Dose #102: How to Help Subscribers Find the Right Frequency

Why getting subscribers to order at the right cadence means higher LTV

Matt here with your weekly Subscription Prescription 💊

This week’s dose is all about getting more content out for subscribers. Content on ads. To make potential subscribers click through to your landing pages, you need to identify the emotions that resonate best with them and compel them to action - buying a subscription. In this dose, we walk through a framework you can use to scale content for your ads.

Prefer your dose in a podcast or video format? Scroll to the bottom for links.

Meet Your New Ally Against Subscriber Churn

If you’re facing churn from too much product, a new solution is taking the market by storm. Imagine subscribers getting reorders when they’re running low - automatically? Imagine a system that can track how much your subscriber has on hand.

Bottomless makes that automation possible. With their smart scale tied directly into a subscription app, customers don’t need to reorder; Bottomless makes that automatic.

The best part is that you can run Bottomless alongside whatever subscription app you’re using or all on its own. See how subscription brands are drastically reducing churn using Bottomless.

Most brands I talk to or consult with fight churn the same way: by trying to think of incentives or experiences that will reduce churn. Discounts, gifts, locking people in… the goal is still the same. Keep people on the subscription longer.

The real opportunity, however, is a bit more profound that that. In some ways its actually easier and cheaper than throwing discounts or gifts at the problem. That opportunity is getting into what people need from the subscription.

If you’re selling protein powder on a 1-month renewal, but a large percentage of subscribers don’t go through a bag in one month, your opportunity is to lengthen the frequency.

That sucks for LTV in the short-term, pushing out renewals, but it can help long-term LTV because they won’t cancel when 'they ‘have too much product.’

The goal is to align your business offering in a way that works for the majority of subscribers. If you can’t make that work, then you need to look for different customers (ones that go through more protein powder each month, for example).

The Impact on LTV from Frequency Changes

During my time working at QPilot and Autoship Cloud, we did a lot of research on flexibility. From surveying over 200 subscription brands, we found some interesting results:

  1. Subscribers that change their frequency 3 or more times are worth 200% higher LTV than the average

  2. Subscribers that change their product 3 or more times are worth 600% higher LTV than the average

The main reason here is that subscribers who make changes stick around. When someone tries to make a change and can’t - or they find too much friction around what they want - they cancel and get it somewhere else. 

Practical Tips for Subscription Management

If you're grappling with high cancellation rates due to product surplus, consider these strategies:

  1. Email Communication: Enhance your upcoming order emails with options to delay shipments directly from the email, ensuring convenience and reducing the risk of cancellations.

  2. Subscription Portal Optimization: Use your subscription management portal to offer easy frequency adjustments or skip options. Remember, delaying a shipment is often a better outcome than a cancellation.

  3. Cancellation Flow Enhancement: When a subscriber opts to cancel because they have too much product, guide them through a tailored flow that encourages them to adjust their subscription frequency instead of leaving. Provide incentives, such as discounts, to sweeten the deal.

  4. Educate on Entry: During the onboarding process, clearly communicate the flexibility of your subscription settings. Empower new subscribers by emphasizing their ability to control the frequency and quantity of their orders.

Pay attention to what customers are doing. One of my clients has 75% of their customers on 2-month frequency even though the default is 1-month. Makes sense to build an experience for the 75%, doesn’t it? You can waste a lot of time and energy to get people onto 1-month, when instead you can lean more into what’s working.

That’s it for this week’s dose! Don’t underestimate the power of personalization in a subscription. Keep an eye out for dose #103 next Tuesday.

 - Matt Holman 🩺

The Subscription Doc

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