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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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3 Tips for Better Converting Landing Pages

Train your landing page templates to convert better with these helpful hints

Conversions help the world go round for online publishers.

Whether these conversions are casual visitors to registered members, or the conversion entails a direct sale, the process is the lifeblood for online publications.   Continue

5 Mistakes You’re Probably Making On Your Email Thank-You Page

Are you ditching your readers as soon as they subscribe to your email newsletter?

When someone signs up for your email newsletter, you have just one chance to make a great first impression that subscribers may hold onto for the duration of their subscription.

An email thank-you page is a page that we don’t look at very often. I mean, why would we? The problem with this is that thank-you pages often have outdated copy, old promotions and broken links.   Continue

10 Social Media Plugins That Encourage Content Sharing

Social media plugins that get the content sharing ball rolling

If we created content just to share with our inner circles, then what we’d have is our own niche social network. The walls would be up, and there would be a big “NO TRESSPASSERZ” sign hung from a fence outside.

But we do create content that’s meant to be shared. We want everyone to read it. If we’re ad-driven and rely on page impressions for ad sales, then we really want everyone to read our articles.   Continue

3 Benefits of Testing Landing Pages

Discover what you can gain from testing landing pages, and the associate costs that may apply to the process

Do you understand the benefits behind testing your landing pages? What about the costs? Time and money are needed in the testing process, but the results can be well worth your investment…and then some.

In yesterday’s Mequoda Daily, we discussed multi-variate and A/B testing. Utilizing both of these landing page tests can help you increase the number of conversions you obtain throughout your entire website – from actual product sales to free email subscriptions.   Continue

Landing Page Optimization: Multi-Variate vs. A/B Testing

The pros and cons of using these types of landing page optimization tests

How many of you regularly test your landing pages and landing page templates?

If you are like many publishers, you’re probably raising your hand partially. You likely test your landing pages, but probably not as often as you should.   Continue

Why You Should Use Google Analytics’ Advanced Filter

In an online world heavily focused on user engagement, Google Analytics’ Advanced Filter can help

Google Analytics’ Advanced Filter can help you determine the most engaging content on your website.

This information can then dictate what topics you cover the most, which is similar to the process we’ve discussed before about creating blockbuster SEO articles.   Continue

Using Google Analytics and More ‘Social’ Tips

These Websites Deliver the Goods
With America’s baseball all-star game coming up on Tuesday, let me present an all-star lineup of websites that I’ve come across lately—with previews of the information they present.

GOOGLE ANALYTICS FOR SOCIAL: Funny to start in the U.K. after my American introduction, but since SIPA will be in London next week with   Continue

5 Ways to Reduce Bounce Rates On Your Articles

Five simple lessons that we’ve learned from bounce rates on

Being the analytics junkie that I am, I frequent Mequoda’s Google Analytics dashboard often. Recently, I’ve been on a personal mission to reduce bounce rates on our articles. When someone “bounces” from your site, it means that they came, they didn’t find what they were looking for, and they left quickly.

Google’s algorithm pays close attention to bounce rates on the search results that they list. If someone clicks a link in their results and immediately hits the back button and comes back to the results page to click on another article, they take notice. Too many bounces from your listing can cause Google to drop you deeper and deeper into their results. So it’s very important that when someone clicks on your article in a search engine, that you keep them on your page for a little while.   Continue

7 Metrics Worth Monitoring

Discover what are believed to be the most important metrics for measuring the performance of your online business

In the digital landscape, Internet marketers have the opportunity to measure many activities.

What metrics are truly worth monitoring though? This is a worthy question to ponder, especially since there is only so much time in a workday…you want to be monitoring the best metrics to properly deduce how well your site is performing, while efficiently managing your time.   Continue

Content Management Systems Evolve with Times

A Good Take on Content Management Systems

There was a very interesting story on the Poynter website last week titled “4 ways content management systems are evolving & why it matters to journalists.” Founded as the Modern Media Institute in 1975, Poynter remains affiliated with the St. Petersburg Times, Florida’s largest newspaper. With the lessening of the newspaper industry over the last few years, Poynter has changed its focus, now including this line on its website: “Today’s Poynter still helps newsrooms; but we assist the independent entrepreneur, too.” When it comes to building communities, Poynter can be a great resource.

