5 Customer Acquisition Strategies for Box Subscription Companies

Posted on Jun 3, 2019 · 3 min read

Let’s get the hard truth out of the way: current customer acquisition strategies for subscription companies are struggling to establish loyalty. That spells bad news for your bottom line. Case in point: HubSpot found that acquisition costs have jumped over 50% for paid channels.

However, the overall subscription economy continues to grow at a quick clip. And the box subscription sector makes up only a third of the overall market. In other words, there’s an open playing field.

The opportunity is big, but so is the acquisition challenge. How will your company attract (and keep) more subscribers? Leading brands and marketing innovators have found success with these five customer acquisition strategies:

An woman appearing in ad for SoundCloud's gated student offer, a new customer acquisition strategy the company is using to gain loyal subscribers.

01  Focus on Your Audience

Classic personalization techniques often focus on marketing to an audience based on their age, gender identity, and income. Instead, market to customers based on their social identity. For curation subscription brands, personalized promotions lead to over 90% conversion from student subscription to full-price. For box subscription brands like Kettlebell, it’s all but doubled their penetration into the military segment, giving them an edge over competitors.

02  Make it Habit-Forming

Subscription companies often rely on introductory deals to get subscribers in the door. However, they aren’t enough to truly hook a consumer.

The solution is a customer acquisition strategy that sticks. First, make the deal exclusive. Then, target a specific audience based on life stage (like seniors or students) or affiliations (like military or teachers). Finally, gate your offer—use digital verification to verify a consumers’ eligibility. This makes the offer feel truly exclusive. In addition, digital verification is an opt-in process that gives subscribers complete control of the data they share.  

03  Prioritize Message Over Discount

It’s important to focus on how you communicate with your core segment. To do this, use language that resonates with their social identity and strikes an emotional cord. This is especially prudent when marketing to segments like the military, nurses, teachers, and first responders. Using phrases like “honoring” and “giving back” catch their attention much more than the size of the discount.

04  Promote Your Offer Loud and Proud

Don’t be shy about advertising your gated offer with whatever advertising medium you have at your disposal. Display banners on your homepage, PPC ads, radio—the more multi-touch you are with your promotion, the better.

In the past, brands were afraid to advertise such discounts. What about fraudulent redemptions? Digital verification uses information from authoritative sources to confirm eligibility, with an additional documentation request if eligibility isn’t immediately established. This helps keep your gated offer safe.

YouTube used SheerID's Digital Verification Platform to launch an international exclusive student offer on YouTube Premium and YouTube Music Premium.

05  Leverage the Power of WOM

When it comes to identity-driven gated offers, WOM (or “word of mouth”) is your best friend. Promoting your deal on social platforms like Facebook and Instagram gives consumers an easy way to share with their peers. According to our recent survey, over 90% of consumers would share a gated offer that they found on social media with their friends or family. In addition, 84% of teachers and military members would share an offer with their inner circle and their peers. Who can say no to free, organic marketing?

Adding gated, exclusive promotions to your arsenal of customer acquisition strategies is one of the best ways to gain long-term subscribers. Personalized marketing based on social identity helps to reduce subscription churn, which in turn lowers acquisition costs.

In addition, the focus of your gated offer becomes less about getting subscribers through the door and more about building an emotional connection with the consumer.

Learn more about how gated offers can work for your brand with our e-book, Lower Acquisition Costs with One Simple Strategy: Gated Offers here.

Hannah Tyler by Hannah Tyler