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How to Scale Subscription Revenue Models

Admin | 11 June 2021 | Read time: 7 minutes
Topics | subscription model, subscription economy

A subscription revenue model charges an ongoing fee that is often taken monthly, quarterly or annually. It's a good idea to take some time to scale this model to ensure that the subscribers you already have continue to renew, while also attracting new customers. 

There are many things you may have to consider with a digital subscription that you wouldn’t with a one-time purchase. Everything from the customer experience during the ongoing billing process to managing payment schedules is of great importance. 

You also need to track your scaling process. With the right model, you can easily measure results and encourage recognised subscription based revenue to grow faster than your outgoing costs.

Here’s how to increase subscription revenue:

Customer-first approach

To see subscription revenue growth you need to keep existing customers engaged while simultaneously attracting new ones. This is why it is so important to have a customer-first approach. Those clients should be front and centre of everything you do. This doesn’t just cover the content you are producing for them either – although this is very important, of course.

You also need to consider personalised subscription experiences and how to implement the best UX practices for your subscription business. This includes everything from setting alerts when the payment is being taken to, if there are issues, making it easy to access their invoices.

Flexible billing and multiple payment options

Many businesses choose to start with a soft paywall, to attract people to their website and begin the process of growing a loyal readership. 

With this in place, you can then change your offering once you know that your readers are willing to pay for your content. You might decide to put your premium articles behind a paywall or you could allow access to a couple of articles before the reader has to pay. 

It's important to consider other options too. Perhaps your customers could sign up monthly, or choose an annual option for a discounted price. 

However, you don’t want too many payment options or it may be difficult to keep up with them when it comes to billing. You want your sales process to be as simplified and streamlined as possible. 

Again, putting the customer first and giving them the flexibility to choose is what works best.

Branding and personalisation

Personalised subscription experiences will become more important to customers over time as they expect businesses to learn what they like and to tailor their offering to their needs. In this instance, make sure communication is always personalised where possible and that your branding is consistent. This applies across everything from payment pages to emails. By doing this, you will ensure brand recognition and grow trust with both subscribers and potential subscribers. 

Subscription churn management

You can’t always stop customers from unsubscribing but you can try to manage their expectations and put everything in place to improve your retention rate. 

For example, if you know when subscriptions are due to expire you could offer incentives to try and retain the customer. This could be in the form of discounts or add-ons. 

By tracking this, you can also understand why your customers might be leaving and make any necessary changes to avoid others unsubscribing for the same reason.

Insights via analytics

Understanding the analytics of your site will help you make informed decisions that will in turn help you grow. 

This includes getting an understanding of what your readers do and don’t like and will, in turn, benefit that customer-first approach you should be adopting. Deep diving into analytics can cover everything from assessing the content that you are producing to checking if customers are engaging and learning what they're clicking away from. 

Understanding the analytics of your site can also help you refine the UX that you're offering. Does the customer journey make sense from the homepage to checkout? Are users finding it easy to navigate your site to find what they need? 

Take some time to monitor the trends on your site to spot future opportunities and what may not be working.


Automation not only makes your job easier it also helps to increase the subscription retention rate. 

This includes: customer emails, failed credit cards, cancellation notifications, free trials ending and starting to take payments. Doing this manually would take a huge amount of time but doing it automatically helps to streamline the process and keeps you on top of it.

Comprehensive software

Trying to scale your subscription revenue model can be daunting – especially if you feel like you are already doing many of the tips above and not getting anywhere with it. But you don’t have to do it alone. Tools like Zephr can play an important role by making the process of scaling and improving subscription revenue growth as easy and stress-free as possible. 

This will ensure that you are able to scale your revenue models, retain long-term customers and avoid costly churn.

Are you ready to scale your subscription revenue model? Then check out  The Publisher’s Digital Subscription Toolbox to learn how to create successful subscription journeys.


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