The art of selling subscription services online has come a long way. Consumers in today’s subscription economy are more aware than ever before. That’s in part because millennials make up a large portion of the consumer-facing market. Being tech-savvy and financially smart, they prefer the convenience of use over ownership any day. So if you want to spur your recurring revenue business growth, understanding today’s consumer psyche is paramount. And say, you are running your subscription business through a platform like Zuora, make sure to plug in a reliable Zuora billing and revenue partner. Brownie points if this Zuora partner is compliant with PCI-DSS.

What are the best tips for selling subscriptions online?

  1.  Make your customers see value
  2. Make your pricing flexible
  3.  Make friends with freemiums
  4.  Make smart use of social media
  5.  Don’t make it too salesy
  6.  Don’t forget about buyer experience
  7.  Don’t put off customer service

Like we said at the very onset, the new-age customer is smart. With hordes of options all around offering a similar bundle of conveniences, the interest span of the average customer is dangerously short today. From clicking to reordering, a smooth experience is non-negotiable for today’s buyer experience. This necessitates a smooth quote-to-cash process for you to grow at scale. Here is what you can do:

  • Leverage a robust subscription platform handler (if you use Zuora subscription solutions, then it must be a Zuora billing and revenue partner company)
  • Ensure the compliance-fitment of the Zuora partner (a PCI-DSS compliant Zuora partner is deemed best)

The world of throttling competition in subscription commerce may also lure you to enter the infamous ‘race to the bottom’. You start lowering your prices to attract new buyers, and at some point, you will have to start compromising on quality. But, no recurring revenue businesses can see growth in the face of such qualitative and quantitative losses. The way out? Apply a few tricks to the way you sell subscription services online. Here is how you can get started:

1. Make the customers see value in your subscription packages

Do you know how your customers perceive your services? Do you know their exact pain points? Creating and analyzing the ideal buyer persona can help you with the answers. With soaring subscription commerce, consumers are becoming increasingly subscription-curious. They try and test offerings from various subscription providers and cancel those that fail to thrill. So, analyze what extra value you can provide that your competitors do not – and add the same to your bundle.

When it comes to selling subscriptions and signing-up customers online, the wind also blows in the direction of value bundling. Create value-for-money combinations of complementary products and services using your existing offerings.

2. Make pricing flexible for selling subscriptions online

Consumers today want flexible pricing options, custom payment methods, multiple billing frequencies, and everything that suits their convenience. Especially to satisfy the needs of millennials and bridge millennials, offer different price plans and convenient billing cycles. A sturdy Zuora billing and revenue partner company can help scale your recurring revenue business growth. A PCI-DSS compliant Zuora partner will further ensure the stringent safety of your credit card data.

Master the art of selling subscription services online
The top tips for increasing your recurring revenue subscriber base

4. Make smart and skillful use of social media platforms

The world today lives and breathes social media. With competition intensifying, it’s no longer enough to just have a profile on digital channels; you need to gain a foothold there. Though the conversion rate from social media may not be impressive, you can use this marketing channel to draw your target market closer. Create awareness and engage with your audience to keep your offerings at the top of the consumers’ mind. Be it informational blog posts or updates about your subscription packages, staying active on social media is synonymous with staying relevant today. Recurring revenue business growth can get truly recurring if social media is utilized skillfully.

5. Sell subscriptions but don’t make it too salesy

Everyone is selling something today. Ask yourself: how do you stand out? Shifting from a transactional mindset to a value-driven mindset needs a culture change altogether. It may sound confusing, but when selling subscription services online, do not focus entirely on selling! Create value instead – be it in terms of customer experience or customized offerings or something else you see fit. This will not only help you acquire new subscribers but also retain the existing ones for the long term.

Citing another example pertaining to the Financial Times: with the shift of focus from mainstream news from print to digital media, FT needed to improve its value proposition for its user base. The company tied up with a European media organization to bring in more customer-centricity. This saw a 29% rise in subscriber base with a 6-month timeline.

6. Sell subscriptions but don’t forget about buyer experience

A seamless buying experience will always be an unmatched quality. From easy-to-use UIs to guest checkout options, always look for adding that extra convenience for your users. Turn these users into subscribers by empowering them with the option to start, restart, pause, and even edit their subscription purchases.

According to a SUBTA study, the modern subscriber is highly focused on getting exclusive access. People sign up when they find high-quality content that is not available anywhere else. For growing your recurring revenue business, revaluate your present offerings and see if such capabilities can be added.

7. Sell subscription but don’t put off customer service

As competition soars in the market, a tiny bad experience can be detrimental to your recurring revenue business growth. Always communicate your product/service-related updates, post detailed guarantee and cancelation policies, and make your privacy policy very clear. Train your CRM team to go beyond the minimum and build relationships with the clients. Selling subscriptions online today demands emotional engagement. It increases the lifetime value (LTV) of your products/services.

