How publishers enable subscription growth through ecommerce strategies

E-commerce businesses have mastered the art of selling. Can publishers use their strategies to boost subscription growth?
Ecommerce strategies
Ecommerce strategies

The biggest e-commerce giants have been growing for more than a decade. And despite their size right now, they are on a path to growing further. Amazon, for example, made 38 percent YOY net sales revenue growth in 2020 despite the pandemic. Now, publishers have a chance of observing and imitating the e-commerce growth strategies.

While publishers have to sell a subscription to their readers only once a month or year, e-commerce companies sell daily. Thanks to the large scale, e-commerce can experiment more and build better growth strategies. If you run a publishing business, here are three e-commerce strategies that will help you with subscription growth:

Top 3 E-Commerce Strategies For Subscription Growth

Email Segmentations

Email segmentation means dividing your email subscribers into smaller groups. These groups are based on a set of logic. For example, if an email subscriber frequently buys high-ticket items, he is put in group A. If he is a subscriber who buys only small-ticket items, he is put in group B.

Personalization is the biggest benefit of email segmentation. If segmented properly, subscribers get emails that they are interested in, and hence the opening rates of emails and conversion rate become much higher. Email segmented campaigns are found to have 50 percent higher Click Through Rate (CTR) than unsegmented email campaigns.

Here is a list of some ways e-commerce companies segment their email list:

  • Geographic email segmentation

  • B2B and specialization email segmentation

  • Content-specific email segmentation

  • Behaviour-specific email segmentation

Publishers can segment their email list based on content. For example, if a reader reads mostly sports, you can put her into the sports group. Or if she readers only political news, you can put her into the politics group. One reader can be present in more than one group.

Subscription Growth
Subscription Growth


Upselling is yet another sales tactic used by e-commerce companies. As its name suggests, upselling means making a customer buy more. This ‘more’ can either be a more expensive item or an add-on.

An e-commerce example of upselling would be the price comparison section on a product’s sale page, where a product with a lower price is compared with an expensive alternative with better ratings. Or an upgrade of a similar item. Most often, when we buy smartphones on e-commerce websites, we get the option of buying an upgraded version with more internal memory and RAM.

Publishers can also use similar upselling tactics to increase their subscription revenue. The easiest way of upselling for publishers is giving an option of subscription for a longer period.

For example, if a reader is buying a monthly subscription, you can provide a discount on a yearly or bi-yearly subscription to upsell. Though the number of such subscribers might a small (only 4%), this can make a significant on your total subscription revenue.


Cross-selling means nudging a customer to buy a related item to what she is already buying. The basic logic behind this is simple: selling to an existing customer is always easier than finding a new prospect and then turning her into a customer.

The biggest e-commerce companies never leave a chance to cross-sell to their customers. An example of this is the sale of books by the same author. When you buy a book on an e-commerce platform, it suggests buying books by the same author. Instead of selling the books to a new customer, it is easy to sell those books to a customer who is already interested in reading one book from an author. Such type of similar product recommendations derives about 10% to 30% of the total revenue for e-commerce companies.

Publishers can also use cross-selling tactics to increase their subscription revenue. Magazine publishers, for example, can cross-sell different types of subscriptions. If a reader buys a digital-only subscription, the publisher can offer a discount on the offline magazine subscription so that the reader can purchase both subscriptions.

Growth strategies are not monopolized by one business sector. If a strategy works for e-commerce businesses, publishers can refine the same strategy to work for them. A few examples of such strategies are email segmentation, upselling, and cross-selling.

If you want to increase your subscription growth, Accesstype is the right tool for you. It is a robust subscription management platform that boosts your revenue.

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