Stick Like Glue Radio #157 On this special episode of Stick Like Glue Radio, I interview the serial entrepreneur and bestselling author John Warrillow on his “Automatic Customer” strategy. A powerful ‘extending call’ with lots of nuggets – don’t miss it!

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Stick Like Glue Radio


On this special episode of Stick Like Glue Radio, I interview the serial entrepreneur and bestselling author, John Warillow, on his “Automatic Customer” strategy. This is a powerful ‘extended call’ with lots of nuggets – don’t miss it!


Main Questions Asked:

  • What led you to write Automatic Customer?
  • Talk about the 5 trends driving the subscription economy?
  • How do companies like Dollar Shave Club and BirchBox make money?
  • Talk about the 9 subscription models.
  • What is the psychology behind selling a subscription?
  • How do you help people get their businesses ready for sale?


Key Lessons Learned:

  • Lack of recurring revenue is a factor that can drive down companies.
  • Most people think subscription models are for software or media companies, but John has developed 9 subscription models regardless of the industry.


The Subscription Economy

  • Many businesses are moving from the transaction economy to the subscription economy.
  • Examples of businesses that have introduced subscriptions are Starbucks, AMC, and Adobe.
  • Young people want ‘access’ as opposed to ‘assets.’
  • The subscription model locks in customer loyalty as subscribers have already paid up front and won’t be tempted to shop elsewhere.
  • When people subscribe, they want to get their money’s worth and tend to use the service more.


Successful Subscription Companies

  • Often the subscription is somewhat of a Trojan horse for a larger sale the company wants to make.
  • Recurring relationships with customers creates loyalty and familiarity.
  • Subscription companies are the platform that other products are bought and sold to that customer group.


Dollar Shave Club

  • This company uses the ‘consumables’ model.
  • The concept is that we buy things that run out. Replenishing the items offer no inherent value.
  • This model offers taking an item off your ‘to-do’ list.
  • The consumables model also applies to B2B models such as HP printer cartridges.



  • BirchBox sends cosmetic samples every month.
  • This company uses the ‘surprise box’ model and takes a category that people feel passionate about.
  • BirchBox makes money as they get free samples and charge subscribers $10 per month.
  • The business model is getting customers to buy full-size versions of the samples online.
  • Half of the BirchBox subscribers have purchased full-size items on the BirchBox website.


Amazon Prime

  • Amazon Prime is the biggest success story when it comes to subscription services as it’s a $4B business.
  • Amazon Prime masks the fact that the subscription causes people to buy more from Amazon.
  • Non-Prime customers spend an average of $500 per year.
  • Prime customers spend $1,500 per year.
  • The act of subscribing causes a behavior that makes customers buy more.


Psychology Behind Selling a Subscription

  • Companies approach this model with a 10x mindset. This means that the subscriber gets ten times the value than if they were just buying a la carte.
  • Think about your value proposition and create a subscription offering.


Membership Websites

  • Take your expertise and put it behind a pay wall.
  • What do you do better that 99% of people?
  • This model works well for providing advice, council, worksheets, templates, and advisory services.


Built To Sell

  • The premise is creating a business that would be attractive to an acquirer whether you want to sell in a year’s time or in twenty-five years.
  • How your business is viewed by an acquirer gives you the ultimate freedom to run your business.
  • Buyers are attracted by financial performance, quality of bookkeeping, growth potential, and monopoly control.
  • The normalization process means you recast your profit and loss so that it appears as though the business is operating under normal circumstances.
  • Structuring your business so it doesn’t rely on you can take years.


Links to Resources Mentioned

Built to Sell

Value Builder System

The Automatic Customer

9 Subscription Models (Free E-book)


Click to Tweet

What trends are driving the subscription economy? Find out w/ @johnwarrilow & @newsletterguru

What is the psychology behind subscription models? Find out w/ @johnwarrilow & @newsletterguru  


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Your Host: Cap't Jim Palmer, The Dream Business Coach

Cap’t Jim Palmer, best known internationally as the Dream Business Coach, is creator of the Dream Business Mastermind and Coaching Program and host of Dream Business Radio – a weekly podcast based on Jim’s smart marketing and dream business building strategies. He is also the founder of Success Advantage Publishing.

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