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Archive for Subscription Website Publishing

Subscription Website Publishing posts focus on what to consider when building and operating a subscription website.

In this section, you’ll learn the difference between membership and subscription sites, how to build a successful subscription website, increase sign-ups, align content, and the best practices for running successful subscription websites.

Free Download: Learn how to choose the best subscription pricing and single-copy pricing strategy for your subscription websites and subscription apps when you download a FREE copy of our How to Use Contrast Pricing to Increase Subscription Revenue report today.

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The Best Subscription Websites Already Know This One Thing

A publisher’s minimum information unit (MIU) is the bedrock on which the best subscription business models are built. Any online publisher who doesn’t bother to understand and identify their MIU will fumble trying to build a successful subscription website.

In this week’s Freebie Friday spotlight, Don Nicholas, Chairman & CEO of Mequoda, explains why using monthly pricing to accommodate a user’s desire to sample, is just one key to selling more subscriptions. From there you can download How to Use Contrast Pricing to Increase Subscription Revenue to learn more about pricing your print and digital magazine subscriptions.   Continue

Using “Self-Liquidating Premiums” to Help Close the Sale

An effective technique in information marketing is “self-liquidating premiums”—having the value of the premiums exceed the entire purchase price.

For example, let’s assume you have a product, perhaps a downloadable ebook, with a list price of $49.95. You’re selling it online at a discounted purchase price of $29.95.   Continue

Do You Really Need a CMS or CXMS?

Your website is made up of a variety of parts. To accomplish the goals of increasing your audience, revenues, and profits, all of those parts need to talk to one another. The nucleus of this system is your CMS, or content management system.

This is not unlike any team, where you have specialists and a project   Continue

How Premium Newsletters and Advisory Services Use Mequoda

Premium newsletters and advisory services represent the pinnacle of subscription marketing, often commanding annual membership or subscription fees that are much higher than magazines.   Continue

Six Sigma Subscription Marketing: 12 Offers That Boost Response Rates

12 subscription marketing offers you can test with your existing email subscriber list
Think selling magazines is hard? Look at Netflix. Their offer is that you can try out their video streaming service for 30 days, then pay $8 a month. Not $10 or $12 per year like a magazine, but $8 every single month. And is   Continue

Get More People to Subscribe to Your Highest Priced Product

The most effective blow-in cards of the 21st century aren’t made of cardstock, they’re digital. And since offering a sample of your magazine is less effort for the user when it’s done online, you have more opportunities.

In this week’s Freebie Friday spotlight, Don Nicholas, Chairman & CEO of Mequoda, explains why using monthly pricing to accommodate a user’s desire to sample, is just one key to selling more subscriptions. From there you can download How to Use Contrast Pricing to Increase Subscription Revenue to learn more about pricing your print and digital magazine subscriptions.   Continue

How to Use Six Sigma for Subscription Offer Testing

“Never stop testing, and your advertising will never stop improving,” said David Ogilvy, known as “The Father of Advertising” the “Original Mad Man”.

Even our best performing clients—who publish on multiple platforms, run several subscription websites, and have helped define our pricing best practices—will see a drop in subscription sales when they stop testing. I told this to a client recently who went from having some of the highest conversion rates of our clients to having our worst performing rates, and we believe the culprit is a lack of subscription offer testing with new offers, like a 30-day free trial.   Continue

Increase Paywall Revenue Today

I was speaking with a colleague the other day who had crossed over from the magazine industry to newspaper publishing and back, about consumer marketing trends. We noted that it will be interesting to see how lessons learned from the newspaper industry move into the magazine industry over time. Daily newspapers are both financially larger   Continue

How to Build a Subscription Management System

If you’re a publisher who maintains multiple websites, making the correct choice of a subscription management system is one of the most important decisions you’ll make, because doing it over and over again cuts into your profits and resources. We’ve watched numerous multi-website publishers trap themselves into a path that was too expensive to upgrade easily and efficiently because of the way they expanded the system in a nonstandard manner.   Continue

A Great Example of a Premium Content Subscription

A couple of years ago, Don outlined the attributes of a premium content subscription: not a website itself, but the thing that customers buy – the content subscription.

In updating this post (as we often do with our website content – a Mequoda best practice), we decided to give you an actual example of the perfect premium content subscription, and we settled on CooksIllustrated.com, the companion website to Cook’s Illustrated magazine from America’s Test Kitchen.

