Subscriptions & Psychology: How to Keep Your Customers Coming Back
In recent years, a multitude of brands and consumers alike have flocked to subscription commerce, an industry that is projected to reach $500 billion by 2025. For brands, implementing subscriptions can mean higher LTV (lifetime value), greater customer satisfaction, and a reliable recurring revenue stream. And for consumers, subscriptions naturally align with many elements of human psychology that make these offerings particularly compelling and engaging.
As a brand, how can you align your strategy with the preferences and thought processes of your subscribers? Let’s dive in.
How to Tap Into Human Psychology with Subscriptions
When it comes to launching and scaling a subscription offering that taps into your subscribers’ needs and preferences, it’s important to focus on the three Cs: communication, content, and community.
Paramount to any successful relationship, an effective and efficient communication strategy should exist across all your channels in ecommerce. Communication becomes even more important when considering that subscriptions are naturally built around recurring orders.
If your product is meant to be shipped once per month, there should be at minimum one piece of communication per month to set clear expectations for your customers.
Recharge has a plethora of options for default email communications, but it may not be enough to simply send a plain html email to engaged subscribers. When analyzing buyer engagement with your brand, consider adding content to those communications, such as:
- Upcoming charge notifications: Instead of simply letting your subscribers know you’re about to charge them, this moment is the perfect opportunity for cross-sells and upsells. When the brain is primed for purchasing, customers may be more open to making two or more purchases instead of one. Suggesting cross-sells (one-time purchases that complement a customer’s original subscription) and upsells (upgrades that replace a customer’s original purchase, offering more value at a higher price point) are effective ways to not only increase AOV (average order value), but also increase customer satisfaction.
- Account access: When a customer initially signs up for a subscription, an email is sent to introduce them to their customer portal. This is where they can log on and manage all aspects of their subscription. Too many brands take this stage of the customer journey for granted. Both within this email and in the customer portal, there is a massive opportunity for educating customers about the product they’re subscribed to, the process for editing any part of their order, and why your company is in the best position to facilitate the customer’s needs.
Adding relevant detail to emails fortifies your overall communication strategy, leading directly into the second C of subscriptions: content.
Content is a crucial aspect of any brand’s marketing strategy, as it positively impacts organic lead generation. Your subscribers also benefit from quality content creation, as this helps clarify your company’s greater purpose.
Unless you’re selling a product that has never been invented before, chances are you will have direct competitors who built a business on a similar value proposition to your own. Why should a customer buy your product compared to another?
Maybe your company has an environmentally-friendly product and takes a stance on global warming. Maybe a percentage of revenue you make goes towards a donation to a cause close to your business. Or maybe you’re a family-owned business doing things the old fashioned way instead of through mass production. Any and all differentiating factors about your brand should be clearly communicated throughout all of your content.
One great place for this type of content is an “About Us” page. Consider writing a concise but informational landing page full of content that talks about why you do what you do every day. You can also consider investing in a company blog to house meaningful content for your target audience.
Hello Bello’s About page clearly articulates their mission and greater purpose.
A strong communication strategy combined with thoughtful and helpful content will ultimately lay the foundation for a community where existing and potential brand ambassadors all come together.
But what does a brand community look like, exactly? Let’s take a step backwards and look at the ultimate value proposition of subscriptions.
The most basic concept of a subscription is that a consumer needs a product on a recurring basis. Instead of requiring that person to actively purchase the product, either at a physical store or online, subscriptions allow customers to make recurring purchases without needing to remember to reorder.
Unless a subscription product is incredibly unique or niche, there are likely others who feel the same way about this product that your customers do. Dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of people all have something in common without knowing because these purchases are made over the internet.
This is where community-building comes into play. There is incredible power in networking and creating groups of people with similar interests. Often accomplished through social media, networking groups are growing in popularity among DTC brands because of the ability to bring people together in a digital space to share their experiences.
Not only does this create social proof that directly boosts the validity of your brand, but it also acts as free marketing to others looking for insight into your business. People can interact on a personal level with each other around your product, feeling a greater purpose and connection with your brand beyond just your products and services. Meanwhile, all this content directly pours back into the growth of your business.
For Subscription Scalability, Take a Listening-Based Approach
There is no silver bullet in ecommerce, and subscriptions are no exception. A listening-based approach, however, is one of the most important strategies your brand can take on to foster long-term relationships with your customers.
By making your customers feel heard, you can empower them to grow with you in the long run. And by focusing on communication, content, and community, you can create the most compelling and engaging offerings for your subscribers.