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Could Subscription Marketing Be Hurting Your Bank Account?

As an entrepreneur, good money management is the name of the game, but sometimes it feels like money is just bleeding out and you can’t always tell where it’s going. Don’t worry! You’re not alone, and the answer may be easier than you think.”

It Adds Up Quickly

As an entrepreneur, good money management is the name of the game, but sometimes it feels like money is just bleeding out and you can’t always tell where it’s going. Don’t worry! You’re not alone, and the answer may be easier than you think.

Just the other day, I was going over my bank statements looking into a payment when I came across an unexpected charge of $171. I hadn’t bought anything for that price recently, so I had no idea where it came from… until I looked at who the charge was made to. Back in February of 2019, I signed up for a business marketing program, and for the last 11 months, I’ve been paying for the monthly subscription that I’d completely forgotten about. To make a long story short, I kept digging and found two more subscriptions I’d forgotten. By the time I was done (and tired of banging my head on my desk), I had found over $3000 spent on no less than 3 subscriptions that I wasn’t even using! 

If this has happened to you, then you may be a victim of a marketing method known as the “business subscription model,” a.k.a subscription marketing. You know those services, the ones you pay monthly to have The Harvard Business Review suggests that the subscription business “attracted more than 11 million U.S. subscribers in 2017.” In an article published by Forbes, it is estimated that this industry produces more than $2.6 billion in annual revenue.

You see, the sustainability of these businesses relies heavily on the number of subscriptions they maintain annually. These businesses study the data on how many subscribers they acquire, how many of those subscribers stay subscribed for the year, how many people fall to the wayside over time (and when), and a number of other statistics. The reason is that subscriptions are easy, repeat business! My question is, what percentage of those subscriptions are from entrepreneurs like us who simply forget that we even subscribed in the first place. 

How To Fix It

Now that I have probably triggered most of you into going through your own bank statements, here are a few tips on how to keep that hard-earned money safe in your account. Here are a few tips to help you keep your money in your accounts:

  • Reconcile your bank statement monthly: Account reconciliation is when you match the cash balances on your balance sheet to the corresponding amount on your bank statement, review the difference between the two in order to make changes to the accounting records, resolve any discrepancies identify fraudulent transactions, and keep track of those subscription payments, as they will be on each statement monthly


  • Set Yourself Up: If you decide that a particular prescription is of benefit to you, ask if there is a 90-day option with auto cancel, or a call from the company to follow-up, which will remind you to cancel if you are not utilizing the service or product.


  • Get Details: Try asking if there is a trial period. This will allow you to test the pros and cons of the product or service, and return control of your money back to you, the consumer


  • Do Your Research: Ask if they can provide you with past client testimonials about how the subscription was beneficial to them. Or how often the average subscriber uses the product to remember the payment each month. They may not have exact answers to this inquiry, but you can certainly gauge their response as to whether they do reputable business.

Putting It Together

The subscription business model, though high in revenue generation, is also a very risky model. The consumer market has become over-saturated, resulting in many of these virtual e-commerce entities struggling or failing. This may result in subscription or product increases. If you have a subscription that you do not pay attention to, you may not be aware of such changes on your invoice. By implementing any one of these tips listed above, it could save you hundreds of dollars. Now go out there and log into your account(s) and see where you could be losing money.


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