We think about subscriptions much in the same way we think about any feature Is it adding value to our users? And how can we create a set of things that are going to add increased value for them above and beyond their existing experience? It's really providing a way for your user to get to know what your product is and then sort of building their belief in the value of the services that you're giving them such that they actually want to subscribe to your product.
The value for a user is that you're not just buying this one thing at this one point in time, you're actually buying something that's evolving, and something that's growing. If you're a subscription business your incentives are actually perfectly aligned with your customers because they need to continue to get value out of the product in order to to keep subscribing, which means that you have to continue making the app better.
What we don't want to do is be heavy handed about getting users into a subscription that might not be a fit for them. What we really want to do is give them outlets to try out our different products on their own.
We want the product to sell itself.
It's all about timing when it comes to subscription marketing, you really need to figure out the time that the users are going to be most interested in what you have to offer. You can have a really robust experience without paying a penny, but we have created the set of special features, which can enhance your experience or make it more efficient, and we will prompt you to engage with those features if we think you're a candidate for that product.
A 14 day free trial has been the sweet spot in terms of allowing users to really take that dip in the water before they take the full plunge of actually buying the subscription. We have found it very effective to experiment with different timeframes for trials as a way to let them toe dip into what that subscription experience will look like without them feeling like they have to make a financial commitment.
We do layer in many touch points within the app itself beyond the point of that first day-one screen, just continuing to lay the seed of that idea, that there's this thing called Pro and there's this free trial I can do to start using it and try it out.
Having the subscription model allows us to predict how much we're going to be making and because of that, it allows us to really reinvest that revenue back into the content and into the app experience.
You're adding new features and you're enhancing current features, you're optimizing flows.
Make sure you're monitoring the longterm health of your users to understand whether or not the changes that you make have implications for them down the road.
Receipt validation has been an essential part of how we've been able to understand the user's subscription experience — so at what point in time do they decide to cancel, what factors may be causing them to cancel early — and better target our messaging and our abilities to anticipate issues.
It's much easier to keep a user than it is to bring a user back.
If users do leave, we try to understand why, and to understand if there is some value that they're getting out of it, that they could get out of a slightly different subscription. We're never just sitting there saying like, "You know, we got enough customers for this month and so we're good." We always have to be like, "Well what's going to happen next month when they have to renew?" If you create a great subscription product, they're going to keep coming back, and they're going to allow that subscription to renew. Listen to your users' feedback and let them guide you where you should go, and when you meet their expectations, it will drive your own business goals.
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