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The 11 Best Subscription Management Software in 2022

Table Tool Summary

1

chargify logo

Chargify

2

Chargebee

Chargebee

3

ProfitWell

ProfitWell

4

zoho logo

Zoho Subscriptions

5

Zuora-Logo

Zuora

6

Stripe logo

Stripe

7

2Checkout

2Checkout (Verifone)

8

Recurly

Recurly

9

MPP Global

MPP Global

10

Subscription Flow

Subscription Flow

11

Zephr logo

Zephr

The subscription economy is booming. The average US consumer spends $237 every month subscribing to at least 12 paid media services (PDF download).

Although this figure is high, 74% of adults still expect to subscribe to even more services in the future. As a result, subscription-based businesses have grown nearly five times faster than the S&P 500 over the last decade.

And yet, challenges remain for digital publishers.

A Deloitte survey found that the churn rate for subscription based video streaming services in the US was well over 37%. A Mckinsey report discovered that more than 71% of all customers in the US expect personalized interactions from companies — a major challenge for digital publishers, which often don’t have the data analysis and propensity modeling capabilities needed to process large amounts of customer data and deliver real-time personalization.

Tracking, managing and reporting revenue have traditionally challenged many subscription-based businesses.

The good news is that using subscription management software can help businesses, especially digital publishers, overcome these challenges. 

In this article we’ll review some of the best subscription management software available to businesses today.

What Is Subscription Management Software?

Subscription management software is used to automate the routine aspects of managing a subscription.

It not only manages and executes a broad range of subscription-related tasks with the goal of streamlining recurring revenue streams but also seeks to improve customer relationships.

Key features of subscription management software typically include:

  • Managing recurring billing
  • Entering, updating and processing customer data
  • Renewing and upgrading subscriptions
  • Following up on subscription cancellations
  • Issuing refunds as and when needed
  • Upselling and cross selling
  • Communication of new products.

Why Is Subscription Management Software Important for Publishers?

Given the changing needs that vary from one customer to another, it’s next to impossible to manage a large base of subscriptions without the automation that subscription management software affords.

Nearly 80% of publishers polled in a 2022 study by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism reported that subscription-based models would be among their top-revenue priorities.

These findings are in line with the 2019 projection of the New York Times’ CEO, Meredith Kopit Levien, that more than 100 million people would be willing to pay to read news online over the next 10 years. 

Greater subscription volumes also bring their own challenges, however, including:

  1. Converting existing viewers to paying subscribers
  2. Managing and reducing subscriber churn
  3. Tracking and managing revenue
  4. Leveraging subscription data to improve sales
  5. Meeting accounting and reporting requirements

This is exactly where subscription management software can help. 

A subscription management platform enables recurring billing and the other repetitive tasks to be conducted without the need for a customer to perform these tasks.

Freed of the obligation of performing online admin and other similar tasks, customers have more time to simply enjoy the products they’ve subscribed to.

Over time, this can foster loyalty as customers become used to — and dependent on — the benefits of their subscription, eventually becoming reluctant to switch to a competitor’s offering.

In a recent survey of the subscription economy, for example, 64% of respondents (PDF download) claimed that they felt more connected to companies with which they had a subscription than with companies they bought products on a one-off basis from.

How Does Subscription Management Software Work?

Subscription management software works by automating some tasks conducted between a business and its customers.

The software operates by keeping a continuous “finger on the pulse” of the relevant interaction and responding accordingly. It achieves this through a number of key principles, which include:

  • Pricing agility
  • Change tracking
  • Self-service
  • Inter-platform integration
  • Data security
  • Dunning management.

The publishing industry provides many examples of how these different principles work with one another in subscription management software.

A sports publisher, for instance, may wish to attract new readers by offering a 15% discount on its annual print subscriptions. As the number of new readers steadily grows, the magazine’s editors notice that a rival publication is also targeting new readers with a 15% discount on its annual print subscription.

Keen to avoid competition solely on retail price, the publisher’s management decides to maintain their magazine’s current subscription discount but, unlike their competitor, provides customers with the option of paying either in quarterly installments, annually or biennially.

This pricing information is listed on the magazine’s website, where prospective subscribers can sign up using the magazine’s subscription management software.

As the months progress, the credit cards of some new readers expire. This is where dunning management — an automated payment recovery mechanism that’s triggered when there’s a payment failure — is executed by the software. The subscription platform sends emails or text messages — depending on the customer’s contact preferences, which are recorded in the software, informing them of the payment failure.

Each email or text message invites the customer to log in to the self-service portal in the subscription management software so that they can update their credit card information.

Apart from tracking subscriptions, subscription management software can also integrate itself with other commonly used platforms. If, for example, the sports publisher uses Salesforce’s Customer 360 suite of CRM tools, the magazine’s subscription management software will be able to export customer data to the marketing team through the Customer 360 suite.

Such seamless integration between platforms is crucial to ensuring that different parts of a subscription business work efficiently together. This, in turn, enables a business to speak with its customers in a clear, simple and unified voice.

The 11 Best Subscription Management Software in 2022

So what’s the best subscription management software on the market? Here’s a snapshot of the 11 best subscription management platforms.

1

Chargify

ChargifySource: Chargify

Chargify calls on subscription-based businesses to discover the subscription management software they won’t outgrow.

Designed to serve the needs of B2B SaaS companies, the platform offers a host of functions that cater for all stages of the subscription lifecycle. From sign-up forms and other templates that serve customized subscription management to sophisticated analytics tools, Chargify has got the whole subscription journey covered.