Publishers need to focus on establishing a dialogue with their customers if they want to improve their retention and renewal rates. This is the main conclusion of a new report by ACCUCOMS, Improving Customer Retention and Renewal Rates. The report is based on a survey among publishers as well as feedback from libraries, and outlines several sales and marketing strategies publishers can use to identify potential cancellations and stimulate earlier renewals.
In September 2012, ACCUCOMS held a survey among society, academic, nonprofit and commercial publishers. The questions addressed sales and marketing priorities as well as subscription renewal trends. The survey found that in recent years, a quarter of subscribers (26%) had been renewing their subscriptions later in the renewal cycle. For 2012, more publishers expected subscription renewals to decrease (44%) than to stay the same (39%). The survey also found that publishers mainly use email newsletters and printed materials (38%) to reach out to customers. Feedback from libraries described longer decision-making processes and an increased focus on usage statistics.
In the report, ACCUCOMS recommends using the decision-making processes to establish a two-way conversation between publishers and their customers. Publishers need to focus on increasing product awareness and usage, improving product experiences and providing solutions for issues before they turn into reasons not to renew.
The report can be accessed and downloaded via the ACCUCOMS website: