By Henry Clifford
If you’ve been contemplating recurring monthly revenue (RMR) for your integration business, no doubt you’ve considered how to easily deal with hundreds of customers paying you less than $100 each month. Thankfully there are a slew of solutions out there to help you automate your subscriptions, leaving you to deal with the important business of driving sales through the roof!
Here are a few basics to consider:
1. Automate Everything: When you or your employees touch an RMR transaction, you lose. Labor is your most expensive line item. Why spend it addressing envelopes and licking stamps? We learned this lesson the hard way by beginning our efforts in the early 2000’s before cloud software platforms existed.
2. Electronic Payments Only: Insist on credit card or ACH transactions from your clients by providing them a web portal to sign up for your services and manage payment options themselves. Paper checks eat time and margin. Consider offering your existing cash clients a few months free to switch over. We estimate manual billing or check payments cost $3-5 monthly to process per subscriber. Multiply that number by a few hundred, and you get to some serious dollars flying out the window on an annual basis.
3. Dunning FTW: Make sure to pick a tool that will manage upcoming card expirations and declinations (“dunning” in trade speak) for you automatically. This one is critical. You DO NOT want to spend precious time going after clients trying to update their card details.
4. Give Out Coupons: Your new subscription platform should support one-time or ongoing discounts and other comps. You’ll find these come in handy when enticing clients to subscribe.
Here’s a solid list of software out there which will support your RMR ambitions:
There are many more out there, and my list only contains software we’ve tested internally. We use Zoho Subscriptions at Livewire (check out this real world example — scroll to the bottom of the link) mainly because it integrates into our existing customer relationship management (CRM) platform. If we started all over again tomorrow, I would engage Zoho Subscriptions again because of its price point as compared to its similarly capable competitors.
I wish someone would’ve written a simple article like this one before we took the plunge into a cloud subscription platform. Thankfully we chose well, and it’s a blast to watch our RMR grow each month. I hope you find similar success with your own efforts.
Do you use any RMR software in your business? Please share your experiences in the comments.
Stay frosty and see you in the field!