Membership is extremely popular among users, but not all creators see it as a model to sell their digital content.
7 am. You wake up, open a news app, and read the latest world updates.
10 am. You do your workout with Kayla Itsiness.
2 pm. You cook your dinner with HelloFresh.
6 pm. You go for a walk and listen to music on your phone with Spotify or Apple Music app.
9 pm. You turn on a TV to watch the next Netflix best show.
You probably don't realize it, but thousands of subscription and membership businesses already surround you. They have become your daily routine. People usually underestimate how much they spend on subscription services. The number is quite impressive — $237.33 per month to be precise.
What is a subscription or membership model?
A subscription is the way you give your customers the unique content you produce. They pay you monthly to get exclusive materials from you. Netflix can be one of the best examples: you pay each month to have full access to brand-new TV shows. They get the content until they unsubscribe.
Subscription makes you a member of a closed club. Since you have paid money, you enjoy a full membership. Subscription-based model suits almost any business: news apps, e-commerce shops, boxes with any foods or products.
And, of course, online courses and various e-lessons are perfect for this business model universe.
People get accustomed to buying content. But before they usually did it as a single purchase — like buying a DVD or a book on Amazon — and then own it for the rest of their life. Today, we all desire to get new things regularly. We want all new come to our lives without spending too much time searching for them. We are not satisfied with one-thing-for-the-whole-life anymore. Subscriptions are to give us this continuing pleasure.
Everything we buy is going to become a monthly plan. A subscription model is conquering a service and knowledge market. It has already become one of the most popular business models. Just take a look at Netflix or Spotify. People get accustomed to the fact that they need to pay to get top-notch content. Subscriptions bring you to an exclusive club. And people love the feeling of their uniqueness.
We pay more and more money monthly for information and services. But sometimes these are the creators who don't know how to sell their content. Bloggers usually produce tons of useful material but have no plan on how to monetise it.
Single-sale model is already becoming a thing of the past. For businesses, it's challenging to get constant revenue as they are to prove already existing clients that they need to choose you over others again and again. This means enormous marketing costs to attract and retain clients.
If you are a creator, you should look closely at the subscription-based model. It has its great benefits. It's a win-win strategy for both you and your followers.
So, why is there a real rise in the membership?
- Great monetization strategy
Subscription has proven it's a great way to monetise your business.
A subscription model is one of the most flexible offerings for clients. People can choose a plan they can afford. In your turn, as a creator, you may vary the amount of content depending on the plan preferred. One interesting tip. As a rule, there are three plans for every subscription service. And guess what? The middle one is the most important as people tend to choose this acceptable middle way. That's why your medium offer should be the most beneficial and profitable for your business. Create it as the most nicely-looking option — and users won't think twice!
- Long-lasting content
Bloggers are always afraid they won't have enough content to sell. Actually, such a problem was quite vivid for single-sale marketing strategy. As to earn more money, you need either to have new clients permanently or to create a new engaging product once in a while. Both of them could be a tough task.
Subscription model eases your life. One of the best ways to do it is to make a course out of your existing content. You can divide your knowledge into small pieces — lessons — and then form a full course.
Let's say, you are a make-up artist. Sure, you did thousands of make-ups. And now it's time to sell your knowledge. Make a set of videos for starting level MUAs and several guides on different make-up styles. People interested in beauty topic willingly will subscribe for your course and beg for new tutorials.
Moreover, it's easier for you as a creator to sell a full set of lessons. You can add new classes and complement the old ones with new trendy videos.
Think that subscription is impossible if you don't record new content every two weeks? No way. Of course, it is quite challenging if you don't want to see your clients churning. Here is a trick: found a closed club, upload all the content you have and give access to all the materials for a subscription. Yeah, wise indeed. But keep in mind, your retention won't be so tremendous compared to new content every month.
Another thing that you can do is to make challenges. People are competitive creatures — thus they will like your small tasks. You can sell them to people who don't know much about you and don't want a subscription for your service yet but want to try it out. That's an excellent way to attract more of your target audience.
- Retention becomes easier
Subscription supposes you have long-term relationships with your customers. Thus, you know your followers better and can satisfy their desires. Moreover, you can quickly adapt to these desires according to feedback from them.
Do you remember how often you renew any of your subscriptions? Right, it's usually done automatically. That means users don't need to do something intentionally. Subscriptions and laziness go hand in hand. So, if people can get something delivered without working hard, they will choose it.
You just need to deliver it on time and offer the best content you have.
- Simple in pricing
One of the main advantages in recurring revenue business is clarity in pricing policy. You give
Several plans with specific features and people choose the most suitable option. Just in case, a three-tiered subscription plan is the most popular way to deliver your business. It's dead easy.
People love subscriptions as they get unlimited access to the whole library of courses. They don't need to think about what they want to buy and where to get it. You already have granted everything you have.
For creators, it's better to have classes that can be sold constantly. A lifetime fee is quick, but not the best option for your business to grow. As people subscribe, they are more likely to stay with you for a long time. You just need to add new inspiring features and useful online course content.
What's more, it means lower entry price for clients — they're going to like it!
- Freedom for subscribers
We all love freedom and choice. Subscriptions give us this. People can browse through all the content and choose what they want to watch next. Sometimes, they will need a particular course — and they will have access to it.
No deadlines, no schedule. Do whatever you want with all the courses. Watch them right now or postpone them till the end of the month. Of course, until you're subscribed for the product.
And a little bit more secrets…
Wise marketing strategy
To set up subscriptions, you need a planned marketing strategy. You need to have quite a big budget to promote your courses and make people subscribe. So, before going public with a subscription for your online courses, check out that your brand is recognisable and you have true fans.
Think about marketing strategy in advance not after you've created the content!
Subscriptions are usually associated with mobile apps. Mobile apps are not just games, utilities or social media. And online courses can be on smartphones too!
Remember Kayla Itsiness? She is a perfect example of how to make your online course app a bestseller. And Gurucan team is your right hand in creating apps. White-label mobile apps are great to market your courses. Moreover, Gurucan admin panel is user-friendly, so you will easily tune all the setting and set up your own subscription pricing policy. With Gurucan, you can combine membership with one-time payments if you are not fully satisfied with the monthly payments.
Subscriptions are perfect for mobile apps. Users already got accustomed to such a model. So, they won't be surprised when you offer a subscription for your fitness app.
Discounts and special offers
Everyone wants to have more users. Discounts are the best way to attract more people.
You can offer discounts for staying with you for several months in a row. Or you can grant a free course after a person has paid for the whole year in advance.
Vary your offers — people love free useful content. It will also help to spread the word about your course. You can even ask people to share your course link on social media. Surely in return, they will get a discount for their subscription. Seems like a perfect combination!
Create your membership club with a strong brand. The subscription-based model is not a miracle cure-all. Your pricing policy should be wise and relevant to your product. Try out several combinations and find the one that works personally for your product!