Deconstructing the phrase “premium content subscription” is a helpful exercise for getting this discussion onto the right track. Let’s take a look at each of the three words individually.   Continue

How to Choose CMS Development Services as a Periodical Publisher

When choosing CMS development services for your organization, consider how much retrofitting will be involved to get your subscription website running and how much familiarity you have with third-party fulfillment systems.
Periodical publishers and other subscription-based organizations do not run the same kind of business as most others do on the web, so why do so many   Continue

14 Tips for Fixing Slow Loading Web Pages

Slow loading web pages can mean turning customers away from your landing pages and ultimately from buying yor products.   Continue

10 Little-Known Subscription Business Model Facts That Can Increase Revenue

These subscription business model facts will help you take a new look at your current approach to subscription marketing.
Most of the subscription business model facts you usually hear likely pertain to percentages and numbers that don’t apply to you and instead reflect someone else’s business. But the ten facts below give you permission to take a step   Continue

The 3 Most Profitable Subscription Website Business Models

Coming up with the right subscription website business model(s) is usually the biggest stumbling block for those wanting to get into this business.

Choosing your content focus is a business-critical decision, as the focus you choose pretty much dictates your chances of success with a subscription website. However, more serious than the focus on content for   Continue

Increase Subscription Revenue with a Credit Card Recovery Program

Sometimes the subscription revenue you’re missing doesn’t come from new customers at all, it comes from your existing ones through the reprocessing of failed credit card renewal transactions so that they become successful renewal credit card transactions. And a good credit card recovery program can make all the difference.   Continue

How To Find the Best CMS for a Magazine

There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all content management system. The best CMS for a magazine should be built with a publisher in mind. After all, you have a different business model than a software company, e-tailer, or a small business using the same CMS, which is often the case with some of the household name CMSs out there.   Continue

World Politics Review Partners with Mequoda Systems to Grow Premium Subscription Business

Mequoda and WPR partner with a performance-based revenue-share relationship to grow subscription business
As one of the world’s most authoritative sources on world politics and international relations, World Politics Review (WPR) has been successful at penetrating the corporate, government and educational markets. Now, they are partnering with Mequoda Systems to aggressively grow their individual subscriber business.
Publisher Hampton Stephens   Continue

An Informal Approach to the Best Website Design Review of Your Website You Can Conduct

As someone who’s looked at your website every day for a long time, you probably have no business reviewing your own website. There are probably things in the back of your mind that you’ve kept a mental checklist of – items that need to be optimized, altered and updated. Have you been writing these things down? Often, when we finally get the chance to update our websites, it’s months after we’ve discovered the original issue.

That’s why I’m going to give you a quick little checklist, based on our internal website design scorecard, to remind you of the items you should be paying most attention to. While these guidelines are by no means the complete list of website design practices, they are essential to sound, effective website design. We’re sure that implementation of these practices will result in happier, more satisfied, readers.   Continue

How to Create “Special Collections” in a Web Library that Attract and Retain More Subscribers

The best way to bring people back to your web magazine is through curated special collections. Here’s how one publisher is doing it well.
When walking in to a massive library or bookstore, it’s hard to decide what to look at without becoming instantly overwhelmed by all the possibilities. The same goes for an online web   Continue

Subscription Marketing: Free Isn’t a Dirty Word in Offer Testing

In digital marketing, you might have been told “free” is a dirty word. In subject lines, it could get you blacklisted (it won’t) or in social media, it’s over-used (free is still better than paid). However, giving away something for free is one of the best ways to start a relationship, and when it comes to selling products, this strategy has proven to be a huge asset to the marketing mix especially when the free product is assigned a value.   Continue

Designing Your Web Magazine “Above the Fold”

Twenty years ago, “above the fold” only referred to the upper half portion of a newspaper. Now, above the fold can be applied to many things, especially a website or web magazine, and the first screen of content a user will see when they go to your website.   Continue

Create Better Vanity URLs: 8 Dos and 8 Don’ts

Follow these landing page guidelines for your vanity URLs so that people can both remember you and find you organically

You know the importance of landing pages, but it’s completely possible that you don’t know how important your vanity URLs are. Vanity URLs that are too long, don’t make sense, or are hard to read can actually turn someone away, rather than attracting them to your site.

The most popular places to use a vanity URL are:
  Continue

How to Succeed at Subscription Marketing by Creating Overwhelming Value

Creating an abundance of value within your subscription products is the key to subscription marketing and transforming your publishing business in the digital age
From time to time, it’s a good idea to sit down and think about the value proposition you provide prospective buyers in your subscription marketing efforts. When you are running a Six Sigma   Continue

The Mequoda Magazine Content Business Model

Some of the most successful publishers let their users generate more than 99 percent of their content. The publishers that can do this become masters at building communities that draw users to both read and post.

Out of the nine subscription website business models, the community subscription website archetype is the only one where the publisher relies on its community to create the content. There are six premium (paid) archetypes, and three affinity (free) archetypes. This is one of the three free ones.   Continue

Follow Google’s Landing Page Guidelines to Improve Rank

As it’s always been, Google’s main focus publicly is the ads you buy via Adwords. And, as always, Mequoda knows that the exact same concepts apply to free organic search campaigns.

