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A Newsletter Platform Worth Investing In

This newsletter platform leverages the familiarity of the web for increased subscriptions and profit margins

Newsletters have long been a staple of the periodical publishing industry, focusing on a specific, narrow topic in a shorter, less graphic format than magazines, usually black and white text only and shorter than 20 pages.

While easier and cheaper to publish than glossy magazines, newsletters, particularly those in the investing space, have always commanded higher prices than even the fattest consumer magazine, where the urgent need to maintain advertiser rate base led over the decades to insanely low prices for a year’s subscription. Thus an aspiring publisher, with expertise in a specific field, can most easily jump into the newsletter space.

Consumers are telling us loud and clear what they want—are you listening? How much would you pay for that information? Download a copy of our 2018 Mequoda Magazine Consumer Study [1] for FREE instead, to find out how you can improve your digital magazine rapport with subscribers.

The newsletter platforms [2] you may be familiar with are often print and PDF formats, as most newsletter publishers haven’t gotten hip to the newsletter app format, and neither have their consumers.

However, one platform that they are succeeding on tremendously is the web. Newsletter publishers and trade associations who distribute information in the form of advisories often have newsworthy content to publish in monthly or quarterly issues, so they use a free Portal to distribute bite-sized content on their Portal homepage as a way to attract new subscribers, just like magazine publishers.

Also like magazine publishers [3], the newsletter platform that will be their greatest asset is a web newsletter.

The newsletter platform is seen by consumers as a new tab on your website, set up solely to sell and access subscriptions for your print and web-based newsletter which is written and formatted in HTML.

Within a password-protected private area, paid subscribers can view an HTML version of the current issue of the print or digital newsletter or download it in PDF format, as well as access and/or download back issues and other premium content. Like all premium business models for publishers, this newsletter platform is typically paired with a free Portal, which promotes the newsletter website.

The newsletter website does not produce any free content, so the heavy lifting of SEO and social media is left up to their Portal. Editorial staff can be minimal, though each writer must be an expert in the newsletter’s specialized field, rather than a generalist as many magazine editors and writers are.

Launching a web newsletter as a profitable niche newsletter platform

Whether you’re a trade association or a for-profit publisher, a web newsletter platform with full archive capabilities offers a valuable way to help your target audience run their business more effectively, efficiently and profitably. B2B newsletter and advisory services represent the pinnacle of subscription pricing often commanding annual membership or subscription fees that range from hundreds to thousands and even tens of thousands of dollars.

The more evergreen your content, the more powerful the web newsletter and its archive become. If you’re producing a newsletter or advisory service that includes regular in-depth instructional articles on how your audience can run their business better, the combination of a regular periodical and an in-depth archive provides incredible value for your reader.

Dark Intelligence Group [4] is one such membership organization that takes advantage of this incredibly powerful format.

Until 2015, the organization delivered information exclusively through its print edition of The Dark Report [5], which is published 17 times per year.

In 2015, the organization launched a new newsletter platform, a web newsletter membership subscription website [6] that included both new issues and a 10 year archive.

Their website leverages their brand and content with a free Portal called TDR Insider [7] that provides summaries of the premium articles for free that drive both referral traffic and organic search.

The Portal is powered by a free email newsletter that leverages the same article summaries and is the website’s largest traffic driver. Professionals unfamiliar with the service are given the opportunity to experience a light version of the advisory content with constant reminders that premium content is available for paid members.

The website also features a clever reverse embargo feature that exposes each new cover story from the premium service for 72 hours and then takes it behind the paywall where it is only available to paid subscribers to the service. The entire archive is also used to power webpages that provide a free preview of premium articles which can be accessed only by paid members.

The website bridges the gap between its free content on the portal and premium content on the web newsletter subscription website with a 14-day free trial offer that allows industry professionals to test drive the premium content without risk.

While subscription revenues had been flat for years, the introduction of the website, complete with Portal, web newsletter, archive and marketing architecture, has lifted revenues by more than 25% since launch.

That’s because the major benefit of a newsletter platform like the web newsletter is that you can bundle it different ways with the print product and archive to create new pricing incentives that lead to higher profits with little additional work on your part.

If you’d like to learn more about how your organization can leverage this newsletter platform to increase subscription sales and profit margins, schedule a call to talk with us.  [8]