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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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Unknown User

We classify website visitors into two categories: known and unknown. An unknown user is someone who has never visited your site before or who has never signed up for your free email newsletter. It is imperative that your content management system has the capability to differentiate between known users and unknown users.   Continue

Text Links

Text Links are links in editorial or navigation that lead to a Rapid Conversion Landing Page and are the best form of persistent conversion architecture. They are subtle, yet very effective ways to drive traffic to your Rapid Conversion Landing Pages with the ultimate goal of increasing your email database circulation. They can also be used to direct traffic to an advertiser’s landing page.   Continue

Rapid Conversion Landing Pages

Rapid Conversion Landing Pages are used to entice a user to enter into a low-risk (AKA low-friction) transaction. This type of landing page is used when there is no cost to the user (a free offer) or when payment is delayed and includes options (a bill-me later offer).   Continue

Lead-Driven Design – IDG’s Computerworld has a Unique Approach

How Computerworld drives traffic from their print product and supplies enough content to satisfy both users and sponsors   Continue

How to Build a Meta Tag Page that Ranks High in Search Engines

Three ways to build a meta tag page and how other publishers are using them
A meta tag page is a page that lists all the content a site has about a particular tag or keyword. The difference between a tag page and a topic page, is that a tag page doesn’t necessarily get elevated to the navigation level.
The literal translation of a meta tag page is “a page about other pages”.   Continue

8 Steps to Creating a Newsletter Website Template

Building or looking to improve a newsletter website? Learn these 8 best practices for building profitable newsletter website templates.   Continue

Understanding Print vs. Online Usage

Do you know how users consume print and digital media? If you think they’re the same, you’re wrong. And if you’re building or running a membership website with that mindset, you’re in trouble.   Continue

Four Best Shopping Cart Upsell Strategies

How are you recommending related products on your shopping cart that both offer a helpful service and increase revenue at the same time?   Continue

Creating Effective Media Websites

Learn the 12 Webpage Templates Used by Today’s Top Publishers to Convert and Monetize Website Traffic   Continue

Homepage Design: When Scrolling is Better than Clicking

Should your homepage design offer full-length articles to increase conversions, or use snippets to increase clicks?   Continue

8 Reasons to Use a Solo Orderflow

Maximize conversion rates with solo orderflows and independent information products
Solo orderflows maximize conversion rates on a single product. Imagine you are a travel publisher and you offer six books on these topics: cruises, safaris, island getaways, business travel, family vacations and Disney. Since you only have one book on cruises, not several books on the topic, then you should use a solo orderflow.   Continue

Newsletter vs. Membership Websites – What’s the Difference?

Many publishers refer to a Newsletter Website as a Membership Website, but the truth is that Newsletter Websites stand on their own.   Continue

Amplify SEO with Author Landing Pages

Looking for niche keyword phrases to amplify your results in search engines? How about a name?   Continue

RCR Wireless News Opens Archives and Offers New Platforms in Re-Architected Mequoda Hub

RCRWireless.com offers content repurposed on many new platforms, increases community involvement, and opens an archive of over 150,000 articles to the public with their redesign.   Continue

Give Away All My Content???

Giving away the same content customers once paid for is no longer an option – think of it as your new circulation marketing program.   Continue

How to Calculate Your Site-wide Conversion Rates

How to build top level conversion architecture that will increase conversion rates and boost sales   Continue

Five Deadly Membership Website Mistakes

Download our complimentary Membership report today and learn what every magazine, newsletter and book publisher needs to know before launching a Membership Website   Continue

6 Ways to Improve your Website Conversion Rates

Convert more website visitors into buyers or subscribers from any page on your site by using these 6 methods   Continue

12 Master Landing Page Templates

Download our new report (for free) and learn how to maximize your Internet marketing conversion rates by using the right landing page template for the job
A landing page is an indispensable component of your online marketing campaign. We define it as any webpage where you and your users begin a mutual transaction.

The end goal of a landing page can be to get users to:   Continue

Landing Page Keyword Research

Choosing relevant keywords for your rapid-conversion landing page will put you on page one and build your list by shaking hands with Google

In September 2007, we initiated a massive update to the original keyword research we had conducted when we launched Mequoda Daily in August 2005. Our plan was to take each of our existing primary keyword phrases (also known as the 10 topic pages you’ll find at Mequoda Daily) and run them through some keyword analysis to discover more niche, secondary terms that we “could own” – aka be in the number one position on page one in Google.   Continue

