Every business owner wants to generate more revenue; after all, that’s more or less the point of going into business in the first place. However, in the ever-competitive world of trade publishing, many companies are fighting over a limited supply of new customers, all while ignoring their current customers. This then leads to current customers becoming past customers as they move on to other publishers. In the end, this then feeds the competition, and while this can certainly be a good thing for the economy and the publishing industry as a whole, it certainly does not benefit the publisher who lost the customers.
Instead of spending valuable time and resources seeking out revenue from new customers, consider the following tips to draw in new revenue from existing customers:
One thing that publishers can learn from video game companies is the importance of expansions. In the video game world, companies often sell an initial game, but then they later come out with inexpensive expansion packs that a player can then use to continue playing new levels of a game. This concept has been wildly popular, and some game companies even offer the initial game for free, knowing that players will pay for the expansions to continue the story. In the publishing world, you can use the same concept. You provide an initial piece of a publication, such as a novel, but in order for a customer to continue reading, he or she will need to pay for additional chapters. Be careful when using this approach however. The initial offering has to be satisfying, but just satisfying enough to keep customers wanting more.
Demonstrate the Value of Your Current Products and Services
Far too often, publishers will simply sell a product or service and then move on to the next big thing, essentially leaving current customers to replace the old with the new. While this seems like it would grow revenue, it really doesn’t as you’re simply trading revenue for revenue. Once the old product is out the door, the new product replaces it and no new revenue comes into existence. Instead, it’s a good idea to continue to demonstrate value for a current product or service before simply moving on to the next one. What this ultimately does is build brand loyalty, meaning existing customers will likely take to a product expansion when it becomes available.
Offer Subscription-Based Services
Another way to tap into addition revenue from existing customers is to offer new services as subscriptions. For example, you may already provide content as a publisher, but you might offer a subscription-based service that includes interviews with authors or a question and answer session with an author, through which subscribers can participate. This approach needs to be used cautiously, however. If you aren’t building value into your existing products, as mentioned above, and you’re simply trading one service for another, there won’t be any new revenue growth to speak of. Be mindful of how your subscription-based service enhance or clash with your existing services.