In his article, Matt Thompson writes (with journalists in mind): “…it’s hard to get people interested in the one technology that they have to use every day, the thing that either inhibits or enables the space-age storytelling they want to do—their content management system.”   Continue

5 Quick No-Nonsense Landing Page Tips

Give your landing page readers everything but the kitchen sink
Landing pages are fickle. You can change the color of a button and it can increase conversion rates by 30% or more. You can change the headline on your landing page and lower your bounce rate dramatically. There are always going to be endless opportunities to improve any and every landing page you ever publish.   Continue

3 Design Tips for Better-Converting Landing Page Templates

If you want a better conversion rate for your landing pages, these landing page template designs are worth consider

When a casual visitor enters your site, you only have a few seconds to make a good impression. If your design is unpleasant, or your landing page templates are hard to maneuver about, then the visitor will likely leave…and they may never come back.

In this scenario, you never captured the visitors’ attention. The potential relationship with a target audience member was never initiated.   Continue

Apple Softens Stance on In-App Subscriptions

Apple Eases Back on In-App Subscriptions

SIPAlert Daily has been following the ongoing saga over Apple’s decision a few months ago to keep 30% of the revenue from new subscriptions and media purchases made in an iPhone or iPad application through its App store. Last week I wrote about The Financial Times introducing a mobile Web application aimed at luring readers away from Apple’s iTunes App Store. “We don’t quite know what will happen,” said Rob Grimshaw, managing director of

Well, a lot apparently. The pressure from places such as FT and other large publishers—Knight Kiplinger wondered aloud at SIPA 2011 last week that his company has to decide “who we want to do business with”—seems to be having an effect. Quietly, at the end of last week, Apple changed its guidelines on pricing, as reported by the site MacRumors.   Continue

3 Aesthetically Pleasing Social Media WordPress Plugins

Share your articles in style with one of these social media WordPress plugins guaranteed to increase tweets, likes and +1’s

Before the Internet, one of the ways we shared information was by talking on the telephone. You know – a landline. If someone wasn’t home, you had to wait for them to get home. If you got lost driving to their house, you couldn’t just give them a buzz on their cellphone – you had to start asking strangers. Any message you wanted to deliver, you needed to do it with preparation and well in advance.

Thankfully today we have smart phones that make it even easier to share on the go. If someone gets lost on the way to your house, you can text them directions or an address which will open in a GPS-enabled application. If we have a party, we can make a Facebook invitation and send it while sitting on the bus, rather than buying invitations and licking stamps all afternoon. We share pictures, directions, locations and websites every single day.   Continue

3 eCommerce Tips for 2011

Strategies online publishers are using or considering in modern times

Sometimes commerce strategies emerge online that are truly remarkable by reaching consumers in right place.

For instance, mobile’s reach is enormous and has aided in sales for retailers. The iPad and subscription websites have also aided in creating better experiences for audiences. Below you will find more information on how mobile, the iPad and subscription websites have helped generate revenue in 2011.   Continue

3 Tips for Story Telling on your Landing Pages

Sharing a story may open your audience’s eyes to the benefits of your products

Selling products can be difficult, even if there are great benefits associated with the product.

In today’s digital world, it’s easy for competition to emerge. Whether the competition poses a real threat is another question, but regardless, the presence of many products and services develops.   Continue

The 3 Best Free Reports of 2011

Internet strategies evolve quickly; keep up to date with informative free reports

Think about last year’s Internet strategy…what were you doing to build audiences and sell products?

Were you heavily using micropublishing and social networks like Twitter and Facebook to increase website traffic and further your content marketing reach?   Continue

Getting a Good Read on Your Business

SIPA 2011 speakers bring their books and knowledge to the table

Josh Bernoff, co-author of “Empowered: Unleash Your Employees, Energize Your Customers, Transform Your Business,” delivers a keynote on The Dynamics of Peer Influence. Monday, June 6, 8:30-9:15 a.m.

“Empowering your employees doesn’t work unless you have actually designed a management framework that enables them to work together and go from, I have a great idea, to, I am actually doing something that can help customers and it is in line with the company strategy,” he said.   Continue

How to Check Website Traffic & Increase Visitors

Learn how to check website traffic and compare your print to web ratio

The amount of visitors who come to your website can directly correlate to how much revenue you are getting from all of that traffic. That is, if you have the proper conversion architecture set up on every page of your website.

The chain of events goes something like this…

Someone comes in from a tweet, reads your post, sees that you offer a free white paper on the same topic, joins your email list, downloads your white paper, gets an email from you about a related webinar, purchases the webinar, attends the webinar…. and the world continues to turn.


Rapidly Convert Casual Visitors with Ease

A rapid conversion landing page housing a free downloadable is an intriguing offer for content seekers

In yesterday’s Mequoda Daily, we discussed nine components for SEO blogging that helps create informative articles that will have a better chance of getting indexed by search engines.