Understandably, the subscription economy is expanding rapidly with a rise in both seller and buyer bases. Having a unique product/service bundle is the bare minimum today for spurring your recurring revenue business growth. You must ensure the entire experience you hand out – from the first site visit to the repeat order fulfillment – everything is squeaky clean. Platforms like Zuora can be the single touchpoint for your order-to-revenue process.

Zuora is the world’s leading subscription management platform

Reinvent your quote-to-cash and revenue management with the world’s most reliable subscription management platform. Leverage Zuora’s SaaS solutions for your recurring revenue business growth. The subscription economy evangelist has been simplifying subscription businesses worldwide since 2007. Join forces with a Zuora billing and revenue company to ace the art of selling subscription services online.

Estuate is a PCI-DSS compliant Zuora billing and revenue partner

We at Estuate host a dedicated Zuora center of excellence. We are proud to be the most trusted Zuora billing and revenue partner company. We have the following Zuora capabilities in our ambit:

  • Advisory Services:We help you transform your business – from strategy consulting to implementation – and provide expert guidance with tangible business benefits.
  • Implementation and integration services:Our experts help businesses connect their systems to the Zuora ecosystem and transition from traditional systems to subscription models.
  • Billing Revenue and operations:Our certified consultants have deep industry insight and proven experience with cloud billing solutions with a long track record of delivering Zuora solutions.
  • With over 400 Zuora implementations and extensive Zuora billing and revenue experience, we are successful in maintaining a CSAT level of 9.7 over the last 9+ years.

