1. Drive engagement through content
You may have read about content marketing and thought it’s not for you but it is, it has to be, you need to be doing it and doing it now. You need to provide your potential audience with high-quality relevant information, it isn’t about product push, it’s about informing and educating. The way customers buy has changed, you need to change too.
2. Encourage Advocacy
In 2009 Uber had a great idea but it was just another taxi firm. They had a platform to take payment and scale up and down with demand, but no customers. Taking advantage of their San Francisco location and the tech community, they organised events and crucially gave free rides to the attendees. These attendees became their advocates and spread the word. They then replicated this in other cities. Find advocates who will champion your business, whether industry influencers, bloggers or journalists.
3. Capture the visitors to your website
Not everyone on your website will fill in an enquiry form. So you need to find other ways to know who they are. http://www.sumo.me/allows you to create an email collector. For example a pop-up box to enter your email for a free 50 growth hacks for your company. Tracking the silent visitors is easy to use a tool such as http://www.traffictruffle.com/ which will identify the visitors to your website from their IP address.
4. Put up your price
It might seem like an obvious thing but few of us are prepared to do it to new customers let alone existing ones. If your home broadband is from a company like Virgin or BT you will be familiar with fairly regular price increases. Over time, your operating cost increases so you are losing margin on your existing sales. European MSP Claranet introduced an inflation-based price increase across its customer base. No one likes paying more, but people around you are putting up their price and you should consider it too.
5. Contract length
Some services are sold on a monthly rolling contract; take a look at how many customers cancel during the first 12 months. Change your standard terms to 12 months (or longer). The number of people who are deterred from signing up will be outweighed by the extra guaranteed revenue. Mcloud, a London based software firm applied this simple hack and increased revenue by 8%.
6. Weight pricing towards longer contracts.
If you want to offer monthly rolling pricing, weight it so that if you are using the service for more than 4 months, it’s better to sign for a year. Biteable, an online animation firm, offers a model where the monthly option is $29, the annual, $99.
7. Keep marketing into your existing base
Don’t wait until it’s time for renewals to contact your existing customers. Keep them engaged with high-quality relevant content. You can upsell to this base at any time but they don’t want to get pushy sales messages. Nurture these customers, make them love you, make them advocates of your company. You could set up a quarterly webinar talking about relevant industry trends for their vertical and ask your customers in that space for their input. Everybody loves to be asked for their option.
8. Keep marketing into your old enquiries
Don’t forget all your old enquiries. You have built up a database over the years, use it. Market into this base but don’t send glossy special offers, send high quality engaging content and it should be relevant. As with any database, you should segment this list and send the right content to the right segments. If you aren’t using your existing database of prospects, do. Today.
9. Make it hard to cancel
Make it easy to buy your service but make it hard to cancel. You don’t need to go to the extremes of Sky or the companies who hide the ways to cancel the service but you don’t need to make it too easy. We all have stuck with services because we think changing is a hassle. Don’t allow people to cancel over email, it’s too easy. Try cancelling Spotify you’ll see how they have got multiple hurdles that you need to jump before you finally get to cancel. If you have an account management team then make the cancellation route through that team, they will have a chance to save the account.
10. Offer alternatives to cancelling
Cancelling should be a last resort. Offer a downgrade or a temporary suspension of a service as an alternative. Audible do an excellent job of this approach. You have the option to suspend the service for 3 months, you can keep subscribed at a lower cost, you can get an extra book for free if you stay. Think about what alternatives you can offer rather than a complete cancellation of a service.
Also published on Medium.