Subscription Websites a Model for Profits

Your Pass to Building Profitable Subscription Websites

When you log onto MLP Profits, you immediately see substance—and potential. (MLP stands for Master Limited Partnerships.) The substance lies in the weekly articles in the left column and features such as How They Rate and Alerts and Getting Started in the middle. A welcome video from the co-editor and various links and bios dominate the third.

The potential comes from the numerous invitations to sign up for this newsletter and the many others in this “family.” But you never feel uncomfortable; rather, you feel good about the information and—if you’re in this business—inquisitive about the money-making possibilities.

What’s missing are ads. That’s not the model that publisher Phil Ash is using here. MLP Profits is part of the larger Investing Daily and KCI Investing websites. Ash will talk about his very successful model in the upcoming Mequoda/SIPA Webinar titled Building Subscription Websites: Six Proven Models for High Profit Publishing Websites.

The Webinar takes place Oct. 12 but today is the last day to secure the early-bird rate.

According to the recent SIPA Management Report on this topic that focused on Investing Daily (among other subscription websites), “the marketing mechanism for the premium products and services focuses chiefly on getting visitors to accept a free trial subscription to the online newsletter or advisory service. The free trials are offered on some of the low- and medium-priced products, which range from about $40 to $400 per year.

“For example, the satellite website of, an income advisory service, has about 2,000 paid subscribers and no intentional home page, traffic-driving strategy. Yet it had 34,000 unique visitors over a recent five-month period—about 7,000 per month. Thus, the site needs a mechanism for engaging those 5,000 monthly visitors who are not yet paid subscribers. The free trial has proven to be an effective tool in that regard.

“In that five-month period, 561 visitors (1.6% CTR) clicked on ads or buttons to enter the free-trial funnel. Net paid orders on that group are 239 on a quarterly billed, auto-renew program, representing $95,000 of annual revenue.

Multiply that income by a number of newsletters and you have a very successful model. In addition, three dramatic changes in the subscription website revenue model will be discussed in the Webinar; these can mean unprecedented revenue and profits for you.

– The reduction in delivery costs (and how it affects your bottom line).
– The expansion in niche market size. (A print newsletter market of 300,000 subscribers in the United States could now grow to include three million English-speaking subscribers worldwide.)
– The potential of the credit card, continuous-service model (and how to use it to increase renewal rates by up to 20 percent).

Ash will talk about how these changes have enabled his company to pursue new subscription newsletter niche topics that previously weren’t feasible using the print publishing model. As part of the 90-minute webinar, he will also reveal how he uses these Websites to build an email subscriber database, promote awareness of his subject-matter experts, and market his premium products. And he will provide a detailed case study of the aforementioned MLP Profits.

Most experts in this field agree that getting credit card information up front for free trials is crucial. According to the SIPA report, “The card is charged only when the trial period is over—in most cases, 30 days—unless the subscription is canceled within the free trial period. If the subscription continues past the trial period, that triggers automatic billing—generally a quarterly auto-renewal billing for higher-priced products and an annual auto-renewal billing for products with a lower subscription fee. All products carry a 12-month refund guarantee.

“While the credit-card upfront strategy obviously brings fewer people into the free-trial funnel, those that do accept have qualified themselves and are not simply ‘a bunch of tire kickers.’ Publishers that implement a free trial without requiring a credit card get more people into the funnel, but the conversion rate is a lot lower. That may be fine if the content is ‘nice to know’ rather than ‘must have’ information.”

Email capture, then, is a secondary focus of the subscription websites. Recall that the hub is the primary vehicle for building email lists to sell the satellite paid products.

Ash and, of course, Mequoda executive director Don Nicholas are two of the leading lights on the subject of subscription websites. So you will get your money’s worth and more.


Building Subscription Websites:
Six Proven Models for High Profit Publishing Websites

Oct. 12, 12:30 pm (Eastern time)
Last day to sign up with early-bird rate is today, Sept. 15!

Discover the “Holy Grail” of the periodical publishing industry.
Learn the secrets to publishing profitable subscription websites
from successful veterans Phil Ash and Don Nicholas.

You can be a player in the subscription website product explosion
over the next decade, based on the acceptance of this paradigm.

Sign up today at a great price
and learn to make money for tomorrow!



Leave a Reply