How To Get More Subscribers

GoRecurring 18 April 2023

So, you’ve got a subscription model in place (or you’re very close to putting one in place) and you want to grow your subscriber base. That makes sense, but do you know how to handle the pushback you might face from clients who think they’ve had the service free for years already? It’s a common problem businesses moving to subscription models face so we thought we’d shed some light on the topic.

It’s one of the most challenging parts of offering a B2B subscription service that doesn’t get as much attention as it deserves. How do you effectively convert a customer who is used to the one-off-purchase model to a recurring revenue model? There are a number of ways of going about it, but right here at the start, we need to remind you that it’s all about delivering value to the customer and helping them to see that value. Now that we’ve got that out the way, let’s get into it.

A Tough Sell

It’s hard to convince existing customers that they need to start paying for something that they perceive to have got for free for years. It’s something big brands struggle with – we’ve worked with the likes of DAF and Phillips and they all run into pushback from customers as they begin to release digital services on top of one-off-purchases – particularly when features on that hardware can only be accessed via a subscription.

Customers forget that these features have previously been priced into the hardware itself, inflating the cost of individual units. But in the case of expensive products, using the DAF truck example, customers expect to receive these features as they are already paying tens of thousands of euros for each unit. What they of course forget is that there are often large teams of techs working to build new digital features as well as maintain old ones

Many companies are scared to ‘push the button’ and just turn services off and stop supporting them if a customer won’t convert to a recurring payment. Salespeople in particular hate having to ask their customers for more money, especially when digital products are seen as niceties rather than necessities.

Don’t Forget What Subscriptions Are For

The old model of product delivery was a very straightforward one. Just look at the picture below: it isn’t is customer-centric.

Subscription commerce should wrap around the customer. The customer in the middle and all company departments should add value to the customer and their experience, just like the new model featured below.

What customers need to be shown – and salespeople need to be reminded of – is that digital products built on top of hardware will continue to be developed and maintained. It’s about extending the life of products, making them usable for years to come, rather than needing replacement every financial year. That’s a huge win for consumers, particularly in the B2B space where budgets are strict and savings are valued over almost anything else.

If you’re pushing subscriptions, you’re no longer just selling a product, you’re selling a digital experience. The hardware is in place and it’s capable of receiving all the value a digital product can offer and evolve into over time. The best way to leverage that is with a recurring model – continuing to deliver value and continuing to charge for it.

You have to be transparent about what is and isn’t available with your subscriptions. Clarity goes a long way in stopping a customer from becoming aggravated in the first place and definitely stops you from having to explain yourself down the line when it comes to renewals. Just make sure the subscription services you’re building continue to deliver value.

Need help building a subscription service and taking it to market? You’re in the right place. GoRecurring is the subscription service community ready to help you.