Are You Maximizing Your Subscription Billing Potential?

Chris Lueck
Chris Lueck
September 22nd, 2017
Estimated read time: 3 minutes, 33 seconds

Subscription billing is increasingly becoming the norm, for SaaS companies as well as companies that offer tangible assets. The “Subscription Economy” is taking hold, displacing the more traditional model of doing business. More businesses are making subscription or recurring billing available, including your own. That said, are you maximizing your company’s subscription billing potential to its fullest?

Reduce the available options

Choices are stressful. When people are presented with too many options, they’re stricken with indecision. What if they make the wrong choice? Perhaps it’s easier to skip it altogether.  Unfortunately, that’s the mindset that occurs when there’s an overwhelming number of options available to a customer.

How do you avoid overloading visitors to your website with decisions? Keep it simple.

When you present potential customers with many different methods of making a payment— lump sum, pay-per-use, prepayment— they begin examining all the different possibilities, weighing the pros and cons until they give up.

Offer no more than three to five platforms for your subscription billing, and, if your business deals exclusively with SaaS products, make subscription billing the only option available. The majority of SaaS consumers prefer this model, so consider removing the other options to avoid muddying up the process.

Make it easy to sign up—and cancel

The more hoops you make customers jump through to sign up for a subscription, the less likely they will be to actually complete the transaction. A quick and fluid sign-up process with little to no friction leaves the customer with the feeling that subscription billing is an easy and convenient way to pay; making it a long slog will force customers to reconsider the purchase before they finish filling out the paperwork.

It’s also important that customers feel that they can stop the subscription at any time without negative consequences. If they fear that it will be time-consuming or difficult, they’re less likely to commit to a subscription. Inform them of the company’s cancellation policy up front and don’t hide the cancellation information behind a  gated “members only” section of the website. Why? Should a customer Google “how to cancel” rather than search your website, they’ll get the information they need with ease.

Be up front about your security measures

One of the reasons that customers are reluctant to use subscription billing is because they fear the potential for cybertheft if they offer up their credit card information. This concern is not unfounded— cyber attacks are on the rise, and it’s just good sense for consumers to think twice before sharing their sensitive data.

How do you notify customers that you are aware of the risks associated with subscription billing and that you have a protocol in place to keep their information secure? Display security signals. Post a “security seal” that tells customers which form of security you use, whether it’s Norton, McAffee, TRUSTe, or any of the other options available. Even using terms like “SSL” could bring a sense of perceived security to the least technologically savvy consumers.

Offer customer testimonials

Talk to some customers who are currently using your subscription billing service, and ask if they’d be willing to offer a testimonial about the convenience and desirability of recurring billing. There have been studies about the positive impact of testimonials on otherwise on-the-fence consumers— they increase sales significantly, and the increase is even higher when the testimonial is accompanied by a photo of a person.

Customer testimonials give potential consumers the confidence that they need to embrace subscription billing. If it works for another person, it’s likely to work for them.

Use an end-to-end ecommerce solution

An end-to-end ecommerce solution will give you the flexibility you need to offer subscription billing across a variety of payment methods and currencies. Whether your user prefers to pay via credit card, PayPal, Stripe, or through their bank, your ecommerce solution should be able to accept the payment without any kind of detriment to you or the consumer. Offering the ability to pay the way they want will give customers an improved value perception about your brand.

FastSpring is a full-stack ecommerce solution that will enable you to manage subscription billing with ease, offering the expertise you need to offer your customers the support they require. Click here to request your free demo today!

Chris Lueck

Chris Lueck

Chris Lueck is a Board Member at FastSpring. Prior to his time at FastSpring, Lueck served as Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Pylon Capital, a privately-held entrepreneurial investment firm focused on high growth, technology-enabled service companies. Chris earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Virginia and a Master of Business Administration Degree in Finance & Entrepreneurship from the University of Southern California. He currently lives in Santa Barbara, California.

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