Subscription Success Unlocked:

Innovative Strategies for eCommerce Brands

Effectively use your marketing tech stack in conjunction with subscriptions to convert more one-time buyers into subscribers.

Subscriptions have fast become a fixture in the world of eCommerce. With more than half of online shoppers buying into subscriptions, it’s no surprise many businesses have added the channel to their marketing mix. 

As easy as technology has made it for us to add subscriptions to our stores, it’s important to note that many brands aren’t taking advantage of all the benefits their subscription offering provides.

Running your subscription channel on its own won’t move the needle when it comes to your recurring revenue or building retention with your existing customers.

So, whether you already offer subscriptions or are about to add one to your business, this optimization guide will help you maximize your subscription channel. We’re covering 11 subscription marketing strategies that will help you effectively use your marketing tech stack in conjunction with subscriptions to convert more one-time buyers into subscribers, build lasting relationships, and increase your recurring revenue.

Let’s get the biggest bang for your buck.

Table of Contents
Convert one-time shoppers to subscribers
Increase your subscriber retention
Boost your AOV
Convert one-time shoppers to subscribers
Increase your subscriber retention
Boost your AOV
Convert one-time shoppers to subscribers
Chapter 01

Convert one-time shoppers to subscribers

Converting one-time customers to subscribers is a great way to increase recurring revenue. In fact, 50% of subscribers have more than one active subscription. We can attribute these high rates to the frictionless purchase process. 

With the subscription experience, the customer doesn’t need to go through the checkout process each time they shop. We know that by creating a smooth, uncomplicated experience, your customers are more likely to complete purchases and return to buy again with greater frequency. 

Even with a smooth experience, it still may take a bit of coaxing to get your customers to open their wallets on a recurring basis. Here are four strategies for converting one-time shoppers into subscribers.


Make it clear you offer subscriptions

This may seem like a very obvious strategy, but we believe it’s worth mentioning. Put your website to work and effectively build awareness of your subscription channel.

Branding and marketing your subscription service is crucial to grow your subscriber base. By adding your subscription program as a banner and a dedicated tab in your navigation bar, you are ensuring your would-be one-time purchasers are exposed to your subscription service.

We recommend that you include product imagery in the banner and use discount-forward language to make sure your customer base understands that by subscribing they will get more. Your banner can highlight that customers will save with a subscription or emphasize the ease of the subscription experience.

The more your program is referenced on pages with high customer traffic, the higher the likelihood of subscriber conversion.

Incentivize subscribers with discounts and perks

Yotpo’s latest subscription shoppers survey shows 80% of shoppers will subscribe for perks and discounts. We recommend creating discount tiers based on purchase frequency, so customers who purchase more get an incrementally higher discount. They might get 20% off by subscribing to receive a product every month, 15% off for every two months, and so on.

Incentivizing your customers in this way can build brand loyalty around your product. One-time customers are also getting a look into how you reward your repeat shoppers, giving them more of an incentive to subscribe.


Meet potential subscribers where they are with personalized messaging

For example, use SMS marketing to educate your customers about the benefits of becoming subscribers. With our SMS marketing solution, you can let past customers know they can subscribe to the product they previously bought and loved. Simply share a link to the product page where they can immediately subscribe to this product.


Incentivize subscription adoption through your loyalty program

Integrating your subscription offering with your loyalty program is a great way to leverage both channels and drive engagement. For example, using Yotpo Loyalty along with Subscriptions allows you to reward your loyal shoppers with added points when they sign up for a subscription.

The customers using your loyalty program are some of your most dedicated shoppers. Why not use the added layer of subscriptions to boost retention even further?

Increase your subscriber retention
Chapter 02

Increase your subscriber retention

Getting your customers to continue to subscribe is crucial to growing their customer lifetime value. Statistics show that the three most important reasons for customers to stay subscribed are personalized experiences, convenience, and value for money.

The most successful subscription programs allow brands to show their subscribers that they value their relationship with perks such as discounts, early access to sales, loyalty programs just for subscribers, and personalized marketing campaigns.


Put your customers in control 

Build trust with your subscribers by allowing them to control their orders. With a passwordless subscription management portal and customizable subscription options, you can even reduce cancellations and prevent subscriber churn. 

Giving your customers the ability to skip their upcoming orders or change the frequency of their subscriptions is a great way to keep them from canceling. 

By empowering your customers to manage their subscriptions without needing to reach out to your customer service, you make them feel more in control and you reduce the cost of your customer service team. It’s what we call a win, win.

Optimize your loyalty program for subscribers

We’ve already talked about how you can use your loyalty program to convert your one-time shoppers into repeat purchasers. Now we’ll show you how to leverage your loyalty programs to incentivize subscribers to stay subscribed. 

