3 Marketers Podcast

Creating The Perfect Subscription Model With Jon Bowtell [Episode 17]


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If you’re involved in any sort of online business, then you’ve definitely heard people telling you that you should set up some sort of online subscription or membership service – easier said than done right?

Sure, it would be amazing to have recurring revenue coming in each month and it would certainly take off some of the pressure, but what if you don’t have a product that people would buy into more than once?

Well, you’ll be pleased (super-duper pleased) to find out that you can actually create a killer subscription model no matter what your product or niche is!

Here to let us in on the secret is subscription guru Jon Bowtell, take it away Jon…





  • The biggest player in this market would be somebody like Dollar Shave Club, who effectively send you a physical product every month on a subscription basis.
  • It’s basically recurring revenue but instead of it being a digital product you are actually physically sending someone something.





  • Primarily, everyone wants recurring revenue.
  • E-commerce is so huge because people are changing their shopping habits, and the best way to get recurring revenue is through a subscription model.
  • Otherwise, you’re relying on customers coming back at some point to buy again from you.





  • First of all, I don’t think it’s an ‘either or’ situation.
  • I would recommend that everybody should be diversifying multiple different ways and that everyone should have a digital membership site.
  • Digital is a great way for recurring revenue without the outlay of any physical stock.
  • However, you can still run a physical subscription business without holding stock or having to buy stock in bulk. There are companies out there who do that for you and you just get charged for what they ship for you each week.





  • You can even start selling your digital products in physical format. You can send booklets and printed versions of your digital courses too, which people love.
  • I think it definitely appeals to a slightly older market. A lot of people prefer something substantial, like a binder or set of CDs.
  • You can also get a higher price for it if you’re selling something tangible. People are willing to pay more if they are getting something physical alongside something digital.





  • Generally, it’s best if they are some kind of disposable product, in other words, they have a lifespan.
  • Those are the products that are going to work best because it’s something that people will always want more of.
  • If you sell products that have a much longer lifespan, there’s still the opportunity to add digital memberships to physical products into your funnel.





  • Some people are really great at driving their own traffic…I’m not, I’m terrible at driving my own traffic.
  • That’s why I get affiliates to do that for me.
  • I use CPA affiliate networks to drive traffic to those offers for me. I pay on a ‘per sale’ basis, which means that we only pay for customers and not for traffic.





  • Customer service is our no.1 priority, we want people to be able to contact us fast and resolve problems quickly.
  • In terms of declines we have a cascading structure in our CRM system which means that if a card gets declined one month, it automatically tries again on a schedule with a decrease in price for the re-bill.
  • My point of view is that I’d rather get something than nothing, so we do actually have a decreasing price point depending on how many tries we’ve made to bill a card.
  • With that strategy, we manage to recoup about 15% of our audience that way.
  • We also give away free gifts monthly and weekly for our customers who are still under subscription.
  • There are lots of different things you can do to keep people engaged but primarily as long as the product is something that they like and it’s working for them then you’re onto a winner!

Yep that's right Kennedy, pop those nuggets of wisdom somewhere safe to keep…






A book that you would recommend…
The Ultimate Sales Letter by Dan Kennedy

What is your top success habit?
It’s really simple…just get up early. Those extra hours in the day without distractions is like an extra 5 hours in your workday because you can get so much done.

Who do you look up to?
Someone I admire in my space is Thomas Cheng. He’s expanded his business massively!

How do you define success?
Finding the perfect balance between your family life and your work life.

Here the big one…who do you like more, Rob or Kennedy?
I’m going to have to go with Rob because I know him.

Finally, where can folks go to find out more about you?
If you go to jonbowtell.com you can find out more about me!

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