The subscription economy is a hugely diverse ecosystem populated by a wide array of players ranging from giants like Netflix to ambitious new SaaS startups. Yet regardless of their size and nature of business, companies built around subscription models face similar challenges.
They must win customers in a competitive market. Then, when prospects become subscribers, companies must work hard to maintain the loyalty they need to grow and thrive, adapting their proposition to suit the needs of old and new clients.
Subsbase works with innovative businesses across the MENA region. We remove the pain, wasted time and overhead cost that comes with setting up a manual, in-house billing management software and department for recurring payments. We’ve built up deep experience from working with partners to observe and overcome many of the challenges of building a subscription business.
This article will explore the challenges faced by businesses in managing subscriptions, highlighting key best practices, and offering actionable tips to empower you with the knowledge and tools necessary to enhance their subscription management strategies and drive revenue growth, customer satisfaction and long-term loyalty.
Acquiring New Customers
There are many ways to find and win new customers, ranging from organic social to finely tuned SEO campaigns. Each business will use these in its own way. For all subscription businesses, however, one of the main hurdles that must be overcome is communicating your value proposition.
When a potential customer is thinking of becoming a subscriber, they should be able to easily understand the benefits of their subscription, the premium features available, and the exclusive functionality, content or value they will gain access to. This messaging should be integrated into all customer communications.
Market research and feedback from customers will help you understand their needs and identify pain points, desired features, and pricing expectations. This data can inform a customer-centric approach which tailors your subscription plans to meet their specific requirements. If you know who your clients are going to be and give them what they want, your proposition is likely to have more success.
Trial or freemium versions of your service are a proven way of winning new customers. Giving potential clients a free experience gives them a chance to try it out before committing to a paid plan and helps them make the right decision. Your company will also benefit from lower return and cancellation rates, as well as boosting customer trust and confidence in your service or product.
To sweeten the deal for customers, include exclusive content, features, or early access to new releases in your subscription plan. This creates a sense of exclusivity, provides additional value to subscribers and may even trigger that Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) that is so important in purchase decisions.
Differentiate your plan by offering unique and compelling elements that are not available in free or lower- tier alternatives.
Price To Win
One of the keys to a successful subscription business is a clear and transparent pricing structure that is easy to understand and clearly communicated. Avoid hidden fees or complicated pricing models that may confuse or frustrate customers. Provide detailed information about what each plan includes and any limitations or additional costs associated with certain features or usage levels.
Subscription businesses should continuously monitor the market, track industry trends, and stay on top of customer feedback. They must be sure to regularly update and refine their subscription plans to remain competitive and relevant. Don’t be afraid to introduce new features, adjust pricing, and think of new ways to add value to keep customers engaged and satisfied.
Pricing should align with the value your subscription service provides to customers. It is crucial for the benefits and features of each plan to be clear and reinforced with details of how they address customer pain points or offer unique advantages.
Our own pricing structure is built using industry practice and our deep experience in the space. Learn more.
Choose The Right Platform
A good subscription plan is most effective when it’s delivered through a great platform.
Your subscription platform is a foundation for growth. A cloud-based subscription and billing platform that empowers subscription-based businesses with operational, analytics and billing tools can efficiently manage subscribers, taking away the entire overhead of lifecycle management and freeing up businesses to focus on their core product or service.
It is crucial to be able to quickly access any customer information such as their payment schedules, invoices, transactions, and activity log.
You also need the ability to quickly update or amend customers’ plans, as well as having access to controls which let you quickly pause, cancel or suspend subscription status. Book a demo to find out more about the capabilities of Subsbase.
Transform Billing and Invoicing Processes
Billing and invoicing are the engines of subscription businesses and can speed companies up or slow them down significantly.
Invoicing should be a straightforward, automated process which offers the flexibility required to give each customer their own customized billing dates and auto-calculated scheduled payments.
Companies should set up templates so that each customer can be slotted into a payment schedule which works for them.
Manual work should be removed from the billing and invoicing process where possible, although human support must always be available if people have a query or problem to solve.
A Plan For Every Customer
The building blocks of all subscription businesses are the plans their customers sign up to. Plans tell companies how often and how much they should charge customers, taking into account reduced or increased costs from free trials, optional products, setup fees etc.
Providing a range of pricing options and plans enables companies to serve different customer segments. These options should take factors such as usage levels, feature tiers, and subscription durations into consideration.
Flexibility allows customers to choose the plan that best suits their needs and budget, increasing the likelihood of widening your customer base.
Get To Know Your Customers
Data is they key to getting to understand your customers. As well as a method of securely gathering this information, it must be stored in a safe manner and made available for analysis.
Your subscription management platform should hold all the details of a customer or subscriber in one place, granting the ability to manage all their subscriptions, payment history, payment schedules, payment methods and contact information.
Companies should provide options for personalization or customization within the subscription plan, allowing customers to tailor the experience to their preferences, such as choosing specific features, adjusting settings, or customizing content. This fosters a sense of ownership and ensures that customers feel their individual needs are being met.
Rewards and loyalty programs incentivise long-term commitment. Offering discounts, special promotions, or exclusive perks to loyal customers who remain subscribed for a certain duration or refer new customers drives retention and advocacy.
To achieve all of this, you first have to get to know your customer through deep, data-led insights into their needs and behaviour.
Understand The Market
The MENA region offers a unique opportunity to subscription businesses, with a growing middle class, young population looking for change and rapidly growing fintech penetration. Understanding this market will help you grow.
Your subscription platform should easily integrate with local and regional payment providers, so you can scale across the region with a minimum of friction.
Susbase is the leading subscription and recurring revenue management platform for the MENA region and is built using the market-leading expertise of our founders and staff.
Find out how Subsbase can take care of your subscription and recurring revenue management to help your business succeed across MENA.