question—how can you identify these users? The simple answer is to ask them the right questions, and you can do this by using questionnaires. Questionnaires can be your force multiplier in the user acquisition game.
When you use questionnaires, you can gain valuable information that helps predict the actual value of users. Therefore, you can focus your marketing on a high-yield audience that will boost your profits. However, before compiling your questionnaires, you need to get some fundamentals into place.
For instance, how will you incentivize your audience to complete the questionnaire? For example, in the case of a beauty box subscription service, you could let your customers know about new products faster if they share their preferences with you.
You also need to give your customers context that aligns your questionnaire with their interests. Similarly, careful consideration needs to be put into freezing your questions, as you want to avoid creating a negative impression through miscommunication.
Questionnaires are valuable during the onboarding process, and they have considerable utility throughout the whole customer life-cycle. Therefore, you can use them as a guide for developing future acquisition strategies.
Investigate cohort retention and higher loyalty-focused campaigns.
Focusing on cohort retention and developing higher loyalty-focused campaigns can considerably benefit your brand. It is particularly so when you use predictive models to ascertain which customers have higher LTV and others. Doing so will enable you to signal users who are more prone to purchase over time.
Using predictive modeling for these campaigns will make your growth team’s life much easier. That’s because you will eliminate much of the guesswork and amplify your efforts by predicting long-term profitability. Moreover, you can do this efficiently and cost-effectively while checking your performance against retention benchmarks.
Be aware that cohort investigation should not be based solely around a set percentage of subscribers within a specified time. Instead, you should do this into the outer-month ranges of your analysis. As a general rule, the flatter and more asymptotic your curve, the better state your subscription businesses are in.
Win back customers after churn
Do not give up hope of recovering customers after churn. This is why having a win-back strategy can prove beneficial.
Winning back lost customers is totally achievable because you already have an existing communication channel. Also, if you have already provided them with your questionnaire, that puts you in an advantageous position.
The open communication channel lets you present them with quick deals and personalized offers to win them back.
Give your acquisition strategy an overhaul
Plenty of subscription brands are changing from CAC strategies, to one based on payback to overhaul their user acquisition strategy.
Their motivation for doing this is due to recent changes in operating systems and ad networks, leading to rises in CAC. These rises make it increasingly difficult to maintain the same momentum and profitability as they had previously.
CAC limits your ability to scale as you lock the price and lock the customers LTV. Although this works on average, it does not facilitate scale as it does not distinguish between good and excellent customers.
On the other hand, a payback strategy allows your growth team to focus on the return and stretch limits. By stretching limits, you’re not confined to the number of customers in a particular bracket.
Capitalize on upselling and add-ons.
You can gain significant value from offering last-minute add-ons and upselling before an order is finalized. Therefore, you should understand what percentage of your users and revenue comes from last-minute purchases and how you can capitalize on this.
You can do this by optimizing your funnel, product, or marketing. A good LTV model will help you better understand who your most valued users are.
Increase your subscribers’ appetites.
There’s plenty you can do when it comes to increasing your subscribers’ appetites for buying more. For instance, you could start by offering a small and affordable product to entice them into a more significant purchase.
Another effective tactic is to offer a slight discount for purchasing a bundle of products. This tactic certainly works for Amazon Prime.
The boost you may have experienced during the lockdown may have lessened through the course of the new normal. However, there is still time for you to get back on track to achieving sustainable growth in 2022 and beyond. There is no time like the present for you to revamp your UA strategy, and explore the benefits of using predictive marketing to achieve exponential growth.