How to Grow Revenue by Managing the Subscriber Lifecycle

Adobe Stock / foxyburrow

by Jennifer Cooper

posted on 12-07-2017

Spurring people to action is no easy task. Yet, this is exactly what executives in charge of subscription revenues — and the marketing teams that support them — must do every day. In addition, their job is never done because for every action in the lifecycle of a subscriber there’s a follow-on action.

Everyone knows what needs to happen in order to drive subscription revenues. A subscription service must:

  1. Grow subscriber numbers.
  2. Keep existing subscribers engaged and using the service.
  3. Drive upsells and cross sells among existing subscribers.

In short, this requires acquiring, engaging, and monetizing users across channels at critical stages in the subscriber lifecycle.

Yet, not all marketing and revenue executives fully engage all available communication methods throughout the subscriber lifecycle. Here’s what these executives who manage subscriber life cycles need to keep in mind about optimizing communications to drive subscription growth, revenues, and engagement.

Step 1: Personalize your site or app to drive conversion of new visitors to trial users.

Each new user that your site or app attracts is a prospective subscriber. However, one-size fits all or non-personalized messaging will result in low conversion rates. Targeting and personalization technology can be used to customize the messaging across all channels so that it appeals to different audience types. This helps convert more new visitors into trial users.

For example, the subscription-based investment research site, Morningstar, uses Adobe Target and Adobe Experience Manager to create personalized messages that evolve each time a visitor comes to the site, leading them through a story arc that resonates with their individual interests based on the data collected in Adobe Analytics and Adobe Target. The visitor’s experience evolves with each visit, impacting their purchase decisions. As a result, Morningstar has charted a 26 percent increase from last year in trials of its premium services.

Step 2: Convert the trial user into a full subscriber.

Once prospective subscribers are in a trial state, you now have some information about them that makes it easier for you to alert them to compelling upsell offers and prompt them to convert from a trial to a full subscription. Adobe Campaign helps at this stage by supporting automated cross-channel, personalized campaign messaging that is orchestrated across email, SMS, websites, mobile app messages, and push notifications.

The international media company, RCS MediaGroup, uses Adobe Campaign to manage cross-channel communications with approximately 15 million prospective subscribers and customers. By giving customers more options and ways to interact, the company provides higher impact offers that lead to increased subscriptions and better response rates.

Step 3: Reduce churn by striving to ensure that customers who are already subscribers get value and utilization from every aspect of the service.

While subscribers are paying for your service, regular communication with them about how to get the most value out of the service is very important. This boosts their usage and helps to prevent churn.

The online travel agency, Travelocity, follows this best practice by using Adobe Campaign to email users the most relevant hotel, airline, and car rental deals in the Travelocity database. These emails have open rates 40 percentage points higher than the typical marketing email and click-through rates that are over 15 percentage points higher.

Step 4: Drive upsells and cross sells among existing subscribers.

To grow subscription average revenue per user (ARPU) and revenues, keep in mind that there’s always a next action to drive. Even when subscribers aren’t at risk of churning, you can use Adobe Campaign to communicate relevant upsell and cross sell services, as well as satisfaction surveys, which will increase your share of wallet with customers. You can also use Adobe Campaign to solicit feedback and continue to build the customer relationship. For instance, automated communications can ask loyal subscribers what they like about the service and what new features would make the service even better.

Relevant communications drive every step of the subscriber lifecycle.

As you can see from the steps above, spurring people to action throughout the subscriber lifecycle requires constant and personalized communications. This is exactly where Adobe Campaign comes in to help. It allows you to automatically send personalized messages that convert trial users into subscribers, turn subscribers into loyal customers, and inspire loyal customers to spend more. You can learn more about Adobe Campaign here.

Topics: Digital Transformation, Campaign Management, Email Marketing, Personalization

Products: Campaign