The recent trends in the field of Information Technology made it very easy for every non-technical person to create and maintain his own website. Everything can be done without writing a line of code. Want a new feature? Use the plugins and extensions. Want to change the color of your website? There are options right on the dashboard.
There are various platforms that you can use to sell your products and services based on subscription. So creating a website is rather a simpler task. What is difficult is to survive the competition, get noticed and make the interested visitors subscribe to your service/products.
Here are a few points that you must ensure to run a successful subscription website.
Start with a clear idea
Before you start anything, you should have your goals clearly visible. However, the right time to start something never arrives and therefore, there’s no grace in waiting for the right time. Once your ideas are clear in your head, you are good to start. A proper research, planning and clear goals are all you need to get your subscription business kick-started.
- Analyzing your business domain
- Keeping a watch on what competitors are doing
- Listing out what you want to do
- Listing out what you DON’T want to do
- Setting up the preliminary budget
- Deciding upon the technical details – platform to use, hosting, etc
There are some decisions you need to make and goals you need to set before you start a new venture. So, decide before you start.
Offer something for free, a free trial maybe
Everyone likes free, don’t they!!
Be it free trials, or free goodies, it’s a nice way to attract subscribers.
The super-popular eCommerce platform Shopify, allows its subscriber a FREE 14-day trial period to try and evaluate their platform. The users can key in their email address and start using the platform, initially, without paying anything at all. If the visitor wants to continue the usage after the trial period, they need to pay the sign-up fee and subscribe to their platform.
Such free trials are aimed to promote the platform. It lets the visitor test your services without having to spend anything. However, if you’re not providing services but products for subscriptions, you can still try giving away something.
- Providing meaningful excerpt for ebooks, magazine or any content-oriented product
- Free trial for software services
- Free gifts for products based on subscriptions
Careful here, free stuff doesn’t mean unnecessary stuff. Whatever you give away for free should mean something to the users. For example, when you are making people subscribe to your online magazine, you can provide them with an insightful excerpt.
However, how your “giving away” strategy works, depends directly upon how useful is that FREE stuff is for your users!!
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High-quality premium content after subscription
The only thing that keeps the user on your website, is the best grade content/service. Make sure that your subscribers are fully satisfied with the service you provide.
For any type of website, you have to put as much as efforts to keep the subscribers on your website as much efforts you put for promotions and winning customers. It is very important to keep your customers happy.
The following are the ways to ensure that your customers are happy
- Providing flawless service/products
- Keeping in touch with the subscribers (More on this in a later section!)
- Friendly and efficient support for customer grievances and complaints
- A flexible system where the subscribers never feel trapped.
Discounts on long term subscriptions
To make your subscriber stay with you for a long time, you can provide a discount on long-term subscriptions.
Lets understand this with an example
You are allowing visitors to subscribe to your weekly horoscope prediction based on their star signs. The subscriber will be mailed a copy of their predictions every week.
So the plans for the subscriptions can be like –
1 month’s prediction for $50
2 month’s weekly for $90 (10% off)
4 month’s predictions for $16o (20% off), and so on
This is a way to inspire your customers to take membership for a longer period. Because larger the service duration they choose, the greater the benefits.
Create a system that is easy to use
Make sure that the interface of your website is cool. It looks good and is quite easy to use. All the subscribers that will use the service may not be technically advanced people. So basically, create a subscription system that has easy sign-up and payment processes.
The appearance of your website and the way you present your packages and explain your services leaves an impression on the visitors. A moderate design works, not too simple not too pretentious. While your website is not loaded with over-designed elements, the customer’s attention is drawn to the content. On the contrary, under-designed and plain design may sometimes make everything boring and uninteresting to your visitors.
Make it very easy for your potential subscribers to interact with your website. Design a website with smooth navigation and ensure smooth information flow. Create a contact form or a pre-sales question form through which the visitors can ask you questions. You can even opt for a live chat feature. Ultimately, make it easy for the visitors to contact you, in case they are confused. The following are the points to keep in mind for an impressive interface:
- Easy contact form and support system
- Smooth and intuitive interaction options
- Easy and fail-safe payment processing
Create convenient options for all subscriber’s group
Choice is important. And so you should provide your visitors with enough options to choose from. Make plans that fit the requirements of different user groups. For instance, some subscribers will need only the basic services whereas others will like to get the most advanced services. So create your subscription packages accordingly.
Here’s an example of BlueHost’s subscription plans. They have designed their subscription packages with various user’s needs in mind. If a visitor is looking for a hosting plan for his personal website, there’s a plan starting at $3.95 per month. On the contrary, a massive website with heavy requirements can opt for the PRO plan at $13.95 for a month.
Their plans span from the basic package with low features and the business pro plan for the highest requirements.
Stay in constant touch with your subscribers
Once you make the visitor/s, subscribe to your service, the next challenge is to keep them satisfied with your service. You must always keep your customers informed about the latest updates. This helps develops a feeling of familiarity.
The thing is, there’s a thin line of difference between “staying in touch” and “spamming”. Keep a check on the number of emails and the quality of the information you send them. Avoid sending useless emails. Or emails that sound like promotion campaign for your .
Sending a friendly and informative email once or twice a week is good. But sending more emails than that will annoy your subscribers. Alternatively, you can let your subscribers choose if they want email alerts or not.
Analyze and improve
Modern web-designing tools come with all the features that will let you track your success.
- Stay in constant touch with the market sector you belong to
- Keep a watch on what your competitors are doing
- Use analytics tools to measure your own performance
- Use Google Analytics to observe the visitors patterns on your website
- Keep an eye on the subscriber’s complaints and inquiries to find out your weaknesses
Finding out and working on your own weaknesses is the key to efficient performance.
Research, must be a continuous process. Because the market trends change continuously and to survive the competition, you need to keep up with the current course.
These were just a few tips that you can follow to improve the performance of your subscription website. Following these advises might just help your website win more subscribers. However, the most important factor that will affect the success of your business is the quality of product/services and the behavior of competition in your business area.
Recommended for you – Mistakes to be avoided while creating an online subscription website.