Subscription businesses thrive on cultivating lasting relationships with their clientele, and in an era where subscriber preferences evolve rapidly, unlocking the secrets hidden within customer data is key for sustained growth.

Subscriber insights make your overall strategy more targeted and guide you in designing an effective growth plan. From innovative product enhancements to personalized experiences, the correct interpretation of customer insights can propel your business directly into the industry forefront.

In this article, we’ll review the importance of consumer insights and share five examples of successful subscription offerings where insights played a crucial role.

Customer insight examples from successful subscription brands

What separates successful brands from others? Their ability to translate customer data into actionable insights–and these companies know how to do it well. Here are five examples of how subscription businesses leverage consumer insights to drive growth. 

1. TeacherVision improves subscriber experience and reduces churn

TeacherVision is a teaching resource platform for professors to find timely, accurate materials to support their students. However, they needed more data and analytics that impeded them from measuring upfront conversion rates by plan and price point, and needed detailed insights on revenue metrics and churn. 

With Recurly’s help, the company tested hypotheses on packaging, pricing, and promotions by cohorts–then kept what was working. Aware of subscription fatigue, they offered cancellation alternatives to prevent churn and learned that none of the paused accounts had churned since. 

Deep analytics uncovered actionable insights on churn that helped TeacherVision test different subscription tiers, personalize its promotions and find an effective way to retain more subscribers. The result? An involuntary churn rate of 1%.

2. Digital Reach optimizes its processes and plans ahead

Digital Reach is a digital marketing agency with expertise in search, analytics, web development, and marketing automation.

Like any other subscription business, their efforts focused on tracking revenue streams. Using the right set of data and analytics, the agency identified its most successful plans and analyzed churn rates over time to improve its dunning processes. 

Analyzing consumer data helped Digital Reach identify behavioral trends and growth opportunities that helped them boost their revenue in the short and long term.

3. addresses seasonality better is a UK-based online freight exchange website connecting haulage companies with empty vehicles with businesses that need goods moved.

With a mostly seasonal business, having the right subscription and customer data helped them monitor and compare customer retention over time to identify sign-up and churn peaks.

With data in hand, they designed a more targeted marketing strategy, subscription packages, pricing structures, and trials aligned with subscriber behavior patterns from previous years.

4. ShipStation makes retail shipments more efficient

ShipStation provides web-based software to optimize order processing, fulfillment, and shipping from all the most popular marketplaces.

The company understands the importance of exceptional customer service. To better serve their subscribers, ShipStation developed a more personalized solution–ShipEngine–to adjust to retailers’ particular needs. Since launch, they’ve monitored recurring revenue and other metrics to measure the product's performance.

5. True Royalty TV plugs the hole in the “leaky bucket”

True Royalty TV is a royal content library platform that covers the British monarchy's background, context, and truth.

Streaming video-on-demand is a competitive space. True Royalty TV tested packaging and pricing options to find the best fit for its audience and leveraged consumer data to make smart decisions on acquisition and retention.

With thousands of subscribers in the U.S., UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland, this "Netflix for royal watchers” has become a household name. 

Beyond financial gains, each case study proves the power of customer insights in the subscriber experience. Whether it's tailoring offerings, identifying seasonal trends, or streamlining dunning processes, these five stories illustrate the transformative power of customer insights in shaping the success of subscription businesses. 

The importance of customer insights in subscription success

Running a subscription business without consumer insights feels like navigating a boat without a compass. Subscriber insights combine business analytics and market research data to help you better understand subscriber needs and preferences. With the right set of analytics, you can: 

  • Identify highly profitable subscribers and maximize LTV: Recurring revenue businesses rely on predictable revenue and customer loyalty to grow. The cost to acquire subscribers is significant, and payback on these costs happens over a subscriber’s lifetime.

  • Take control of the customer experience: Use consumer data analysis to identify the right audiences, design detailed buyer personas and customer journey maps, and develop strategic customer-backed improvements that solve their pain points. 

  • Personalize products and communications: Once you get a deeper understanding of your subscribers, start tailoring their experience: make or plan pricing adjustments, extend or reduce free trial lengths, offer the right promotions, and find the perfect time to offer an upsell or cross-sell of products. 

Learn how to use consumer insights to identify high-performing subscribers and maximize revenue.

All the analytics tools you need in one easy-to-use platform

When talking about subscriber insights, the more, the merrier. However, relying on several tools might be challenging to track and report. Recurly customers have found a single source of truth in Recurly’s reporting and analytics tools, an intuitive hub with personalized dashboards, KPIs, and graphs that help you optimize your plans, subscribers, and revenue streams. Our easy-to-use dashboards allow you to:

Get a view of subscriber growth and retention

Seize your business health and sustainable growth. Recurly helps you find the daily, weekly, or monthly numbers of total active subscribers and monthly revenue.

Track subscriber growth, identify conversion rate trends, and gain customer experience data based on active and churned subscribers over time. Use these insights to better understand customer preferences and adjust your product and marketing strategies.

Customers section in Recurly Analytics dashboard

Identify best-performing plans and trials

Know what's working and what’s not. With Recurly analytics, you can evaluate a plan's performance after pricing, plan length, or promotional changes and compare your plans’ attributes to gauge which is most successful.

Trial subscriptions can be invaluable to drive conversions and inspire customer loyalty. Track the performance of trials and monitor their conversion rates over a given time frame, then continue optimizing your offers for desired results.

Subscribers section in Recurly Analytics dashboard

Report on churn and recovered revenue

This is a must-have in every analytics team. Recurly helps you identify what makes subscribers cancel and monitor the total subscriptions that expire during a selected period, voluntarily or involuntarily.

Additionally, you can report the total revenue recovered by minimizing involuntary churn from declined transactions, segmented by recovery method–intelligent retries, account updater, expired card management, and backup payment method.

Customers section in Recurly Analytics dashboard

Customer satisfaction is the ultimate goal of every subscription business, especially when competition and subscription fatigue continue to arise. Gain a competitive advantage with consumer insights–a comprehensive, customizable set of dashboards and reports that gives you the actionable insights you need to make informed decisions for growth.

Check out Recurly reporting and analytics to learn more.