192: Understanding Subscription Marketing with guest expert Anne Janzer

Anne Janzer, Author, Consultant

Bill Ringle and Anne Janzer discuss subscription marketing strategies for nurturing customers in a world of churn.

>>> Visit MyQuestforTheBest.com for complete show notes and more expert advice and inspiring stories to propel your small business growth.

Top Takeaways from this Interview

  • Subscription models fundamentally shape the way customers see companies and brands.
  • Why subscription models are more than just transactions, they’re relationships.
  • The phenomenon of Super-Users and why every company should seek them out and cultivate them.
  • How Adobe changed the game by being among the first to adopt a successful subscription model, despite financial media criticism.
  • What companies with a subscription model can do to sustain a customer’s trust long term.

Interview Insights

Read the Show Notes from this Episode

1:55 How Anne’s parents, and her early life experiences with the opera, were able to show her the importance of subscribers at a young age.

3:32 “There was a real difference for me between the people who were buying a ticket for one show and the people who were subscribing to the series.”

4:09 “It wasn’t just the revenue part, but also what that meant when somebody showed up and said I’m going to subscribe to your season, even though I haven’t seen a season yet.”

5:17 “The fundamental shift that I think we need to make when we think about selling things one off versus selling a subscription to something is this: a subscription sale isn’t a one time transaction, it’s actually the beginning of a relationship.”

5:41 “How do I create a relationship with this person that will deliver value to them, and deliver value to the business.”

6:45 “Every single business model you can find someone who has a subscription play on it.”

7:35 The Adobe model for subscriptions and how it changed the game.

9:27 “If you spend the time and the money acquiring these subscription customers at $30 or $60, and they don’t renew for a year, or they quit after a year, if you have not continued to make them happy, you are losing money on that new customer.”

10:48 On the media response – “Financial people weren’t accustomed to this, they don’t know how to look at those metrics at first.”

11:32 On adopting the subscription model: “It takes a little patience and persistence and tinkering to figure out.”

13:33 How a recruiter successfully shifted the services of his company to a subscription model.

16:50 “We picture a funnel and we know how they work, they’re one way.”

17:18 “If your business is based on a subscription model, then you’re really just getting started at the moment someone becomes a subscriber.”

18:35 “A subscription is a vehicle for an ongoing relationship with your customers, and everything you do with your customer from that point forward is part of their experience.”

19:36 How CDBaby modeled exemplary customer engagement in a small way.

21:21 “Another thing we need to think about is trust.”

22:01 An example of a bad customer engagement experience Anne dealt with during a stolen credit card situation.

24:04 “If you’re not finding value within 90 days, the chances that you’re going to renew are really really small.”

24:26 “The best time to reach out and help people start using things is as early as possible.”

25:21 Why companies should find ways to celebrate their customers’ success with the product.

26:54 “Businesses are so quick to send out emails announcing their own successes.”

27:20 Lightning Round

30:12 How to find and define superusers – “A superuser is that person who finds so much value in your business that they find it important to share it with others.”

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Expert Bio

As a writer and marketer, Anne Janzer has worked with more than 100 technology companies. In 2015, inspired by the changes she saw happening in the software industry around her and their potential ramifications for marketers, she wrote the book Subscription Marketing: Strategies for Nurturing Customers in a World of Churn. That book is now in its second edition and has been published in Japanese and Korean languages.

For more about Anne Janzer, visit her website.

Contact Info for Anne Janzer

Web address: www.annejanzer.com

Travels from: Mountain View, CA

Social Media

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Books Authored by the Guest

33 Ways Not to Screw Up Your Business Emails The Writer's Process: Getting Your Brain in Gear Writing to Be Understood: What Works and Why Subscription Marketing: Strategies for Nurturing Customers in a World of Churn Get the Word Out: Write a Book That Makes a Difference
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