A simple Google search will provide you with hundreds of subscription billing options for your online business, and the search results get all the more confusing when you weigh the benefits of recurring online payments versus one-time subscription payments.
But not any longer…if you’ll digest the sorted information in this piece written specifically for you.
What you must know before choosing between recurring and off-time billing options
In simple terms, online subscription billing is the method of monetizing your website services to consumers and getting them to pay for your services monthly, yearly or with just a one-off payment requirement. You operate a recurring billing method when you require your customers to pay weekly, monthly or yearly to access your online services or products; and you utilize a one-time subscription billing when users just pay once to access your online services and products forever.
But while you may want to jump into making good money over and over again from each of your users, you might want to examine certain factors to determine what is best for you when it comes to recurring online billing versus one-time subscription billing.
1. Do you have killer online services or products that people will like to pay repeatedly for?
Before you activate a recurring billing option for your website, you must be certain that you have unique products that cannot be found elsewhere on the World Wide Web and that you’re the only individual capable of providing unique services that cater to the exact needs of consumers.
According to Kissmetrics, over 40 million people gladly pay $100 annually to use Amazon Prime because the site provides them unique service models coupled with added benefits such as streaming movies, streaming music, unlimited photo storage, free two-day shipping, and free Kindle book borrowing among other perks.
So do you have services or products that people will use over and over again to justify a recurring payment? Such services include air flights, software supports and updates, counseling, medical and veterinary services and laundry services among others.
2. Will you build your own subscription billing system or use online subscription services?
The answer to this may seem obvious, but it is not. Not all subscription billing services that you see online will work exactly to your specific needs vis-à-vis the products you sell or services you provide access to. If you decide to design and build your own custom subscription billing service, then you must either be ready to do it yourself or fork out tens of thousands of dollars to software engineers to do for you.
But where you desire to use existing recurring billing services online, then you might consider using paysimple.com, monexa.com, braintreepayments.com, recurly.com, chargify.com, stripe.com, 2checkout.com, zuora.com, chargebee, and moonclerk.com among others.
3. Can you offer authoritative, unique experience and not just flake services?
If you want users to pay access fees on a recurring basis to acquire your services and products online, then you must be ready to dish out unique products and distinctive services that are founded on authoritative experience and psychological satisfaction. If you’re the only possessor of a given knowledge, people won’t mind paying for it.
Why do you think travel websites are willing to pay as much as $1,000 to travel writers to craft a single article about their travel experience to a particular destination? It is simply because they have first-hand knowledge of the location that no one else has. And why do you think medical doctors get paid more for their services? Because they possess knowledge and experience that cannot be picked up along the street nor self-taught.
4. Do you have the clout to make persistent demands for recurring payments?
You won’t succeed much with a subscription service business if you don’t have the merciless clout to demand for recurring payments from your customers. It’s like asking your debtors to pay up on their debts, with systematically done since your users pay upfront for the services you provide.
You must also have built-in systems for managing recurrent billings, sending reminder emails, dealing with credit card issues, discontinuing product delivery to nonpaying accounts, knowing why customers are opting out of subscriptions or declining or delaying payments, and counter-checking transactions to ensure that every billing goes through without any hassles to you and your website users.
5. Would you be better off with one-off subscription payment models?
A recurring billing system isn’t going to work for everyone, so you might be better off monetizing your business on a one-off payment model than bothering with recurring payments that won’t work. It is best to use one-off payments if you’re selling eBooks, offering advice and counseling, providing psychic services, and providing product delivery services among others.
What matters most is ensuring that you can maximize whatever payment options you choose to use, and be able to get users to prefer your chosen subscription model. You can acquire further perspectives on recurring payments versus one-off subscription billing models by checking out this article on quaderno to know what should work best for you in given circumstances.