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The Forever Transaction: How to Build a Subscription Model So Compelling, Your Customers Will Never Want to Leave Hardcover – 26 March 2020
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"The future belongs to businesses who transform their interactions with customers from mere transactions to meaningful engagements that create long-term fans. Robbie Baxter is an expert guide to this powerful business model. Read this book and start transforming your business now!"
--Chris Capossela, Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President, Microsoft
"The rise of the cloud and mobile technologies, combined with the declining cost of storage, has led to new competitors in every industry. Choosing the right metrics makes all the difference and retention is now one of the most important. Robbie can show you how to establish a forever transaction with your customers."
--Sarah Friar, Chief Executive Officer, Nextdoor, Board Director of Walmart and Slack
"The Forever Transaction is an essential read for any business seeking to leverage the power of subscriptions to engage and retain customers."
--Nir Eyal, bestselling author of Hooked and Indistractable
"Member-centricity is the core of successful associations and, increasingly, thriving companies. In The Forever Transaction, Robbie Baxter captures the techniques that Amazon, Netflix, LinkedIn, and others are using to build sustained customer relationships. Leaders of any membership organization can gain insight and practical tips from Robbie Baxter's book."
--John H. Graham IV, FASAE, CAE, Chief Executive Officer & President, American Society of Association Executives (ASAE)
"Baxter offers clear and actionable advice with a global perspective for any organization looking to improve customer lifetime value and grow a sustainable subscription business."
--Philip Lindqvist, Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Distribution, Bonnier Broadcasting
"Recurring revenue is the holy grail, and Robbie Baxter is giving us the map to find it. Building on 15 years of experience in Silicon Valley and beyond, Baxter provides fresh case studies and practical tools to disruption-proof your organization."
--Charlene Li, bestselling author of The Disruption Mindset and Founder and Senior Fellow at Altimeter, a Prophet company
--McKeel Hagerty, Chief Executive Officer, Hagerty Group and Global Board Chairman Emeritus, YPO
"Companies that sell products to strangers aren't going to last long in this new subscription economy. This is an excellent playbook for any organization looking to launch a sustainable membership strategy."
--Tien Tzuo, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Zuora and Bestselling Author of Subscribed
"If you're looking for a blueprint on how to succeed in the membership economy, this is it. Robbie Baxter has extensive knowledge of the subscription business model, and fortunately for entrepreneurs everywhere, she put it in writing."
--Nick Mehta, Chief Executive Officer, Gainsight
"The growing excitement for subscription-based business models is matched by the danger that poorly managed programs (and expectations) can be their downfall. Executives need clear advice backed by years of world-class experience in this domain, and no one can bring it better than Robbie Kellman Baxter. The Forever Transaction is the best, most indispensable set of best practices I've ever seen on building and sustaining a subscription-based business model."
--Peter S. Fader, Frances and Pei-Yuan Chia Professor of Marketing at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and bestselling author of Customer Centricity and The Customer Centricity Playbook
"In the world of SaaS, subscription pricing is just the beginning. Baxter shares the secrets of how you keep your business model current and relevant for your subscribers. Baxter is a guru on subscription and membership models. She shares her pro-tips and her passion here about how to steer your business to the future."
--Zac Bookman, Chief Executive Officer, OpenGov
"Robbie has built a powerful practical guidebook to help companies thrive in the membership world. The Forever Transaction provides a framework to help transform your business, build customer loyalty and revenues for a lifetime. Masterfully done!"
-- Rajesh Ram, Co-Founder and Chief Customer Officer, Egnyte
"When customers become community members, business is transformed. The Forever Transaction offers a an insider's perspective for making this shift in all kinds of organizations. This is the future of business, but you can get there today."
--Gina Bianchini, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Mighty Networks
"Read this book alongside The Membership Economy to discover the magic ingredients of long-term membership success."
--Tom Greene, Chief Operating Officer, Wizarding World Digital
"Subscription models are disrupting nearly every industry--don't be left behind. Robbie Baxter is the expert on how to start, scale and sustain forever transactions. The Forever Transaction provides the soup-to-nuts--and secret sauce--guide on how to attract and keep the best customers by tailoring a value-laden offering that meets their need while growing your business."
--Whitney Johnson, bestselling author of Disrupt Yourself. and Build An A Team
"Kudos to Baxter for another home-run book. She has a flair for breaking down complex business concepts into bite-size chunks. She shares real-world examples that de-mystify the technical aspects of membership-building, making it accessible to anyone. Whether you lead a company, association or nonprofit, this book is a must read if you want to thrive--not just survive-in today's Membership Economy."
