How To Encourage Your Customers To Pay One-Off For Subscriptions

Did you just introduce the one-off payment method on your WooCommerce subscription model? Or are you planning to? You are headed in the right direction if an assured income is what you are looking for. But, there’s a catch. Are the customers going to choose the option? What if they don’t? How can you make the prepaid subscriptions for WooCommerce work?

If you are unsure whether your customers will opt for a prepaid subscription or not, don’t worry. Let’s get your doubts cleared and make sure that it will work.

How To Motivate Customers To Make One-Off Payments?

Customers are often comfortable with what they have already been doing. That's why the store owner needs to put an extra effort to motivate them to try out a new option. Here are the two definitive ways you can subtly ask your customers to go for a prepaid subscription:

1. Give a discount:

Why Should You Give A Discount For Upfront Payment?

Discounts are known for their magical performance, aren’t they? A discount is one of the best ways to attract customers. If done right, even one-time buyers can become loyal customers. So, in the subscriptions context, discounts play a huge part.

Let me explain with a common example. Imagine you are going to buy a Reader’s Digest subscription for 1 year. They sell a single issue at $3.99, a 1 year subscription at $10, and a 2 years subscription at $15.

readers digest subscription

The pricing would look something like this:

PlanPriceYou Save
Single issue $3.99 -
1 year (10 issues / 12 months) $10 74%
2 years (20 issues / 24 months) $15 + Digital copy 81%

Among the plans, one can clearly see which is the best deal and would go for the 2 years subscription. If you pay for 2 years upfront, you pay only $15. Or if you choose to buy the subscription for next year later, it would cost you $10 for this year and another $10 for next year.

If you think whether this discount will affect the profits of Reader’s Digest, the answer is no! That is where the residual revenue of subscription comes into play. They have confirmed business for the next 2 years. They know that they have an assured income from you, and they can now focus on attracting new customers.

So, discounts on one-off payments make subscriptions a win-win deal for the sellers and the buyers.

How Regular And New Customers See Discounts On Subscriptions?

Now, imagine that you are selling your own magazines in your WooCommerce online store. And imagine you have some regular (monthly) magazine subscribers on the store. If you are introducing the upfront payment facility in your store, how would the customers react to it?

  1. Regular Customer:

    Let’s say Chris is a regular subscriber to your magazines and has been paying at recurring intervals. Since he already likes the magazines, right now your concern must be to make him comfortable with the payment. If there are two payment methods - 1) recurring payment 2) one-off payment. If there is no discount, Chris would choose recurring payment as he is already familiar with it.

    Provided two choices, one would always go with the familiar choice. If the new one-off payment offers a better price for the same magazines compared to recurring payment, then Chris would like it.

  2. New Customer:

    Now, imagine Chris has a friend Pete, and he is a new customer who wants to buy your magazine subscription as well. He might not go for a one-time payment since this is the first time of purchase. But if the price looks better than the recurring option, there is a good chance that he would consider it.

So, be it an existing customer or a new customer, you can count on discounts to increase the chances of sales. The customer gets a great deal and the store owner gets an assured income for the rest of the subscription period. Could be a year or half year or anything. The only concern to be addressed is the product quality continuously. You do not want the customer to cancel the subscription and ask for a refund.

You can go for any kind of discounts such as a Percentage discount or a Price discount, or even create an exclusive plan with additional freebie products in the subscription box. The WooCommerce Pre-Paid Subscriptions lets you add an upfront payment mode to your subscription plan as well as provide percentage or fixed price discount.

Key Takeaway:

  • Making the customer comfortable with upfront payment is best done with a discount.
  • Discounts have a great history of bringing in more sales than normal pricing.

2. Tell them why it benefits them:

You can’t sell if you don’t tell, literally. If you don’t tell your customers how paying for the subscriptions upfront will help them, they may not buy it for the simple reason they do not know about it. Send newsletters and publish blog posts about the benefits they get from paying the subscription bill one-off.

There are so many ways you can let the customer know about the upfront payment. Here are a few marketing strategies:

  • Newsletters

    Newsletters help you target your existing customers and site visitors through email. Just let them know with an attractive and well-thought email, but don’t spam their mailbox.

  • Blog posts

    Blogs exist for one purpose: educating your site visitors. Use it well and make a good write up about the advantages of Pre-Paid Subscriptions. You can also write guest blogs. Writing guest blogs on other platforms can expose you to a wider audience base and bring organic traffic to your website. A well-written blog post with customers in mind is equal to tens of dollars spent on marketing (sometimes hundreds of dollars).

  • Banners and landing pages on website

    Make sure the offer of upfront payment is visible on your website and that the customers customers see it.

  • Show testimonials

    Nothing can work better than a positive customer feedback / testimonial for a business. If there are people who love your product and your brand, you need to show it to other people. That’s what we call Rapid Trust Building.

Key Takeaway:

  • Advertise your products, pricing and offers.
  • Gain customer for better sales.

Motivating your customers to pay upfront is not a tough task, especially if you provide a discount. It is only as simple as it can get. But, upfront payments work well only when you make sure that your products do not turn out to be a disappointment. So, focus on:

  1. Good quality
  2. Customer experience
  3. Reliability
  4. Repeat

Got some ideas about prepaid subscriptions? Share with us in the comments!

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