Publication Management Software

Decreasing Churn with a Publication Management Software

The publishing industry has suffered plenty of upheaval in recent years from digital transformation, the ability to self-publish and changes in consumer behaviour. The result? Publishing businesses failing to keep up are suffering high churn rates and battling significant losses in revenue.

Print publishing, the oldest subscription-based industry, now offers both print and digital subscriptions. Despite the shifting landscape of consumption with eBooks, audiobooks, podcasts and generative AI causing the half-life of publications to drop, there is still a good market for publications offering authority, integrity and nostalgia. That being said with a smaller audience than ever before, the competition in the publishing world is cut-throat.

How can publishing companies push performance KPIs in the direction of success?

We’re glad you asked because that’s where trusty publication management software comes in!

Software For Publication Companies

The following are some of the areas in which a publication management system can help your business decrease churn, manage subscriptions, retain customers, eliminate involuntary churn, automate billing and improve your customers’ subscription journey!

1. Managing Customer Data

An astonishing number of publishing companies use legacy software such as Microsoft Excel to manage active subscriptions. This can be extremely cumbersome and time-consuming and creates a huge margin for error and associated risk of heavy involuntary churn.

With a publication management system, you can easily navigate and filter through your entire customer base and visualize all your KPIs neatly lined up on your admin dashboard. These include your monthly recurring revenue (MRR), active subscriptions, net revenue etc. all of which you no longer need an overworked accounting team to calculate. Pretty neat right? By avoiding customer management problems, you cut the risk of losing customers to manual handling errors.

2. Self-Service Pages

Self-service pages are a great way to empower your readers to enter a service portal and manage their subscriptions without needing any external assistance. They can upgrade, downgrade, change their subscription plan or even cancel their subscription with ease. When customers feel in complete control of their purchase, they actually feel more empowered to maintain a relationship with their business. Transparency and ease of use both drive down churn.

3. Recurring Billing

The billing operation is doubtlessly the lifeline of any business. When handled manually your business runs the risk of human error, late invoicing, missed payments, revenue leakage and much more.

A publication management software lets you automate all this, so all active subscriptions with pre-authorized payment methods are billed, invoiced and charged accurately at the right time in their subscription cycle. Involuntary churn caused my missed payments, accounting for 20-40% of all churn, can easily be eliminated through automated billing.

4. Invoicing

Error-free invoices in your customer’s mailbox, right on time, optimize your customer’s subscription journey and build trust and reliability. Late and poorly put-together invoices lead to frustration and distrust in your readers. A rocky invoicing experience is sure to promote churn as confused subscribers seek out a competitor who manages invoicing more accurately and efficiently through subscription management software.

5. Payment Processing

Integration of a flexible and secure payment gateway into your billing software can streamline your payment processing flow making it completely frictionless for your readers! It can also open your business up to a global audience and promote scalability. Seamless online payments decrease the churn that may be caused by any grief during manual payment processing which demotivates people from maintaining an active subscription.

6. Credit Card Retries

Billing software can also let your customers retry credit card payments when they fail, without the customer being unnecessarily bothered during their subscription cycle. A card that no longer works can also be brought to your attention and you can contact your consumer for updated payment information automatically without losing them to involuntary churn.

7. Dunning Automation

By integrating products such as MailChimp with your billing management software, a dunning strategy can also be automated as a result of payment failure.

Let’s take the example of Jane who is subscribed to your magazine but her card was recently stolen. This means her payments are no longer getting through. Digging up contact details (that may also be subject to change) and trying to get in touch depends entirely on her availability and is time-consuming for your team. Through automated dunning, this can be nipped in the bud without losing Jane as a subscriber.

8. Automated Emails

Through integration, your publication managing system can also automate email renewal notices and reminders. This saves your business precious time and keeps communication flow smooth and consistent.

9. Monitoring Churn Risk

Software for publishing companies also lets you flag users who are not actively reading their digital subscriptions and are at risk of unsubscribing. This criterion is entirely customizable and lets you create targeted marketing strategies for these groups to prevent losing them to churn. Surprising your reader with a gift is proven to improve your customer’s experience and make them more invested in your company.

10. Artificial Serendipity

It is highly recommended to program artificial serendipity into your customer subscription journey by gifting their subscriptions and other pleasant surprises to deepen loyalty, improve user experience and promote customer retention. This can include gifts for long-term subscribers, as well as, for groups at high risk of churn.

11. Shipping Label Printing

For any print-media business printing accurate shipping labels is a high-priority task that is quite tedious when done manually. With software organizing your complete up-to-date customer database, automated printing of shipping labels with accurate addresses becomes a smooth operation. A subscriber who never has to deal with a missed or delayed delivery is a satisfied consumer who sticks around!

12. Analytical Reports

Business analytics is central to any business’s operational success and growth in this age of information. Publication management software allows you to generate customizable reports that help you gain business insights and strategize the success of your publication.

The tweaks and adaptations that come around by analyzing these reports can protect your business from churn if you are able to identify where changes need to be implemented!

As is evident, your publishing company has a lot to gain from utilizing publication management software to keep up with the demands of the publishing industry in this age of digital transformation.

Let the machine handle the repetitive tasks at the backend, so you can instead focus on diversification of revenue streams, sustainable growth and scalability!