Yes, there appears to be a subscription model for just about anything these days.
What was once the domain of your telecommunication providers or cable company has now branched into all sorts of services and software.
Abobe previously sold their popular photo editing software for a fixed priced and although it was quite expensive, it was yours when you purchased it.
No more to pay unless you decided to upgrade but then again who really needed those extra features year after year. Upgrades were reasonably priced and all was at peace in the world.
Until they introduced Software as a Service…
Yay! says the casual user – A reduced entry point for this software means you can dip your toe into the water and take it straight back out again with minimal expense. (but they don’t)
Boo! says the serious user – Who faces ongoing monthly costs required to cover simply accessing the software. For the professional user, it’s seen as just another business expense but for the passionate hobbyist this money eats into their monthly savings.
Have you considered offering a subscription program for one of your products?
Let’s take a look at the software subscription model and how it represent both parties in the transaction.
Benefits for the Vendor
- Produces a steady income
- Encourages lifetime membership
- Can get consumers in a sales funnel
- An angry subscriber has social reach
- Customer drop-off easier
Benefits for the Consumer
- Reduced entry point
- Control monthly spend
- Known billing dates
- Deep discounted yearly billing cycles
- Subscriptions overload
- Automatically added to ongoing subscription model
- Sucked into the sales funnel and up-sells
There is one pain point that vendors need to address before trying to entice new bloggers into their subscription model.
The Lack of Money.
When you make the switch from a hobby blogger to trying to make it as a professional blogger, you are usually hit with one subscription program after another.
First it’s a Domain Name and Web Hosting subscription, which is essential but then things start to spiral out of control.
(Using Bluehost to start a blog is smart because you get a domain name for free)
You’re told that growing an email list is important so you invest in a decent email marketing product.
(Mailchimp is great a starter product as your first 2000 subscribers are free but offers no more than basic email broadcasts)
Then you’re told to get a WordPress Plugin which will 10x your email subscriptions even though you’re uncomfortable about using pop-ups.
(If you don’t like pop-ups then don’t use them, until you are really serious about building a list)
This is shortly followed by the need for another lead generation plugin like a Hello Bar to sit on top of your blog.
(I can use the flexibility of my Themify theme to create one of those Attention Grabbers and for zero cost)
Next comes the need for a Landing Page product which you’re told is a must to increase conversions.
(Again I can create the same landing pages on my blog using my Professional Theme )
Then you need to monitor these marketing efforts so you grab a heat map tool from Crazy Egg.
(You could make do with the Heat Map tool in Google Analytics, but free doesn’t always deliver the best product)
Finally, you might be convinced social media is the hotspot for traffic and then decide to subscribe to a social media publishing tool or others tools to grow your social media presence.
I could go on and on and on, but you have to stop somewhere don’t you?
Sure adding additional software subscriptions time and time again is easy if the money is flowing into your bank account, but for the new blogger this is rarely the case.
I suggest setting a software budget for a year and then see what you can get into the budget. Buying a yearly subscription when it’s heavily discounted is better than being hit with higher monthly costs, but not if you aren’t going to use it.
Try a new tool for a few months and if it proves to be useful then (and only then) commit to a fixed yearly cost. Delaying that initial purchase does have benefits as you are more likely to be hit with a number of upsell attempts in that time and may actually get a deeper discount anyway.
These software vendors want your business, and sometimes do crazy deals just to get you on their list, so hold out for an end of month deal or better still just ask them. I did and got 20% off my Camtasia software, and they rarely discount their software.
Oh, and when you’re on their list, make sure you keep track of the subscription anniversary dates so you can jump off in time if you no longer need the service. It’ll save you a few bucks and you can always use that extra money to subscribe to something else.
Yes, the world has gone subscription mad, but try playing vendors at their own game and you might be the one who turns out getting a great service for a heavily discounted price.
Do you get peeved by all these software subscriptions out there? Have your say in the comments below.