SIPA Take Away #5: Best New Product Development Ideas

Six best-of-the-best new product development ideas in online publishing

In a panel called “New Product Development Ideas – 30 Gems in 60 Minutes” with Cindy Carter (FDAnews), Stephanie Eidelman (Kaulkin Ginsberg), Lucretia Lyons (Business Valuation Resources), and Andy McLaughlin (PaperClip Communications). Moderated by Meg Hargreaves of Pike & Fisher, panelists threw out dozens of ideas they’ve used in their own businesses to become more profitable.

Here’s a “best-of” roundup of these new product development ideas:

Exclusively sponsored newsletters – Eidelman sold the concept of a free newsletter that is sponsored exclusively by one company. The company paid $32K for four quarterly newsletters. Part of the deal is that the company also provides content, such as trends, or an “Ask the Expert” article. Eidelman told publishers that “our sponsors are actually less excited about having ads, and more intrigued by the fact that they don’t have to produce this on their own – there are no production costs for them”. Sponsors are provided with a PDF copy of the newsletter to provide to their own lists as well.

Use Print On Demand services – Lyons was previously using binders for content, until they started using POD services. In general, their users were downloading PDFs on most occassions and also through digital readers. Now with POD services, they can produce hardcover books, which keeps their authors happy and removes any costs associated with shipping and stocking.

Upselling from print to web – Hargreaves told publishers that there is more information within the walls of her newsletter website, than within her print product. In an effort to increase online subscriptions, there is a section in every print newsletter called “What’s New in the Online Collection” that tells readers all of the new information they can find online.

Creating a product per problem – Carter’s FDAnews Pharma Solution of the Week email newsletter highlights one problem and one solution in the pharmaceutical arena. The newsletter is ad-driven so it is often written by the advertisers themselves, promoting a product of theirs.

Launching a vertical search engine – Eidelman launched a vertical search engine. She said these types of search engines point to your own site but also provide a resource to those in your industry and give you the opportunity to sell advertising and sponsorships. She told publishers that it’s “easily monetized the more page views you have”.

Creating a yearbook – McLaughlin creates “yearbooks”, which are years worth of newsletters, sliced up by content and turned into a harcover book. He claimes that users appreciate having it in a more easily searchable product and that “everyone needs to understand that new product development is an important part of the health of your company.”

What are your best product development ideas? Share them with us in the comments….

More coverage from SIPA:

SIPA Take Away #1: 17 Testing Tools from Sandra Niehaus

SIPA Take Away #2: Get Your Staff Pumped About Search Engine Optimization

SIPA Take Away #3: Create an In-House Audio/Video Production Studio

SIPA Take Away #4: Membership Website Experience from Mark Ragan

SIPA Take Away #5: Best New Product Development Ideas

SIPA Take Away #6: 10 Ways to Sell One-Shot Products

SIPA Take Away #7: Google Really Does Love Online Publishers


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