Jenny Kay Pollock

Do you have dreams of increasing your app’s revenue stream this year? If so, now is the time to launch a subscription offering. To be successful you’ll need a world-class go-to-market (GTM) plan to accompany your subscription offering. 

The continued popularity of software subscriptions including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Adobe Creative Suite, Spotify, and countless others signal that more and more users are looking to streamline their routines and get their software purchases automated.  

In an infamous statement in 2011, Marc Andressen  declared, “Software is eating the world.” While still true, a more detailed statement for 2022 is, “Software subscriptions are eating the world.” 

“Software subscriptions are eating the world.” - Jenny Pollock 

The Company Benefit of Subscription Offerings 

Software subscriptions continue to serve as enticing company revenue streams because they are more predictable. Subscription users often have a higher lifetime value (LTV) than non-subscribers because they are more committed to the product. 

As you craft your subscription offering and the associated GTM don’t be afraid to try something new and push boundaries. 

“The most damaging phrase in the language is that it's always been done that way.” — Grace Hopper 

Prime App Ecosystem Conditions 

While subscriptions have always been a great revenue generator, they have historically faced the same fees as non-subscription apps. Subscriptions, like any monetization model, have their own unique challenges such as communicating value proposition during the acquisitions phase and reducing churn. 

However, Google’s new reduction in Play Store fees from 30% to 15% for subscriptions started 1/1/22. Subscriptions are one of the fastest-growing models for developers. By lowering these fees compared to other app-based transactions, Google has shown that they are committed to supporting this sector. Only time will tell if Apple matches this change in the App Store.

Start with Your Users 

Once you have internal buy-in, I recommend starting with your current offerings and securing user feedback to test the waters and to confirm there is interest in a subscription from your users base. During the user research phase, you can zero in on the features to include in your subscription offering. 

If you’ve got a feature idea, but need help getting it built check out, “How To Get Your Feature Built: A Playbook From Idea To Production.”

Designing Brand Guidelines

Partner early on in the process with the Marketing and Product Marketing teams early to align on brand guidelines. Having this early will make creating and executing your GTM much easier later on. Define the creative direction and get started making the assets you’ll need early. 

Value-Based Segmented Messaging

Messages resonate with users best when you can focus on features and benefits (FAB) that are important to them. When possible, segment your user base and communicate the value proposition and subscription level that matters to each segment.

You can target each segment with custom messaging covering what is important to that user segment 

For example, if you’re launching a tiered subscription like Netflix, which offers the ability to watch on more screens at a time to their more expensive tier. Netflix could look at the user data and segment messaging to users who log in from many different locations about the higher tier with more seats. Users who are already using the video subscription service are more likely to be interested in having more screens at once.

You could also target by platform. For example, iOS users are typically bigger spenders than other mobile users and may more willing to buy the higher tier. 

[Related: The Secrets Of Successful User Segmentation And Automation From Mobile Industry Insiders]

User Engagement

Get your users excited about the launch early. In the best-case scenario, you can do a beta test and get feedback from passionate users early so you can iterate on your offering. However, depending on your development processes and your subscription offering, sometimes this is not possible. 

It’s okay if you can’t beta test your offering. There are other ways to drive user engagement and excitement in advance of launch. For example, do a teaser of your new subscription offering covering the FAB for your biggest segment of users. You could also announce it to a passionate user cohort before your full population of users.

Even if you can’t share your launch date or communicate about the upcoming subscription, you can tease something big is coming without saying what or when. 

Leverage User-Generated Content
Another great way to include your users and drive engagement is to leverage user-generated content (UGC). UGC generates user engagement and provides an authentic connection from users to brands.

One of my favorite examples of UGC done right is Apple’s Shot on iPhone Challenge. Apple invited users to submit images that they shot on an iPhone for a chance to be featured in Apple ads on billboards, TV, video, and social media. 

Over the years, users are spending a larger share of their time creating UGC. As of 2022, UGC accounts for 39% of the time users spend consuming media. Consider hosting community contests to generate UGC to use during your GTM. 

Launch Day Checklist 

Launch day is the day you’ve been preparing for. Enjoy the excitement and fun! Here’s a checklist to help you navigate the day: 

  1. Celebrate: Gather the team for a thank you toast. If you have a gong, ring it. If you have a party budget, spend it. 
  2. Be ready for bugs: Bugs happen, that’s okay. Find, replicate, and squash. 
  3. Check metrics: Early metrics are an indicator of how you may want to adjust your GTM.
  4. Get ready to iterate: Analyze the early metrics and get ready to iterate on your subscription offering. 

Dive Deeper on Subscription GTMs

Want more details on taking your subscription feature to market? We’ve got a webinar for that! 

You’re invited to attend the related webinar “Designing a Go-To-Market Strategy For Your App’s Subscription Offering,” by Jenny Pollock, Lead Subscription Monetization Manager at Together Labs. 

Jenny will share her tested tactics for designing a strong GTM for your app’s new subscription offering. Watch the on-demand web event today!