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Unveiling Fusebill 2014

We are extraordinarily excited to introduce Fusebill 2014 – a major platform upgrade that delivers significant, innovative subscription billing features. Driven by customer requests and market feedback, the major features of Fusebill 2014 focuses on three key themes: Simplicity, Agility and Analytics.

Over the coming weeks we’ll drill into more detail on each theme, and highlight exciting new capabilities. (Or, join our launch webinar Friday January 10 at 2:00 PM eastern)

Simplicity, Agility and Analytics

Fusebill configure subscriptions screenFusebill 2014 makes it easy to do simple tasks. We’ve introduced “Plans” to group together products, charges and time intervals – so provisioning is faster, invoices more clear and reporting more insightful. Create custom payment schedules, review and edit invoices, allocate payments to invoices – you’ll find a wide range of features to make Fusebill simpler.

Agility means that Fusebill can adapt as pricing and billing needs evolve. Fusebill 2014 introduces the Product Catalog to provide a hierarchy of products and plans, so you can create product bundles and provide a la carte options. Mid-month changes, automatic pro-rating give you control.

Fusebill Customer InsightsFusebill 2014 provides powerful business intelligence tools to deliver customer analytics and insights. The subscription-oriented metrics like churn rates, monthly recurring revenues, customer lifetime value have always been a strength of Fusebill. Now there are far more sophisticated tools to analyze those metrics, and more ways to slice and dice them.

Fusebill 2014 is a highly flexible but easy-to-use product designed for a business user, not an IT analyst or a developer. It’s easier to integrate, both into your systems and your workflows, and it provides customer insights through advanced analytics.

See for Yourself!
As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, and that’s why we invite you to a live demo of Fusebill 2014 presented by Fusebill CEO Steve Adams:

Date: Friday January 10th
Time: 2:00 PM Eastern
REGISTER HERE

What’s on in January?

We’ve got a lot of exciting things going on as we start 2014 and we hope you can join us for all of them!

Here what’s on:

register nowSimplicity. Agility. Analytics. – Introducing Fusebill 2014
You’ll be hearing a lot about Fusebill 2014 in the next several weeks and we’d love it if you joined us for a live demonstration on Friday January 10th at 2:00 PM by our very own CEO, Steve Adams.
Register here 

Fusebill Customer Forum and Advisory Group Meeting
Thursday January 23 we will be holding our first Customer Forum and Advisory Group Event. Divided into two parts, the Customer Forum portion of the day will take place at our corporate offices in Kanata, Ontario. Geared to Fusebill users, the agenda focuses on training and Fusebill 2014 familiarization.

register now5 Reasons You Should Automate Subscription Billing – Now!
Retailers are increasingly selling by subscription, with regular deliveries of goods ranging from soaps and vitamins to socks and underwear. Successful execution of this “Product as a Service” strategy creates demands that many back-office systems can’t handle:

  • Automation of recurring billing and collections;
  • Flexible bundling of products into subscription plans;
  • Detailed customer analytics to track performance by channel, geography and products.

Join us for a live webinar on Tuesday January 28 at 2:00 PM eastern to learn how Fusebill provides the agility, automation and analytics required to make Product as a Service strategies successful. Register here

Multiple Editions Tips

multiple editionsLet us help you whip your pricing into shape with these tips!

Recently we talked about how you can use irrational decision to build a successful multiple edition price strategy. But that’s just the first step. In this post we’ll give you tips for getting the most out of your editions.

Most sites that use the multiple editions strategy create three options. Nothing says you have to only have three so if you find offering more works better for your business, don’t feel you have to remove some of them.

Tip 1 – Make sure the options or add-ons you include in each of your editions are justifiable by your potential customer. In other words make the decision making as easy as possible.
Tip 2 – Make sure as your editions increase in price that the benefits they provide are substantial.
Tip 3 – Choose prices for each edition that show the value of your service. Most people are wary of things that seem too good to be true so ensure your prices don’t set off any warning bells.

Least Expensive Edition Tips
Your most inexpensive edition should still have value. Keep in mind that people who may not be able to afford the more expensive editions today may be able to in time so use this edition to build brand loyalty. You want your customers to enjoy and benefit from what they are getting to the point that they will want more.

Middle Edition Tips
This is probably going to be your most popular option as it hits that sweet spot for a lot of customers who on one hand don’t want to buy the least expensive option, but on the other want to feel like they are saving money by not choosing the most expensive.

For many people, choosing the middle edition is often viewed as the ‘safest’ option.  Make sure your middle option includes all of the value and functionality of the less expensive edition, but has enough added benefits that it becomes the easy choice to make.  Many people are comforted (often subconsciously) by the thought that a lot of other people have made the same choice they have, so advertising that this is the most popular option will often increase the chance of its being selected.

Most Expensive Edition Tips
The most important reason for the existence of your most expensive edition is to make your other options seem more attractive because they cost less. Not to say you don’t want people to purchase it, so ensure there are substantial added benefits when compared to the middle edition but construct it with this main goal in mind.

