I failed in my first two attempts, and succeeded on the third try. Here are my takeaway lessons from starting your own recurring offers...
1. Charge Affordably.
I find it is easier to have a low-cost continuity program along the lines of $10 per month compared to charging $47-$97 per month.
While yes, you can be successful in charging prices like $47-$97 per month, usually at these prices your Members expect high-end, premium content or software service.
But what if you're not providing Software as a Service? What if your Members decide one day after looking at his latest credit card statement, and the $97 charge should be cancelled?
However when you charge prices like $10 per month, not only your Members are more inclined to stay much longer, the pressure to over-deliver and over-impress your Members is less (it's a lot easier to make it your Member's money's worth)
Also it's easier mass enroll existing and new Customers into your new monthly program or membership or paid newsletter at $10 per month vs $47-$97 per month these days.
2. Go Fixed Term.
This is the solution to the question "Am I doomed to keep creating new stuff forever, even if I have only a measly few paid members?"
Simple. You go Fixed Term.
"Erm... What is Fixed Term?" you ask.
You see, most memberships or recurring offers out there bill forever. Again, you can justify this is if you are running a Software as a Service business, or you are already committed to creating new Content forever.
But what if right off the bat, you already declare that your membership has a limit to the terms?
It can run for as long as 12 months... 24 months... 36 months... it's up to you.
And by the time the term is up, your Member ends his subscription.
Truth is, people rarely stay on forever. In fact, I heard some marketers say it's considered good if someone is willing to stay for just 3 months nowadays!
But when I implemented this, I found more than half of my members - 69% retention in fact - stayed subscribed and paid every month throughout the entire fixed term.
How cool is that?
Would you rather have your Customer pay you only once? Or pay you every month for the next 12 months?
Of course, you'd choose the latter. Who in their right mind wouldn't?
Now I'm not against on-going billing, that is nice to have but only if you can justify the monthly charge and continue delivering.
That's why if you already announce from the beginning that your membership lasts 12 months, for example, you only need to create content for that 12 months.
And if you want to have a longer subscription? No pressure, you can add more content later and announce a second option for 24 months, for instance!