If you read our white papers and posts, or you’ve attended a Mequoda Intensive, you already know how much value we place on organic search. It’s the core of the Mequoda Method, and while anyone can buy ads, that kind of marketing just isn’t as high on our priority list as organic search is.   Continue

10 Tips to Convert Metered Paywall Visitors into Subscribers

In the words of David Ogilvy, “a good advertisement is one that sells the product without drawing attention to itself.” And when selling a web magazine, one of the best ways to do so, is by giving away enough content that it basically sells itself, but not so much that visitors don’t convert into subscribers.   Continue

What is a Subscription Marketing System?

Did you know that a sunflower is not just one flower, but more than a thousand small flowers, all stuck together on one head and a single stalk? Even what seems like the petals of a sunflower are considered individual ray flowers.

You might consider a publisher’s website the same way. You see TIME.com and think, oh that’s TIME’s website. But in fact, it’s a subscription marketing system. The site isn’t built just to give away free content, it’s built to collect new subscribers and generate revenue. Its web magazine alone, time.com/magazine, is just one petal of the sunflower that is attracting and converting new magazine subscribers, both free (email) and paid (digital and print).   Continue

How to Choose the Best Subscription Pricing & Single-Copy Pricing Strategy for Your Subscription Websites

While the challenge of choosing the right subscription and single copy pricing strategy is not new to magazine publishers, it’s virgin territory for most subscription website publishers and many publishers exploring the digital newsstand landscape.

Even magazine publishers are faced with new economic realities.

The marginal cost of delivering a digital subscription to your own website is near zero. The cost of delivering digital issues via the Apple, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble digital newsstands is based on remit and the cost of delivering a digital issue paid to your digital publishing software provider (Mag+, Adobe Digital Publishing Suite, etc.).   Continue

Only 1 Week Left to Save

“Frugality includes all the other virtues.” – Cicero
Old Cicero certainly knew what he was talking about. That’s why I wanted to remind you that your chance to exercise frugality in attending the Mequoda Subscription Marketing & Publishing Intensive ends next week.
Maybe you noted our Early Bird deadline of April 18 and told yourself   Continue

How Much Should You Invest in Your Subscription Website?

Few things fascinate subscription website publishers more than the relationship between cost and revenue for the various operational centers inside their business. We have long known for instance, that editorial or product costs are typically 8 to 12% of revenue for a niche media business. The number can run higher for very small operations and lower for very large operations.   Continue

How 3 B2C Newsletter Publishers are Seeing Growth with Haven CXMS

 

Mequoda Systems empowers multiplatform publishers to grow audience, revenue, and profits by integrating web, email, and fulfillment systems into a seamless Customer Experience Management System (CXMS). Mequoda clients routinely double, even triple, their profits in five years or less by using our proprietary software platform, Haven CXMS™—the only customer experience management system created by publishers   Continue

America’s First Web Magazine Gets a “Face Lift”

Back in 2014, we partnered with Prime Publishing to launch America’s first web magazine. Since then we’ve launched more than a dozen and have learned a lot. Prime’s web magazine, I Like Crochet, is a linear, finite edition of a magazine. Readers progress through the magazine the same as they would an app or print magazine, except the pages are built in HTML and read like a webpage.   Continue

The Mysterious UTM Code Explained

An Urchin Traffic Monitor (UTM) code is the way that businesses track sales from their origination point (like a tweet, email or a brochure) down the funnel to their conversion page. Every audience development campaign is packed with UTM codes to see which campaigns perform best. In Google Analytics, these codes can be tracked under the general “Traffic Sources” area just like any other source.   Continue

How Premium Magazines Thrive With The Haven CXMS

If your goal is generate paid subscriptions and revenue for a premium magazine business with a robust subscription website, keep following along.

In today’s Strategy Spotlight, Don Nicholas, Chairman & CEO of Mequoda explains how other publishers have used Haven CXMS to do just that.   Continue

Fun with Paywall Pricing Strategy: When to Ask Them to Pay

If you struggle with determining paywall pricing and strategy, you’re not alone.
Recently, Hearst has been working on a more flexible paywall pricing and strategy, and the industry is abuzz. Max Willens at Digiday describes it as “a paywall whose permeability changes depending on who’s visiting and what they’re reading.”
“The new paywall replaces a system where editors   Continue

Going Global with Web Libraries, Collections and Editions

Web libraries, collections and editions provide a profitable opportunity for global subscribers, and for special-interest publishers.
“Our global audience is not interested in another local news source…Our signature journalism is the biggest draw.” These were the words of an associate managing editor at The New York Times who also oversees NYT Global, according to Digiday. And   Continue

How to Hire a Membership Site Developer That’s a Good Fit For Your Business

Your membership site developer should be more than just a technological jester, they should be your sherpa.
If you’re a publisher, or are selling a subscription-based information product, it’s likely that at some point you’ll be looking for a new membership site developer. We know this because most of our clients have come to us after years   Continue