MarketingSherpa’s Selling Online Subscriptions Summit Take-Away #1

Adapt to changing subscription models   Continue

MarketingSherpa’s Selling Online Subscriptions Summit Take-Away #2

Make 2.0 Work for You   Continue

MarketingSherpa’s Selling Online Subscriptions Summit Take-Away #3

Optimize Your Marketing Mix   Continue

MarketingSherpa’s Selling Online Subscriptions Summit Take-Away #4

Defend Against Economic Downturn   Continue

Adding credibility to your membership website: A checklist of 14 factors you must consider in order to be perceived as trustworthy

The casual visitor makes an impression of your subscription website based on numerous factors. Whether consciously to unconsciously, most potential members are looking for certain elements that indicate to them that you and your business are legitimate.   Continue

Create PDF Files That Work

Using big margins, print fonts and optimizing for search   Continue

Optimize Your Masthead for First-Time Visitors

Telling users who you are and what you do with your tagline or welcome blurb front and center   Continue

Breadcrumb Navigation Best Practices

If your users are Hansel and Gretel, then your website is the woods, and your navigation is their breadcrumb   Continue

Mobile Usability Testing

Mobile usability tests encourage distractions and an unstable environment. Like any website you’ll ever build, there is a need for usability testing. Building a site for mobile users is like shooting in the dark unless you know what they’re looking at and what they’re viewing it on.   Continue

Mobile Publishing Superstars

The web is quickly becoming an on-demand source at the fingertips of all of our users. While users without SmartPhones or PDAs might rarely see the benefit in surfing the web within an un-optimized environment, it’s plainly obvious to see that technology is escalating to this new on-demand standard, and we should be distributing optimized content on this platform. People want information, and they want it now.   Continue

$29 million invested in WordPress’ Automattic

Four investors, including the Times Company prove that open source software is the future of online publishing platforms. Over here at Mequoda, we are one of WordPress’ #1 fans. Open source software is becoming the new wave of the Internet, as proven by instances such as Google’s open source mobile phone platform, Google Android. We also have many blogging platforms that are heading in the direction of the open source WordPress by making their own platforms open source.   Continue

MySQL devoured by Sun Microsystems

As big fans of the open source movement, we were very enthused to hear that MySQL was recently picked up by Sun Microsystems. As defined by Wikipedia, the basic program runs as a server providing multi-user access to a number of databases and was previously owned and sponsored by a single for-profit firm, the Swedish company MySQL AB. The project’s source code is available under terms of the GNU General Public License, as well as under a variety of proprietary agreements.   Continue

Google AdSense Design Tips

Tips and tricks for increasing click-through rate on Google AdSense. One of Google’s corporate missions is to promote the creation of original content on the Internet, so finding a revenue model for quality content was a completely aligned goal. In June 2003, Google launched its AdSense program, through which a network of online publishers makes money directly off their content.   Continue

How to Evaluate your Usability Lab Results

Identifying and prioritizing your usability lab results is the most interesting and valuable part

Once you conduct your usability lab, it will become very obvious to you very quickly, which areas need improvement. More often than not, there will be more than one user who will experience frustration with certain tasks on your website.   Continue

Paper Prototyping Usability Tests for Website Design

Paper Prototyping

If you are only testing usability AFTER your site has been developed, you are only looking for validation, not actual usability. But how can you test a website that has not even been written in a line of code so far?   Continue

Card Sorting Usability Test

This test is especially helpful if you have a lot of categories or sections and you want to know how users expect to see those organized. As the name implies, a card sort requires the test participant to sort cards, each with a word or statement printed on it, according to the user’s mental model of the relationships between the words or statements. The test facilitator then records the sort in a spreadsheet or in one of the online sorting tools. A cluster analysis of the results from several test participants gives designers an excellent view into what is important to the user and how they refer to it in their own language.   Continue

Link Affordance Usability Testing for Website Design

A great affordance test is to print off web pages in grayscale, give a test user a yellow highlighter and ask them to highlight anything on which they think they could click. The first thing you will notice is that anything that is underlined will get highlighted. Those words that may or may not be colored but which are not underlined will most likely not look like links to your test user.   Continue

Heuristic Evaluation Usability Testing

A heuristic evaluation is one of the more popular methods of usability testing and takes place with a functional website, likely in the last stages of development or right before a redesign. This is the type of lab setting that we showed you in Monday’s tip How to Conduct a Usability Lab, and requires a computer with a webcam and usability software like Morae, a moderator, and a user.   Continue

How to Conduct a Usability Lab

How to prepare a usability lab for several different types of studies. Usability testing is a controlled experiment that tests the architecture and user-friendliness of your website. Reasons why businesses conduct usability tests are often to provide feedback to information architects and designers.   Continue

10 Steps to Better Shopping Cart Usability

How to keep smart shoppers happy and provide them with a thorough, yet user-friendly online shopping experience. Normally, we don’t recommend shopping carts to our users, because we see the highest conversion rate on sales letter landing pages. However, we realize that many publishers have too large of an inventory and feel that shopping carts work for them. That’s why today we’re talking about shopping cart optimization.   Continue

Setting Up a Mequoda Marketing System – Phase 1

The Internet Hub is a one of seven Mequoda Website Archetypes discovered by reviewing more then 2000 media websites. Like all Mequoda Website Archetypes, it has a limited set of core functions that make it efficient for completing a limited group of user tasks that are key to the success of an online publishing operation or Mequoda Marketing System.   Continue

Good and Bad Vanity URLs

Vanity URLs should unique, relevant, and support your brand or message.

