Examples of Recurring Billing Done Right

  • Written By:
    Ann Smarty
  • Published On:
    July 6th, 2022
  • Read Time:
    5 Mins
  • Category:
    Payments

Recurring billing offers lots of business and revenue growth opportunities, from diversifying income sources to higher customer loyalty.

Yet, lots of businesses have realized the multiple benefits of subscription payment models, so the competition is getting higher and higher.

Customers are growing increasingly weary of adding another subscription, and they are becoming much more picky when it comes to upgrading their freemium plans.

To generate more subscription-based customers, your business model should be either unique (which seldom happens these days) or offer clear benefits. 

Here are a few examples of recurring billing done right:

Achieve Higher Adoption by Offering Group Plans: Youtube Family Plan

Youtube Premium plans allow users to have an uninterrupted ads-free experience, play videos in the background and download videos for offline viewing. 

Youtube Premium offer has been steadily growing, and it is expected to reach 28 million subscribers in 2024:

Youtube Premium (formerly known as Youtube Red) offer has been steadily growing, and it is expected to reach 28 million subscribers in 2024

The growth has been accelerated with the introduction of family plans allowing 5 users under one account for $17.99 a month. Each user inside the family plan is counted as an individual paying customer.

As each individual plan costs $11.99 per month, the family plan provides a clear advantage while driving a faster and wider adoption of the plan.

Nextiva is using a similar trick for their office phone service offering different plans based on their customer’s business needs.

Provide Clear Saving Opportunity: Amazon’s “Subscribe & Save”

Amazon is well-known for driving innovation in the ecommerce business, and their “Subscribe and Save” feature is one of the best examples.

For certain products that customers tend to need on a continuous basis, Amazon defaults to the “Subscribe and Save” option that gives you access to a lower monthly price as well as eliminates the need of re-ordering the product again and again.

Amazon “Subscribe & Save” option offers clear saving benefits

Give Your One-Time Customers What They Have Been Asking for: GoPro Plus

GoPro is known for its flagship product, action cameras, allowing users to create captivating videos. Yet, HD videos are challenging and lots of GoPro users have been voicing concerns about storage shortages.

In an effort to diversify their income streams and at the same time address customers’ concerns, GoPro added subscription plans giving customers access to automated cloud-based backup of the content they create.

For $4.99 a month users can store and edit 5 hours of video and 62,500 photos. Additionally, they have:

  • Access to a soundtrack library that allows users to edit their videos
  • Access to exclusive apparel and discounts (which is essentially yet another opportunity to upsell to existing customers)
  • Premium support

The key to this model is that monthly paying customers remain always engaged with the brand.

Capitalize on Your Demographics’ Passions: BarkBox

You can hardly find a more passionate customer than a pet owner. They are ready to do anything to keep their dogs and cats entertained and happy.

Realizing that, BarkBox was the pioneer of retail subscription-based business allowing dog owners to surprise their beloved pets with new toys and treats every month.

The key selling point of this subscription model is personalization: Every box is personalized to the dog based on the breed and the size as well things like allergies, preferences and needs.

The subscription model was so successful that the startup has become a valid competitor of pet supplies giants like PetCo.

BarkBox offers monthly themes that make the service existing not just for the pets but for the owners as well.

BarkBox offers monthly themes that make the service existing not just for the pets but for the owners as well

Based on the BarkBox example, by using subscription billing, you can create a successful business even in a highly competitive business.

Adding Recurring Billing to Your Current Business Model

Looking at the examples above, it is clear that subscription businesses still work but adding a recurring billing just for the sake of boosting your revenue is not going to work.

If you are looking for the ways to do it right, start by:

  • Surveying your customers to get their input on what they would be willing to pay for in addition to your core product
  • Thinking about what subscription model would complement your primary product in the most meaningful way. Is it primary support? Is it help with set up? Turnkey solution for your product?
  • Identifying features your customers are most passionate about and coming up with ways how those can be upgraded using a subscription payment.
  • Analyzing your competitors’ subscription payment models and figuring out the ways to make yours stand out and offer a clear benefit to your customers. If your competitors are not offering recurring billing, take a look at neighboring niches and find some ideas there.

Add Recurring Billing to Your Business Model Using PayKickstart

PayKickstart offers easy and secure recurring billing integration and allows multiple payment methods. To enable recurring billing using PayKickstart:

  • Login to your PayKickstart dashboard.
  • Click Campaigns in the left-hand sidebar and create a new campaign and product in just a couple clicks (or open an existing campaign that you’d like to turn into a recurring subscription).
  • If you are creating a new campaign, save it and you will be able to edit your payment settings under “product details”. Here, you’ll have the option to use a recurring payment.
  • Select your recurring frequency and recurring period:
PayKickstart offers easy and secure recurring billing integration and allows multiple payment methods.

Further reading:

Conclusion

Adding a recurring billing to your current business model can help you achieve lots of business goals, including revenue diversification and building customer loyalty. An effective subscription business model is one that capitalizes on customers’ needs, be it an ability to store their content and get access to an uninterrupted user experience.

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Ann Smarty

Ann Smarty is the Brand Manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas, as well as co-founder of Viral Content Bee. Ann has been into Internet Marketing for over a decade, she is the former Editor-in-Chief of Search Engine Journal and contributor to prominent search and social blogs including Small Biz Trends and Mashable. Ann is also the frequent speaker at Pubcon and the host of a weekly Twitter chat #vcbuzz

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