5 Reasons to be thankful for Subscription Analytics

subsc anIt’s Thanksgiving – the traditional time to stop and look at all of the good things, people and opportunities in your life, and give thanks.

Adding analytics to the list of things to be thankful for may seem strange to some, but if your business is subscription or recurring payment based, it’s probably close to the top.

Just think, without analytics, you would have no way of knowing how your business is doing or what aspects to focus on to become even more successful!

If analytics isn’t on your list, we think that after reading our top 5 reasons to be thankful for subscription analytics, it will be:

1.      Thankful for the ability to analyze results by product, plan, customer, and user.

With analytics you know exactly what’s working, what isn’t, and why.

2.      Thankful for an extensive library of dynamic financial, customer, and accounting reports.

Reports that allow you to drill down and across core metrics like revenues, CLV, churn, MRR. So that you know at a glance how your business is really doing.

3.      Thankful for cohort analysis.

Cohort analysis lets you evaluate your customer revenues by channel, by salesperson, age, and geography. This type of detailed demographics mean you know exactly who is buying your product and how, so you know who you need to impress/target to get your product into the hands of your potential customers.

4.      Thankful for the ability to identify the factors affecting churn, retention, and revenue growth. 

Without knowledge of these factors, you wouldn’t know the best ways to maximize your growth.

5.      Thankful for an integration with Salesforce.

So you no longer have to duplicate information and processes between multiple services.

Here at Fusebill, we’re serious about, (and thankful for) subscription analytics!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

thanksgiv-day

Is Irrational Decision-Making Working for You?

Last year we posted an article that looked at the ‘multiple editions’ price strategy, in it we talked about how many subscription companies use this strategy to build different packages,  giving  their customers the ability to choose the one that  best suits their needs.

While we hit on many of the reasons why this strategy is popular, we didn’t go into a lot of detail about how important offering a choice to your customers can be to your bottom line.

So let’s talk about the psychology of choice.

We humans are a funny bunch, we do this thing called irrational decision making where we spend more for something while telling ourselves we are saving money – and we believe it! Even though we know the only way to save money is to not spend it.  This is one of the reasons multiple editions is successful.

Here’s an example. Say you’re walking down the street and you see this sign:

 id 1

 

If you weren’t looking for a layer cake you would probably walk right by.  If you are you would probably compare the $10 advertised to the price you previously decided was fair or acceptable for you to spend on a layer cake. If the $10 was higher than this amount you wouldn’t stop, but if lower or equal to it you probably would. This is rational decision making.

Now say instead of one sign with one item for one price you see this:

IDimage2

Suddenly not only can you get your layer cake, but you are also presented with options that offer you choices. And how do most people justify spending more than what they initially decided was an acceptable price? By telling themselves they are saving money. Look at all the money I am saving by spending just $10 more!

Now what if the sign looked like this:  

IDimage3

Suddenly the $10 option seems not only inferior, but it seems like spending $10 just to get a cake isn’t worth it when $5 more gets you more (even if you hadn’t planned on buying the add-ons listed). The middle option is not only more attractive looking but the most popular, and by choosing it you can also rationalize it by telling yourself you’re not buying the most expensive option – so you’re actually saving $5. This of course doesn’t make sense, but it does happen – hence irrational decision making.

When using multiple editions for your services you can actually lead customers through this thought process by not only inferring what the acceptable price is but by providing options that make customers think about what they are saving instead of what they are spending. It will take some price testing to find the right price and options but if you keep track of results and make changes accordingly you will find the multiple editions that work best for you!

What’s New in November?

The holiday season is approaching fast – and that means life is about to get very busy for a lot of people!  We’ve decided to start the giving early with this month’s webinars, which include an exciting peek into Fusebill 2014…

Subscription Billing 101

When: 2 p.m., November 14th, 2013,
Where:
Register here
Why:
Tune in and we’ll offer you an overview of the subscription billing model and recurring billing in general, including the difference between payment gateways and payment platforms and the criteria you should be keeping an eye out for while you’re choosing the right service for your business.

register

Fusebill 2014 Sneak Peek

When: 2 p.m., November 21st, 2013
Where: Sign up here
Why: Over the past few months, we’ve been very busy developing a brand new Fusebill UI – Fusebill 2014!  It’s clean, easy to use, and has a beautiful new design.  We’re very excited about it, so although it’s not ready yet, Fusebill CEO Steve Adams will be giving everyone a sneak peek and taking your feedback and questions.

register

Want to see more?  Check out our Webinars page for a look at upcoming webinars and an archive of past recordings on all kinds of topics!  If you have a topic you’d like us to talk about, we’d love to hear it – just send us an email at info@fusebill.com or comment on this article.

Attention Fusebill Clients: A few hours before the general Sneak Peek webinar, we will be holding a special Sneak Peek webinar just for you! It will take place at noon on Thursday November 21st and you will receive a special email invitation shortly. If you don’t receive your information by end of day today (Monday November 11), please email info@fusebill.com or give us a call  at 888.519.1425

Revenue Leakage [Infographic]

Revenue leakage occurs in manual systems when recurring charges get missed – for example, when an annual service charge is not applied properly. As shown in the infographic below this can add up to some pretty serious money every month.

