Most subscription company owners and managers tell me they’ve already built a new member onboarding program and it didn’t improve their subscriber churn rate. Yes, almost all of my clients, before they met me, had spent a lot of time and energy creating new member orientations, scripting their new member path, and getting their customers engaged. But few had seen their retention improve.
Unfortunately, new subscriber member onboarding isn’t as simple as writing a welcome message. I am happy to share with you the copywriting formula that I’ve used many times to create member welcome campaigns that make big improvements on subscriber churn, sometimes cutting 30-day churn rates in half.
You can deliver your welcome message in a letter, as a new member video, as the first module of your training program, with the first issue of your publication, or as an email sequence.
You can also use a combination of these different types of media to communicate your message, which should include these nine elements:
What is the transformation you used to entice your member to join? Start your orientation by reconnecting to that promise and illustrating what life will be like after your customer has your subscription.
If your subscription requires your member to do something, use something, or learn something, even if he believes your system works, he may not believe in himself enough to implement. He may think he won’t know what to do, is not skilled enough, or is just too busy. You must help your customer believe that your subscription does help people like him make this transformation and believe that he has what it takes to implement.
Help your customer set an incremental goal. What’s the first, easiest thing your customer can do to experience a quick win? This win gives your customer confidence and helps him get engaged.
Teach your customer how to find the time to use your subscription. What will it take to read or consume your product? If it’s a SAAS tool, what systems will your subscriber need to change and how long will it take? Help your customer set aside the necessary time and space to consume your subscription.
Position your subscription as the only way for your member to achieve the desired transformation. Exclude all of the other options.
Provide hope by illustrating the path to the desired transformation. Just like a college provides a curriculum to earn the degree that will help to prepare a student for a new employment opportunity, spell out in detail the necessary steps your customer can take to fully experience your transformation. For example, if you provide women’s cosmetic subscription boxes, instead of only describing an enclosed product, you can also illustrate some novel uses for it.
Too many onboarding programs give several lengthy steps before there is any breakthrough feeling. If your product requires several steps to implement, where exactly should your customer get started to experience the quickest possible win or breakthrough?
Few onboarding sequences incorporate the single most powerful strategy for encouraging a person to make a change: recognition. Give your member kudos, either directly or within your community.
Increase the value of all your members by providing an up-sell. Remember, the members who invest more in the relationship stay longer.