Cultivating and Leveraging Super-Users: Three Views

By Anne Janzer July 8, 2015

Super-users are growth accelerants for subscription-based businesses. They may support other customers, provide essential feedback, and spread the word about your business.

How can you identify, nurture, and support these special subscribers?

That was the topic of a lively panel at the Subscribed conference last month. Zuora assembled a panel representing three very different businesses: Andre Pimentel from Demandforce, Ranan Lachman of Pley, and Kristen Vandenreissche from Stansberry Research. Their companies address diverse customer segments: small businesses, parents and children, and individual investors. Yet the discussion revealed how subscription-based businesses grapple with many of the same issues.

How to Spot the Super-User

We started the discussion by defining what we meant by the term “super-user.” Because customers and usage profiles vary so widely, I proposed the following working definition:

A super-user is a subscriber who is loyal to the point of action

Using this definition, a super-user customer refers new customers to your business, helps you refine and improve your solutions, or otherwise takes actions that benefit your business beyond simply subscribing.

By identifying the actions that define a super-user for your business, you can determine how to identify them. If a super-user is someone who provides insight, look for that behavior. Do they refer your business to others? Find ways to track and reward referrals. Z-Insights, announced at this conference, may play a growing role in consolidating and analyzing subscriber behavior with your business and beyond.

Supporting the Most Loyal Subscribers

The panelists offered many examples of how they support and encourage loyal customers.

Stansberry Research is a subscription-based publisher of financial information. The company offers exclusive access to analysts and in-person events for its loyal subscribers.

Pley is a sharing-economy startup for children’s toys that lets parents subscribe to Legos™ kits for their children. Pley has created an online community called PleyWorld in which customers can submit their designs for new kits and vote on others. This online site both identifies and promotes its most avid and committed subscribers.

Demandforce uses many programs to nurture and support its small business customers, including in-person visits to customers’ businesses to celebrate their successes and offer support. But as Andre Pimentel pointed out, “If you want more referrals, nail the basics. The high-touch stuff comes later. You have to delight people first.”

My Take: Adding Value

The panelists share a common theme: they are finding ways to add value to the solutions through content, community, and enhanced support. By nurturing customers in this fashion, you can increase overall customer loyalty and expanding the base of your super-user subscribers.

Listen to audio experts of the session below.

About the Author

Anne Janzer is author of the book Subscription Marketing (https://amzn.to/1JV8dyr.) You can sign up for her Subscription Marketing newsletter at annejanzer.com.