Fusebill can help plug this leak by calculating, sending recurring invoices, and charging customer credit cards. Plus, Fusebill supports monthly, quarterly, and annual billing periods, with pricing models ranging from simple monthly charges through complex usage based price structures. If revenue leakage is drowning your business take our Fusebill free trial and see how we can help.

Infographic final

Tiered vs. Volume Pricing – Do You Know the Difference?

This is the first in a mini-series of articles on Tiered, Volume, and Usage based pricing as part of metered price plans.

We have found that a lot of people think they have a “complex” pricing model only because they are difficult to track manually and not because of anything inherent in the price model itself. We’re hoping that these articles will give people a better understanding of the different types of metered pricing.

A good place to start is to answer the question, what is tiered pricing? This is important because a lot of people think tiered pricing and volume pricing are the same thing when they are actually very different.  Tiered pricing defines a price PER unit within a range and volume pricing defines a price for ALL units within the range.

It’s easier to see how it works using an example. Let’s say you have just sold 60 widgets.

Volume Pricing:
01-20 = $10 per widget
21-30 =  $8.5 per widget
31-40 =  $7 per widget
41+   =  $5.5 per widget
Cost Breakdown:
You have sold 60 widgets.  This is in the range of 41+; all widgets will cost $5.5 each.
Tiered Pricing:
01-20 = $10 per widget
21-30 =  $8.5 per widget
31-40 =  $7 per widget
41+   =  $5.5 per widget
Cost Breakdown:
First  20 widgets cost $10 each
Next 10 widgets cost $8.5 each
Next 10 widgets cost  $7 each
Additional widgets cost $5.5 each

volume vs tiered

Calculation:
Total cost = 60 x 5.5 = $330.00
Calculation:
Total cost = (20 x 10) + (10 x 8.5) + (10 x 7) + (20x 5.5) = $465

With tiered pricing, once you fill up a ‘tier’ – in this case, the first 20 widgets – you move to the next tier and start charging a different price.  The first 20 widgets will cost $10 each.  Once you’ve sold all 20 from tier 1, the next tier costs $8.5 each, the next tier $7, and so on.

Volume pricing, on the other hand, means that as soon as you hit a particular number, all units will cost the lower price.  If someone only buys 20 widgets, each widget will cost $10; but once they get over 20 widgets, the price of all the widgets in their purchase drops to $9 each; then to $8.

See the difference? If you were using volume pricing you would have made $330 for your 60 widgets, but using tiered pricing you make $465, and this difference is based on the cost of each widget.

Are you using volume or tiered pricing for your subscription-based business?  If so, use the comments section to let us know how and why you chose your pricing strategy!

Fusebill is hiring!

Work at FusebillWe are currently looking for four new people to join the Fusebill team! Open positions:

 

Fusebill is a great place to work, we offer all team members:

  • A fun, collaborative agile, and open working environment
  • A place for continuous learning and growth
  • Flexible work hours
  • A competitive salary with a generous stock option plan
  • Comprehensive benefits
  • Free coffee, tea and snacks
  • Free Parking

And in return we ask that you bring:

  • A desire to learn something new every day
  • Ability to perform in a fast paced environment
  • A customer and business value first mindset

For more information, or to apply for any of the positions below, please contact hr@fusebill.com 

Hope to see you around the water cooler!

 

 

 

Stick with tradition, or move to subscription? Part 2

In the first part of this series, we looked at two verticals that some people may be surprised to find use the subscription based model – Gaming and transportation. If you missed that post you can read it here.

Today we’ll explore how the online dating and real estate industries are also enjoying the benefits of the subscription based model by offering their customers products and services with a recurring price tag.

Online dating 

online dating

Almost all online dating services charge a monthly subscription. eHarmony, match.com, and more offer full access to the profiles of other members who match your own for a set fee. 

Some sites offer different levels of membership with things like number of emails sent/received, number of pictures uploaded, or number of profiles you can access as differentiators.  Some online dating sites even offer one time purchases like gift cards, events, or add-on purchases such as more personalized match-making services.

Real Estate

for sale

The real estate industry uses subscription billing in several different ways. Real estate agents will often pay a monthly subscription in order to list their properties online, or to advertise their services.  Agencies may offer realtor training or advertising, and associations like REALTOR and REALOGY have membership fees that are often subscription based.

All types of businesses are moving to, or incorporating the subscription based model because of the many benefits – such as increasing the predictability and profitability of their revenue, and the opportunity to build strong, long-term relationships with their customers. However, this is really just the first step. To truly enjoy the benefits of the subscription-based business model, these businesses need to work with an automated billing and payments platform like Fusebill.

By adding a payments platform, subscription based businesses will get to market faster, be able to simplify their billing operations, will eliminate bottlenecks that prevent scaling, and will be better positioned to compete, adapt, and react faster than their competitors  – all of which will increase revenues, attract more customers, and build a better, stronger business.