Sell Subscription Products in Social Networks

subscribeMany believe online commerce is solely oriented toward the one-time purchase of physical products.  However, numerous products are sold every day as a subscription to the buyers that may be a physical product, a service or even digital goods.  In fact, the New York Times proposes that selling via subscription may be a new “rage.”

Subscriptions have been traditional model for a magazines, newspapers, multi-level marketing firms or even gym memberships. These subscriptions are typically purchased via a designated monthly or annual price.  As noted in the NY Times article, we are being exposed to this model for many new products such as buying clothes, viewing movies, wireless service and even for buying dog food. There are a number of reasons to consider a subscription model and you can even roll this out in your social networks or via a Facebook Shop.

  • Easy to try: For many products creating a subscription price makes it easy for users to try the product. The upfront monetary commitment is typically much lower and the opportunity to cancel is simple for the buyer. As an example, ShopTab’s apps pricing leverages this easy to try concept with a 7 day free trial.
  • Creates predictability: For the buyer it evens out the cost of purchase based upon their use of the product or service. For the business or retailer, this model creates clarity to their user demand and financial cash flow in a predictable fashion versus less predictable one-time product sales.
  • Relationships: This model creates an on-going contract for the provider and the buyer to stay closely aligned. Long term the value should be apparent to both sides in terms of increased product value for the buyer and higher life cycle revenue for the provider.

It is interesting to note that the traditional users of the subscription models are now looking to use this model in their social network marketing. As outlined by Adage in a recent article, the opportunity to position a magazine subscription offer to their Facebook fans is a compelling option for them to leverage.

It has been exciting to help our clients understand that they can position a subscription offering with the well-known PayPal service to attract buyers worldwide. The use of PayPal’s system for credit cards and PayPal payments makes offering this service very simple for those with blogs, websites or a Facebook fan page.  This simple to deploy offering makes sense on any scale – large organizations or someone that walks pets or services your pool.

Let us know if subscription selling inside of social networks is for you.

Review ShopTab’s installation instructions for building subscription products in a Facebook Store.


  • Mia Banks

    This is an interesting article. I would love to know how to transition out of a free FB page that I run currently. I have many followers from all over the world. My intention at this point is to convert followers into a Pay Pal subscription plan. My followers are loyal. There is a sense of
    belonging that the followers enjoy.
    The group consists of like minded people sharing and interacting on my FB page. A personal aspect is given to each individual that comments. I respond to comments.This allows them to feel heard and understood. My responses and approval of their posts are very important to this particular group of followers. I have an open forum so people can discuss topics freely. Potential subscribers feel like they are part of something. The followers are part of what makes this FB page valuable and unique. News and opinions posted by myself are important to the potential subscribers. Often I make their days better with good humor and raw topics.
    So the question is.. how to ask for Pay Pal subscriptions for content that has always been free? Without offending or turning away Followers/ Potential subscribers that feel a sense of belonging to my insightful news stories, witty humor and a small glimpse of my personal life. Please reply to

  • Jeremy Cote

    Thats odd because it’s agains Facebook’s terns to sell things that are not an actual iten, like a gym subscription…