Dose #110: The Best Way to Acquire More Subscribers

Acquire More Subscribers with a Better Offer

Matt here with your weekly Subscription Prescription 💊

In honor of my 44th birthday, I’m sharing what I believe is the most important part of a subscription. The offer. In this week’s dose we dive into why offers are so important, cover ways other brands are leveraging strong offers, and some ideas you can steal to improve yours too.

This week’s dose is also in video or audio format. Check out the links at the bottom for other ways to consume this content.

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Chargebacks are a significant problem for e-commerce brands, costing an average of $31 billion annually in lost payments. This challenge is especially critical for subscription brands, as forgotten subscriptions often lead to customers contesting charges months later. Payment companies also tend to view subscription businesses as higher risk.

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Why the Offer Matters

Subscription insights often revolve around better retention and discounts to keep subscribers.

But when I think of subscriptions, I imagine a bucket of water that you pour again and again into increasingly smaller buckets. Each time you pour is a renewal, and you lose some people each time.

You can focus all you want on the 3rd or 4th bucket to make them capture more water, but the best bucket to focus on is the first one.

If I can capture more water initially, then there’s more to pour again and again.

That’s why I talk about offers so much. The offer is what lets you capture more water with a better bucket up front.

But more than just initial conversions, the right offer can also improve retention. How people come in is often how they leave. When we align why people buy with what customers need, they stick around longer.

Let’s start by talking through some of the pieces of a great offer.

Key Components of a Great Offer


Your pricing strategy is crucial. Highlight the differences between one-time purchases and subscription prices. For example, Obvi and Huel effectively showcase the savings on subscriptions compared to one-time buys.

Price comes down to perceived value. Sometimes increasing the price and investing in some better photos or copy will show people how valuable the product is, instead of thinking it’s cheaper with lower prices.

Consider offering prepaid options or gift subscriptions to increase retention. Prepaid subscriptions not only enhance retention but also provide upfront cash flow, which is beneficial for your business operations.

What Subscribers Get

This what people get for their money. This is usually the product itself, but you can increase the perceived value of the subscription with other items. Ebooks are growing in popularity as a value-add. Consider complementary products as a gift.

Butcher Box leverages free offers regularly to increase acquisition. A turkey at Thanksgiving, lifetime chicken wings, or free fish are examples of how they improve their offer.

Clearly show what customers receive in their subscription. Visuals can significantly enhance the perceived value. Mixhers displays everything in their subscription box. Flaus shows all the components, including the device, charger, and replacement heads, clearly on their product page.


The frequency of deliveries can impact retention and conversion rates. While a 30-day cycle is common, longer intervals, like three months, can reduce shipping costs and provide upfront cash flow. This strategy allows you to reinvest in customer acquisition more efficiently.

Make sure you’re aligning frequency with how people actually use it. You may want people to buy a giant bag every 30 days, but if people are cancelling from too much product you may be better off selling smaller bags or defaulting to a 60-day option.

Be sure to clearly explain consumption. If there are 30 pills and people take one a day, say so. If some people take 1 scoop a day, and some people take 2, explain how long each method will make the product last so they buy the right amount.

Why They Want It

Understanding and articulating why customers should want your subscription is vital. Use compelling copy to highlight the benefits. For instance, if your protein powder is popular among bodybuilders, emphasize its unique benefits, such as higher whey protein concentration or better taste.

Copy and visuals are a great place to show people how your product can help them. As you learn more about why people buy and love your product, you can improve the copy to highlight those reasons.

Creative Approaches to Enhance Offers

  • Bundling: Offer additional items or gifts with the subscription. For instance, a protein powder subscription could include a free bottle of creatine.

  • Exclusive Access: Provide access to special content or communities.

  • Longer-Term Discounts: Encourage longer subscriptions by offering better deals for extended commitments.


The offer is the linchpin of your subscription program, driving both acquisition and retention. Spend more time figuring out what motivates people to buy and what makes them stick around. This will give you ideas to enhance subscriber acquisition.

If you’re looking for some visual inspiration, check out this slide deck to highlight how other brands are positioning their offer.

That’s it for this week! Stay tuned for next week’s dose out on Tuesday.

 - Matt Holman 🩺

The Subscription Doc

This week’s dose is one you need to follow along with: