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From audience professionals for audience professionals!

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I love my job! Like many of our newsletter readers, I have ink — and thanks to digital, now electrons — in my blood. What gets me out of bed every morning is the fact that I immerse myself in Zoom calls with you and your amazing stories. And my prayer and my hope are that you love your job, too!

We all need more subscription starts. After hundreds of calls, emails and Zoom meetings, one thing is known for sure. You all have said you need more starts. The barrage of stops is seemingly never ending. So, you want more starts to offset the losses. As cost per order — or cost per acquisition — has risen, so has subscription churn. But it doesn't have to. Thus, ending the vicious cycle.

The Perfect Subscription Begins with the Perfect Retention Plan. If you agree that the whole point of acquiring a new subscription is recurring revenue, then we may want to pay closer attention. You see, the subscription start is not a final transaction. It is a lead. It's a handshake that begins at the top of the nurturing funnel. It is up to us as subscription marketers to convert our new subscription into strong lifetime value. You unlock the value by stretching the amount of time your new subscribers retain. In other words, you are rewarded through relationship. Grow the relationship, watch your revenue grow. Ignore or damage your new relationship and your subscriber says goodbye.

A Perfect Subscription Begins with the Perfect Retention Plan

Automate. Your marketing must be standardized, simple and repeatable. The automation gives it life. With smaller staffs and even smaller budgets, automation accomplishes what your time-starved staff cannot: the smooth and constant delivery of subscription retention marketing. Automation never takes a day off, calls in sick or gets too busy on other projects.

Integrate. Make your marketing work harder, so stop running lists! At the center of your workflow is your circulation system. Too often we hear that audience managers are unable to tap their system for the vital data they need. At NSS we specialize in extracting just the right data for just the right jobs. Also on the list are integration with your credit card processing and tokenization platform. Further, many customers have requested that new print starts have immediate digital access. However, due to a separate digital subscription system the registration process goes sideways for many subscribers. Problem solved: NSS provides a smooth pathway whereby new print subscribers enjoy immediate digital access.

Inaugurate. The first 100 days are more critical that any other period in your relationship with your new subscriber. Your onboarding process is the first critical checklist to begin nurturing a powerful relationship. First and foremost, you must thank your new customer for subscribing. Make them feel good about the decision, along with a simple way to contact your service team should something go wrong. During your onboarding series, educate, educate, educate. Your goal is to convince your subscriber of the wealth of value you provide by adopting one additional product. It might be a newsletter, the e-edition, your news app or simply registering for digital all access.

Moderate. Get involved in the renewal process. Develop your voice. You have every right to moderate the pre-expire and post-expire funnels. At NSS we make this turn-key. Multiple touch points across email, SMS text and direct mail encourage subscribers to renew, convert to EZPay and even pay back balances if they go into grace. Chances are that end-grace stops are one of your largest stop sources. Moderating the process with truly personalized communications and landing pages are the key to reversing the trend.

Correlate. Put your volumes of 1st party consumer data to work. Just as no two subscribers are the same, likewise every subscriber touch point should be flexed. That's where rate and offer come in. Using one size fit all methods leave way too much money on the table. At NSS we utilize the depth of your rate data to correlate just the right offer to the right subscriber at just the right time.

A perfect subscription begins with the perfect retention plan. Drive sustainable subscription revenue. At NSS we implement solutions that are scalable and affordable for every market size.

NSS is passionate about continually delivering on promises to simplify subscription marketing with a broad selection of industry-leading customer experiences at every step of the subscription lifecycle journey.

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Just a checklist. Steal mine.

How do you onboard and retain subscribers? Would love to hear your thoughts and comments.

Thanks for reading "Insights" where we strive to create practical how-to advice, real-world case studies and an entire network of audience professionals to help your subscription business grow. Your success is our success!

Until next time, happy selling and happier retaining.

Connect with Lon Haenel, vice president, chief client officer, at lon.haenel@nsslp.com.

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