We know it’s a short week, but this week we’re going to focus on optimizing your URLs. Today, we’re focusing on vanity URLs. If you’re doing any sort of Internet marketing, you are investing in vanity URLs for your:   Continue

Tis the Season for Upsells and “Subscription Gift-ers”

It’s the time of year where your print counterparts are busily taking advantage of the holiday spirit, but what is your online business doing this year to increase sales or subscriptions?

If you’re an experienced online publisher, you certainly have an upsell at the bottom of every order or email subscription confirmation page. But in the season of gifts, why not upsell your customers to a gift subscription or product? One of the publishers we refer to below has found a way to link renewals to gift orders, while others have opted to offer complimentary gifts to the gift-ers instead of the gift-ees.   Continue

Creating sales letter landing pages that do double and triple duty

The same high quality copywriting and design elements can be used for online, email and postal mail sales pitches.

Multiplatform publishing in the 21st century means offering users many products on many platforms, and using the Internet to recycle, reuse and republish information in many different formats.

This involves taking the same information and turning it into any format a user could possibly want—from e-books to streaming video to email newsletters. Publishers not only save on material costs, but the same information is being cheaply repackaged and sold in a multitude of formats to maximize customer satisfaction and revenue.   Continue

The upsell landing page asks for the add-on sale

Sell more products, at higher prices and great profit margins, with dedicated upsell landing pages

“Would you like fries with that?” is a simple, familiar hamburger stand upsell. The online version is a little more complicated, and requires a well-crafted, dedicated upsell landing page.

An upsell landing page is a conversion landing page. Like the sales letter landing page, the objective of the upsell landing page is to get the user to take the next step. It is designed to move the user along an order flow where an additional sale can be made.   Continue

How sales letters convert visitors into buyers

Sales letter landing pages pre-date the Internet in that they resemble traditional direct response sales letters.

A sales letter landing page is a conversion landing page. Its objective is to convert the casual visitor into a paid customer.

Sales letter landing pages are traditional direct response sales letters designed to maximize the conversion rate for a paid product. Often, the very same sales letter landing page, with minor but significant modifications, can be used in both email and postal direct marketing programs.   Continue

Database marketing 101: The money is in the list

Your online marketing campaign is worthless if you don’t secure the email addresses of visitors to your website and get their permission to follow up with them.

We’ve all heard the phrase a thousand times, since the dawn of postal direct response marketing, “the money is in the list.”

Make no mistake about it. List building with rapid conversion landing pages is the lifeblood of your online marketing campaign. You must build a database of loyal individuals to whom revenue-generating products may be promoted on a regular basis.   Continue

Starting an online relationship with a low-risk transaction

Requesting an email address in exchange for permission to send additional offers

Dedicated landing pages are hardcore, direct response pages. Their only goal is to get the user to complete a transaction.

Dedicated landing pages are designed to receive targeted website traffic and convert users into buyers or subscribers. They can coincidentally attract organic traffic, but are designed primarily to convert traffic, regardless of the source.

Dedicated landing pages are designed to receive targeted website traffic and convert users into buyers or subscribers. They can coincidentally attract organic traffic, but are designed primarily to convert traffic, regardless of the source.   Continue

Attracting and Converting Traffic with Glossary and Directory Landing Pages

Glossary and directory landing pages succeed when they provide users the information they seek—either a definition or a link to an article or product.

A glossary landing page, as the name suggests, is a glossary on a website that lists dictionary-like definitions of words, phrases or concepts.

Glossary landing pages attract traffic and include conversion architecture that urges users to subscribe or engage in some other transaction. Like the article landing page, the objective of the glossary landing page is to capture the user’s interest in the editorial content and lead him to a transaction.   Continue

The Importance of Article Landing Pages

The objective of the article landing page is to be picked up by search engines, capture the user’s interest and lead the user to a transaction.

Most website users are familiar with organic landing pages. Whether on an Internet hub, a retail site, or a membership website, organic landing pages contain content that is of interest to the user.

Generally, organic landing pages are wide open and full of content that the publisher has designed to be attractive to users and search engines. Essentially, an organic landing page is trying to get an Internet user to find it using the Google, Yahoo and MSN search engines.   Continue