The Automatic Customer (Hardcover)
Creating a Subscription Business in Any Industry
Portfolio, 9781591847465, 224pp.
Publication Date: February 5, 2015
These days virtually anything you need can be purchased through a subscription, with more convenience than ever before. Far beyond Spotify, Netflix, and New York Times subscriptions, you can sign up for weekly or monthly supplies of everything from groceries (AmazonFresh) to cosmetics (Birchbox) to razor blades (Dollar Shave Club).
According to John Warrillow, this emerging subscription economy offers huge opportunities to companies that know how to turn customers into subscribers. Automatic customers are the key to increasing cash flow, igniting growth, and boosting the value of your company.
Consider Whatsapp, the internet-based messaging service that was purchased by Facebook for $19 billion. While other services bombarded users with invasive ads in order to fund a free messaging platform, Whatsapp offered a refreshingly private tool on a subscription platform, charging just $1 per year. Their business model enabled the kind of service that customers wanted and ensured automatic customers for years to come.
As Warrillow shows, subscriptions aren’t limited to technology or media businesses. Companies in nearly any industry, from start-ups to the Fortune 500, from home contractors to florists, can build subscriptions into their business.
Warrillow provides the essential blueprint for winning automatic customers with one of the nine subscription business models, including:
• The Membership Website Model: Companies like The Wood Whisperer Guild, ContractorSelling, and DanceStudioOwner offer access to highly specialized, high quality information, recognizing that people will pay for good content. This model can work for any business with a tightly defined niche market and insider information.
• The Simplifier Model: Companies like Mosquito Squad (pest control) and Hassle Free Homes (home maintenance) take a recurring task off your to-do list. Any business serving busy consumers can adopt this model not only to create a recurring revenue stream, but also to take advantage of the opportunity to cross-sell or bundle their services.
• The Surprise Box Model: Companies like BarkBox (dog treats) and Standard Cocoa (craft chocolate) send their subscribers curated packages of goodies each month. If you can handle the logistics of shipping, giving customers joy in something new can translate to sales on your larger e-commerce site.
This book also shows you how to master the psychology of selling subscriptions and how to reduce churn and provides a road map for the essential statistics you need to measure the health of your subscription business.
Whether you want to transform your entire business into a recurring revenue engine or just pick up an extra 5 percent of sales growth, The Automatic Customer will be your secret weapon.
About the Author
Praise For The Automatic Customer: Creating a Subscription Business in Any Industry…
—CHRIS GUILLEBEAU, New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness of Pursuit and The $100 Startup
“By page 40, The Automatic Customer will have you fundamentally reexamining your entire business. This is a brilliantly made case for why subscription revenue should be a part of every company. Highly recommended!”
—JAY BAER, New York Times bestselling author of Youtility
“It’s rare that a book is able to have such a universal, immediate, and profound impact on the strategy of almost every business okay, every business. Warrillow’s case for adding a recurring revenue stream to your business model is convincing and he shows you nine ways to do it, as well as how to navigate the potential pitfalls.”
—VERNE HARNISH, CEO of Gazelles and author of Scaling Up, The Greatest Business Decisions of All Time, and Mastering the Rockefeller Habits
“The Holy Grail in business today is the eternally loyal customer. The Automatic Customer is your blueprint for building a business that generates profit over and over again.”
—JOHN JANTSCH, author of Duct Tape Marketing and Duct Tape Selling
“In this fantastic book, John Warrillow provides a clear path to turning your company from one that needs to start from scratch every month to one in which your work and, most important, your results, are predictable. If you want to build a business with a very healthy bottom line and extremely well-served customers, this book is an invaluable resource.”
—BOB BURG, coauthor of The Go-Giver and author of Adversaries into Allies