BFCM is a critical period for subscription brands, as balancing acquisition and retention can be tricky.
From our work both at Lunar Solar Group managing hundreds of ecommerce brands, to our experience here at Stay Ai, our team pulled together our top tips & tricks for your BFCM strategy.
Let’s dig in to how you can best acquire, retain, and delight your subscribers during the most wonderful time of the year.
Getting Started: Review 2022 Data for BFCM 2023
💡 Pro Tip: before you start implementing your 2023 strategy, take a look at last year’s available BFCM data. Here’s why:
– If your juicy intro offer led to high acquisition, but same-day or first-month cancellations skyrocketed, maybe the juice wasn’t worth the squeeze.
– If you saw particularly high churn among existing subscribers, that’s a sign that this year, you should invest more into subscriber retention.
BFCM 2023: Reduce Subscriber Churn
Churn risk is high during BFCM, with subscribers starting their holiday shopping and looking for deals. Let’s look at 3 ways to save your subscribers from BFCM churn.
Call Out Subscriber-Exclusive Discounts
Don’t let your current subscribers get salty about missing the deals you’re giving first-timers. Offer subscribers a similar (or higher!) discount on their next order or on add-on products as an extra incentive to stay.
Last year, OLIPOP launched a banner ad in their customer portal highlighting an exclusive subscriber offer for Black Friday. After the promotional period, they saw an 8% reduction in churn, and a 13% increase in add-on revenue.
Launch Subscriber-Exclusive Offers
Through your customer portal, email, SMS, and website, promote subscriber-only exclusive offers. Limited edition products, BOGO deals, and add-on deals are especially effective. Be sure to tease these offers to your subscribers in advance to build excitement.
Super Coffee launched a subscriber-exclusive Cyber Week Flash Sale in 2022. This deal allowed subscribers to add any two seasonal items to their cart for a BOGO deal.
Surely Wine reserved their 2022 BFCM offers to subscribers only, leveraging the FOMO effect. From October through EOY, they saw 32% less churn. Even more awesome, their add-on revenue skyrocketed by 85% in November.
Offer Free Gifts with Purchase
BFCM is a perfect time to capitalize on freebies and surprises to boost subscriber engagement. Give subscribers a heads-up about their upcoming gift as an incentive to prevent churn.
BFCM 2023: Turning Shoppers Into New Subscribers
Highlight Special Intro Offers
If you know you’ve got a product customers love, a deeper discount on the first order can be a great way to boost subscriber count.
Beekeeper’s Naturals sent a dedicated email highlighting their “best subscription deal of the year”, featuring 30% off new subscriptions and a free gift on the second order. During BFCM 2022, they saw 12% growth in first-time subscription revenue, as well as 53% growth in add-on revenue!
Build Your Messaging with Subscription in Mind
Start pushing subscription-related messaging across acquisition channels well in advance. Reinforce the value proposition(s) of your subscription program to shoppers via your website, social, email, and SMS. Additionally, if you offer products that show best results with consistent product use, reiterate that messaging and those benefits.
Entice Shoppers with Trial or Starter Kits
BFCM is a great time to launch special offers on pre-built bundles like starter or trial kits. Regardless of the season, these products often convert well for initial purchase, and with some workflow magic and/or dedicated email flows, can convert seamlessly into high-value subscriptions.
Tenzo offers Trial Kits year-round, and has set up a workflow in Stay to convert trial purchasers to subscribers down the line. They periodically highlight special offers on their trial kit, enabling customers to seamlessly test the product before falling in love.
Upsell One-Time Purchasers with 2+ Orders on Subscription:
This is an extremely valuable and easy-to-convert customer segment! Send a dedicated email flow or SMS message to customers who have purchased one or more products multiple times as one-time purchases, encouraging them to “upgrade” to subscription. Reinforce your subscription program benefits – especially that subscribe & save – and consider presenting a BFCM season specific intro offer for these subscribers. Free gifts with purchase, trial items, or bundle discounts are especially effective with this segment.
Add Winback Campaigns to Your BFCM Marketing Mix:
Offer prior subscribers a special discount to come back, a free gift with purchase, or a multi-month exclusive offer on subscriptions to encourage re-enrolling in your subscription program. If you have cancellation survey data to work off of, make sure to segment these customers meaningfully. For example, for your segment of customers to that cancelled to purchase in retail, highlight the value propositions of your digital subscription program to encourage them to buy online through 2024. Another example: for customers who had too much product, highlight how they can set up a subscription moving forward with their delivery cadence of choice.
Leverage Gifting to Boost AOV & Reach
Suggest Add-On Items as Gifts: Surface cool add-on items in your customer portal carousel, using your portal banner, or through email/SMS and nudge subscribers to purchase these items as gifts for others.
Highlight Prepaid, Fixed-Length Subscriptions: Fixed-length subscriptions are extremely popular gifts during the holidays! Consider sending a dedicated email campaign featuring “the gift that keeps on giving” – a subscription to a friend or family member’s favorite brand!
TLDR: The holiday season is a critical period for acquiring — and retaining — high value subscription customers. Ready to crush your Q4 with the only subscription tool powered by AI for maximum impact?
Just click Get Started below to chat with our team of subscription & retention experts.