Newsletters and envelopes

I don’t know about you, but my inbox is full of newsletters.

Some of these newsletters are really just daily ads, reminders from manufacturers and retailers to come back and buy more. Some are from software and media organizations, encouraging me to use the features and read the content I’m entitled to through my subscriptions. Some are calls to give money to, or volunteer for, causes and candidates. And some are updates on ideas and activities of organizations or individuals.

Some of them I delete immediately.

In fact, about once a month, I go through my newsletters, with the help…

Talking with WarnerMedia’s Molly O’Connor

Molly O’Connor

Much has been written about the so-called streaming wars. The market for streaming video content is crowded with players, each with unique strengths from Netflix‘s digital native early adopter status to the platform power of Apple and Amazon. To the highly specific and valuable content of niche players like Crunchyroll or the History Channel whom we profiled on this show. Anyone interested in subscription models can learn a lot from understanding the diverging strategies of streaming players, many of whom number among the most powerful companies in the world.

Molly O’Connor leads business planning and strategy for WarnerMedia’s sales and…

Woman looking through a telescope
Photo credit to Adam Fagen

Subscriptions are everywhere. Big companies, small companies, public, private, venture-backed, bootstrapped, and across virtually every industry.

And many are starting to complain of “subscription fatigue”.

They might feel that the subscription pricing isn’t justified by the offer (a Product/Market Fit problem).

Or maybe they feel bad about fact that they aren’t taking advantage of all the great value their subscriptions provide — too many unread New Yorkers, uneaten Blue Apron kits (Subscription Guilt).

Or maybe they’re just angry that it’s so darn hard to find the cancel button.

I am a big fan of subscription pricing. I have dedicated more…

Xiaohe Li
Xiaohe Li

Pricing is one of the trickiest parts of building a successful subscription model. You want to make the model simple, transparent and easy to understand, but you also want it to be optimized for each customer, and of course to maximize revenue and profitability. It can be tempting to offer multiple tiers for different use cases as well as promotions and add-ons. Before you know it, you have a complex mess. Our guest Xiaohe Li is an expert on subscription pricing with experience at organizations including Apple, VMware and now GitLab. …

Premium programs are not the only way to build a member-relationship with customers.

people holding phones and tablets
Photo by Blake Wisz on Unsplash

For the last fifty years or so, for many marketers, “Loyalty” has been synonymous with points programs. Nearly every hospitality organization and retailer has a points program to drive engagement in episodic businesses. The value on both sides is clear. Consumers “earn” rewards in exchange for frequency, recency, breadth and depth of purchase. Businesses enjoy greater Lifetime Customer Value (LCV) and also have a means of tracking consumer behavior by individual.

These programs have grown increasingly sophisticated — consumers are allowed to use their points not just…

Dave Cobban
Dave Cobban

Launching something new is always tricky. It can be especially challenging to be entrepreneurial inside a global brand like Nike. You want to align with the broader goals of the organization while also staying nimble and creative. When you’re introducing subscription models into a transactionally-oriented organization, the stakes are even higher. Dave Cobban spent over twelve years at Nike, working with the innovation team. A few years ago, as a result of his work as part of a team looking at driving exponential growth at Nike, Dave identified an opportunity for subscription commerce as a potential way to achieve several…

And How is it Different from Amazon Prime, Walmart + and the others?

Best Buy sign
Photo cred: Mike Mozart

Best Buy is experimenting with Premium Loyalty Programs, and piloting “Best Buy Beta (BBB)” in select markets.

According to Best Buy’s website, the $199/yr membership ($179 with a BestBuy card) provides members with benefits including the following:

  • Dedicated and exclusive concierge support
  • Unlimited Geek Squad technical support on all technology in your home (whether purchased at Best Buy or not)
  • Fast and free shipping with no minimums
  • Exclusive member pricing on a wide range of products
  • Free in-home standard delivery and installation on most products
  • Two-year protection on most purchases at Best Buy, including AppleCare on Apple products
  • 60-day extended…

Elena Verna
Elena Verna

In my work with subscription and membership models, one of the books that influenced me the most was Free: The Future of a Radical Price. Free was written by Chris Anderson, Editor-in-Chief of WIRED Magazine and published in 2009 by Hyperion. That book got me thinking about the role of Free in subscriptions in a more strategic and systemic way. If your business hasn’t analyzed the possible role of free in your business model, whether it’s a free trial, a free sample, or a freemium offering, you’re missing out. The judicious use of Free can be one of the most…

John Lee Dumas speaking into a microphone
John Lee Dumas

When John Lee Dumas began his entrepreneurial journey, he was hungry to learn as much as he could. He decided to share the advice he was getting and joined the growing ranks of podcasters. To stand out from the crowd, he identified an unmet need. When he had first gone looking for a daily podcast to punctuate his long days, he had found none, so he created a daily podcast. From that simple objective of satisfying his own craving to learn and sharing it with others who would just like him, he’s created an entrepreneurial empire. …

With Matt Fiedler of Vinyl Me, Please

Matt Fiedler
Matt Fiedler

Matt Fiedler is the cofounder and chairman at Vinyl Me, Please, a record of the month club and online record store. After launching in 2013, Matt successfully scaled Vinyl Me, Please to more than $15 million in revenue while establishing the brand as one of the largest direct-to-consumer vinyl retailers and one of the most admired and respected brands in music. In this episode, we’re talking about how Matt scaled Vinyl Me, Please from a labor of love for a few fellow music fans to a $15 million business. …

Robbie K Baxter

Author of THE FOREVER TRANSACTION & THE MEMBERSHIP ECONOMY; Leading expert on membership models and subscription pricing.

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