6 Quick Hacks to Growing Your Subscription-Based Business
Seventy-eight percents of adults currently have subscription services, whether it’s Netflix, Spotify, or your very own SaaS tool. With subscription-based businesses’ revenue growing 437 percent over nearly a decade, one thing is for sure—consumers have moved from ownership to usership.
This rise in the popularity of subscription-based businesses among consumers partly explains why digital transformation across all industries is taking center stage today. Here are six quick hacks to take advantage of this popularity and accelerate your subscription growth.
1. Leverage the power of influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing had a market of $1.7 billion in 2016 which has grown to $13.8 billion in 2021 and is about to touch the whopping figure of $16.4 billion this year.
But is influencer marketing effective for SaaS companies?
Buffer, a social media management platform, is known for its youthful image and insightful blog posts. But that was not how they started.
In the initial days, their blog posts on social media weren’t giving them the results they wanted. So, they decided to opt for influencer marketing, albeit in a unique way.
Instead of asking influencers to share their posts on Buffer, they created content that would appeal to these influencers. These influencers then shared the word about Buffer themselves. This strategy combined with guest blogging brought in more than 100,000 subscribers in a year.
Here are some quick influencer marketing tips from Groove, a company that managed to get more than 1,000 subscribers from a single blog post in 24 hours:
- Search for influencers who are active in your niche. Create an influencer list.
- Engage with their content and build a relationship.
- Don’t directly ask for promotions. Ask for a small favor first such as asking them to review a content piece.
- Thank them for the favor (feedback), share the content piece when it is live, and ask them if they’d like to share it with their audience.
2. Target micro conversions on the way to macro conversions.
Not everyone that comes on your website is a ready buyer. But everyone that comes on your website is a prospect that you can convert. Micro conversions are how you can do just that.
Micro conversions are all the activities that motivate the customer toward a macro-conversion, which in most cases, is the final sale—subscribing to your business.
These micro-conversions could be subscribing to your blog, downloading an ebook, sharing their email address, visiting a landing page, checking out your pricing page, or engaging in social actions.
By monitoring and targeting these micro-conversions, you can measure sales readiness and buying intent of your leads and engage them with relevant offers and marketing campaigns. The result? More personalization, more conversions.
3. Team up to provide bundled app packs.
In an age where most businesses are using multiple tools, be it CRM, project management, or time tracking, bundled app packs can be a great way to grow your subscription business.
You can partner with other SaaS tools that your customer needs and create a lucrative discounted bundled app pack.
Let’s see how. Suppose you have a project management tool that costs around $20 per user per month. You partner with a CRM tool for your customers that charge $12 per user per month and offer a bundle of both these tools at $28 per user per month.
What does the customer see? A single price tag that saves them money, time, effort, and mental energy. This grouping of apps makes the buyers less focused on the price of individual items and they get all that they need in a single place.
You can even try this out if you offer various tools for different purposes.
4. Make use of the Skyscraper technique.
Creating great content is just the first step. Getting high-quality links with that content is the goal. Why? Without links, your web pages aren’t going to show up in Google’s competitive search results.
With many links leading to your site, not only does it impact your ranking on search engines but it builds trust in your business.
Here’s how Backlinko coined and used the Skyscraper technique to increase their search traffic by 110 percent and get more than 2 million referral visitors to their site:
- Find a content piece relevant to your industry that has been shared and linked to a lot.
- Publish a content piece that is even better than that (more detailed, more relevant, and better designed).
- Reach out to the people that had linked to and shared the earlier content and tell them about your piece. Here’s how Backlinko did it.
An increase in trust, visitors, and ranking will ultimately have a positive effect on your conversions, a.k.a more subscribers.
5. Use customer referral hacks.
What’s better than a customer bringing more customers to your brand? Not only does it lead to increased revenue for your subscription business, but it also lowers your marketing costs. Here are a few customer referral hacks you can try:
- Gamify the onboarding process: Dropbox offered its existing users more free storage if they linked their Dropbox account to Twitter and Facebook, and shared information about Dropbox on these sites. Here’s how they did this.
- Sign-up forms: Experiment with signup forms where instead of asking for just contact information, you ask your new signees to share that form with their friends. You can incentivize them by providing discounts or limited-time upselling offers.
- Ask for referrals after a milestone: Your customer closed his first sale with your CRM tool? Offer them your congratulations and ask for your referral. Because they have had a positive experience with your product, they would be grateful for your business and likely to refer it to their network.
- In-app referrals: Reduce friction in your referral process and embed them in your app itself. Uber applied the same hack for their business.
6. Make use of anchored pricing.
Here are three pricing strategies you can adopt for your subscription business:
- Anchored pricing: Let’s suppose you had a budget in mind for subscribing to a productivity tool—$25 per month. You opened a website. The first option you saw was a package starting from $100. You laugh thinking, “Well, I would never buy this.” Just when you were about to exit the page, you see a tier that costs $40. Now that your price perception has altered, seeing that $100, you are more than happy to subscribe to the $40 tier. Even though you paid more than you wanted to, you’re happy with your purchase.
- Left digit anchoring: Our brains process numbers very quickly. Even if there’s just a $1 difference between $199 and $200, our brain anchors the first price point to $100 and the second to $200. It subconsciously creates a difference of $100 between these two price references.
- Decoy price points: The Economist experimented with this by introducing “useless” price points to their strategy.