--Leslie Crutchfield, bestselling author of How Change Happens and Executive Director of Business for Impact at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business
"Robbie's work is an essential blueprint for any company or organization looking to build strong and lasting relationships with their customers."
--Mike Argon, Senior Vice President of Content, Twitch
"In this book, growth strategist Robbie Kellman Baxter teaches the most important business strategy of our time: creating enduring relationships with customers. Through accessible research and practical guides, The Forever Transaction takes the mystery out of what it takes to create a forever organization."
--Lisa Kay Solomon, bestselling coauthor of Moments of Impact and Design a Better Business, and Founding Chair of Transformational Practices and Designer in Residence at the Stanford d.School
"Subscriptions are all the rage these days, but to stand out and truly capitalize on their potential a business must start and end with a solid understanding of its customers. Baxter's excellent book shows you exactly how to do this, with fresh case studies and practical tools that spell out what it really takes to ensure that 'forever' is just that."
--Marco Bertini, Professor of Marketing ESADE Business School of Barcelona, Spain
About the Author
Robbie Kellman Baxter is a bestselling author, speaker, and consultant with more than twenty years of experience providing strategic business advice to major organizations including Netflix, Consumer Reports and LinkedIn, as well as leaders in industries including Software-as-a-Service, Media, Retail, Consumer Products, Healthcare, Financial Services and Hardware. In the past ten years, her company Peninsula Strategies has advised over 100 organizations on subscription and growth strategy. Kellman Baxter has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and CNN, interviewed on over 50 podcasts, and invited as a guest on numerous business shows. She received her MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and graduated with honors from Harvard College.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The Forever Transaction is a no-nonsense, practical, step-by-step guide for how your company can transform itself and build predictable, recurring revenue. It harnesses the author’s vast experience as a consultant on subscriptions and memberships.
I’m a professional marketer as well, and I think this book is true marketing genius. Every professional marketer already knows what a “brand promise” is -- the value that your brand not only delivers, but also promises to your customers. In order to achieve a “forever transaction” -- i.e., recurring revenue -- every company needs to define (and fulfill) its “forever promise.” (The author gives many examples of forever promises.)
The concept of a “forever promise” is absolutely seminal and revolutionary. I predict it will be taught in marketing courses for years to come.
But the book isn’t just filled with marketing speak. This is a practical guide for how a company that doesn’t have recurring revenue can transform into a company that does.
The author’s prior experience as a management consultant shines here. She understands that real change is a complicated and often difficult process. In order to achieve meaningful, long-lasting change, you need executive sponsorship, team leads, etc. She lays out the whole change process step by step and incorporates agile best practices (achieving an MVP, testing, iterating) and common pitfalls as well.
In short -- if you want to transform your company and build recurring revenue, you can hire Ms. Baxter (or another external consultant/consulting firm) and pay them thousands and thousands of dollars. Or you can buy this book and do it yourself.
Reviewed in the United States on 19 May 2020
Chasing the idea of easy money, too many subscription businesses have failed. They brought their old transaction mindset and it didn’t work.
In The Forever Transaction, Robbie Kellman Baxter walks you step-by-step through her proven process for converting and launching successful membership programs. Following Baxter’s approach you’ll experience more success, have fewer false starts and grow your recurring membership revenue more quickly.
The biggest message that carries through this book from Baxter’s earlier work, The Membership Economy: these businesses are demand driven. Customers WANT and prefer the opportunity to subscribe rather than buy outright. Companies that follow this trend are delivering what customers want today and more so, tomorrow.
While you may have business reasons for wanting to grow a company with subscription recurring revenue, the reason to create this business is that customers eagerly demand this approach now and in the future.
However, membership businesses require a very unique mindset, something that’s not taught in today’s business schools. Baxter has been working with companies making this shift for many years and outlines how to change your business and get your team aligned a new, more profitable approach.
For anyone with a membership subscription business or contemplating launching one, this book provides a great step-by-step process for changing your thinking and creating a detailed strategy that’ll save you a ton of time and lost money from false starts.
And, it’s an entertaining book to read with all of the examples she includes.
I am the co-executive director of an association of independent consultants. We struggle with many of the same challenges as other membership-based organizations. In particular, we want to make sure we keep our members coming back year after year. Robbie's suggestions on how to keep members engaged and avoid subscription fatigue have been really helpful. We also operate globally--and she covers that topic in this book as well.
We want to build long-term relationships and have forever transactions with our members. This book is exactly the right tool to help us do that. If you offer any kind of membership or subscription offering, this is the book for you. And if you don't, you should probably ask why not.