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Posted: by Bronte

Finding Success with the Educational Subscription Model

The subscription economy has effectively quadrupled over the last few years. Popping up with specially curated boxes, restocking essential household items, giving access to exclusive content, and so much more. But one of the least capital intensive subscription models to get into involves only what you know. Teaching the masses about something that you are good at (educational subscription service) has found traction amongst consumers hoping to learn a few things. Topics range from financial help to magic tricks, but all have one thing in common: a subscriber base willing to pay for what the “expert” knows. But as someone just starting out in this industry, obtaining an educational subscription high risk merchant account for being an expert may be harder than you think.

The Booming Educational Subscription Revenue Model

There are several motivations pushing this type of model forward in the industry. And both consumers and business owners appreciate it for similar reasons.

  • Profit Stream

The most obvious benefit from a business owner’s standpoint is the recurring payments coming in from their users, regardless of engagement. It allows owners to plan for the future with more accurate inventory management, a budget for marketing, and a plan for incoming sales. Structuring this way allows for forecasting growth and earnings as well. Considering this, other, more traditional, methods of processing payments fall short.

  • Price Variation

Creating tiers of payments is not only intuitive for the business, but it is also appealing to consumers. They have the ability to choose their price, retaining control of their purchases and level of engagement. Many customers like seeing options, which is something straight sale products can’t provide.

  • Predictable Budgeting

Not only is this option perfect for consumer budgeting, it also most often has options to pause or cancel at any time. Before people make decisions surrounding money, they like to know that they have a way to choose on a month to month basis. They may or may not take advantage of this option, but consumers like to rest assured that they can if they choose to.

  • Promotes Engagement

Paying for a product or service encourages interaction because the customer now feels like they need to take advantage of the full value of their purchase. This is your opportunity to prove your value and secure returning customers for months or years to come.

Common Informative Continuity Services

Smiling female speaker looking at audienceFinancial, scientific, creative, technical, self-help, and so many more opportunities are available in this space. Because providing information isn’t capital intensive, you, as the expert, have to just focus on promoting only you.

If you work in the financial sector and feel like you can provide valuable information for the general public, you can start your own business in this way. Give tips for saving money or paying off debt, both things that people want to know more about and would be willing to pay for.

In the creative sector, you have the ability to give tutorials to people and hone their skills. Lynda.com, CreativeLive.com, and Craftsy all are part of this section of the business providing tips and tricks for digital art, crafts, cooking, and more.

Another sector that is largely supported by subscribers is web development. Codeacademy, Platzi, and Udacity offer personalized courses for app, website, and game development. Learning this skill on your own is hard, and finding classes in person is strenuous and expensive, so this is the perfect solution for a continuity business teaching online.

This only scratches the surface of possibilities in this market. With just a little bit of creativity and drive, almost any “expert” can cash in on creating a continuity merchant account.

Structure Your Educational Subscription Service

To help prevent customer churn, which can reach up to 12% in some cases, you need to accommodate all types of users. Depending on how much content you choose to create and how many subscribers you have, different value-add models are more effective.

All-in-One

As soon as the customer signs up, they get access to all of the content you have created. In this model you are still required to be providing new content periodically to prevent losing subscribers. This is a great option if you have a broad content base

Courses

Providing modular courses to a goal is a great way to keep subscribers interested and active for longer periods of time. They start a course and are guided step by step through predetermined modules. A perfect way to structure for educational courses that requires building on concepts.

Fixed Term

Only available for a set amount of time, the content is very specific and provides a quicker fix to problems. Great for businesses such as detox programs, it is similar to providing courses because of its more specific content.

Considering the different types of infrastructure, there is a lot of room for overlap between them. This is due to the specific needs of the business and their consumers.

Banks consider Subscription Services High Risk

microphone stand

Chargebacks, high-volume sales, possible fraud, low credit history, or little card processing history are all reasons these businesses have high risk credit card processing. Not every business falls victim to all of these, but the threat of these things make banks nervous. But, they understand that there is a possibility for financial success. Because of this, acquiring banks require more strict procedures when accepting and underwriting these companies.

Secure a Payment Gateway for your Business

Your customers expect to be able to pay with a credit card for educational subscription-style businesses. So partnering with an account provider capable of handling hard-to-place accounts is essential to getting your business up and running to process credit cards. Here are a few questions that you can use to guide you as you search for your preferred payment processor:

1. Do they work with the high risk industry?

Chargeback protections and flexible underwriting suggest that they have the right hard-to-place framework.

2. Do they have experience with subscription-style accounts?

Recurring billing businesses have specific needs and require an expert in providing merchant accounts in the subscription space. Pick a processor that has other successful subscription merchants and can handle the additional procedures.

3. What services do they offer?

Make sure that they focus on mitigating chargebacks and prioritizing security. Additional services to help your business scale and grow may include a tailored gateway, seamless platform integrations, and an open API.

4. Are they invested in your success?

Most important aspect to finding a great payment processor is if they are invested in their merchants. Be sure to select a processor that wants to work hard for you.