CNP Expo: How to Sell Anything by Subscription

May 22, 2014

CNP Expo: Wednesday Keynotes Feature Omnichannel and ‘Verge Culture’ Products from software to shoes can be sold by subscription, and companies must pay attention to their customers to make sure they don’t cancel subscriptions because they feel neglected or don’t understand the billing program.

One of the most important elements to consider is soft descriptors to eliminate that moment when a consumer picks up the phone and orders a chargeback because he doesn’t recognize an item on the credit-card bill, said Dan Burkhart, CEO of Recurly.

“You want to provide the most seamless experience for the consumer when they are at their browser ready to check out,” Burkhart said. Consumers need to see the total cost is on the page, so they know what they are about to commit to. “That requires some intelligence on the page,” he added.

Once the customer signs up for a subscription, you must keep them educated so they don’t become nervous about their account. “You definitely want to have good messaging with the consumer,” Garth Brantley, founder and CEO of Subscribe Pro, said.

Innovation is the best way to gain market share when you offer a subscription model. Try new approaches to reach new customers and to retain old customers, panelists urged. “You need the freedom to go out there with whatever combination of pricing plans your marketers may not have conceived,” said Jon Edelstein of Greater Than Solutions.

Change pricing offers and value bundles often, Burkhart advised. The options might lure in new customers.

“You have to test and learn and test and learn,” he said. “You can extend that lifetime value and manage churn.”