When we talk about creating loyal subscribers, we often jump straight to customer acquisition strategies, tech advancements or sophisticated software. But for Alan Leech, the founder of crmSubscribe, the starting point is your customers’ journey and your touchpoints with them.
How easy you make it for customers to buy, obtain, read and loyally subscribe to your publication can be the secret to a successful title. So, we asked Alan for his key tips on creating a smooth and successful experience for subscribers.
1. The payment process should be quick, easy and give customers choices.
Whether subscribers want to pay via the phone, online, use a credit card, PayPal, direct debit or even cheque, you should give them the option to choose their preferred payment method, and it should be frictionless.
That means a secure payment portal that automatically communicates with your subscription management system to update customer accounts. Also, people that will pick up the phone when queries come and have a reliable team to bank any cheques that arrive via post.
2. Customer accounts help put the subscriber in control.
Creating a unique account for each subscriber gives them the power to personalise their subscription experience. A good account should allow subscribers to update their details, easily see their remaining issues or renew their subscription in just a few clicks.
It’s also important to have those added features that make everyday account management easy, such as autofill options and the ability to reset a password quickly.
3. Accessing content needs to be fast and reliable.
People expect access to digital content immediately when a payment has been made, or a new issue has been released, so how you provide your content to subscribers is crucial.
Print content won’t be as quick, but it should still feel seamless to your subscribers. That often comes down to having an excellent customer service team to answer any queries if problems arise, such as missed deliveries or postage delays.
4. The key to auto-renewals is, you guessed it, automation.
When asking your subscriber to renew their subscription, it needs to land in their inbox at the perfect time, and they should be able to follow through with as few clicks as possible. The easier you make it, the more likely they’ll renew.
An excellent subscription management service will reach out to subscribers automatically when the time is right and auto-fill their details when it comes time to pay. For subscribers that haven’t chosen to auto-renew, a reminder email can go a long way in retaining their loyalty.
5. Know your customer really well.
While it’s not a direct touchpoint on your customers’ journey, obtaining and using a suite of metrics will inform future interactions with your subscribers. From your subscriber demographic to how many subscriptions have lapsed, your renewal percentage rate or your unrealised liability. Data can be very valuable and help you communicate with subscribers in the right place, at the right time, and with the product they’re looking for.
So, with this checklist in mind, how can you improve your customer journey to create a database of loyal subscribers?