The real money in a subscription business is not in getting new subscribers, it is in keeping them and increasing their value. They might visit if your sales process is good, but they’ll only stay if your content is truly engaging and you are communicating with them in an entertaining and engaging way.
Jim Sinkinson founded Infocom Group in 1980 and sold it in 2015. The company produced online data services, newsletters, webinars, books, special reports, ad-based media, live professional development conferences and seminars for the PR/corporate communications market.
Jim knows exactly what to create in order to get your members to be engaged in your product – and keep paying for it. He’s been teaching this to editors and content creators for decades, both within his own business, and within his consulting work.
I recently interviewed Jim for my Membership and Subscription Growth podcast. In a world of free information and lead generators, Jim can show you how to create the content your subscribers are craving, and are willing to pay for.
Compelling Content is Key
Jim says: “content is a key to many membership experiences.” People join for the content that you provide. That content could be in a newsletter. It could be a chat group, or at a conference or coaching program.
It’s a challenge to create content worthy of a high membership price and a long-term relationship. Many organizations don’t spend equivalent energy, time and money on improving the quality of the information or the content that they are providing to subscribers or members.
Today, we’ve got this content marketing industrial complex that’s teaching folks how to churn out content for free in order to try to generate leads and attract customers, and position marketers as experts. Yet, there are all these publishers and associations out there trying to sell access to their content.
As Jim Sinkinson said, “Expertise isn’t what folks want and will pay for. Instead, it is change, benefits, impact on their lives.”
Connect the Promise to the Content
While it’s never been easier to reach customers, and grow your business on a global scale, hiring great writers doesn’t guarantee great content or great results.
Often, content creators are separated from the rest of the operation. The challenge is to get both the marketing team and the content creators together to agree on what promise is being offered to the consumer. Most writers, editors, or conference organizers just don’t realize that their job is to sell the subscriber on a transformative experience.
“Over the years, I’ve come to the realization that even though I’m dealing with extremely intelligent people, very capable people, and highly motivated people, just to tell them how to do it, and even leave them with a set of rules for how to do it, is not enough to transform them into brilliant copywriters, or into content providers who can think this way. It is a matter of consciousness.”
Marketing can sell all it wants, but if the content doesn’t match the promise, you have a problem. Bridge that gap by bringing those two teams together and getting them to agree on what the job is.
Create a Transformative Experience
Jim says, “It’s not enough just to deliver information, the draw is what accessing this content can do for them.” Knowledge alone doesn’t change anything.
“What we want to do is, not to focus on the knowledge that we’re giving somebody, but what the knowledge can do for them, that is the benefit.” Just buying the product once is not enough – they have to use it or they will not see the value of an ongoing relationship.
Keep in contact regular contact with customers. Highlight what they can do with the knowledge you are providing. Give them case studies that allow them to see the impact your strategies can have in their l