The best books on growing an excited following of fans who become your best customers

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an expert in customer retention and membership growth with 30 years of experience working with businesses across more than 80 industries. As the President of Be Unleavable, Inc., I specialize in helping subscription companies grow their membership and create loyal, dedicated customer bases. I have authored several books on the subject, including the widely-acclaimed Retention Point, which teaches businesses how to foster a group of excited fans who become their best customers and recommend the business to others. My focus is helping businesses foster long-term relationships with their customers rather than having a series of “one-night stands.”


I wrote...

Retention Point: The Single Biggest Secret to Membership and Subscription Growth for Associations, SAAS, Publishers, Digital Access, Subscription Boxes and all Membership and Subscription-Based Businesses

By Robert Skrob,

Book cover of Retention Point: The Single Biggest Secret to Membership and Subscription Growth for Associations, SAAS, Publishers, Digital Access, Subscription Boxes and all Membership and Subscription-Based Businesses

What is my book about?

Retention Point guides business leaders in creating a dedicated customer base that not only loves their products or services but also eagerly recommends them to friends. The book introduces a systematic approach for enhancing customer retention and loyalty. It focuses on understanding customers' needs, delivering value consistently, and fostering emotional connections. Skrob emphasizes the importance of nurturing trust and a sense of belonging among customers. By implementing the strategies outlined in Retention Point, business leaders can transform customers into loyal advocates, driving referrals, repeat business, and ultimately, increased profits.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Monster Loyalty: How Lady Gaga turns Followers into Fanatics

Robert Skrob Why did I love this book?

This is a captivating read that delves into the world of creating a fan base for any business.

Using Lady Gaga as a fun and intriguing example, the book demonstrates how she cultivated a loyal following while many talented artists struggle to gain recognition. Huba's choice of subject matter not only adds an element of entertainment but also highlights the effectiveness of Gaga's strategy.

The book breaks down the process into easy-to-follow steps that anyone can implement within their own business. One key lesson from Monster Loyalty is to "Make Them Feel Like Rock Stars," emphasizing the importance of making your fans feel special by acknowledging their contributions, highlighting their input, and incorporating their submissions into your work.

What sets this book apart is the simple template it provides, making it straightforward to apply the principles in a business setting.

By Jackie Huba,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Monster Loyalty as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Famous for her avant-garde outfits, over-the-top performances, and addictive dance beats, Lady Gaga is one of the most successful pop musicians of all time. But behind her showmanship lies another achievement: her wildly successful strategy for attracting and keeping insanely loyal fans. She's one of the most popular social media voices in the world with more than 33 million Twitter followers and 55 million Facebook fans. And she got there by methodically building a grassroots base of what she calls her "Little Monsters" - passionate fans who look to her not just for music but also for joy, inspiration, and…


Book cover of Sticky Church

Robert Skrob Why did I love this book?

Sticky Church may initially seem like an unconventional choice for business owners looking to improve customer retention, as it focuses on growing a congregation within a church setting.

However, the principles of customer retention remain the same across different contexts and can offer valuable insights to entrepreneurs.

Imagine enticing your customers to visit your business every week and even bringing friends and family with them - that's the power of Sticky Church.

While the book delves into Sermon Based Small Group meetings, which might not directly apply to most businesses, the underlying principles of connecting customers with each other and encouraging them to share their experiences are universal.

These ideas form the foundation of political movements, committed fan bases, and customer groups like Apple fans.

In the context of a church, Sticky Church offers unique customer retention insights that might be difficult to glean from a business-centric book. It's an unconventional yet valuable read for business owners looking to foster a loyal customer base.

By Larry Osborne,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sticky Church as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Why closing the back door of your church is even more important than opening the front door wider.

In Sticky Church, author and pastor Larry Osborne offers a time-tested strategy for doing so: sermon-based small groups that dig deeper into the weekend message and tightly velcro members to the ministry. It's a strategy that enabled Osborne's congregation to grow from a handful of people to one of the larger churches in the nation-without any marketing or special programming. Sticky Church tells the inspiring story of North Coast Church's phenomenal growth and offers practical tips for launching your own sermon-based small…


Book cover of Making Them Believe: How One of America's Legendary Rogues Marketed ''The Goat Testicles Solution'' and Made Millions

Robert Skrob Why did I love this book?

This is an eye-opening exploration of the principles of persuasion and belief.

The book focuses on the intriguing story of Dr. J.R. Brinkley, who gained notoriety for selling goat testicle implants as a cure for erectile dysfunction. While this may seem outlandish, it serves as a powerful illustration of how people can be made to believe in something when specific techniques are employed.

Many of us are raised with a certain moral compass, which can sometimes hinder our understanding of how belief works.

Making Them Believe breaks down these principles and shows readers how to harness them in a business context. By suspending our disbelief and distaste for Dr. Brinkley's methods, we uncover a remarkable template for convincing customers to believe in and buy our products.

The key takeaway from this book is that, by following the principles outlined, you can effectively promote your reputable product or service, ultimately benefiting your customers.