One of the components listed in yesterday’s article discussed the inclusion of a free report link. This link will always lead visitors to a rapid conversion landing page (RCLP) which incorporate long-form copy explaining all of the benefits surrounding the free download.   Continue

Does Your Landing Page Design Match Your Target Audience?

Every landing page design is not for every audience
We’re all superficial people at heart because we like things that look fancy and expensive. An ugly Coach bag on the rack will sell for $300 because it’s got a bunch of giant C’s on it and you won’t even need to publicly brag about it because will already identify it as expensive just by looking at it.

This translates the same online, where you have only a moment to convince someone that your website is worth looking at for more than a couple seconds.   Continue

Auditing Your Website: Landing Page Templates and Beyond

Tips on how to make you website better

If your high-priority landing pages have design flaws or content errors, you may be missing out on fruitful relationships.

The website is the core of online business. If your site isn’t performing to its full potential, then your business is technically suffering. And although you may still see positive results and revenue generation, you’d likely be missing out on even better results.   Continue

MPA-IMAG 2011: Focus on the Screen, Not the Device

August Home’s Don Peschke encourages publishers to focus on the customer experience and proves once again “he’s the smartest guy in the room”

Andy Clurman, President & COO of Active Interest Media, summed up Peschke’s presentation perfectly at the MPA’s IMAG event last week in San Francisco. Clurman asked out loud, “How is it that year after year, this publisher from the mid-west proves to all of us that he’s the smartest guy in the room?” I couldn’t have said it better.

Peschke’s motto has always been to surround his customers with service. His company currently publishes five magazines, several SIPs, which take no advertising; they produce a TV show and they sell a host of other products, including tools, lumber and accessories, in their Iowa-based brick-and-mortar (and online) store.   Continue

Million Dollar Landing Page Templates Released

Discover 11 of the best million dollar landing pages and receive two free best-practice landing page templates that are fully customizable

Receive your FREE digital copy of Million Dollar Landing Page Templates now and receive two free best-practice, customizable landing page templates as a bonus

We have completely revamped our free landing page templates white paper.

Now you can receive 10 best-practice landing page templates that have generated upwards of $1 million and two free landing page templates that can be customized to fit your needs.   Continue

The 4 Secrets of High Converting Landing Pages

The keys to a high converting landing page is urgency and fresh content

Few things destroy the credibility of a landing page sales letter more quickly and effectively than content that’s out of date. How can we expect the prospect to take our message seriously if we’re not even interested enough in the content to keep it up to date?

Even evergreen products can go out of date quickly by not updating the biography of an author who has made well-known changes in their career.   Continue

3 Reasons To Perform Website Usability Testing This Year

Why it’s important to let go and allow your users define your website

If there’s anything we’ve learned from the great success of Anne Holland’s new venture, Which Test Won, it’s that we must test our websites to find out what works. Also, that whatever we think will convert better, is probably not the one that does.

However, in addition to choosing the right copy and web elements for your landing pages, improved website usability has a direct impact on the success of your website. Website users are only a click away from leaving your website when it does not allow then to find what they want fast.   Continue

Circulation Rising for Newspaper’s E-Editions

New data shows a 20% increase for top digital newspapers

New data from the Audit Bureau of Circulations’ Fas-Fax show a rise in circulation for the top 25 newspapers with digital editions.

This 20% increase, as of last March, had total digital circulation at 1,630,125. The year prior had a circulation of 1,363,212.   Continue

3 Website Homepage Ideas For Using Photos to Increase Clicks

When someone happens upon our homepage, it’s usually because they either typed in your web address, or because you have a link out there that goes to your homepage. Perhaps it’s on an article comment, or maybe it’s on a direct mail piece.

That’s why, for these new visitors, it’s important to make a great first impression with your website homepage and we think it’s important, if you have the budget for photography or stock photographs, to see what you may be able to do on your own site.   Continue

4 Readability Tips for Better Landing Page Designs

Which elements make for an easy to read landing page?

No matter how you cut it, you’re going to need to write lengthy sales letter copy for any landing page.

Even a free product requires at least 300 words to get indexed in Google and you’re not going to fill that quota without a little story and feature list. You’re certainly not going to get ranked on any keywords if you don’t have enough copy to sprinkle them in throughout the page.

So with that said, you now have to think about how you’re going to organize all of these words in a way that is easy to skim. Of course you want them to read every word that you write, but more importantly you want them to find everything they want to know about the product:   Continue

Using Landing Pages to Sell Products

Insight on creating sales letter landing pages from our Landing Page Handbook

Download a FREE digital copy of our Landing Page Handbook now

With all the content present on the Internet today, it’s important to create landing pages that are designed with irresistible offers that intrigue visitors.