Prem Shankar Patel
Senior Manager
Prem brings nearly three decades of analytics and information management experience to Estuate. He is a recognized expert who has received several awards over the years. In 2003, he was awarded the Center of Excellence (CoE) Champion Award for introduction of advanced training and certification for BIDW architects and consultants. In FY03-04 and FY04-05, he received the Best Faculty of the Year Award for his significant and effective contribution as a faculty member in the delivery of BIDW training. Previously in 2005, he received the Feather in My Cap (FIMC) Award for defining metrics for BIDW projects and establishing organizational norms. Prior to joining Estuate, Prem worked in various strategic positions at Wipro Limited and R S Software (India) Ltd. He holds an M. Tech in Computer Science from the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata.
Nagaraja Kini
Founder and Chief Financial Officer
Nagaraja has more than two decades of engineering, business development, consulting, alliances and management experience in software development, integration and implementation. He has worked extensively with global teams to consistently simplify ERP implementations for businesses. Nagaraja brings with him the commitment, willingness, and capability to anticipate and act on the continually evolving needs of a business.
Prior to founding Estuate, Nagaraja served at Oracle as Director in Application and Industry Solutions group within Global Sales Support. Nagaraja holds a Master of Technology in Industrial Electronics from the National Institute of Technology, Surathkal, and a Bachelor’s in Engineering from the SJ College of Engineering, Mysore, India.
Marc Hebert
Chief Operating Officer
Marc joined Estuate in December, 2008 as its first Chief Operating Officer. Marc is a recognized expert on offshore outsourcing. He has appeared on CNN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight, was interviewed in Investor’s Business Daily, and has been widely quoted in major media publications, including the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune, Financial Times, New York Times and Boston Globe on offshore outsourcing. He is recognized as an “IBM Champion” for his role in expanding the market for IBM’s Information Lifecycle Governance product line.
Prior to Estuate, he served in leadership roles at large global corporations, including as the CMO at Virtusa Corporation; EVP, Marketing and Alliances for Sierra Atlantic; and Vice President for eight years at Oracle Corporation. Marc holds a Bachelor of Science degree in experimental psychology from Harvard University, and an MBA from Stanford University.
Seemakiran Upadhya
Global Delivery Head and Managing Director, India
Seemakiran brings to Estuate more than 25 years of experience in the IT industry. She has been successful in building high-performing teams for the Delivery, Sales, and Operations departments. She was instrumental in setting up Estuate’s India center. Prior to joining Estuate, Seemakiran worked at Satyam, where she developed, tested, and implemented software projects in Oracle Technologies across multiple domains. She is highly proficient at working with a global client base.
Seemakiran holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics & Communication Engineering from Karnataka University.
Prem Shankar Patel
Senior Manager
Prem brings nearly three decades of analytics and information management experience to Estuate. He is a recognized expert who has received several awards over the years. In 2003, he was awarded the Center of Excellence (CoE) Champion Award for introduction of advanced training and certification for BIDW architects and consultants. In FY03-04 and FY04-05, he received the Best Faculty of the Year Award for his significant and effective contribution as a faculty member in the delivery of BIDW training.
Previously in 2005, he received the Feather in My Cap (FIMC) Award for defining metrics for BIDW projects and establishing organizational norms. Prior to joining Estuate, Prem worked in various strategic positions at Wipro Limited and R S Software (India) Ltd. He holds an M. Tech in Computer Science from the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata.
Sreekantha B. S.
Head Strategic Projects
Sreekantha brings to Estuate more than 33 years of experience in IT. He has successfully sold and delivered over 130 turnkey software projects worldwide for various clients across a variety of sectors - from software, finance, manufacturing, utilities, services, and more.
Prior to joining Estuate, Sreekantha led Buzznet (a Malaysian software company) for 17 years and Inventa Corporation (a US-based software company having an office in Malaysia) for 6 years. Through his experience, Sreekantha brings in-depth knowledge of software engineering, delivery, and implementation of software projects across all technology sectors that have emerged over the last 30+ years. Sreekantha holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics & Communications from Mysore University and a Master of Business Administration in Marketing from Newport University, USA.
Naveen Shankar
Associate Director – Talent Acquisition
Naveen is a seasoned professional in the field of Human Resources and brings to Estuate a rich experience of 14 years. He holds more than 12 HR-related certifications, including some in the space of Diversity & Inclusion. Over the years, he has been consistently recognized as a change maker in his respective organizations.
Before joining Estuate, Naveen led ForthPage as the Director-Cofounder. He has also worked with organizations such as General Electric, Time Inc., and Lumen Technologies in critical HR-centric roles. Naveen holds a Master of Business Administration from XLRI - Xavier School of Management, Jamshedpur.
Piyush Singh
Practice Head - Insurance
Piyush has fifteen years of work experience, including one year with Estuate. Piyush holds a Master of Computer Applications degree from Bharati Vidyapeeth University, Pune. Piyush is a highly accomplished professional with a wealth of experience in IT services and product engineering. Piyush has worked with PwC and Accenture in the past and his last positions were Delivery Manager and Dev Lead respectively.
He has received the Great Performance award from PwC and the ACE award from Accenture. Piyush has also delivered many end-to-end projects on a medium to large scale.
Subbarao Satyavolu
Vice President - Service Delivery, Americas
Subbarao is a results oriented Senior Leader with 30+ years experience in Enterprise Solution Consulting, Enterprise Program Management, Digital Enterprise Transformation/IT Modernization, Product Engineering, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), IT Service and Operations Management (ITSM/ITOM) and Strategic Account management. Global experience in building & managing high performing teams in solving complex business & technological challenges for the clients
Subbarao is a proven problem solver with extensive experience in the IT industry. He has been recognized as an outstanding performer by his employers, Hitachi/Sierra Atlantic and Computer Sciences Corp (CSC). Subbarao has also been certified in Six Sigma and Project Delivery Excellence by CSC University. In addition, Subbarao is certified in Supply Chain Management and IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL). He holds an M. Tech in Computer Aided Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur.
Satya Bobba
SVP, Global Head of GRC and Customer Success
Satya Bobba brings more than 20+ years of experience in building market-leading enterprise SaaS products and solutions. Her experience spans engineering, cloud strategy, business development and customer success. Her passion is to help customers achieve GRC goals while simplifying their processes and reduce implementation costs. She brings more than 14 years of domain experience in building and delivering GRC solutions to top enterprise customers across Financial Services, Life sciences, Hi-Tech, Healthcare and Quality verticals.
Prior to joining Estuate, she worked at MetricStream as AVP Cloud Strategy, Global Head of Platform Engineering and Head of Advanced Engineering GRC Products and Services. Earlier in her career, at AOL and Netscape she held technical roles in enterprise server technologies and personalization frameworks. She has a bachelor degree in Computer Science from Andhra University.
Prasanna Kulkarni
Vice President - Sales and Marketing
Prasanna is a seasoned Technology & Sales leader with over two decades of valuable global experience. Prasanna has been with Estuate for the past 5 years, leading the Sales and Marketing department with excellence. Prasanna holds a Bachelor of Engineering from GCoE, Amravati and a Stanford Advanced Program Management qualification from Stanford Center for Professional Development. Before joining Estuate, Prasanna held various leadership roles at HCL, Wipro, Nihilent Technologies, and Godrej.
Stanley Perumal
Global Practice Delivery Lead
Stanley Perumala is the Global Practice Delivery Lead with 8.6 years at Estuate. He holds a Masters degree in Computer Science from International Technological University, which is his area of specialization. Stanley has 16 years of experience and has held various positions at Netpace, Cognizant and Hewlett-Packard.
He has received multiple accolades for his achievements such as building an innovation segment with zuora and leading the BRM practice. Stanley is a key contributor for the BRM practice, having built the team from the ground up and building the core team for the same.
Prakash Balebail
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Prakash brings more than two decades of software development & implementation experience, including over 16 years in several key roles in Oracle Corporation. His management principle has been to provide commitment to continuously improve how he serves all of his customers, partners, and employees by anticipating their needs and exceeding their expectations through a culture of creativity & forward thinking.
Prior to founding Estuate, Prakash was the Senior Director in Oracle Applications Global Sales Solutions team, which built complex Oracle E-Business Suite application demonstrations for Sales activities. Additionally, he had leadership roles in the development of Oracle’s much-acclaimed Business Flow Accelerator (BFA) for the E-Business suite. During this time, Prakash also built the highly-regarded India operations team from the ground up. Prakash holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Karnataka University in India.