Making Them Believe offers valuable insights for anyone looking to build trust and persuade potential clients to invest in their offerings.

By Dan S. Kennedy, Chip Kessler,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Making Them Believe as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

DR. JOHN BRINKLEY was, at one time, the wealthiest doctor of his time, undeniably the most Barnum-esque promoter in medicine in his time, vilified and prosecuted as a quack, praised as saint by the amazing number of men who flocked to him for his 'fountain of youth'---and by their wives. This book delves deeply into his TWENTY-ONE MARKETING PRINCIPLES, to provide a blueprint for adventurous advertising, marketing, promotion and personal promotion that can install a 'fountain of profits' in just about any business! IF YOU'D LIKE TO---AND WOULD PROFIT FROM---making yourself or your business famous and magnetically attractive, locally or…


Book cover of Impro: Improvisation and the Theatre

Robert Skrob Why did I love this book?

Impro is a fascinating read that not only teaches actors the art of improvisation theater, but also unveils a key reason behind customers' purchase of luxury products: the concept of status.

Status plays a vital role in driving consumer behavior, as individuals seek to maintain or elevate their standing within a community by acquiring items that align with their perceived status.

In the realm of improvisation, playing with status dynamics—such as treating a low-status character as if they hold high status, or vice versa—can create humor and intrigue.

Similarly, in the business world, understanding and catering to the status that customers seek through their purchases can be instrumental in driving sales and fostering loyalty.

Though primarily aimed at actors, Impro offers valuable insights for business professionals as well. By grasping the significance of status and learning to address it in product offerings and marketing strategies, businesses can tap into a powerful motivator for consumer purchases.

By Keith Johnstone,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Impro as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Keith Johnstone's involvement with the theatre began when George Devine and Tony Richardson, artistic directors of the Royal Court Theatre, commissioned a play from him. This was in 1956. A few years later he was himself Associate Artistic Director, working as a play-reader and director, in particular helping to run the Writers' Group. The improvisatory techniques and exercises evolved there to foster spontaneity and narrative skills were developed further in the actors' studio then in demonstrations to schools and colleges and ultimately in the founding of a company of performers, called The Theatre Machine. Divided into four sections, 'Status', 'Spontaneity',…


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Book cover of 7 Steps to Freedom II: How to Escape the American Rat Race

Robert Skrob Why did I love this book?

7 Steps to Freedom is a foundational book that reveals the key economic drivers business owners must balance in order to achieve growth.

Although the book primarily promotes a business model using direct mail marketing for customer acquisition, its lessons are just as relevant in today's digital marketing landscape.

The book encourages business leaders to shift their focus from tweaking ad creatives to reduce customer acquisition costs, to redesigning their businesses to increase customer value.

By doing so, they can afford higher customer acquisition costs and grow much faster than by merely lowering that cost.

7 Steps to Freedom stands out as a unique resource that elucidates this crucial concept in an easily digestible manner for business owners. If you're looking to understand the economic drivers that influence your business's growth potential, this book is a must-read.

By Benjamin D Suarez,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 7 Steps to Freedom II as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

7 Steps to Freedom II: How to Escape the American Rat Race by Benjamin D Suarez.


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Book cover of Leora's Letters: The Story of Love and Loss for an Iowa Family During World War II

Joy Neal Kidney Author Of What Leora Never Knew: A Granddaughter's Quest for Answers

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm the oldest granddaughter of Leora, who lost three sons during WWII. To learn what happened to them, I studied casualty and missing aircraft reports, missions reports, and read unit histories. I’ve corresponded with veterans who knew one of the brothers, who witnessed the bomber hit the water off New Guinea, and who accompanied one brother’s body home. I’m still in contact with the family members of two crew members on the bomber. The companion book, Leora’s Letters, is the family story of the five Wilson brothers who served, but only two came home.

Joy's book list on research of World War II casualties

What is my book about?

The day the second atomic bomb was dropped, Clabe and Leora Wilson’s postman brought a telegram to their acreage near Perry, Iowa. One son was already in the U.S. Navy before Pearl Harbor had been attacked. Four more sons worked with their father, tenant farmers near Minburn until, one by one; all five sons were serving their country in the military–two in the Navy and three as Army Air Force pilots.

Only two sons came home.

Leora’s Letters is the compelling true account of a woman whose most tender hopes were disrupted by great losses. Yet she lived out four…

By Joy Neal Kidney, Robin Grunder,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Leora's Letters as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The day the second atomic bomb was dropped, Clabe and Leora Wilson’s postman brought a telegram to their acreage near Perry, Iowa. One son was already in the U.S. Navy before Pearl Harbor had been attacked. Four more sons worked with their father, tenant farmers near Minburn until, one by one, all five sons were serving their country in the military. The oldest son re-enlisted in the Navy. The younger three became U.S. Army Air Force pilots. As the family optimist, Leora wrote hundreds of letters, among all her regular chores, dispensing news and keeping up the morale of the…


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