Use your loyalty program to reward subscribers with points for every subscription delivery, then double down and let them redeem those points towards an upcoming subscription order. This cycle is a great way to keep subscribers around longer. 

Get even more customized with how you reward subscribers with loyalty points. Using sequential tagging, you can reward customers on specific subscription orders. For example, a brand can reward double points on the third subscription order to mitigate churn.

The benefit of Yotpo Subscriptions and Yotpo Loyalty together is that shoppers will automatically see their rewards on the customer portal as they become available vs. having to copy-paste a code to get the reward. This gives you more freedom to create a customized experience for your subscribers.


Use SMS and email marketing campaigns to retain your subscription customers

SMS and email marketing are both critical to a successful subscription program. Market research shows that ROI for email campaigns is around $36 — that’s 3,600% ROI! Since healthy subscription programs rely on positive repeat engagement with your customer base, email marketing will be one of the strongest tools in your arsenal. When you pair email with SMS, a channel that sees 98% open rates, you can rest assured that your marketing messages are meeting your customers where they are.

Recommended Subscriber Campaigns:

Don’t forget that segmented email and SMS campaigns boost ROI by 23%! Having a customized subscriber campaign will build trust with your subscribers and drive meaningful engagement.

  • Subscription Confirmation
    • Start customer engagement off right with a welcome email and/or text that lets your customers know all of the benefits they get from becoming a subscriber. Statistics show that customers are 4x more likely to open a welcome message, so take advantage of this by making sure your message clearly communicates how easy it is to update upcoming orders, switch products, or add discounts.
  • Engagement Campaign
    • Engagement campaigns are a great opportunity to remind the subscriber what benefits and discounts they get just by being a subscriber. You can also use email and SMS to push seasonal sales, new drops, or even market your loyalty program.
  •  Personalized Shopping Experience Campaign
    • Building long-term relationships is based on creating a bespoke experience for your customers. Use your customer analytics to give personalized product recommendations that you know your subscribers would like.
  • Inactive Subscribers’ Win-back Campaign
    • We’ve already seen how important lifetime value is, so implementing win-back marketing campaigns is critical, especially since new customer acquisition is 5x more expensive than winning back existing customers.
    • For the most successful win-back campaign, send your win-back email 3 months after your subscriber has stopped engaging. If you’re using SMS, send your campaign 30 days after inactivity. Even a simple “hey there” email or text reminding your customers that you’re thinking of them is likely to drive re-engagement.
    • Remember that one of the keys to a successful re-engagement campaign is making your shoppers feel like you appreciate that they choose to buy from you. In fact, 60% of customers said they felt underappreciated for their brand loyalty. Jog their memory of why they became subscribers in the first place by sharing the benefits of your product and the value they see in being a subscriber.


Boost your AOV
Chapter 03

Boost your AOV

Increasing your average order value is a great way to maximize revenue without spending more money on marketing and sales costs. Use these strategies to boost your average order value on subscription renewals.

Offer more products on subscription plans

Data from Yotpo’s survey of 2,000 U.S. shoppers, shows 51% of online shoppers have a product subscription where items are replenished at regular intervals and over half of these subscribers have 2 to 3 subscriptions. What’s more, 49% of online shoppers say that there are products they buy online that they wish were available as a subscription, but aren’t. Take advantage of these exciting stats by adding a subscription plan to as many of your relevant products as possible.


Activate upsell opportunities

Simplify your subscription communications with Yotpo’s transactional subscription messages. Connecting with your subscribers via SMS is a great way to engage with them between their subscription purchases. Fellow Yotpo brand, Tenderly Rooted has seen 50x ROI on their subscription renewal reminder flow that was sent via SMS.

In addition, consumers will now be able to modify their subscriptions directly via SMS, streamlining the process, further reducing any existing friction, and increasing the likelihood your customers stay subscribed.

This eliminates the friction of the checkout experience and simplifies the delivery process for your subscribers, who can now expect any newly added products in their next renewal delivery.


Use delivery reminders to boost quick upsells

SMS or email reminders of your customers’ upcoming delivery are a great opportunity to introduce/offer additional products.

Your active subscribers are more likely to add additional products, especially if you customize these recommended upsell products based on their purchase history.

Offer subscription bundles at a lowered price

A good way to get customers to spend more on each order is to offer a bundle of subscription products at a lower price point than they would be if purchased individually.

Group your products so they are complementary – this will expose your customers to more of your products and boost your AOV. Since customers are paying more for the bundles, price them above your free shipping threshold to create a moment of delight for the shopper and reduce hesitation.

No matter where you are in your subscription journey, it’s never too early to get started or to optimize your current strategy to convert more one-time buyers, develop lasting relationships, and increase recurring revenue.