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I have a subscription based service but can't seem to grow beyond my current subscriber base.

I have 150 subscribers to my service which provides UK and Irish horse racing ratings to enthusiasts, bettors, gamblers and professionals. However, I can't seem to get up to my target 200 regular subscribers which is the initial figure I need to hit to give up my day job so I can solely focus on my business and then look to expand beyond that number and also branch out into global horse racing markets through product development and specialist software. I'm not sure whether this is down to marketing, website design, how I promote the service or the fact I need to package the service/software differently.

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6 answers

Hey Dave, 

 

150 subscribers is a good start so far. Do you mind if I ask you how you managed to aquire the first 150? That I way I won't be suggesting methods you've already used. Additionaly, it would be awesome to get a link to your website so as I can see if there may be any improvements that could be made.

 

Cheers!

 

Ismaila

 

 

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Hi Ismaila - the website is http://formbet.co.uk and I supply UK and Irish horse racing data, ratings & a searchable database for horse racing enthusiasts. I acquired the 150 after I had offered the service for free a few years ago now and they are generally long-term subscribers who have been with me for a while. It is quite a niche within the horse racing community as it focuses very much on more intelligent horse racing fans who like to perform their own analysis, whereas most 'punters' just want to be told what will win ! I have done promotion via Facebook in the past but Twitter seems to be much more popular now and we get most promotion via there - we probably need to revamp our site a bit to focus more on the product as it's a bit too blog-like at the moment but any tips would be appreciated or comments about the site from an outsider.

Cheers, Dave

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Hey Dave, took a look at your site there. You’ve got some awesome content, great testimonials and the site’s super easy to navigate, so some of the suggestions I’ve made will be simple enough to implement if you decide to use them. Here are 6 suggestions I’ve made.

 

1.    One suggestion, if possible, is for you to add in a listbuilder. I mean I can subscribe but I’m almost forced to look for the subscription button. The best one’s that I’ve suggested to some clients is the likes of Sumome’s listbuilder or else Hellobar.

 

2.    I’d also suggest an opt-in offer. Something like “Get your free 5 step guide to intelligent betting” or since your “Do you want to make £125000?” seems to be the most popular post; You could add in something along the lines of “Grab your copy of the betting tool-kit that made me £750 profit in 2 months”

 

3.    I’d probably also just write “testimonials” or “See what some of our members are saying.” Or “what other people/betters are saying” as “subscriber testimonials” seems a bit over-used and generic.

 

4.    Another one I’d suggest is the likes of guest-blogging, starting a medium.com account or commenting on forums. If you do decide to go the guest blogging route I can imagine you going to the likes of http://www.theracingworld.co.uk/ and asking to guest post/promote your content there.

 

Naturally posting on these high-traffic sites and being seen as an “expert” will prompt more people to visit your site resulting in more subscribers. I’ve never had the need to guest blog since the majority of my work/attention comes from forum posting/posting in private Facebook groups etc. so I won’t say anymore on the subject.

 

5.    Another way is simple forum/group commenting, which is what I use. You’re on the right track since you’ve already mentioned twitter and Facebook. Maybe you could expand to horse racing forums such as http://community.betfair.com/horse_racing/go/forum/view/94102/165750/horse-racing

 

6.    This last point is regarding your Join formbet page. Personally I’d rearrange the layout. I mean I see £156, £35, £10, £2 and naturally you want people to pay the £156. I’d put the one that says £156 towards the right hand side since people are reading left to right so I’m seeing this massive number then these smaller numbers afterwards, which (for me) makes the bigger number stand out more. Additionally I’d say most people are lazy when it comes to monthly calculations so under £156 you could say something like “save 25%” compared to paying the monthly one. Having said that I really like the fact that you highlighted it and said “best value”. Also maybe you could add in another number like £230, while still keeping the £156 as the best value. That way your audience won’t feel like they’re buying the most expensive option. However, on a side-note perhaps your audience prefers a premium offer and in that case leaving the £156 as the highest would result in higher sales for you. It’s something that you’ll maybe test in the future.

 

In any-case hope that helped Dave 

Best!

 

Ismaila

p.s. if you feel unsure about the way I've explained anything just send me a message and I'll get back to you asap.

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Hi Ismaila

Thanks so much for taking the time to look at the site and offer some great constructive feedback. I've started implementing a few changes and will work on an opt-in offer and place a Hello bar and also sidebar sign-up page for that to gather email addresses. I have an idea for an upsell to a service containing both the ratings and betting tips but have already re-arranged the Join page. I'll look into the guest blogging/forum options, something I have done in the past and I am also currently writing a 6-month series for Racing Ahead magazine with an advert included in the articles.

Appreciate all your advice again. I am also currently miday through a 1 year Hypnotherapy course as well as studying nutritional and lifestyle coaching with the C.H.E.K institute so this advice I think will come in handy when it comes time for me to launch that site and switch careers.

Thanks again, Dave

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Hi Dave,

Have you run any campaigns to your existing 150 customers with a view for them to recruit new followers for you? This can be achieved in a variety of ways, but basically email them a coupon code and if they give it to their friends who sign up, you'll give them a %. Something like 15-20% is quite attractive. The payment gateway service Stripe has a good way of setting these up.

"Love our site and want to make easy money? Refer your friends, and when they sign up for a year you'll receive 30 pounds in your bank account. Bang! Easy money."

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It's a great venture, Dave. I would suggest you to focus on the web-design part of your product. Visuals communicate more to the user than simple text content. As you already have 150 daily subscribers, I am certain you would get more in the days to come. 

Good luck.

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