3 Ways to Say “Free” in Subscription Marketing

One of the biggest secrets to success in subscription marketing is leveraging the word “free” in your copy
Unlike most other marketers, those in subscription marketing can sell the same product at different prices each time it’s purchased. Our customers buy a new subscription from us at one price, and then we can use a different   Continue

Usability Testing: 5 Heat Map Tracking Tools to Watch What Your Visitors Do

If you want to know why your website is, or is not performing, start conducting usability studies. A/B tests are great for content, but when it comes to seeing how users engage with your website, online heatmap tracking tools can make all the difference.   Continue

The Most Important Magazine Website Design Element Most Designers Forget

The keys to magazine website design are function and familiarity, not bells and whistles.
I’m always surprised by how many publishers want to reinvent the wheel when they launch a new magazine website design. If they have the budget, they’ll try to do it when they create magazine apps as well.

But the secret to great design   Continue

How You Can Make More Money with a Sponsor-Driven Website Portal Powered by the Haven CXMS

If your goal is to generate advertising and sponsorship revenue from a free newsletter or advisory service with a robust subscription and advertising website, the Mequoda Haven CXMS can do it, and has done it for many other publishers like you.   Continue

Mequoda’s Top 10 Subscription Website Publishing Posts of 2017

Our most-read subscription website publishing posts of last year show a continued interest in building profitable subscription websites and improving their speed and ranking.
Last year, publishers focused on increasing profitability through apps and subscription website publishing. As publishers continue to search for digital content success through subscriptions, we think the chosen top ten most-read posts   Continue

5 Ways Top Subscription Websites Optimize for Search

Magazine publishers have been giving away their content for decades in an effort to attract new subscribers. In online publishing, ad-driven subscription websites have an additional incentive: Increasing the eyeballs that see their sponsors’ ads.

Publications like Mother Earth News put all their magazine content on their subscription website. They believe it hasn’t hurt their circulation, and at the same time, says General Manager Bill Uhler, it helps them cast a wider SEO net.   Continue

The 3 Best Subscription Website Systems That Make Money Online

When you charge a fee to access the content within a subscription website, the site needs to provide specific and immediate benefits to your subscribers. Are you doing that?   Continue

New Super Club Bundles Magazine Clubs, Video Clubs and Recipe Club to Create Blockbuster Product Launch

We recently wrote about why magazine clubs are on the rise.

A magazine club is reminiscent of the book club model where you pay one price and gain access to a bundle. For example, you pay one price for a print and digital subscription to a magazine where you also get access to an extensive archive organized by both issue and article indexed by topic. Or you subscribe to a video club, and you get access to an archive of videos, or in the case of a cooking magazine, a recipe club where you get access to a bundle of premium recipes.   Continue

5 Subscription Management Software Requirements

For every publisher who dreams of creating a subscription website, choosing the right subscription management software can be a daunting task

When we set out to launch the I Like Crochet digital magazine website (the first of its kind) and tablet edition, we knew we wanted to build a state-of-the-art publication management system. We needed subscription   Continue

How Free and Controlled-Circulation Magazines Are Using Haven CXMS

If your goal is to generate subscriptions and advertiser and sponsorship revenue from a free or controlled-circulation magazine with a robust subscription and advertising website, the Mequoda Haven CXMS can do it, and has done it for many other publishers like you.   Continue

How to Generate Additional Publishing Revenue Through Your Website Portal

As a publisher, you should make your website’s top goal to maximize your TOPX (Total Orders Per Ten Thousand) page views by making sure that every page on your website is ready to convert visitors into buyers and subscribers at any moment and increase publishing revenue.

Your Portal is the main page where you give away free articles and content. For many magazines, this is on their main domain, like TIME.com or People.com. If you’ve been following along with Mequoda you know that we advocate for every page on your Portal to have a set of best practice conversion architecture we call 3C Zone Architecture.   Continue

Why the Website Architecture of a Landing Page Matters

When you set a goal, you probably have an idea in your head of how you’re going to accomplish it.

For example, if you have the goal of running a marathon in a year, and you’re not a runner, you might start trying the Couch-to-5K ® program. Every couple of days, you’re instructed to run a certain distance, and in the following days you’re instructed to run a little further. After a couple months, you can run the length of a 5K. Then, maybe, you run a few official 5K races. Then you run a half-marathon. Eventually, you train enough to run in the Boston Marathon.   Continue

Don’t Waste Your Pageviews

Page views are a precious thing, and you should try not to waste them.

In today’s Strategy Spotlight, Don Nicholas, Chairman & CEO of Mequoda explains the goals of a “smart website” and why having one built by publishing veterans can help you avoid waste and chaos.   Continue