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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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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 Premium Newsletters and Advisory Services Are Using Haven CXMS

If your goal is to generate revenue and engagement for a business trade magazine or for paid subscriptions to a premium B2B newsletter or advisory service with a robust subscription website, the Mequoda Haven CXMS can do it, and has done it for many other publishers like you.   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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Advancement of Website Redesigns Includes New Strategies & Tools

Website redesigns come from Salon and ProPublica; Harvard Business Review utilizes new website tool
Content publishers who make website redesigns and try new tools as part of an evolving digital strategy show their prowess in advancing their brand online.

Today we’re looking at three publishers who have recently gone this route, and the reasons for doing so.

Learn how to create sales letter landing pages that sell when you download our FREE Landing Page Handbook.

Our   Continue

The Most Profitable Websites Have Mastered this Simple Advertising Strategy

Forbes contributor Benjy Boxer recently warned, “The combination of free publishing, social distribution, and the commoditization of advertising will eventually wipe out almost all of the advantages of a large media company.”

Further, he advised that “scarcity” is the only advantage left to media companies, and they’ll have to create that with their unique content or unique services to advertisers. Luckily for the niche subscription website publishers we advise, scarcity comes right along with being “niche,” unlike larger publishers competing with Yahoo and CNN for cost-per-click (CPC) dollars.   Continue

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

The Mequoda Newsletter Content Business Model

The newsletter subscription website model is simple, clean and editorially-focused

Newsletter publishers, particularly those on the B-to-B side but also those with consumer titles in the finance and health fields, were among the first to embrace subscription websites. Perhaps that’s because the newsletter subscription website archetype is the easiest type of subscription website to build. The file size of newsletters is generally manageable, whether the newsletter is 8, 12, 16, 32, or more pages, since it is mostly text and often limited to black-and-white or two-color.   Continue

Gain SEO Control Back with 7 Sitemap Tools to Use Before a Magazine Website Redesign

There are ways to control how Google reads your website with sitemap tools. While we assume most of our publishing friends are creating kosher content and abiding by the rules, if Google has considered you a black sheep in the past, you can reinvent yourself by cleaning up your sitemap. If you’ve been good, you can always improve how well your website is indexed, and often the updates are pretty easy!   Continue

How To Find the Best CMS for a Magazine

The best CMS for a magazine should be built for publishers, not everyone else
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   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 a year like a magazine, but $8 every single month. And is   Continue

The Best Online Directory Software for Publishers

What to look for in online directory software, from Haven, to WordPress, Joomla, and third-party products

The directory website business model still has a lot of upside for multiplatform publishers. When executed correctly, directories can be a win-win for any ambitious publisher. The publisher produces a framework and reference content, and the advertiser pays to post   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

Simple Types of Usability Tests for Creating Happier Users and Better Websites

Even though you might associate usability with website design, it’s been an important factor in our everyday life for at least a century. Frederick Taylor’s Principles of Scientific Management, published in 1911, is the first instance where the world started paying attention to how people use things, and how we can help them be more efficient. In 1936, Frigidaire cited “usability” as a key feature of their new refrigerator. In 1943, Alphonse Chapanis made the case for redesigning airplane cockpits in order to reduce errors.

But it wasn’t until 1985 that Computer Usability Testing & Evaluation was published by Richard Spencer. Of course, by this point, usability wasn’t anything new, so designing computers that were most usable was a given. In fact, the war of operating systems, mainly between Microsoft and Apple, has been centered on usability since the beginning.

When home-accessible Internet arrived and websites became the next usability feat, Steve Krug published Don’t Make Me Think in 2000. I think we can all agree that web designers everywhere desperately needed this book back in 2000 and the web has become better for it.   Continue

Your Guide to Building a Profitable Subscription Website

Like any other business, subscription website publishing relies on getting your website taxonomy exactly right. Information architecture isn’t easy to understand – people earn special college degrees in order to grasp it! But subscription websites are different from ecommerce, event, retail, or a dozen other kinds of websites. And you simply can’t learn about subscription website taxonomy from those.   Continue

How to Get More Comments On Your Articles

Over the last five to seven years, a big gripe of many publishers is that they want to get more comments on their digital articles, but they’re getting fewer than ever before. Getting more comments might seem like a vanity metric, but we see comments as important indicators in search engine optimization. The more comments a post has, the higher it tends to rank. Because of this, we take the number of comments on a post to heart. And that big fat 0 staring at us never feels good.   Continue

Sortable Doubles Ad Revenue For This Publisher

If we knew of a tool that doubled ad revenue for a client, you’d want to know about it right?
If you read Mequoda Daily often, you may know about our Dr. Aliza Lifshitz and Carl Kravetz who run Vida y Salud, a Spanish-language health site. They’ve been the recipient of several of our Rocket Awards for   Continue

Conversion Optimization Tip: How to Improve Your Email Capture Rate Immediately

A quick conversion optimization hack that will eliminate abandons in your email capture flow
It’s not often we can tell you about a conversion optimization tip that will offer you an immediate improvement in your email capture rates, but there is one we are currently adopting with all of our new clients, and we just can’t   Continue