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So far, you must’ve read our articles on how to set up an eCommerce subscription model on your Shopify store. We talked about it in detail in our masterclass.
Read masterclass: How to set up a winning subscription model for your eCommerce store.
In this blog, we move a step further — we tell you how to market your Shopify subscriptions to grow your business.
10 marketing ideas for your eCommerce subscription model business
1. Customer segmentation of repeat purchasers
You might have different types of customers. Some may be buying from your store once in a blue moon, while others might be making repeat purchases of the same products.
The focus of this strategy is your repeat customers.
According to the author of Marketing Metrics, Paul Farris, repeat customers have a 60 to 70% chance of converting.
And you can know your repeat customers by looking at your customer data. Your Shopify store data is a goldmine of insights that can help you segment customers.
Your data can tell you which customers buy repeatedly and what products. Now, since they require the product regularly, why not target them to sign up for subscriptions?
- Create a segment of your repeat customers
- Then, craft promotional campaigns to encourage them to sign up for the subscriptions
- Tell them about the benefits of getting the subscription
- For example, they won’t have to reorder every time, they can buy the same products at a discounted rate and save, they get to try new products first, etc.
2. Reach out to your loyal customers
There might be customers who may not be buying the same item recurrently, but they may be buying different products quite frequently. Just as your repeat customers, these too, are your loyal customers.
Loyal customers can help your Shopify store in many ways. You can gain valuable customer data from them – what they like, interests, trends, purchase patterns, etc.
You can build meaningful long-term relationships with these customers. Moreover, they could also help bring more customers to you through word of mouth and brand advocacy.
According to a study by Accenture, 57% of consumers spend more with brands they are loyal to.
Once you collect data about your loyal customers, you can pitch them a flexible subscription plan.
Flexible plans are those where customers can choose the products they want. They need not get the same products in every delivery. They can choose new products for every delivery.
3. Create email campaigns to promote subscriptions
Many brands tend to promote only the monetary benefits of their subscription business to customers. For example, how much they can save, the percentage of discounts, etc.
But there are many other benefits of subscriptions. And today’s customers look beyond just monetary gains when they choose brands.
Here are a few reasons why customers appreciate subscriptions:
- Curated experiences
- Discover new products
A study by McKinsey & Co. reveals that 62% of new subscribers are attracted to good perceived value – the right combination of offerings and pricing.
Here’s what new subscribers look for in subscriptions:
And so, instead of just promoting the price factor, savings, and discounts, create email campaigns to promote the other benefits of your subscription plan.
Here again, use the segmentation tactic (refer to point 1). It is one of the top three strategies used by marketers in email marketing.
4. Run ads to target a wider audience
Targeting your existing customers to increase sign-ups is a good strategy. But you can’t just depend on them. As a business, you have to constantly expand your reach to gain customers.
One of the best ways to do so is through ads. Think social media, search engine ads, etc. 68% of marketers say paid ads are extremely important to their overall marketing strategy. And social media advertising is the second biggest market in digital ads.
That’s because there are many benefits of running ads:
- Target a wider audience
- Build brand awareness
- Drive consideration
- Generate leads
- Paid ad performance is measurable
- Drive website traffic and increase engagement
Here are some best practices for paid ads, as shared by Forbes:
- Target a wide range of consumers based on interests, location, demographic, search history, frequently visited websites, etc.
- Start with smaller campaigns, test what works, and then keep building the ads strategy
- Run retargeting ads. When visitors leave your site without purchasing, retarget them with personalized ads
- Choose social media channels based on your target audience
- Consider your goal when you allocate a budget and choose the channels
- Use an efficient subscriptions tool that enables the integration of ads on the platform
Creating cross-platform promotional campaigns on email, SMS, Messenger, etc., is simple with Appstle Subscriptions & Loyalty app.
5. Use WhatsApp for promotion
Another promising way to promote and sell subscriptions is through WhatsApp. WhatsApp offers a two-way conversational marketing approach. That can be leveraged for subscription promotion in unique ways.
Here’s what you can do:
- Allow customers to reach out to you on WhatsApp for queries. For example, new visitors to your site might have questions about your product/services. Prompt them to use WhatsApp to get their questions answered instantly
- You can set up WhatsApp chatbots that ensure quick responses to customers through automated responses
- Collect data from WhatsApp chats to identify customer requirements
- Set up subscriptions for these customer requirements
- This way, you can personalize subscription promotions and sell more
6. Promote the subscription on your website
Most eCommerce businesses promote subscriptions on their website. However, many treat it as an add-on and don’t highlight it enough.
