8  mistakes you must avoid while selling subscriptions online

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Look around, and there are lots of ecommerce platforms and website designing softwares that lets you create subscription based websites without writing a line of code. So your subscription-based website can be created without spending hours on coding and designing.

However, when you are in a business, there’s a lot more you’ll need to do. Besides designing and hosting your website, you will need to take care of SEO and visibility, creating products/services that the users would like to subscribe. Once the visitor subscribes, you need to look that the subscriber gets a proper product/service and is satisfied with it. Other than this, you will have to look after customer support, service management, inventory and funds management, etc.

While you put so many efforts to handle an online subscription system, here are a few common mistake that you should avoid in order to attain success in your venture.

Spamming the subscribers

While signing up for your product or services, your visitors will provide you with some of their personal information. It’s your first duty to keep the subscriber’s information safe. One of the details your customers will provide is their email address and contact number(optionally).

Mostly, the subscription system is designed to collect some of the user information before granting them the access to their services/products. In my post – 8 tips for a successful subscription based website, I’ve mentioned that it is important to stay in touch with your customers. “Staying in touch” doesn’t necessarily mean sending 4 emails a week. It implies that you have to keep your customers informed and providing them with the necessary updates related to their products.

Or.. you may use this affordable, alternative plugin

Alternatively, you may also use an equally good, affordable Woocommerce subscriptions aleternative plugin. We recommend Subscriptio – WooCommerce Subscriptions for your Ecommerce site.

Understand this, while it is essential to keep your visitors updated and send them friendly emails once in a while, it is advisable to keep in check the frequency of the emails you send. Too many emails, and mostly unnecessary or promotional emails, are sure to annoy your subscribers.

What not to do 

  • Unnecessary promotional emails
  • Pointless emails with not-so-important updates
  • Too many emails for the same subject
  • Repetitive emails

Not providing enough variations

Users are always looking for choices from which they can choose the best one. So, you should always present them with the required options to choose from.

There’s a thing about the “Freedom of Choice” . People always like it when they are allowed to choose.

If your competitors are providing variations for their services and you aren’t. It’s time to start providing options on your website too. Because sometimes, even when the competitor’s service is costlier than yours, the visitors will tend to go with them just because they have something to choose from.

Not responding to the users queries

Customer service is one of the most important duty that a business has. Your customers are the one’s who make you, so make sure that they’re happy with your service.

First of all, create a system where your visitors can easily contact you. Secondly, when a visitor contacts you, provide them with a satisfying, detailed and prompt reply.

A satisfied customer may help you get more familiarity in the market by recommending your services to others. When the subscribers are faced with a problem owing to your service or products, make it easy for them to reach you. And when their questions reach you, train your customer service executives the best way to address their problems and resolve them as soon as possible.

Not providing services as promised

Once the user signs up/subscribes to your product/service, you have to make sure that you provide your visitors exactly what you’ve said you would. Never make unrealistic promises or exaggerate your products. The product description should be relevant and precise.

Your job doesn’t end when the visitors subscribe to your service/product, it starts thereafter!!

When a user subscribes to your product/service, and then asks for cancellation because they are unsatisfied by the result, it affects your business terribly. Make sure that you have enough resources and the amenities needed to provide the service or product as promised to the customer.

Complicated user interface & payment processing

Keep it simple, Always!! A complex user interface confuses the visitor and increases the possibility of not finding what they want.

The simpler the design, the easier it gets for the users to find what they want. A complex design even makes your website look disorganized. Even try to keep the various processes on your website, easy. This will help the non-technical people to use your website and subscribe to your products easily. If there’s any complicated process on your website, you can provide online help in form of step by step help documentation or a video to make the visitors understand better.

The following features in a website makes it convenient for the users to interact with your website:

  • A simple and straightforward registration system
  • Clean design with systematic navigation
  • Easy payment processing
  • Powerful search system (We’ll get back to this – later)

Poor design

This may seem like a little bit inordinate, but yes, a good design is important. Even though we all are taught to “Never judge a book by its cover”, at some point, we do! The design of your website matters.

Create a design with clean design, well-organized page elements, complementary and cool colors. Something that is eye-pleasing as well as efficient. Make sure that while trying to keep every element in focus, you don’t unnecessarily complicate the design of your website. Place proper call to action, design the navigation system to make sure that the products and services can be easily found.

Inefficient search and complicated navigation

How would your visitors subscribe to your products if they never find it? Specially for larger website with multiple products and services over large categories, a proper navigation and search system is must for the visitors’ comfort.

Once visitors come to your website, they should instantly find what they’re looking for. The subscribers

You can incorporate the following features into your website to make the search more effective:

  • Add a search bar which returns most relevant results
  • Use tools and add-ons that enhance user experience and convenience
  • Organize the products under categories and sub categories
  • A managed navigation system
  • Displaying related posts based on a selected service

Incomplete/insufficient product description

Product description may look like just another field while adding  a product, but it plays a major role. The product description you specify is a way you can explain your product/services to your visitors. Therefore, it is very important to describe your product exactly the way it is. Explain the visitors about the features of your products/services.

You can use the product description field to describe your product details to the prospect customers. It is very important to utilize this section to list out the features of your product with this section, you must also confirm that all the details you provide here is true. This is how you can make your customers trust you.

Exaggerated product description and unequaled products, will surely effect your credibility adversely.


Above mentioned were a few things that you should strictly avoid. However, the only thing that ensures success of your website is a very efficient service and an easy to use website. There are many things to consider when it comes to maintaining websites. For instance, competition’s behavior, market factors, change in trends, etc. You can let us know your views and opinions by posting in your comments.

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