Marketing Tactics you can Learn From Subscription-based Business Models

The subscription-based business model is said to have originated with 17th century book authors, who would promise delivery of finished novel chapters to paying customers. They were of course expected to deliver the completed work upon the expected date, but it helped the authors to have a bit of income in advance.

Subscription-based services transitioned to many other industries, notably internet services in this modern age. It seems every online company offers some sort of subscription service, or is based entirely on subscription.

But there’s a good reason for it, as subscription services offer remarkable benefits for the companies that utilize the business model effectively. In this article we’re going to examine some marketing tactics we can learn from subscription-based business models.

Subscriptions offer way to test products

Subscriptions to services that bundle several products together is an effective way of gauging which products end up being customer favourites. For example, a floral company like may offer different types of flowers and chocolates in their arranged bouquets, and gain information on which chocolate varieties customers enjoyed the most.

For this reason, subscription boxes have become very popular in recent years. By bundling numerous products together, the customer feels like they’re getting a variety of items for their money, and the chances are quite high that they might spend money on purchasing individual products they liked.

Subscribers are more receptive to email marketing

People rarely pay attention to “spam” email and offers from companies they don’t recognize and have never done business with. And even if they signed up for a mailing list, they’re still unlikely to pay very much attention to email offerings if they haven’t actually purchased anything from the company.

When customers subscribe to a service, they become customers that are invested in the company’s products. This means that they are more interested in new products from the company, as well as services and products that go on sale.

Thus a company’s subscriber base also doubles as a highly effective mailing list, for enticing the subscribers into purchasing other products or services.

Spreading your brand through collaborating with influencers

Influencers are another great source to market your brand. They have a strong fan base through which you can reach out to them. For instance, Netflix collaborates with celebrities and reaches agreements through which celebrities post on social media regarding their or their fellow actors upcoming projects which helps it create a buzz in the market regarding your product/service.


Once you have been successful in acquiring new customers your next step should be to focus on how to retain them. For retention, it is important that a wide range of options is provided to your target audience which belongs to different customer segments since you’re trying to reach out to customers through all possible channels.

For example, Netflix has a wide variety of serial genres available on its app and most of the movies and series episodes are available in two to three different language subtitles.

The use of analytics

Through the use of analytics customer behavior related information is extracted and utilized to plan and bring changes in your strategies.

In conclusion, these strategies have a lot of foundational concepts being followed by their implementation. Hence, other business models must learn from such evolving models and adapt to changes and especially the needs of their customers and have a solid plan in place to counter or offset their drawbacks as well in order to fully utilize. 

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.