10 Characteristics of Successful Subscription Services

Based on work we've done to develop tight subscription propositions for brands in markets as diverse as National Newspapers, Mobile Networks and Not for Profit, we've put together an 'all we know' guide to getting the relationship to work at its best for both sides.

The guide comes in the form of a 30 minute presentation or a half-day workshop.

Here are the Watchwords:

1. They start to promise customer value from the first moment

Do you demonstrate - from the offset - the value that customers are going to receive and will continue to receive throughout their involvement with your brand?

2. They phrase the 'value exchange' right

Do you have a good enough understanding of a) the value exchange itself and b) your customers' expectations, to ensure that you are communicating this correctly?

3. They always build on the emotional-end benefits their customers hope for

Do you know what your different customers perceive to be the emotional-end benefit to your service and have you considered how best to reflect this in the way your subscription relationship works?

4. They reflect the service's whole- life cycle

How well do you reflect the ways your customers' wants and needs will evolve at different stages during the on-going life cycle of your service?

5. They mobilise subscribers and help them connect to each other

How can you generate deeper brand involvement and loyalty by creating user communities?

6. They let customers and companies get more from Touch Points

Has your 'touch point' strategy been designed to develop deeper and on-going customer engagement; are you being inventive enough with how, when and why you contact your existing customer base?

7. They provide tools to let customers create new ways to engage

Are you fully committed to continually improving how your customers engage and share their information with you?

8. They maximise data reassurance

Have you been clever in how you phrase, position and display your data security policies? - Does it encourage your customers to feel safe and to continue to divulge?

9. They don’t assume that pricing needs to be 'one size fits all'

Have you thought carefully enough about price level as well as charging structures: are you missing out on opportunities for upsell or cross-sell (or even down-sell at some lifecycle points)?

10. They provide ways for fans be loud in public

Do you have mechanisms in place that enable your fans to evangelise about you: word of mouth, recommendation schemes and easy to adopt terminology (e.g. making your brand name a verb)?