7 strategies for subscription success

Keep a good thing growing.

10 min. read

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This quick guide will show you how to:

  • Combat subscriber fatigue by offering personalized solutions and incentives to fight churn and reduce friction

  • Gain strategic subscriber insights by sharing data across systems

  • Boost acceptance rates with unlimited flexibility in routing payments

  • Minimize involuntary churn and recover more revenue with retry strategies and machine learning

  • Encourage adoption through more robust and flexible billing terms that you can quickly test and iterate  

Subscription commerce is expected to reach $904B by 2026.

Are you taking the right steps to ensure you’re part of this boom? It’s no question that the subscription industry is becoming increasingly saturated with businesses around the world. The demand to meet subscribers’ needs and preferences is more prevalent than ever, and recurring revenue businesses need to be able to create sustainable and scalable solutions that solve acquisition, retention, and growth goals.

Having worked with over 2,200 subscription businesses in the past decade, Recurly is dedicated to understanding and creating the most effective guides to help recurring revenue brands succeed. Whether minimizing voluntary and involuntary churn or increasing subscriber count year over year, this guide on Seven strategies for subscription success is the first step to accomplishing these goals. In this easy-to-follow guide, we’ve collected seven key strategies that have helped our leading enterprise clients grow subscription revenue.

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Subscription commerce continues to enjoy undeniable levels of success, and globally, it’s expected to reach $904.3 billion by 2026. 

But competing in an increasingly crowded marketplace requires continued innovation and the ability to meet subscribers’ ever-evolving needs and preferences. The recurring revenue businesses that come out on top have the flexibility to rise to the challenge of changing market demands and do so in ways that are highly scalable, efficient, and effective. 

What are the key challenges that subscription businesses will face going forward? What are the strategies that will help you overcome those challenges?

1. Combat subscription fatigue by going the extra mile to ensure subscriber satisfaction 

Many subscription box businesses experience impressive success initially but experience high rates of churn as the novelty of the service or its perceived value wanes. For these businesses, providing a meticulously curated, personalized experience or a convenient replenishment service can be key to countering subscriber fatigue. However, there are other, less resource-intensive ways that can be equally effective. 

A simple solution is to allow subscribers to pause their subscriptions for a fixed or indefinite time period. Giving subscribers an option besides canceling improves retention and avoids the expense of trying to win subscribers back and having to recreate their account upon return. 

Another strategy is to offer coupons to reward loyal subscribers or as part of a refer-a-friend program. Regular communications through emails or a company newsletter can foster positive subscriber relationships and mitigate voluntary churn. 

2. Gain a 360-degree view of subscribers and deepen subscriber insights by sharing data across systems 

The world is awash in data–2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every single day. Data can help make informed decisions, and recurring revenue businesses benefit from new data every billing cycle. But to be truly useful, data must be actionable and accessible. 

A subscription management platform that provides custom data fields is an easy way to connect data across systems, which increases operational efficiency and improves data integrity. For example, use a custom field to create a common identifier, such as a Subscriber ID, to identify the subscriber consistently across all systems. This provides a 360-degree view and improves the accuracy of key metrics, such as Customer Lifetime Value or Customer Acquisition Cost, which rely on understanding subscriber events along their entire journey. 

Custom fields can also be used to create subscriber segments based on the most relevant information, such as subscriber location, age, or gender. This kind of segmenting offers a deeper, more comprehensive understanding of subscribers, which can improve retention efforts.

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