If you operate a commercial website, the goal of your website’s architecture should be intended to get the visitor to take action. This action could range from buying a product or service, or simply getting the visitor to sign up for a free email newsletter. Either outcome will mark the beginning of a sustainable relationship that publishers and marketers should nurture.   Continue

New Research Shows How Tablets Change Magazine Consumption

8 insights on expectation and behavior associated with digital magazines

Digital magazines aren’t being treated like traditional magazines.

A recent consumer research study conducted by Bonnier R&D and ad agency CP+B was designed to show “how people consume media on tablet devices like the iPad.”   Continue

4 Ways To Make Your Landing Page Quick, Clear & Easily Understood

The most effective landing pages follow these four checklist items

Have you ever seen a sales letter that included a bulleted list of items… and the last item in the list said, “and much, much more?” Well, here’s a news flash…nobody with an IQ higher than room temperature believes that there is “much, much more.”

If you actually have more benefits or features, put them in the list.   Continue

SEO Analysis: Things We’ve Learned Since The Google Panda Updates

A little SEO analysis on Google’s Panda update

Google’s Panda update is pretty robust. As always, they’re telling folks to “write good content and they will come”. However, we can only truly define “good content” by looking at the results of the algorithm update. Here is some of the SEO analysis going on that others are taking notice of. If you’ve noticed anything personally, feel free to share it with us and our readers in the comments.   Continue

Landing Page Optimization: 4 Mistakes to Avoid

Suggestions for landing page optimization that will help your landing pages perform better

Have you put enough attention into landing page optimization? If you’ve made the four mistakes listed below, then your landing pages could probably be performing better.

At the Mequoda Summit West 2011, Matt Humphrey, Chief Marketing Officer at Fortis Business Media, and Rafael Cardoso, Senior Online Marketing Manager at Business and Legal Resources presented a session on landing page testing and optimization.   Continue

The New York Times Paywall: Then and Now

Is the “walled garden” paying off for the New York Times?

About two weeks ago, The New York Times put up their paywall again, asking users to pay for content. To a lot of people, this is something new, but we remember back in 2007 when they did it the first time around and garnered half a million subscribers in the first twelve months.   Continue

Insight on Developing IT Partnerships

Discover how Carl Kravetz, Publisher of Vida y Salud, has implemented IT partnerships to handle his technology requirements

In yesterday’s Mequoda Daily, we discussed six online tools that can be used as technology partners.

These tools are all different but work together to help build on the overall success of a website.   Continue

Click This: 4 Tips for Creating Better Buttons & Text Links

How to create links and buttons on your landing page templates that users want to click

There is not a more common problem with landing page marketing, than designers who can’t take a user from the story to the sale.

Links and buttons are the vehicles that allow a prospect to navigate your landing page. Your objective should be to make them as easy as possible to understand and use.

Regardless of how long your sales letter landing page is, or how many “order” buttons you imbed in the copy, clicking on the link or button should bring the user to a simple, easy-to-follow order page. Too many order options for too many offers and products can be confusing. And the confused mind always says “No!”   Continue

Consider Eye-Tracking for Placement of Your Website’s Most Important Content

An eye-opening session from SES in New York

Have you every wondered where your users are looking on your website? Are they paying attention to your most important content, the advertisements on your site or the images you display?

Knowing where your audience looks on your webpages will help you better serve them with content. This, in turn, will help build a strong community around your website.   Continue

Analyze Your Inbound Links to Increase Website Traffic

Increasing website traffic by building more quality inbound links

The value of your website is determined by how many people visit.

This is true for both advertising-driven websites and product-driven sites, because a boost in traffic is directly related to how many conversion opportunities you’ll recieve. If you get 1,000 unique visitors, you have 1,000 opportunities to turn them into an email subscriber or paying customer.   Continue

How to Get Customer Testimonials That Convert

A 4-step checklist for optimizing your landing page with testimonials

When someone tells you what an amazing job you are doing, or how your product has changed their life, they are giving you a testimonial. They are testifying to your credibility and overall awesomeness.

Now that social media and online reviews are amplifying word-of-mouth marketing, it’s becoming easier and easier to quote someone talking about your product. Simply doing a search for your product using can often give you valuable insight about what people are saying.

If restaurant websites are taking official testimonials from foodie blogs, review sites like and notes from Tweets, there’s no reason a publisher can’t use their own resources. If a blogger reviews your product, feel free to snag a clip of their review. If someone mentions you on Twitter, that counts too!   Continue

What Does Your Website Homepage Say About You?

