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Crushing It With Recurring Revenue: 10 Subscription Business Owners Weigh In

Crushing It With Recurring Revenue Subscription Business Owners Weigh In

Jules Watkins of Video Hero


“No need to put everything but the kitchen sink into your subscriptions.

Less is sometimes more.

Have at least one standalone product that your members can buy outside of their regular subscription.

Offering them a discount on this standalone product means they see the extra benefit of being a subscriber to your membership and increases your revenue at the same time.”


Related: From Overworked TV Produce to Online Infopreneuer with Jules Watkins

Elissa Doucette of Craft Your Content


“Give customers choices (but not too many). I’ve found in sales situations, the three-tiered approach tends to work the best: one basic, one standard, and one luxury recurring package.

Don’t just throw things on the luxury package that aren’t valuable, but do write your copy to sell that one. Anyone who says they want the luxury package, but aren’t willing to start with at least the basic or standard, are likely not going to buy from you anyway.

Sell them what they want – they’ll either sign up for that one or aspire to get there.”

Dan Norris of WPCurve


“Adding an annual option and a higher level plan for VIP customers has made a big impact on our cashflow and overall revenue.

If you just have one plan, it’s worth considering a discounted annual option and a higher level plan with faster response or more features.”

Related: How to Build a Massively Successful Service-Based Business with Dan Norris

Russ Perry of Design Pickle


“Create a brand that people can connect to emotionally.

If your clients are connected emotionally, they trust you.

If they trust you they are less likely to churn when bumps in the road occur (and they always do).”

Related: From 0 to 150 Customers in 6 Months with Russ Perry

Tips on starting and running a VC funded/fundable business

Chris Thompson of truBrain


“Make sure the product itself is something that makes sense for replenishment on a monthly cadence that is fairly consistent.

Customizing too much is too complex and difficult to execute. Also, don’t try to compete with Wal-Mart or Amazon.

This means you must have a unique offering that is not just a simple commodity.

You must at least provide guidance with a commodity (ie DollarShaveClub), or else Amazon and WalMart will eventually beat you.

The product also can’t feel like a bulk send (ie Amazon); it must be “curated” and a stellar (ie Warby Parker) unboxing experience.”

Matthew Paulson of MarketBeat


“Many subscription business owners focus heavily on front-end growth while letting existing customers slip out the back door through involuntary churn, which occurs when a customer is automatically cancelled when their credit card gets declined.

In order to reduce involuntary churn, use a payment provider (like Stripe) that automatically gets updated credit card numbers from banks. Also send a series of reminder emails to customers whose credit cards are about to expire or have already expired. You can automate this process using a service like”

Damian Thompson of Salesability


“People focus on acquisition & retention, and those are necessary, but I think extension deserves attention also.

What else can you sell existing customers? Can you create a premium version of your subscription? Growing revenue in existing accounts is a great way to grow revenue.”

Jacob Puhl of Firegang


“Upsells. If you have a set of clients, there are no doubt quick win opportunities for upsells.

Often times, all it takes is one meeting with our team taking a deep look at our client list, and we could quickly identify some easy opportunities to a) create a quick, valuable product and b) sell it to our best customers.

You likely have customers who love your products and would be open to any new products you have.

For example, as a website development agency, a few years ago we saw that clients wanted separate mobile websites. So we quickly created a ‘Mobile Website” subscription product, identified our best customers and introduced the product to them. The whole process took no more than 2 weeks. A handful of them loved it and bought it, and we were able to add a fast, significant bump to revenue just by thinking creatively with upsells and acting quickly with the customers who loved us already.”

Michael Erickson of Search Scientists


“Subscription services must ruthlessly analyze and reduce their churn rate.

I look at our churn rate calculations with the same importance as a financial document.

Let’s say a high ticket service loses 6 clients every quarter of their 60 total clients. Every quarter, they’re starting their sales and marketing 10% behind the starting line just to break even. This treadmill is extremely dangerous and represents an unhealthy business to me.

Alternatively, high retention and low churn has a beautiful emergent effect on a subscription business. You can spend more to acquire a customer than your competition. You can better predict and prepare for growth than your competition.

Best of all, low churn is a direct indication that you provide a better service than your competition. Achieve this, and the rest will fall into place.”

James Key Lim – High Performance Coach and Early Zappos Employee


“Partnerships are key. Look before and after your position in the value chain to find where you can partner.

Let’s say you specialize in WordPress fixes. Earlier in the value chain would be hosting companies. You can partner with them to get leads. Now look at the the later end of the value chain, which would be something like a digital agency. You should try to refer them inbound projects which don’t fit your offerings that you’d otherwise be turning away.

Either or both of these approaches will allow you to improve the business with only a little extra effort, while allowing you to focus on your strengths.”

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Siya Sabnis
July 6, 2021 11:55 am

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