Bundle upselling: subscribers can’t buy what they don’t know about

Bundle upselling: subscribers can’t buy what they don’t know about

When telcos add new digital services to their portfolio, they expect to acquire new users, increase subscriber LTV and reduce churn. Revenue can be gained only when subscribers start using these digital services. Mainstream digital services have organic uptake but without promotional activities, most of the user base will not be aware of the new offering.

Awareness of the service significantly impacts its revenue, even with extremely popular channels such as Google Play. Below we’ve compared two launches of Google Play done through Fortumo. On the left, the launch was complemented by a promotional campaign. On the right, the telco opted for a soft launch:

Telco promotion impact on Google Play launch

When the telco from the right graph evaluates the launch, they may conclude that results are underwhelming. This creates a negative feedback loop where future promotions are avoided because the marketing team doesn’t want to commit resources when the benefit is unclear. The telco on the left does not have this issue: the difference in days when promotions were run and regular organic growth days are very clear.

How does this relate to bundling? In an earlier post, we mentioned that launching a bundle offering has a fixed cost, often also with exclusivity and a limited validity. Potential growth on the other hand is not limited and the return on investment depends on how many existing and new subscribers can be convinced to participate. Would you rather prefer the fixed launch costs to be met by results on the left or right side of the graph?

Telcos have a vast toolbox of marketing channels available for bringing bundle offers in front of their subscriber base. These can range from media activities to advertising in digital channels, print and even radio or television. The team managing digital service partnerships needs to know what their marketing team has to offer. Otherwise, it’s not possible to push them to get involved in creating awareness for the launch.

Here’s what to request from the marketing team for a bundle launch:

  • Website: offer brought out on the front page, in self-service portals and through banner ads
  • Landing page: a custom landing page for the bundle offer, describing the benefits of the service, reasons to participate, FAQ-s and instructions on how to activate the offer
  • Social media: recurring posts about the offer on telco accounts in Facebook, Instagram, WeChat, Viber and on other social media platforms, amplified by advertising on the same platforms
  • SMS & USSD: subscribers who are eligible to participate should receive a notification that includes a link to the bundle landing page
  • Newsletters: information about the offer included in email outreach to customers, including a link to the offer landing page
  • Push notifications: push notifications with information about the offer sent out from telco-owned apps, such as self-care applications and digital wallet solutions
  • Invoices: inclusion of the bundle offer on both physical and digital invoices sent to subscribers
  • Smart TV hubs: in cases where the telco also operates as a TV service provider, push notifications and inclusion of the bundle information in smart TV hubs
  • Inclusion in sales processes: customer-facing personnel (store employees, customer support agents, telemarketing and technical support) should receive an overview of the bundle offer, how to pitch it and how to guide subscribers to activation
  • Own stores: leaflets, posters, roll-ups and video distributed to stores, promotional materials included at other physical locations (e.g. top-up kiosks)
  • Retailer outreach: in case of reseller and retailer partnerships, education of their personnel and sharing of promotional materials
  • Preloading onto devices: application of the bundled service sideloaded into devices going on sale
  • Upselling during e-commerce: including the bundle offer as a “related product” when subscribers are purchasing new services or devices from the website
  • Media activities: press release describing the bundle offer targeting mainstream media and targeted consumer-focused channels
  • Paid advertising: bringing out the offer information in products advertisements on digital, print, TV and radio channels

Planning for the bundle promotion should start in parallel with the commercial and technical discussions with the digital service provider; marketing teams need enough time to prepare the channels, content and implementation. The ultimate goal is to have the bundle visible offer in front of as many subscribers as possible, including both outbound and inbound touchpoints. Beside the review of channels, this is also a good time to figure out which users are most likely to convert through the offering.

For example, in case of a data-heavy streaming service, subscribers who already have high data usage are more likely to engage with the offer. On the other hand, if the goals is to increase subscriber data usage, those who have not activated their mobile data accounts can be targeted instead.

Getting more out of the integration can also be done through segmenting offers for different use cases, such as hard bundles for subscribers upgrading to a more expensive service plan, soft bundles for prepaid subscribers consuming a certain amount of data, and providing regular add-ons (reselling) for the entire consumer base. The exact pricing and duration of the discount given to subscribers should also be optimized based on the marketing team’s expertise.

As the primary goal of most telco marketing teams is to sell the telco's own services and devices, getting attention for stand-alone digital service promotions can be difficult. This should not be the case with bundling as it directly supports the sale of own products, whether it's prepaid recharges or getting users signed up for a new contract.

Through Fortumo’s Trident Bundling Platform, telcos and digital service providers are able to rapidly launch co-promotions. However, the performance of the bundle campaign comes down to how much telcos are willing to invest into creating awareness among their subscribers. If you’re interested in scaling up your bundling activities and learn how promotions have been set up between our other partners, get in touch.