By Karina Fabian

A subscription-based revenue system relies heavily on customer satisfaction, and customers love convenience and control. One way to support those desires is through a self-serve subscription portal.

We are living in a subscription economy, not only for digital products but also for physical items. The publishing industry is no stranger to this, and in fact, other industries have been inspired by its model. Now we’re deep into a new model – self-service subscription management. Whether you are in the news media or other subscription services, if you have not adopted this for your products, here are nine reasons why you should do it, and soon.

  1. It’s expected. Over 70 percent of consumers expect to see a self-service portal on a website. While this statistic includes helpdesks, it nonetheless shows that…
  2. People want a DIY option. Over 40 percent of internet users prefer to use self-service portals over dealing with a human being. One of the driving factors of this is speed. With an effective self-service portal, users can get common tasks done far more quickly than when they call and deal with phone trees, being put on hold, explaining their situation, etc. This is even truer when their account information is already stored online, sparing them the time and effort of repeating the information to one or more customer service representatives.
  3. Online portals provide 24-7 availability. Have you ever been on your way to vacation – on the road or in the airport – and realized you forgot to suspend your newspaper subscription? Or maybe you’re scrolling the internet on the weekend and decide you want to sign up for a newsletter you happened upon. With self-service, you (and your readers) can take care of those tasks when they think of them, without worrying about whether or not your circulation office is open.
  4. It’s immediate: Online users expect quick results, and self-service modules feed that need. Not only can your readers act while a thought is fresh in their minds, but it also makes it easy to succumb to impulse subscriptions.
  5. Self-service portals free up resources. Self-service portals inevitably result in a reduction of employee time devoted to basic tasks of handling subscriptions, on-holds, etc. That means more resources you can apply to other areas of customer service or to providing an even higher-quality product.
  6. You can improve customer service for those who don’t use self-service. By letting your subscribers manage the simpler tasks that a self-service portal can easily handle, you free up your customer service people to address more complex issues – or to assist those who aren’t comfortable with or don’t prefer self-service.
  7. You will naturally increase customer satisfaction. Customers appreciate having more control over their accounts as well as more flexibility. Plus, they get a speedier response via the portals. Your customer service reps have more time to help with complex issues. Altogether, that’s a recipe for happier customers.
  8. Opportunities for upsell. More and more, people respond negatively to someone cold-calling with an offer, even when it’s an upsell for something they already subscribe to. However, if in the process of subscribing online they are presented with an upsell suggestion, they are more likely to respond. Self-service programs (like the ones offered by us) that allow you to program a multitude of upsell suggestions can bring you additional income with minimal hassle for your reader or your employees. Alternately, you can use the data gathered in the portal to send personalized offers.
  9. Data sources. When everything is automated, it’s easy to gather data on subscription actions, audience and more, giving you valuable insight into your audience.

It’s ironic that even as we cry out for greater personalization of service, we’re also working hard to remove the human element by automating as much as possible. Yet, sometimes, the way to give the customer the best, most personalized service is to let them handle their subscriptions themselves.

We’d love to talk to you more about how a self-serve subscription solution can help you increase subscriptions and customer satisfaction. Contact us at