22 growth and monetization insights for subscription apps — Podcast with Babbel’s Sylvain Gauchet

Over 60 minutes of insights from experts around the world — dissected and discussed.

22 growth and monetization insights for subscription apps — Podcast with Babbel's Sylvain Gauchet
David Barnard

David Barnard

February 22, 2023

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you picture “mining for gems”? 

If you thought of a gaming app, you’re probably not alone.

But Sylvain Gauchet, Director of Revenue Strategy at subscription-based language learning software and e-learning platform Babbel, mines a very different kind of gems.

On top of his full-time job at Babbel, Sylvain consumes a superhuman amount of content in his search for the very best insights to guide your subscription app’s growth and success. Through founding Growth Gems, he’s been able to mine for, extract, and offer readers the top insights — or “gems” — from expert thought leaders across the globe.

In this special episode of the Sub Club podcast, Sylvain joins us for a long-awaited discussion in an experimental format about what you can do to grow your subscription app.

Sylvain offers elaboration and clarification on key topics from strategy and retention, to onboarding and activation, to monetization. A wide range of industry figureheads — and even beyond tech — provide invaluable pointers that will help you ensure you’re heading in the right direction.

Six of the gems we’ll be discussing

During the episode, we learn about why engagement is more important than growth, without which your app will probably die — as put forth by Nir Eyal, bestselling author of Hooked.

We cover why you should segment your users based on subscription status — free, trial, and paying users — which can drastically alter attention curves. Thomas Petit, independent mobile growth consultant, offers this and other great insights into subscription app success.

And if you’re launching an annual plan, you might want to rethink your strategy, suggests Matthieu Rouif, CEO and co-founder of PhotoRoom. Exclusively launching a monthly plan first helps you to better assess churn, but more importantly, it enables you to talk to customers to improve the product incrementally. 

When it comes to gifting, use it wisely and watch the spend ceiling increase. All subscription apps inherently have this ceiling, but it doesn’t need to be a limitation. As noted by Aperture founder and Uphead’s ex-head of marketing, Hannah Parvaz, gifting made up a third of one company’s December sales — many of which came from existing customers.

Finally, consider your upgrade policy, advises Patrick Campbell, CEO of ProfitWell. Businesses typically don’t ask customers to upgrade to a longer-term plan beyond the initial signup period, which is a glaring mistake. Why? Because customers haven’t yet seen the value of the product, so they can’t be expected to pay more than what they’re paying already. Once they’ve tried the app out, that’s the time to hook customers in with a longer-term plan.

Sylvain also discusses why cohorting is so important when looking at growth metrics, why good advice can turn bad if you apply it at the wrong stage, and a lot more.

Listen and mine your own gems 💎

For a deep dive into all the best growth gems, listen to the episode and mine your own key insights to set your subscription app on the path to real, sustainable growth. 

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