Subscription billing is an increasingly popular option for customers and businesses alike. Your customers are happy to have the convenience, security, and dependability of subscription billing. And you love having a reliable source of revenue to fund your company’s growth. Unfortunately, you’re not seeing the numbers that you know your product should have— how do you grow your subscriber list?
The App Store has long been the go-to for businesses to gain exposure for their apps or software products. This method is useful, but it’s certainly not the only method available. (It’s also not necessarily the best method for your business’s bottom line.) There are various other options for companies that prefer to work beyond the standard practice of putting your product in the App Store and waiting for the customers to pour in. Remember, there are thousands and thousands of products available in the App Store, and many of your competitors are taking the same steps that you’re utilizing to engage customers.
How can you set your product apart from the crowd? Read on for more information about bringing more subscriptions in without depending solely upon the App Store.
Create an Online Storefront
The first step you need to take if you’re serious about moving beyond the App Store is to create an online storefront for your product. You want your customers to be able to purchase it directly from you— if you send them to the App Store to complete the purchase, the odds that something else will catch their interest are significantly higher. (Caution: before you commit to an ecommerce platform, be sure that it offers the option for subscription billing.)
What are the signs of a good online storefront?
- Mobile-friendly— 81% of Americans own smartphones, and about 50% own tablets. Creating a mobile-friendly storefront is no longer optional – it’s mandatory. If you want customers to engage with your product, they need to be able to purchase it from anywhere. An effective ecommerce platform will help you create a storefront that’s usable on any platform.
- Localization— Are you interested in making your product available to a global audience? If so, it’s essential that your storefront can accommodate the local currency to their country. If a customer’s only option to purchase your product is USD, they’ll likely look elsewhere.
- Cart Reminders— An average of 70% of users abandon their carts before they go through with their purchase. Consider adopting an ecommerce platform that will send users email reminders when they’ve left something in their cart.
Harness the Power of Social Media
You’ve created a site that will enable customers to purchase your product, but how will they know that the product’s available to buy? Social media is the modern marketer’s best friend— the reach is long, and it costs next to nothing. If you’re not taking advantage of social media to develop a relationship with your prospective customers, you’re missing out on a fantastic opportunity to connect with your audience.
A strong social media presence will not only engage customers, but it is a sign that it’s safe to subscribe to your product. Your customers will have a platform (beyond email and telephone) to reach you if there’s an issue with your product. If they see that you’ve had many positive interactions with customers in the past, it’s one more point in your favor. Here are a few of the platforms you should use to engage both present and future subscribers:
- Facebook— With over 2.7 billion active monthly users worldwide, Facebook’s a big part of many people’s daily lives. Take advantage of the platform’s popularity to reach an audience that might be otherwise difficult to contact. How? Paid ads will allow you to target a specific audience for a nominal fee, ensuring that the people who would be most interested in your product will be notified that it’s available for purchase.
- Twitter— The big advantage of Twitter is that it allows you to develop relationships with customers in a more casual manner. You can interact with them regularly, offering advice and assistance without pushing your product. Eventually, you’ll earn a reputation as a credible source of valuable information, improving your business’s brand.
- LinkedIn— LinkedIn gives you a direct connection to more than 500 million users around the world. This platform allows you to feature your most popular blog posts, articles from leaders in your industry, and other useful information.
Increase Your Content
If your website consists solely of a few pages dedicated to your products, you need to up your content game. One of the biggest challenges with a subscription-based product is retaining your customers’ interest. It’s all too easy for them to succumb to the lures of the next new thing, so you need to prove that your product is the best option for them. How? One of the easiest ways to maintain a connection with your customer base is to create consistently valuable content.
Consider adding a blog to the mix. Blog articles are a great place to offer in-depth answers to questions about the product that you frequently encounter. No matter what, the content on your blog should always be of the highest quality— don’t waste readers’ time. Add high-value resources that will improve their experience with your product, and you’ll retain your subscribers for the long-term.
Take care that you blog consistently. If visitors to your site know that you’ll be posting on Wednesdays, they’ll be sure to check your website on that day. Miss a few weeks, and they’ll get out of the habit of visiting your site altogether, leaving you the task of winning them back all over again.
Another up-and-coming method of engaging visitors to your site is video. Create a video detailing the story behind your product— why you created it, what roadblocks you overcame to produce it, what the finished product looks like, and get visitors’ attention in a whole new way. You’ll also have the opportunity to show potential customers precisely what your product can do for them, rather than just telling them.
A full-service ecommerce platform like FastSpring will not only help you engage subscribers without the App Store but retain them as well. Interested in learning more about selling online? Take a look at our Comprehensive Guide to Subscription Revenue to get started.