Does your website homepage design tell the user what you want them to do?

We all want our websites to look cool and sexy. When someone see’s our website, we want them to say “WOW!” Unfortunately many people will see your website and say “WOW” followed up by, “I have no idea what’s going on here”.

On content-heavy websites, finding space to provide important marketing links is a challenge. Actual eye-tracking tests have revealed that people use a “Z” shaped scanning pattern when scouring web pages for information.   Continue

How to Make a Membership Website Work

Three quick tips on how to make a membership website work by letting your users define the content

The main revenue source for a membership website comes from its users, which means that 9 times out of 10, membership websites accept no advertising. What this means is that any membership website that’s going to be successful will need to focus solely on the user-experience.

So how can you get better at convincing people to join your paid community?   Continue

4 Tricks for Saving Landing Page Visitors for Later

How to design your websites and landing page templates to keep visitors coming back

The “bounce” rate of a website is an annoying metric. When someone comes to your websites and “bounces” back to the search engine to find another listing, you’re left with the following questions:

Why did they leave?
Did they find what they were looking for?
Did we offend them?
How can I get them to come back?

Once you’ve captured your prospect’s interest by getting them to your website, it’s important to keep your name, product, and/or service in front of them by using the following checklist.   Continue

Is Burying Your Frequency a Big Website Design Mistake?

Three publishers who pay attention to content freshness in their website homepage designs

When searching for something in a search engine, we’re typically searching for the most up-to-date information, or the most relevant information. Especially in circles like finance and business, we are looking for breaking-news type items.

Looking at stock predictions from three years ago won’t help us invest for the future, just like reading about how to set up a Facebook page from three years ago will be confusing and inaccurate today.   Continue

The Social Network Subscription Website Business Model

Discover three popular types of social network subscription website models

A social network subscription website is a powerful networking tool that relies primarily on user-generated content.

Social network subscription websites are used to create a setting where people with similar interests can use the virtual world to make real connections—whether purely social relationships or specifically BtoB networks. It’s the online version of meet and greet.   Continue

Update on Apple’s 30%; Outrage and Strategies

Apple’s 30% Take Triggers Outrage and Strategies

Let’s update where we are on the Apple “30%” issue. As you probably know by now, Apple announced a week ago that they will keep 30% of the revenue from new subscriptions and media purchases made in an iPhone or iPad application through its App store.

Wrote Rob Pegoraro in his Washington Post Fast Forward column on Sunday: “Because Apple doesn’t just want to offer the store’s one-click buying as an option to companies that sell subscriptions or extra content inside programs. It will require that they add App Store transactions—and demand that they offer users the same price in the App Store and at their own Web site… Essentially, Apple proposes to annex a developer’s subscription business—then charge that firm 30 percent for the privilege.” (his italics)   Continue

Increase Digital Revenue with These Strategies

Discover ways to make your digital endeavors more profitable

Publishers are always looking for new ways to generate revenue online.

Since the Internet is consistently evolving, new opportunities arise for publishers.   Continue

10 WordPress Membership Plugins That Work

Two handfuls of WordPress membership plugins that you can use to turn your free website into a paid membership product

If you’re running a website on WordPress, you probably know that it’s not meant to be run as a membership website. However, being as flexible as WordPress is, you’ll find many publishers who have turned it into a full-fledged membership or subscription site.

WordPress membership plugins are essential in saving both money in time when building a memberhip website. Here are some of the top ten that get a lot of buzz and compliments.   Continue

A 4-Part Checklist for Webifying Landing Pages

Landing page templates that use technology should enhance the sales message, not replace it

Ten years ago, Internet users were completely comfortable and happy to use the web as a reading medium. Websites that were purely text and simple images were enough to get their engines running.

These days, even six year-olds would scoff at the simplistic web pages we used to consider acceptable. Websites with no graphic design or style sheets aren’t taken seriously, and in most cases, probably still bear an old copyright of 1999 if you look close enough.   Continue

Surprise Surprise – Pop-Ups Work!

For the good of list-building: It’s finally acceptable to add a little “POP” to your website homepage design

We don’t like to call them popups; we like to call them “floaters”. Sounds better right? Although a Floater Order Form looks like a separate document floating on top of a website page, it is really just a layer in the HTML code.

To the user, it looks a lot like a magazine blow-in card. While printing blow-in cards and inserting them into print products is cheap, Floaters, like their Pop-Up predecessors, are virtually cost-less. Like blow-ins and Pop-Ups, Floaters can irritate users if over used or used to promote offers that seem out of context to website users.   Continue