Here are some ways to promote subscriptions on your website to boost sign-ups:
- Display subscription information on your home page
- Include subscription option on all product pages
- Highlight subscriptions in the announcement bar
- Include the subscription option on the checkout page
- Include subscription within your customer account portal
- Create a dedicated page for subscriptions
- Highlight the benefits and value proposition of your subscriptions
- Mention how much customers can save if they opt for the subscription
- Highlight the fact that it can make the customer’s life easy
Here’s an example from SmartyPits, a brand that offers deodorant subscription plans:
7. Request customer referrals
What do you do when you find a great brand or product? You (customer) might share its reference with your friends and family.
Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most effective ways to increase brand awareness. 83% of marketers prefer this Shopify marketing strategy.
And one of the best ways you can leverage this strategy is to turn to your subscribers — those who have been using your subscription plans. Ask them to share referrals of their friends and family. That way, you can ensure genuine leads.
To encourage your existing subscribers to share referrals, you can offer them reward points, store credits, discounts, or other incentives.
8. Allow flexibility to customers
In the age of Web 3.0, eCommerce customers want control in their hands. And that’s exactly what you should offer in your subscription plans — flexibility.
When customers sign up for subscription plans, one thing they’re worried about is, “I don’t want to be tied down.” That’s because customers may want to give a break to deliveries while they’re traveling. Or, they get bored of the same products and want to change their delivery items.
You can overcome this psychological barrier by providing flexibility. Here’s how:
- Allow customers to edit their contact details, address, personal details, etc.
- Allow them different modes of payment
- Enable self-service for making edits to products/services
- Make it easy for them to pause deliveries
- Enable easy unsubscribe/cancel option
Here’s a screenshot of how SmartyPits includes the flexibility factor in its subscription and also tells customers about it in the benefits:
9. Differentiate your subscription plans from others
Most eCommerce businesses offer subscription options. In this vast industry, what is it that can get your brand and plans noticed?
One critical factor is to differentiate your offerings and your value proposition. What is your USP? How is your subscription better than your competitors’?
Here’s what you can do:
- Know the value proposition of your subscription before you start promoting it
- Determine your mission, subscription goals, and brand voice
- Understand your target customers and their needs
- Once you have these aspects in place go all-out with promotions
- Make your value proposition known loud and clear
- Be consistent in marketing your subscription plan
- Measure your performance and optimize
10. Provide different subscription tiers
Your Shopify store has many types of customers. They might have different requirements and different spending capacities. Moreover, their preferences, too, may be different from each other.
And so, when you offer different subscription tiers, you can target more customers. For example, a free trial, basic, advanced, premium subscription plans, etc.
You can approach the different tiers with different marketing goals and tactics.
Free trial subscription plan
For example, when you’re offering a free trial of your eCommerce subscription model, you should know that this tier is for lead generation only. It isn’t for revenue generation. By having this clarity from the start, you can craft your promotional plan accordingly.
Basic plan (the lowest price)
If you have a basic plan which is priced the least among your plans, your promotional strategy should try to encourage these subscribers to move up the ladder and buy a higher-tier plan.
For example, you should show your basic plan subscribers the benefits they can enjoy if they sign up for a higher tier plan.
Premium plan (most expensive)
Your top-most tier — the most expensive — will have all your premium, VIP subscribers. But just because you’ve managed to sell them the most expensive plan, it doesn’t mean you should ignore them.
These subscribers must be given special treatment. Here’s what you can do:
- Send surprise gifts in their deliveries
- Offer more discounts
- Give them new products to try
- Offer exclusive benefits to them
- Organize offline and online events to engage them
- Gamify the plan to engage them better
How to go about your Shopify subscription strategies?
Setting up a subscription business model is one thing. The real work begins after you’ve launched your subscriptions. You have to consistently market and promote your plans to drive more sign-ups.
And that’s where the capabilities of Appstle Subscription and Loyalty app come in. The app not only helps with setting up subscriptions but it also helps in your growth strategy.
With Appstle, you can easily incorporate all the above Shopify marketing ideas for your subscription business in your marketing plan.