Subscriptions and memberships

The Key to Selling Subscriptions and Memberships On Your Wordpress Site.

There are a lot of blogs on 'simple strategies to sell your subscriptions', '8 simple rules for recurring billing' or ' THE best ways to get more subscribers to sign up for a subscription'.

That's why we decided to create a post that gives the very basic, but necessary drill down to start selling your memberships immediately.

So let's get started.

Any product that you sell whether online or offline requires you to do two primary things i) Build a good product ii) Market it even better.

Now everyone probably thinks- “I'll build my product first and I'll market it once it's done”. Wrong. You're marketing especially for your subscription box starts on the day you said “Hey let's start a subscription service”.

Here's how the initial stages of your marketing should start.

Your subscription package needs to address a need

We've stressed this a lot in our previous blogs. Your subscription package can only be a success if it solves a problem of a defined target audience. The Dollarshave Club (a subscription service that sends its subscribers a shaving kit every month) recognized men's needs for new razor blades every month without having to buy expensive brands. That's why they were successful.

  • So make sure your subscription product is something customers need periodically. Draw up subscriber personas with what customers would expect from your product. Then get to work on how you'll procure your products, at what rate your subscription plan will work at and how many free samples you can provide to customers.

Provide Risk Safety Options

If you're a new subscription service, potential customers may find it hard to subscribe and make upfront payments in your store. So you need to build trust with your customers. Now again, you have a lot of strategies you can adopt, but the most fundamental of them is providing an opt-out option.

  • Customers need to know they can cancel their subscription anytime. Be open about your cancellation policies and let customers know that its okay to opt-out. Tell them how easy it is and show them how they can cancel their subscription in few easy steps.

Another common but effective strategy to get customers to trust your subscription service is by defining clear guarantee policies.

  • A good example of a guarantee policy is Cubecrate, a subscription box that sends an assortment of items to subscribers. It could be a healthy snack, a DIY art kit, some fashion accessories or anything. Cubecrate offers a 100% moneyback guarantee if their subscribers don't like what they send. This has led to a lot of subscribers signing up since they feel secure due to the easy money back policy.

You can try 100 different marketing strategies but they'll only work if you have the above two in place, working well for you.

And now for the technical aspects that you need to look into specifically.

Now that you've got an idea of your product and the periodical service you'll provide, you need to make sure you have good technical infrastructure in place so you prevent unnecessary problems.

Choosing the right hosting service

Choosing the right hosting service is important. You'll need to have great speed for your website, along with good customer support in case you encounter glitches.

If you've opted to base your website on Wordpress, then Bluehost is a good hosting service for you. They provide free domain names, great customer support, along with a dedicated IP address. And since having an 'https' website is mandatory, Bluehost also provides SSL Certification.

Another useful tip would be display your membership pricing policies neatly on your site. Create a pricing table with the prices and a clear list of services offered. Check out these list of pricing table plugins for WordPress.

You should also check out this list of marketing plugins for Wordpress that will help with marketing your memberships.

Opting for Efficient Subscription Plugins

A subscription plugin helps you design complex subscription plans, and bill your customers recurringly. For eg, for people who sign up without any payment, you might want to put them under a free subscription plan with limited features. And for the ones who pay, you can add them to other subscription plans, that come with better features. Subscription plugins also come integrated with popular payment options (most popularly Paypal). Most plugins also provide content restriction features which allows you to release content or provide content access to certain groups of subscribers.

We've created a list of the best subscription and membership plugins available for Wordpress sites.

If you're just starting a subscription service for the first time, we'd recommend using Axis Subscriptions. It has a simple interface that helps you designing simple and complex membership plans. You can also restrict content from certain usergroups using Joomla usergroups. It is integrated with Paypal so you can receive payments easily without a glitch. You should check out this post on how to get your first 100 customers to sign up for your membership.

Checkout the entire list of features , and download the free plugin.