5 ways to use subscription data to scale your company

Published on: January 26, 2021

Subscription data is king in today’s competitive climate and company leaders cannot afford to operate without reliable access to the insights this data provides. It can become overwhelming to decide how best to leverage data when there is so much of it. A fact which is particularly true of companies with access to recurring billing data.

With subscription billing models, your company has access to a whole range of subscriber churn metrics, as well as data around which subscriptions, products and features are most popular. It would be a mistake for any company to ignore this treasure trove of information.

In this blog, explore five ways you should be using your subscription data to scale your company in an increasingly competitive environment.

1. Use recurring billing data to improve marketing

Marketing teams tend to make data-based decisions. They often analyze social media metrics, content performance, Google Analytics, and a host of other tools to mine data and drive growth. Despite this, not all marketing teams pay close attention to subscriber metrics. They’re so focused on generating interest and sales that the only time they stop to think about their current subscribers is to create case studies.

The marketing team needs to have a deep understanding of who their subscribers are and how they use the services and features. Without these insights, it’s impossible for them to accurately convey the service’s value as subscribers perceive it.

Subscription data can create awareness of overall performance, drive changes to messaging, underline features to highlight on product landing pages, and give better insights into which pricing strategies and bundles work for customers. Marketing should always understand the subscriber perspective, as it will provide a clearer picture of the features in demand for future campaigns.

For example, does your marketing team know how many upgrades or downgrades occur in a month and why they occur? If not, it’s time to take a closer look at the data to help improve how you market your service and generate better marketing qualified leads. By gaining insights into your subscriber’s preferences, you can begin to enhance subscription pricing landing pages’ performance.

2. Identify sales trends and forecast results

use subscriber data to identify sales trends and forecast results

In traditional retail models, forecasting results was difficult, but with the amount of data at your fingertips today, this is no longer the case. Pay attention to what your subscribers are purchasing. Perhaps they’re buying add-ons to their subscription package while remaining in a lower tier. This behaviour may indicate poor pricing of higher tiers or simply that you’re failing to convey the tier’s value.

Sales figures can point to all sorts of underlying issues and trends. Data can forecast what your subscribers will want, and by paying attention to subscriber churn metrics, you may be able to identify trends with accuracy. Other important data to keep an eye on would be customer acquisition costs and new subscribers per month.

With the right subscription management software, it should also be possible to break your data down by period (i.e. month, quarter, year, etc.). This information will allow you to set realistic sales goals and reveal subscriber behaviour patterns that can help your sales team identify the most strategic approach to leads.

3. Use subscriber churn rates to get a clear picture of company health

Subscriber churn rates offer you unprecedented access to customer behaviour. By paying close attention to when and why subscribers jump ship, you can build a more robust service that meets their needs. You should keep an eye on several different metrics, including Net MRR, Gross MRR, MRR, and subscriber churn. To find out more about calculating each of these metrics, read our blog on subscriber churn metrics. This blog gives a comprehensive breakdown of each metric and examples of how to calculate each one.

4. Optimize pricing and products based on subscriber data

As we’ve touched on briefly above, subscriber data and particularly churn metrics give you unprecedented insight into what is and isn’t working. If you pay close attention to features your subscribers routinely use, it can become easier to identify what they value most about your service.

This information should be used for product development as well as to help optimize pricing. Perhaps features you assumed would be attractive are not tempting your client base to upgrade to the next tier, or possibly customers are purchasing add-ons that could be bundled with other services to create new bundles.

Look out for under-utilized features and try to identify why they are being ignored. Perhaps you need to invest in adequately educating subscribers on how to use these features if they are useful. Do you have an onboarding process for new subscribers? Do subscribers exhibit patterns in their behaviour? All of this is beneficial information that can help you not only tweak your product offering but better position your pricing page to increase conversions.

5. Attract investor interest

Venture capital and private equity firms often treat subscription-based companies as lower risk than other more traditional business models. They often receive higher returns from such investments and can get a clear picture of financial health early in the investment process. Investors pay attention to MRR, ARR, LTV and CAC metrics, allowing them to evaluate their investments properly.

Many SaaS companies use their subscriber data to help attract investment. By having accurate numbers and reports, it will be easy to secure business loans and invite investors to help fund future development. Your current data can help you make accurate forecasts for return on investments, as well as map out the scalability of operations as subscribers grow.

One of the pitfalls many companies fall into when looking for investment is not having enough data or proof points to convince others of the service’s value. Luckily, by tapping into your subscriber behaviour and creating comprehensive financial reports that point to further growth, you can secure investment.

 Subscription data – subscription billing models guide

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