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Feb 16, 2021

How to Make a Reliable Marketing Plan for an ISP Company


Updated: Mar 25, 2024


At a first glance, marketing an ISP seems easy. However, since the market is dominated by big players with big marketing muscles, standing out from the competition is crucial. If you still think flyers, TV ads, and advertorials are as effective as they were 15 or 20 years ago, you’re wrong. Today’s customers are a lot more demanding when it comes to essential services such as those provided by ISPs. 

So, in this article, we’ve gathered the strategies a marketing plan for an ISP company should include. By implementing these marketing techniques, you’ll be one step closer to making sure your customers stick with your company long term.

Here’s how to market internet services this year.

1. Implement A Referral Program

Consumers referred by a friend are four times more likely to buy. So if you’re looking to expand your customer base, leveraging your existing subscribers will give you the best return on investment. 

There are 2 ways you could go about this, depending on the services you offer. For a standard package, you can give your subscribers a discount for their current subscription for each customer they bring in. Here’s a referral program example from AT&T


If you offer both a standard package and more premium services, you can also use your referral program to get more customers to upgrade. For example, you can give them one month free of your premium service if they bring a new customer in, and they also subscribe to your premium plan. 

You can also design your referral program with a tiered structure. For example, if a customer brings in more than 10 people in an allotted time frame, you could give them extra benefits (like a higher discount, 6 months free, etc.). Referral programs also aid in customer retention, something that can also be part of your marketing plan.

2. Case Studies: Let Your Best Customers Praise You

Saying your services are the best doesn’t work quite as good as having other people say that about you. So a better ISP marketing idea is to let your best customers praise you.

How should you go about this? 

First, identify your customers’ most common issues or reasons they chose your services. Then, create case studies around those topics where you highlight how your services helped them overcome those challenges — let numbers speak for themselves. 

For example, WiFi is not as fast and stable as fiber optic. So if you also offer your customers the option to connect to the internet via cable, you could write a case study on how you’ve helped a customer increase their internet speed by x%. If you want some case study inspiration, see how we managed to solve VentraIP’s scaling issues and grow their email accounts by 20%.

3. Bundle Up Your Services

As obvious as this broadband marketing strategy seems, it’s not frequently used despite its effectiveness. Bundles are especially useful for marketing premium services. 

Think about it this way: your long-term customers who use your standard services are probably happy the way things are, so they’re more difficult to convince to upgrade. 

But with new customers it’s different. By mixing standard services with premium ones, you can create an offer that’s irresistible enough to “steal” customers from other ISPs and bring them on your side. 

You can also spin this idea further and consider partnering with a company that can offer a complimentary service. For example, along with the internet subscription, you can also provide a mobile device or a tablet. 

4. Promote Special Offers And Discounts

Special offers and discounts are still two of the most effective marketing strategies that get subscribers to upgrade. Let’s say you offer different internet speeds for different costs and you want to move more customers towards the most expensive package.

You can then create a limited-time offer where if they upgrade to that package, they get a  discount for 3 months (or you might even let them pay the same amount they do now). Yes, short-term, you might be operating on loss; but when the 3 months are up, it’s highly unlikely your customers will want to downgrade. So, in the long run, you’ll not only make up for that loss but earn even more. 

5. Offer A Freemium Option

Building on top of the idea we’ve described above, you can also consider offering your customers a freemium service. This strategy is frequently used by streaming platforms that let users listen to music or watch videos for free but with ads. If you want to remove the ads, you have to pay for the service. 

Here’s an example of how to adapt this idea to an ISP advertising technique. If a portion of your customers have a weak WiFi signal throughout their home and you have a WiFi extender in your portfolio of products, you can offer that add-on for free. However, if they want to manage that add-on and their router via an app, you could charge them for that.

6. Promote Trust

One marketing strategy that shouldn’t miss from an internet service provider’s business plan is the educational part. If you want to expand your business and become the leader in your market, you need to position yourself accordingly. 

Educating your prospects (and users!) on the latest technologies you implemented (like 5G, for example), as well as your portfolio of products and services, will go a long way towards making sure they will choose you over other providers in the future (or they will remain loyal to you). And you’ll position yourself as a subject matter expert that stays top-of-mind until they’re ready to buy or upgrade. All the while, you’re directly addressing the topic of trust — one that’s been shown to be a cornerstone for ISPs everywhere.

People consume content in different ways, so make sure to present your educational resources in various formats: blog posts, videos, seminars, webinars, etc. 

7. Focus On Customer Retention

As the telecom industry has reached a saturation point, new customer acquisitions can’t make up for the lost ones. That’s why ISPs must focus on Customer Retention.

Here are a few strategies that will help you reduce subscriber churn and increase loyalty:

  • Offer excellent customer service20% of Americans cancel contracts with telecom companies due to poor customer service
  • Implement a loyalty program12% of customers switch providers because they feel their loyalty is not acknowledged
  • Gather info about your customers, either through surveys or using different tools to alert you when a client is dissatisfied and in danger of churning. 

8. Offer A Full Range Of Services

It’s cost-effective to rely on as few providers as possible, so by offering a full stack of products and services, you can make your customers more sticky. This also includes an email service. 

With this in mind, we’ve built the Axigen Mail Server to provide ISPs with a fast and reliable messaging solution. We use advanced, proprietary architectures (Axigen SmartProcessing™ and Axigen UltraStorage™) to help service providers: 

  • reduce email processing time to a minimum
  • ensure effective space management
  • prevent service downtime or loss of data even at the highest traffic peaks.

8. Expand into Niche Markets

Focus on identifying and tapping into niche markets. This can include offering specialized packages for remote workers, gamers, or home-based entrepreneurs, who require high-speed and reliable internet more than ever. Tailor your marketing messages to address the specific needs of these segments, showcasing how your ISP provides the optimal solution for their unique requirements.

  • Remote Workers: Offer packages with higher upload speeds and VPN options.
  • Gamers: Highlight low latency and fast download speeds.
  • Entrepreneurs: Bundle services with enhanced security and cloud storage options.

9. Enhance Customer Experience Through Technology

Utilize the latest technological advancements to not just improve service delivery but also to enhance customer interactions. Implement an AI-driven customer service system that can provide quick and accurate responses to queries and issues. Use data analytics to understand customer usage patterns and personalize offers accordingly.

  • AI and Chatbots: For 24/7 customer support.
  • Personalized Marketing: Utilize customer data to send tailored offers and information.

10. Add Email as a Revenue Generating Service

Beyond simply adding email as part of your bundles, you can go even further and sell mailboxes directly. All you need is a mail server software and a person who can manage the initiative. 

Having email as a revenue-generating service opens up an ROI avenue from potential clients that are looking for:

  • A fixed number of mailboxes for business or personal use, separate from other cost-incurring services
  • Total email privacy, not dependent on Google, Microsoft, or any other big tech business
  • Extensive email security options with many add-ons available
  • Flexible administration and server options

Our WebMail interface is localized, brandable, and translated into over 29 languages. Plus, with such an intuitive design, your new email customers will have little desire to switch to another email provider.

Summing Up

The fact that new players still appear in the telecom industry despite it being overly-saturated only strengthens the idea that communication is crucial for consumers. However, to make sure you stay in business long-term, you need to continuously adapt to new market conditions and customer demands. We hope that, by implementing these strategies into your marketing plan as an ISP company, you’ll be able to achieve just that.