Posted: October 9, 2009
A few weeks ago, I realized that a few of my long-time subscribers to The Bottom Line did not renew their subscription this year. In fact, I was embarrassed to learn that one such subscriber has not been a customer since 2007. So, I made a few phone calls this this past week to those who are not receiving the business publication any longer to find out how I can do better to retain my subscriber base.
The number one objection from the person listed on the newsletter label was, "I don't have time to read The Bottom Line". I told the buiness owners that I know the feeling. I have past issues of Business Week, Newsweek and The Wall Street Journal piled up on my coffee table at home. Eventually, though, I do get around to reading the periodicals because I know there is valuable information in each publication. I asked the business owners if there may be someone else in the office that could make better use of the newsletter. Many times, a salesperson, office manager or individual in the accounts receivable department are better suited to read the weekly issue first.
I also hear business owners who did not renew their subscription say, "We are trying to cut costs and be more efficient". Granted, this economy forces all managers to tighten the purse strings for subscriptions, memberships and/or expenses that do not show results. My normal response is, "For $85 a year, you just need one sales lead or one piece of information that is useful enough to pay for your subscription".
Frankly, if someone is not receiving enough value for the weekly $1.78 expense for a subscription, I would then simply thank the owner for their past business. On the other hand, I know of many subscribers that like to be kept abreast about what is happening in the local business community and that the information in The Bottom Line outweighs the annual expense - even if the publication does not specifically help their company become more profitable.
The most frustrating phone call I will be making this week is to the business owner who has not subscribed to my newsletter for two years. How do I all of a sudden call this individual and try to win his business back? After all, I dropped the ball and a phone call two years later will make it clear that I am not doing a good enough job of keeping track of those customers who elect to not renew their annual subscription. I would be interested in knowing how some of you would approach this situation and if there are any other reasons why you would consider not remaining a subscriber in the future.
e-mail: email@example.com. I appreciate your thoughts.