While subscription can serve as your publication's lifeblood, attracting new subscribers serves as the sustenance that will keep your publication growing and thriving. Unfortunately, and especially in the age of the Internet, too many organizations and associations have gotten caught up in marketing gimmicks that not only work to push potential subscribers away, but also that work to weaken relationships with current subscribers.
Thankfully, there are a number of easy ways to use tried and true tactics that not only bring in quality subscribers, but also that keep current customers engaged. Here are three to get you started:
- Provide a Discount or Free Trial
Whenever you come across a new product or service, you're likely to be skeptical, even if the product or service seems legit. With that said, most people are far more likely to take a chance on something new if they are offered a discount or a free trial. Consider providing new customers with a discount on dues for a limited time, or better yet, offer a free trial, so that potential new subscribers will be more enticed to join.
During this time, you can provide either full or limited benefits based upon your current offerings and cash flow, but just know that discounts and free trials are great ways to bring in new members. During such a period, you might also consider offering current customers additional benefits in order to keep them happy as well, such as discounts or rewards for referrals of new customers.
- Offer a Guarantee
While this tactic can be tricky and risky, offering a guarantee to new members who join within a specific period can also be a great way of enticing professionals to join. For example, if you run a trade publication that deals with information technology, you could guarantee that new members who join within the next week will be put in touch with at least three high-level executives at Fortune 500 companies.
Now, you have to be ready with an agreement from these three executives, and you'll need to have the digital infrastructure in place in order to deliver on this guarantee. Remember, also, to include all of the details of your guaranteed offer in the terms and conditions that a new customer must agree to in order to remain within the law and protect your brand.
- Provide Monthly or Weekly Billing
Finally, new customers are more willing to take a chance on an investment if they don't feel like there is a long-term contract to be signed. As such, instead of billing new customers annually, give them the option of making payments in smaller increments, such as weekly or monthly installments. This will give new readers the chance to try you out, and you could also provide this option to current members if you think that it will increase your retention rate.
Do you prefer weekly, monthly, or annual billing on your subscriptions or services?