The Right Way To Approach Subscription Service Advertising


Subscription services are big business these days. Leveraging this model can lead to great revenue growth for e-commerce or entertainment brands as subscriptions represent a long-term, committed relationship with the consumer, which is more valuable than a one time transaction. The average number of orders per customer for subscription services can be 2-3x compared to a retail customer. However, subscription services also have a high rate of churn as well (defined as customers who didn’t make a repeat purchase in the six months following their first order). With this in mind, Ampush drives long-lasting performance for our subscription service advertising partners by focusing on the lifetime value, or LTV, of acquired customers and customer lifecycle marketing.

1 - Owned Content

For our partners who own their content (both digital and physical) we have a three tiered approach:

  • Emphasize LTV and loyalty to drive reliable new business -we leverage CRM data of a brand’s most valuable customers to build and target lookalike audiences

  • Accrue data on a brand’s most loyal customers via pixel and app SDK data, and attract new customers based off of this seed data.

  • Increase the projected LTV of a customer via retargeting tactics (upsells, gift-giving themes, or re-engagement).

2 - Licensed Content

For our partners who are subscription services that license content from third-parties, which is the case for many streaming content providers, we must strive towards acquiring loyal users who aren’t too active in consuming content, as licensing fees can actually lower a customer’s LTV (and decrease a brand’s revenue).

Ampush analysts take a more nuanced approach to targeting and acquiring an ideal customer for our brand partners within these categories. Check out our case study showing how we honed in on ideal customers for one such popular video streaming service while decreasing the cost of acquiring the ideal consumer.

Whatever the nuances are for subscriber lifetime value, Ampush delivers maximum value to our subscription service advertising partners through a thorough understanding their business model, and via direct integration between our partners’ customer tracking systems and our proprietary ad management platform.

Customer Lifecycle Marketing: Prospecting, Retargeting, and Re-Engagement

Ampush has been successful in driving business growth for our subscription partners by combining full funnel and lifecycle campaign approaches into a two step approach. Splitting Prospecting and Retargeting efforts is pivotal for driving success, as many customers do not convert on the first pass. First, we connect all of our prospecting campaigns to feed into down-funnel, retargeting efforts, leading to greater efficiency and shorter sales cycles.

Once we’ve acquired a user, Ampush analysts reduce the likelihood of churn via re-engagement campaigns, and increase LTV with year-round retargeting initiatives. This retargeting can be highly granular, with customers sorted into dozens of categories and targeted with highly specific messaging that drives action.

In addition, we keep a vigilant eye on all of our various lifecycle campaigns, and quickly identify individual ads with optimization opportunities through the AMP dashboard. This centralized reporting dashboard consolidates data from numerous campaigns in one place and allows us to glean insights across numerous funnel stages and seasonal cycles. AMP makes it easy to run dozens of campaigns simultaneously, and to quickly compare performance and allocate budget to top performing iterations within each category: prospecting, retargeting, and re-engagement.

Bonus: Top Tips for Subscription Service Creative Strategy
  1. Carousel Ads are an excellent creative for subscription service advertising campaigns, as they allow you to showcase box content in detail as well as highlight the variety of box contents over the course of a subscription. Top performing subscription ads all attractively showcase the box’s contents along with “real users” interacting with the product. For digital subscriptions, the creative emphasis is also on showing off variety and real users.

  2. When showcasing a subscription service’s options, we’ve found that greater variety and diversity wins!

  3. To kick-start the funnel process, we recommend top brands consider “content preview” promos, which send potential customers previews or samples prior to a customer committing to a full subscription. We’ve found this increases the LTV (and reduces churn) for our partners.