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Subscriptions Strategy: Renewals, upgrades and extensions

Renewals, upgrades and extensions

Renewals, upgrades and extensions – in two steps

As every good marketer knows, renewals are where a publisher makes his money. Here, in two steps, is what happens when you install a reasonably good renewal program. Let’s say you start with 10,000 subscribers paying £50 each. It’s difficult to make a business out of less than this so this should be your starting point.

You then lift your subscriber renewal rate by 20% and sell some ancillary products – say £25 per head.

Please note these figures are conservative, as many subscriptions publishers will currently confirm:

1. 10,000 subscribers paying £50 each at a 70% renewal rate: total income over five years is £1,386,550.

2. 10,000 subscribers paying £50 each at an 84% renewal rate: you will be bringing in £1,818,088 — £431,538 extra revenue.

3. 10,000 subscribers paying £75 each at an 84% renewal rate — £1,340.582 extra revenue.

In two steps, the total revenue has jumped to £2,726,132, an extra £1,340,582 more than our starting figure.

How to make an extra £1.3 million
For most businesses, it would probably be worth investing around 10% of your extra income on achieving this kind of increase, as it will continue for many years to come.

But it just may be that you (or others) have decided, for reasons that are not immediately fathomable, not to allow that kind of budget against this kind of revenue. If so, there are some cost-free ways to increase renewal revenue:

A new renewal series
The best renewal series start when the subscriber first comes aboard. These ‘early-bird efforts’ are designed to upgrade and extend the subscriber. Current upgrade techniques can lift average subscriber revenue by between 50 and 150 %. So that initial £50 revenue becomes £75 to £150 revenue, simply by creating a state-of-the-art renewal series. You can upgrade a subscriber by offering all kinds of ancillary products in the knowledge that the subscriber will probably welcome more of what he or she has already bought.

If yours is a wine title, for example, you could offer a confidential newsletter on good wines for sale in UK outlets, written by a French wine expert. As it wouldn’t have many pages, it would be very cheap to produce.