As a Steady creator, you can choose whether you want to offer plans on a monthly or annual basis, or a bit of both.
Annual memberships are paid for the entire year, in advance – once a member has paid for the year, they are committed for that period.
The major advantages of annual plans are:
Income you can count on for a whole year, rather than month-to-month
Lower churn: expiring credit cards can get in the way of payment processing, but you’re less affected if you only need to capture one payment per year
Lower fees: transaction costs are only applied once per year, rather than 12 times
Annual membership payments are paid to you (the creator) each month pro rata (i.e. one twelfth of the annual amount), rather than transferring the whole annual amount in one payment. This helps protect members in the event that a project is discontinued, ensuring we can reimburse them.
Members with an annual plan receive an email reminder three days before the renewal of their membership, thanking them for their support and encouraging them to renew. Members with a monthly plan do not receive reminders.
To successfully launch an annual plan you just have to do two things: A quick set up and then spread the word!
How to set up an annual plan
Go to your plans.
Click on edit.
Set your annual price. We recommend offering a discount to annual members – more on that below. (screenshot)
Save your changes.
Repeat the process for each of your plans.
Offer a discount on annual plans
Your members want to support your work, so explaining to them that annual plans cost you less in transaction fees can be a helpful motivator. But what works even better? A special discount.
When setting your annual plan prices, it’s helpful to think about how much the shift to annual plans will save you in transaction costs, plus how much it is worth to have a full-year’s support.
Figuring out how much of a discount to offer is not an exact science, but having seen what works for thousands of creators on Steady, we can recommend some examples.
If you offer three membership tiers with a small, medium and large plan, we recommend:
10% off your smallest plan
15% off your middle plan
20% off your biggest plan
If you’ve already been offering monthly memberships for some time and you know most of your members stay for more than 12 months, then you can also offer less of a discount, because you already know you can count on their support long-term.
Whatever discount you land on, your fans are going to love that they can support you and save some money while they’re at it.
Spread the word about annual plans
Your fans won’t know to sign up as annual members if you don’t tell them. So now it’s time to let them know! Use your own channels – social media, newsletter, podcast, vlogs – to spread the word.
At Steady, we’ve found that it often takes up to 5 mentions to get someone to become a member, but it works.
What’s important is being persistent. So don’t be shy!
Check out these basic templates below and adapt them to your own style. Add in your usual reasoning for why someone should become a member of your project, and you’re ready to go.
Social media template for annual memberships
Now is a great time to become a member of [project name]. Become a member on an annual plan and you’ll also save X%! Sign up here [link to Steady page].
Email template for annual memberships
Subject line: Support us annually and save!
For those who were on the fence until now, I have an offer that should sweeten the deal: Become a member of [project name] and get two months for free!
For those who already support my work on a monthly basis: thank you so much! If you switch to an annual plan now, you can save yourself some money and help me achieve even more security for my work. It’s a win-win! Just go to: [link to Steady page]
Podcast template script for annual memberships
Before we get into today’s show, we wanted to let you know about a new discount we’re offering our lovely members. If you sign up for an annual membership today, you’ll get 15% off the monthly price. That’s like getting two months free per year. So if you were thinking of signing up, now’s the time to do it.
We’ve also found that regularly thanking your members, whether in podcasts, on social media, or in other channels, is a powerful way to remind new members to sign up.
And you know what else is great about annual memberships?
You can offer them today – just go to your plans page and do the setup in less than 5 minutes, write a short message for your audience and get the word out.
Annual membership cancellations
Members can now cancel their annual memberships at any time, after two years.
In March 2022, the German Fair Consumers Contract Act came into effect.
The law stipulates that providers of annual subscriptions can no longer auto-renew contracts after two years have expired.
If someone signs up for a one-year or two-year subscription, they must be given the option to cancel at any time after the second year.
What does this mean for my members?
Members who purchased their annual plan on or after 1 March 2022 will be given the option to cancel at any time after the second year has expired, starting in March 2024. (Annual memberships taken out before 1 March 2022 are not affected).
Will Steady remind annual members to renew after 2 years?
Yes. Shortly before the second year ends, we will send members a reminder email asking them to take out a new annual membership.
If they don't take out a new annual membership, we automatically convert their membership to a monthly membership.
What should I do if I only offer annual plans?
Add monthly plans in Settings, so that people who do not choose to renew their annual membership after two years are converted to a monthly membership. Under Business > Plans > Billing cycle, select Offer both.
Should I be afraid of cancellations due to the new law?
It’s not likely that annual members will cancel under the new law. Our Steady-wide data shows that monthly and annually billed members stay with us for the same amount of time on average.
We think that the new law is a positive change: it increases transparency and allows members more flexibility with their plans.
As a creator, it is worth seeing the law as a nudge to work on building strong bonds with your community of supporters, so that when March 2024 comes around, none of your annual members will want to cancel their plans! Check out this article for tips on how to reduce your churn rates