Monthly subscriptions – good or bad?
Thinking short-term can cost you long-term profits
As you can imagine, I get involved in quite a lot of correspondence with members.
Of course, I speak to many on the phone… but often’s the case that we swap opinions (or “argue” as some might see it!) via email.
Now one thing that comes up quite often is the topic of subscriptions.
Some members wish to take out longer deals, others prefer to switch, cancel, or take a breather.
Below you’ll see the copy of one such email that I’ve sent recently.
It’s interesting in that it covers the subject of membership to betting syndicates, and explains why paying monthly (as opposed to annually, in this case) can work both for and against members.
So just take 2-3 minutes to read it through and I’m sure you’ll get a sense of how your own experience could be improved by taking a slightly more long-term view.
Here’s how I replied to this particular member (Martin G. from Leicester)…
Because what you say in your email highlights a real interest of mine…
Why? Because these days (it certainly wasn’t the case when I started out in the business 30 years ago) everybody wants to reduce their initial spend to as little as possible – as opposed to committing for 3, 6 or 12 months.
So to create a workable business model, I have to cater for this demand.
Hence, despite my belief that this is a “false economy” when it comes to serious professional betting, any member can join any service I offer on a month-to-month subscription.
But the problem with this way of operating… is that members start to judge the service by comparing the performance against each individual month’s subscription.
Did the Golf Insider or Racing Intelligence make a profit this month? If so, I’ll stay. Or did Irish Cash Consortium or Scottish Football Income Booster lose, or break even? If so, I’ll quit.
Now, you might see the sense in this.
But from my point of view, I know (like you do) that no service wins every single month.
And in a typical 12-month cycle an “average service” will make a profit in 6 or 7 months, break even in 2 or 3 months, and then (inevitably) lose in 1 or 2.
That’s betting. Whether you’re Phil Bull, Alec Bird, Hugh Taylor, Patrick Veitch, Pricewise... whoever. You will not win every single month you bet.
But these guys, just like the Irish Cash Consortium, Golf Insider, Scottish Football and Racing Intelligence all record an overall trading profit. They all win long-term.
So what you cannot do, is to expect them to win every single month – because they can’t, and won’t.
And what you also cannot do, is to dismiss them if in the particular month you choose to follow them, they don’t win – because, I repeat, nobody wins 12 months of the year.
This is the fundamental flaw with monthly memberships.
They create the scenario where members expect (consciously or sub-consciously) to win every single month, and they then get hugely disappointed when they don’t.
Wind the clock back 30 years (even 5 or 10 years) when longer subscriptions were much more common, members would be in a service for longer spells, 6 or 12 months most likely. And guess what? During that time they will still encounter losing months but, and here’s the key, because their membership still had time to run (and so they couldn’t quit) they would naturally enjoy the winning months that would follow.
And those winning months would outweigh the losers. And that would make their overall membership profitable.
So they would win money, rather than do in their hard-earned cash.
And even if members tell me, as some do, that they don’t have the funds to pay for 12 months upfront, that’s fine. Keep on joining monthly by all means, but just make sure you mentally commit to that service for, say, 6 months (whether you win in that first month, or not).
What happens is that a member will join a service, at any random point during the year, and just so happen to sign-up when one of these flat spots occurs. And then turn round to me and say… “this service isn’t very good“.
Which is totally missing the point, and acting totally against all the basics of being a winning punter. And isn’t that what we all want to be?
I’m happy to offer monthly memberships, and will continue to do so.
But members need to understand they cannot join any service, on a whim, and at any point in the year, and expect it to win right from the get-go.
Because for that to work for every member (and people sign up for my services all the time) a service would have to win every single month of the year. And that simply can’t happen. It’s impossible.
Join short-term. But commit long-term.
That’s the only way to win. No matter what the betting service, trading fund or money-making strategy you choose to follow.
Judge anything on a miniscule sample of data, or limited period of time, and you will time-and-again make the wrong investment decision.
You’ll be interested to learn that Martin, who originally contacted me three months ago, is still a member and despite sticking to a monthly subscription has told me that he’ll now start reviewing his profits every 6 months.
And that is surely the right thing to do if you’re hoping to make any serious gains from a betting service, or any other financial investment.
OPINION: As you can see, there is (I believe) a very sound, logical case to be made against monthly memberships. Or at the very least, not judging any service you join on a month-to-month basis… and then stopping at a losing month. Because doing so completely disregards what profits you have made up to this point – and what gains you are likely to make afterwards. As I said to Martin, I’m happy to cater for the demands of a lot of members who prefer to pay each month, rather than committing for, say, a year upfront. Cashflow is important, I get that. But by doing so, don’t get drawn into the trap of seeing each month as a separate period of time. It is merely part of a longer, and overall more profitable, subscription.