Your Subscription Product Has Customers, Now What?
Here’s how to make automation work for you, not against you
When my startup signed its first subscription customer, it was a good day. When my startup signed its 100th subscriber, it was a better day.
But then I started thinking: Now what?
Turns out, if your product is valuable and your pricing is fair, it’s not that difficult to land a subscription customer. However, it’s much more difficult to keep a subscription customer. And it’s next to impossible to do both at the same time.
My problem was not uncommon for a subscription product startup. The time it took to keep my existing customers satisfied was quickly outgrowing the resources I had available to me as those customer numbers increased.
Fortunately, this is not my first subscription rodeo, so I’m well versed in automation as a release valve in the subscription pricing model.
After launching subscription products and services over and over again, both successfully and less-than-successfully, I’ve discovered there’s a certain system of automation best practices to maintain a balance between landing new subscription customers and keeping existing subscription customers.
Why subscription pricing is a double-edged sword
Subscription pricing is the new norm for everything from software to services.
The benefits to both the customer and the company are undeniable. The customer gets a low-commitment entry point into a more robust offering. The company gets access to new markets with customers that may not be in a position to commit to a large cash outlay up front.
Furthermore, let’s face it, the math is easy to do and compelling. Take the number of customers multiplied by subscription fee multiplied by subscription period and you get annual recurring revenue — the holy grail for any business.
And finally, and maybe the biggest benefit on the startup side, economies of scale kick in pretty quickly. As more customers subscribe, costs per customer go down, and profit per customer goes up.
To a point.