Five on Friday: Sales Objections, Facebook Ads and Focusing on Churn
We hope you enjoy reading Five on Friday as much as we love putting it together. After all, it is so hard to read all of the newsletters, articles and social media content that crosses your path every day. We’ve done the work for you by curating five hot topics to make your subscription life easier.
This week we feature Hubspot’s ultimate guide to objection handling, 4 tips for managing content mistakes (a continuation from last week’s Five on Friday), 3 reasons to focus on involuntary churn, how to advertise your subscription products on Facebook, and subscription boot camp is back!
The Ultimate Guide to Objection Handling: 40 Common Sales Objections & How to Respond
Whether selling is your full-time responsibility or just one component of your job description, we must all wear the sales hat occasionally, and it’s tough out there! Hubspot has made it a little easier by sharing The Ultimate Guide to Objection Handling. We’ve highlighted a few that we think are particularly helpful to the subscription world.
1) ‘It costs too much.’ This is a common objection that’s voiced by prospects, even by those who plan to subscribe anyway, but a good salesperson will address it by discussing the product’s value, not its price.
2) ‘I don’t want to make a commitment.’ Best practices for subscription companies recommend that subscribers can cancel at any time. Another option is to offer discounts for longer-term relationships. For example, this morning we wrote about Funko’s new ‘Disney Treasures’ subscription box. Subscribers can pay-as-they-go at one price, but if they are willing to commit to six or 12 months, they get a discount and additional perks, illustrating the value of making a commitment.
3) ‘I can get a cheaper version somewhere else.’ This may be true, particular of subscription companies like Pandora, Spotify, Apple Music and other streaming music vendors who offer similar products at different price points. You face this objection by differentiating yourself from the competition. What do you have that no one else does?
4 Tips to Manage Content Mistakes
In last week’s Five on Friday, we shared Search Engine Watch’s thoughts on content errors and how they can hurt a company’s brand and SEO. This week we’ll continue that theme with their suggestions for what to do when mistakes inevitably occur. No matter how thorough your editorial team, this is sound advice:
- Have a plan. If your content inadvertently causes an unforeseen crisis, make sure you have a plan in place to correct the problem as quickly and painlessly as possible. Search Engine Watch suggests deciding in advance who will take responsibility for the mistake – ideally a top editor, publisher or higher up in your company.
- Act fast. Inside the company, tell everyone who needs to know as soon as possible. Outside the company, acknowledge the mistake on all platforms, particularly social media, apologize, and explain how you are going to address the problem. For example, you have corrected the error, taken down the post, posted a public apology, etc. Being defensive with your audience will only magnify the problem and make it more sharable; instead, be gracious and responsive.
- Decide what to do with the content. You’ve got three options. (a) You can leave the post with a correction in place. The date, time and explanation of the correction should be included at the top of the post. (b) Leave the post alone, but add a correction and/or apology to explain what happened and perhaps why you are leaving the post up. (c) Delete the post. While we don’t recommend “unpublishing” because nothing on the internet really goes away forever, delete the content if it is inaccurate. If you choose option c, be sure to delete any scheduled social media posts that will direct readers to that page.
- Reduce opportunities for error. Search Engine Watch offers these suggestions:
a. Ask your writers for documentation and sources for fact-checking purposes.
b. If the issue is dicey to start with, ask your legal team before publishing.
c. If you have evidence of a claim, text or visual, publish it.
d. Fact check – people, job titles, locations, events, dates, phone numbers, etc.
e. Always attribute ideas, quoted text and images to their original source.
f. When linking to outside content or sources, confirm the link works.
Three Reasons to Focus on Involuntary Churn
Enterprise billing platform Vindicia posted an interesting article on involuntary churn – the churn that is caused by subscriptions that are canceled without any action on the customer’s part. These have a big impact on your bottom line too. Vindicia reminds us of three reasons we need to focus on involuntary churn.
1) Involuntary churn impacts 16 percent of subscribers, according to IBM research.
2) Involuntary churn has a direct impact on revenue. It costs money to acquire new subscribers, but it costs less to retain them, so when you let customers go, you lose money.
3) Involuntary churn disrupts the customer experience with the annoyance of having to reinstate their subscription or to forgo your product or service.
For suggestions on how to reduce churn, read the full article on Vindicia.
How to Advertise Your Subscription Products on Facebook
Facebook ads are an easy way to get your subscription product in front of a targeted audience. If you are a startup or a small subscription company, you’ll love the affordability factor too. The key is knowing what your options are, understanding your objectives, defining your audience and learning how to test and adapt.
Here are some three best practices from Hootsuite for advertising your subscription products on Facebook. It’s easier than you might think!
- Determine your objectives BEFORE you start. Do you want to raise brand awareness, convert more customers, get more likes, or increase post likes or video views? By outlining your goals ahead of time, you’ll be better prepared to choose the right Facebook advertising option.
- Define your audience as specifically as possible. As of December 31, 2016, Facebook had 1.86 billion monthly active users. To be effective, you need to really target your ads. You can do this geographically, demographically, by interests, keywords, etc.
- Rotate your ads periodically. When people see the same ad over and over, they tune it out. Make sure your ads are fresh, and be sure to monitor your ad stats closely to see what’s working and what isn’t.
Next week, we’ll share Hootsuite’s 7 simple steps for advertising on Facebook.
Subscription Payment Boot Camp is Back!
We are so excited to be able to bring you another edition of Subscription Payment Boot Camp. The next event is May 8 in New York City. During that exclusive, one-day event, attendees will get expert advice on the following:
- Crushing churn and growing recurring revenue
- Understanding revenue operations from payment experts
- Case studies presented by subscription merchants
- Tactics and strategies for reverse decline payments
Early-bird pricing ends next Friday, March 17, 2017, so register to lock in your seat today!