In this article I want to shine a spotlight on 4 AMAZING Psychological Triggers that make subscription businesses some of the most reliable, most profitable businesses around! These “triggers” are hardwired into our psychology and do not change. In fact, they work so well companies like Netflix, Amazon, Spotify and Costco may not exist without them! And by understanding how these “buy triggers” affect how we shop we can make them work for us, rather than against us.
In our previous chat I wrote about why so many people have such a hard time building an online business. And believe it or not, it has nothing to do with talent, money or time. Instead it has everything to do with flaws most traditional online businesses have. That’s right… pick the wrong business model and you could be doomed from the start! Pick the right business and you could be in for smooth seas and easy sailing!
In todays post I want to talk about those “buy triggers” I wrote about earlier. As I mentioned, these triggers are hard wired into us. They’re coded into our DNA and do not change over time. Which is why they’re incredibly effective in marketing campaigns - and why SO many large companies use them!
Subscription businesses like Netflix, Amazon, Spotify and Costco use these strategies grow much faster, much more consistently. If you’re going to run a subscription business, this is the way to do it:
WARNING: Not All Subscription Businesses Are Equal
There are lots of different kinds of “subscription businesses”. Some of them get you to pay annually. Some of them are expensive and exclusive. Some of them are essentially “retained hours”. And while any kind of recurring income is wonderful, if we want long term stability and a monthly pay check we need something specific. And there is one type of subscription business that works exceptionally well for what we need.
Low Price Monthly Subscription Businesses
Every morning millions of people across the world grab a coffee on the way to work...
... exactly like Netflix or Spotify! The best way for me to explain why these businesses work so well is with a bit of an analogy. Every morning millions of people across North America drag themselves out of bed and head into a job they can’t stand. And on the way, one of the few things that makes the commute bearable is that delicious coffee and donut.
So, like clockwork, every day millions of people spend $5 on a hot coffee and donuts. It’s an impulse purchase. It feels good. Hey… it’s only $5.
And what happens come the end of the month? Maybe there isn’t quite as much money in the bank account as there should be? So what do most people do? They look at their expenses and try to find ways to cut back. Now keep in mind, all of this is happening after a long day of work, between making dinner and making sure the kids are doing their homework. Your day has been hectic and you’re in no mood to deal with bills.
So you look for the quickest, easiest way to reduce your expenses. You look at the big stuff - The hydro bill, the phone and internet bills, the credit cards, and try to find the fastest, easiest way to save money. But, between making dinner, entertaining the kids and doing laundry you’ve only got 15 minutes. Which means...
When looking to cut expenses most people focus on the "big impact" stuff!
You’re Not Thinking About That $5!!!
You're not thinking about that $5 coffee and donut that make you so happy that morning. You’re thinking about that damn cell phone bill that has gone over the limit again!
And within that analogy there are a few very powerful psychological triggers that companies like Netflix and Spotify use to get customers to happily pay them every month!
4 Psychological Triggers That Get Sales Now
The "Impulse Trigger"
Impulse purchases happen when the immediate pleasure of buying trumps the immediate pain of paying.
In our example above, our customer is headed into work. He’s tired, grumpy and the one thing that is going to put him in a better mood is a delicious coffee and a donut. So he decides to make an impulse purchase and buy himself breakfast. The value of the donut and coffee he got far exceeded the $5.00 he paid for them.
Because the pleasure he received from the coffee and donut was so high, and the price was so low, he didn’t think twice about indulging.
And this “Impulse Trigger” is used in retail locations all the time! In fact, you’re already very familiar with it. There’s a reason why things like chocolate bars, gum, candy, and other impulse items line the checkout at the store. People buy small inexpensive items without a second thought!
The pain from purchasing whatever the small item is is overshadowed by the convenience and happiness you feel when you buy. So customers don’t think about the tiny expense. It’s no coincidence that the most successful subscription businesses in the world are all very inexpensive!
When the immediate pleasure of purchasing an item is higher than the pain of having to pay for the item, customers buy on impulse. It is significantly easier to sell a $5 / month subscription than a $60 / year subscription.
"The "Value Trigger"
There is value in quality and convenience!
Let’s go back to our coffee and donut analogy. Every morning our customer gets his coffee and donut and they’re excellent. They’re the best he’s ever had - far better than Dunkin’ Donuts or Tim Hortons. He decides because the price is reasonable and the quality is high that he’ll continue going there.
Shopping at that location is convenient and it’s on his way to work. So he becomes a regular. Because the coffee and donuts are better quality, in a more convenient location, he doesn’t mind paying more.
There is value in the quality and convenience. Maybe the restaurant has values that reflect his own. Maybe he likes the staff. Maybe the food really is better! Whatever the reason, our customer prefers shopping at this location and is fine with paying a premium.
He could go somewhere else to save a buck. Heck, he could even make his own donuts and coffee. But it’s far easier and more convenient to just go to his favourite location every day on the way to work. The consistent, high quality service he receives keeps him coming back. Even though the donuts and coffee are a little bit more expensive, it’s worth it because the products are always fresh.
Customers will happily pay a small premium for convenience, consistency and quality rather than have to deal with a “FREE” headache.
