From Free to Paying Members

Being adept at getting members converted from free to paying members is one of the keys to creating a successful subscription business.

There are 3 important things in creating a large and powerful subscription business are:

Getting a large influx of new members
Getting as many members as possible converted from free to paying members
Being able to retain members for as long as possible

In all three cases, the means to gain trust of the members and create the greatest possible value for them. But what exactly do you need to do to get all your freebies to pay for their membership? You can read about that in this blog post.

The good Onboarding Process

My experience is, if members don’t start using their membership within the first 30 days, to get get value out of their membership, there will be a high risk that you lose them again during the free trial period. What you need to do to increase the likelihood of them going from free to paying members, is to welcome them thoroughly in what is called an “onboarding process”.

The good onboarding process consists of four elements:

  • ✅ Remove all friction, so it’s super easy to sign up for your membership.  Even the slightest problem or uncertainty in your enrollment process can significantly reduce your member conversion, so be 100% sure that everything is playing as it should. Not only on the web but also on the tablet and mobile phone. And set up the registration process so that it is transparent to those who sign up, what value they can get from the membership and what it costs once the free period ends.
  • ✅ Create understanding and show perspective.  Immediately after signing up, show members how they use their membership and make them understand what the value of membership is to them. If they don’t understand how to get started or don’t see the value of their membership, they’re quickly gone.
  • ✅ Quickly give members value from their membership. It is not enough that members can see the value of their membership, they must also in practice experience the perceived value, i.e. to become active members. For example, you can give them a great welcome offer, or ask for their feedback on the sign-up process. You can also ask them for more information, such as their interests, in order to better target your communications and offers to them. You may even be able to connect the new members with one or more of the existing members, so that the new member also quickly gets to create valuable relationships through his membership.
  • ✅ Reward the desired behavior.  Another way you can activate the new members is by motivating them early on to get more new members – for example, by inviting their friends to try your membership for free – and rewarding them for it. For example, the reward may be that the new members get a longer free period or get more benefits.

Using Automated Email Flows

But how do you communicate all this to the member within the first 30 days? Most subscription stores make use of automated email flows that kick in at the same moment the customer creates their free trial.

In these email flows, you can welcome the member and tell how happy you are that he/she has chosen to create a membership with you. For example, videos show you how the membership works and how to get started easily. You can create incentives to get started using the membership, etc.

When using these automated email flows, remember to automatically stop or change the flow when the member does, which is the purpose of the flow. If, for example, the goal is to get the member to buy the first time, do not keep sending emails that in different ways.

It may also be a good idea that the first emails are sent relatively shortly after each other, to get your member activated, but then decrease the frequency again after the onboarding period.

Positively Surprise the Member

It is good if you can already give the member more than he/she expected to get during the free period. It can be via a small welcome surprise or by giving something extraordinary, where the value is greater than the member expected.

But it can also be by supplementing the automatic emails with a call to your members, where you welcome them and ask if there is anything you can do to help? I know some subscription businesses do this successfully.

Members don’t expect it, so if it makes sense for your business model, it can be a way to give free members a good positive experience, allowing them to get answers to their questions, and build a good relationship with them early on.

If you succeed in activating your free members, getting them to experience the value of their membership, and maybe even experience gaining a relationship with you or with some of the other members, you’ve significantly increased the likelihood of them going from free to paying members. In doing so, you have solved one of the most important challenges in the effort to create a great subscription business.

Get All 20 Steps to a Successful Subscription Business

A good onboarding process is one of the steps to creating a successful subscription business. In my SignUp book, you are presented to the 20 steps that together create an amazing subscription business, and how to do it.

The SignUp book is the sum of my 10 years of work developing, optimizing and scaling successful subscription models in more than 50 companies. It will be your guide and help to avoid making all the beginner mistakes, so you can create a successful subscription business faster. You can order my book in English right here

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Skrevet af Andreas Dirksen

skaber succesfulde abonnements forretninger

13. July 2019

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