To be successful, subscription businesses need to retain subscribers and continually attract new ones. This is true for both the smallest startup and the largest enterprise. Recurly provides a number of tools to support our customers’ efforts to gain new subscribers.

Use coupons to increase your subscriber base

Everyone loves a bargain, so one tool that Recurly offers is coupons. Offering a prospect a discount is a time-tested method that improves conversions. Recurly’s coupon function also provides an excellent means to conduct A/B split tests on your offer before you transmit it widely. Simply create the test offers, send the two different versions to the test population, and when there’s a sufficient response, compare the coupon code redemptions in Recurly to see which version was the highest performer. Then, launch the full campaign with confidence, knowing which version was best.

Discounts and promotions can also be an incredibly effective way to support upsells and cross-sells to increase revenue..

For subscription businesses, churn is an ever-present concern. Subscribers who aren’t using your product may be disengaged and at risk of churning. These subscribers are commonly indicated by infrequent log-ins or lack of any activity with your service. Use coupons or other special offers to encourage these subscribers to re-engage and help them see the value in what you provide Subscribers who do cancel their subscription aren’t necessarily lost forever if you’re proactive. If a subscriber cancels, let them know you noticed by sending them a coupon with a special offer that encourages them to return. Another way to use coupons is to provide recognition to your most loyal subscribers, such as a one-time add-on gift or sneak preview for a new service or product.

Read Recurly’s three-part blog series for more ideas and best practices for using coupons to acquire subscribers and increase revenue.

Gift subscriptions promote acquisition

Recurly also offers a feature-rich gift subscription capability that lets our customers market both gift cards and gift plans. Combined with our coupon feature, these make for a powerful promotional toolkit to support subscription businesses in their acquisition strategies.

Gift subscriptions leverage the enthusiasm of your most loyal subscribers and lower your subscriber acquisition costs. Like refer-a-friend programs, gift subscriptions have an inherent ‘social proof’ that recipients value. Recurly offers two different gift types—cards and plans. Read more about this feature on our website.

Use cardless free trials to minimize friction

Free trials are another popular subscriber acquisition method. Prospects can ‘sample’ your subscription service without having to commit. However, having to enter payment information for something that’s free can add unnecessary friction, making your prospects less likely to sign up. Since a lost prospect is a lost opportunity to acquire a new subscriber,  Recurly lets you offer ‘cardless’ free trials which do not require any payment information. Read more about this feature on our blog.

Our research on the effectiveness of subscriber acquisition tactics found that free trials tend to have impressively high conversion rates: 66% for B2B companies and 56.8% for B2C companies. For complete visibility into the success of your subscription trial offer, Recurly provides a Trial Performance Report. Read more about how this report works here.

Want to learn more?

For insights on subscriber acquisition and to fine-tune your own efforts to grow your subscriber base, view Recurly’s research which provides broad benchmark data on coupons and free trials, how they’re used and what are their impacts.