The "Familiarity Trigger"
When you're comfortable at a store or website you're far more likely to spend money there!
Let’s imagine now that our customer has been visiting his favourite coffee shop every day for the past month. He knows the staff. They know him and he’s essentially become one of the “regulars”. And you know what… he loves it! The experience he gets there is much more positive than any other coffee shop he visits. He feels at home!
So the middle of the month is coming around and his wife reminds him that the in-laws are coming to town. He needs to get something for dessert. Where do you think he's going to go?
Of course he'd head to the pastry shop! He probably wouldn’t even consider anywhere else! You’d see smoke trails coming off his shoes as he high tails it to his favourite shop!
Many subscription businesses take advantage of their recurring payments to encourage customers to spend more. And it works phenomenally well! Every purchase a customer makes (whether recurring or not) reinforces their belief in your product or service. The most clear cut example of this is Amazon Prime.
For $70 a year you get premium service, free same day delivery, a ton of perks and the most convenient way to shop online. And because you’re already paying for Prime you’re much more likely to use the service for small items you wouldn’t have purchased on Amazon otherwise. The small annual fee makes shopping much more convenient for you, so you spend a lot more money through their business. Everybody wins.
When customers purchase from you regularly, whether through a subscription business or through habit, they’re much more likely to buy other items from you in the future.
The "Neglect Trigger"
Our brains play "tricks" on us so we only focus on the big expenses!
Our brains are a wonderful tools, but they can play some pretty interesting tricks on us as well! Take for example our coffee loving friend. It’s now the end of the month and he’s going over his expenses. He’s not terribly happy with what he’s seeing. There’s not a whole lot left in his bank account and he’s gotta stretch it for a few more days until payday on Friday.
So our friend starts looking at the expenses he can reduce. And just like the rest of us he looks for the easiest, fastest ways to reduce his costs in the least painful way. He starts looking at his biggest expenses. Rent, car payments, hydro bill, internet, cell phone, etc…
And it’s right around this time that our brains pull a fast one on us. When we look at expenses we look at them as one time events. So even though our friends coffee and donut habit costs him $150 a month, he only sees it as $5 a day. And $5 a day isn’t that much after all! And of course, look at all the pleasure it brings him!
So these small, seemingly inconsequential charges just slip through the cracks. And as long as the value is there, and the product or service continues to make customers happy they just continue to pay.
One of the best examples of this is Netflix! The vast majority of the people reading this right now have a Netflix account. How could you not!? For $8 a month you get access to thousands of movies and TV shows. A literal never ending stream of entertainment and education! And of course, you could watch over the air cable for free and get a lot of the same content. But it’s not nearly as convenient. So you continue to pay the $8 every month even though you may not use Netflix every day. Just like the coffee and donuts, it slips through the cracks.
When customers view expenses they look at them as one time events. So small expenses like coffee, donuts, Netflix are often the last to get “cut” when it comes to budgeting. Because the value is so high and the perceived cost is so low these expenses often “slip through the cracks” while customers stay happily subscribed for years to come.
And it’s these 4 triggers: Impulse, Value, Familiarity and Neglect that make a low price subscription business so effective!
Customer are attracted by FREE high value “impulse” gifts or specials (click here to learn more about this!). They receive monthly advice that has a positive, measurable impact on their life. And because the monthly payments are so small, and the benefits are so high, customer just don’t cancel. So you receive thousands of tiny payments every month giving you incredible income stability!
The AMAZING Benefits Of Subscription Businesses
Because of the built-in psychological “triggers”, the incredible sticky-ness of subscriptions and the overall positive feeling people get from recurring content and services that are custom made for them, it’s no wonder subscription businesses are making a huge comeback!
The list of benefits these businesses come with is too long to list, but to name just a few:
Subscription Business Benefits
1. Incredible Income Stability: Because you’re getting 1000’s of payments from customers all over the world, the likelihood that they’ll all cancel at the same time is extremely low. Making your new income even more reliable than your current job!
2. Work Once. Get Paid Forever: Unlike most online businesses where you have to continue to work to make more sales. With a subscription business you do the work once and get paid every month, forever.
3. Will Always Work: Subscription businesses are some of the oldest and most reliable in the world! They continue to work because of hard wired tiggers that get people to stay subscribed for a very long time. Use these in your business and watch your sales explode!
4. Easy To Grow: Because you’re getting paid every month, you have a predictable income stream that you can re-invest into growing your business. Say goodbye to having “good months” and “bad months” and hello to steady, reliable, consistent income!
5. Total Time And Money Freedom: And the best one of all - You get to work on your terms in as little as a few hours a week. You’ll never be a slave to the clock again!
Subscription businesses really are the best, most reliable online businesses around! And they're the ONLY way to get to real Money Freedom and Time Freedom. If you’d like to learn how to set one of these up for yourself, just click the big button below and watch our step-by-step training webinar. Many people get their first sales within 24 hours of starting!
Get Paid From Your Hobbies And Passions With An Online Subscription Business
Join Our FREE Training Webinar To Get Started
Founder | SubscriptionSchool.org