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3 Tips to Get Your Subscription Business Ready for the Holidays

Regardless as to whether or not your business is dependent on the holiday season, sitting on the sidelines during this time of year is a mistake. It’s the perfect time to make a splash and try to grow your overall business. And whether you are thinking about adding a subscription offering to your business in time for the holidays or looking to grow it during the Black Friday, Cyber Monday (BFCM) rush, you must start planning now to drive the most impact for your business.

The great thing about running a subscription business is that if you are able to increase the number of subscribers that you have during the holiday rush, you will reap the rewards of it during Q1 and beyond as subscribers continue to pay for recurring orders.

In order to get the gears in your head turning about how you can optimize your subscription business in advance of this time of year, we’ve developed a few ideas for you to start thinking through. Read on to learn more about how to make this holiday season your best holiday season yet.

Create a special subscription offering for the holidays

If you are new to subscriptions entirely or have a smaller existing subscription business, think about what you can do to get non-subscribers to become subscribers. Perhaps it’s offering a special one-time offer (like a percentage off) or a gift with purchase. The key is to develop a unique offering that drives consumers to want to become a subscriber to your brand.

The beauty of starting to think about this a few months prior to the holiday rush is that you have plenty of time to develop a compelling offer and deal with any supply chain issues if you are looking to explore offering a unique gift with purchase for example. Consumers tend to sniff out when an offer is last-minute and thrown together so take the time to develop a thoughtful offering that gets consumers so excited that they need to become a subscriber. This could include:

  • A one of a kind gift with purchase that you can only get when you become a subscriber. For example, say that you are a coffee brand, develop a special “holiday” themed mug that you can only get if you become a subscriber during a defined time period. And if you do go down this route, be sure to get the gift with purchase photographed professionally to make it look amazing. Our friends at soona make it easy for you to get any products photographed.
  • The ability to send a free product to a friend as part of a holiday gift. Consumers could feel guilty purchasing for themselves during this time of the year, so make it easy for them to make a purchase by rewarding them with the ability to send a gift (or gift card) to a friend as a gift.
  • Offer a discounted (or free) shipping option that only applies to new subscribers. According to a recent survey, 73% of consumers are more likely to buy an item if it includes free shipping so when consumers are more likely to purchase an item (during the holidays) strike while the iron is hot and turn a shipping offer on to grow your business.

Tap into existing subscribers and customers

Rather than pay the ballooning advertising costs that occur in the thick of the BFCM rush, tap into your existing customers and have them promote your subscription offering to their friends. Incentivize your subscribers with future savings (i.e. a free order, a credit back to their account, a future gift card, etc) for every new subscriber that they bring you.

It’s estimated that people are 4 times more likely to buy when they are referred by a friend. So if you have existing customers and email subscribers, it’s a no-brainer to develop a special refer-a-friend offering. And if you don’t have a solution in place to do this, now is the time to start exploring adding a software like Yotpo for example to easily enable referrals for your business. This will allow you to easily tap into your existing customers to make the most of this busy time of year to grow your subscription business.

Plan ways to stand out from the noise during the BFCM rush

Rather than waiting until the last minute to plan special offers and discounts, take some time to think about strategic offers that are compelling; think through how you will market them and where you will market them. Examples of types of subscription offers that you can market during this busy time of year include:

  • Having a flash sale where you offer a special one-time offering for a subscription during BFCM to create urgency to buy. Take this a step further and develop marketing materials to market the flash sale across your channels. Promote the flash sale across the typical channels such as email, social and your website in addition to working with micro influencers on social media. Working with micro influencers on Instagram and Tik Tok will expose your sale to a wider audience than your existing following and expose your brand to an entirely new audience.
  • Partner with a charity or food bank to donate a percentage of sales of the subscription sales to it during the BFCM time period. Consumers gravitate towards brands that do-good and by partnering with a charity or food bank during this time of year, you will be differentiating yourself from your competitors while also doing something valuable for society.
  • Offer a bounce-back coupon for first-time subscribers to come back and shop with you after the holiday rush. Perhaps the offer is 25% off any item for the month of January or $20 off any purchase made between January and February. This tactic aims to ensure that your sales don’t fall off a steep cliff after the holiday rush by providing reasons for shoppers to come back and shop with you again while giving first time subscribers further reason to make a subscription purchase from you.

Develop the right segments of email subscribers to market to

As we outline in this article, Klaviyo is a powerful tool to leverage to grow your subscription business. In order to set your business up for growth in subscribers, create different segments of customers. One example of a segment that you could create is a segment of “VIP” customers. Perhaps these “VIP Customers” have spent a certain amount of money with your brand or made a certain number of purchases, but yet have to purchase a subscription from your brand.

It’s possible that these “VIP customers” don’t know that you have a subscription offering or have been hesitant to purchase a subscription from your brand just yet. Developing a segment of customers who fit this criteria allows you to be very specific in your messaging to them about why they should become subscribers and could lead to the subscription growth that you need.

Do we have you convinced enough yet to enable subscriptions for your business and learn more about how Upscribe can help? Sign up for a demo here.