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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).

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

If you struggle with determining paywall pricing and strategy, you’re not alone.
In recent years, publishers have been testing paywalls, and for good reason. Hearst, for example, tested a paywall that changed based on what the reader was consuming. Instead of letting editors choose which content was free, and which was premium, the habits of first-time readers predict

Should You Put Subscription Revenue First?

Headlines have been brimming lately with news publishers like The New York Times, The Guardian and Wired taking back their profits with paywalls and paid content. The New York Times made 60% of last year’s revenue from subscription sales, The Guardian’s 800,000 subscribers are now accounting for more revenue than advertisers, and Wired has followed their lead by instituting a new $20 annual subscription. It’s clear that publishers are no longer afraid to charge for content, and subscription revenue goals are at the forefront. And I think there are three reasons for it.

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

Subscription Marketing: How One Publisher Doubled Revenues in 12 Months

Three ways membership offers beat subscription marketing offers
We are big proponents of both web magazines and web libraries, plus various collections and special issues that can be derived from them to create robust membership products.
We recently had the privilege of taking over all membership and subscription marketing for a long time publishing partner and winner of numerous community awards.

How to Triple Your Response Rates with a Web Library

Would you like to triple the response to your current email promotions and sales pages? Because that’s exactly what we’re seeing happen when publishers stop promoting their magazines and start promoting their web library.

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

How to Sell All-for-One Subscription Products with a Membership Offer and Increase Online Profits

How to turn single products into bundled subscription products that can be sold as a membership club for substantially higher profits
Some of your customers will want one of your products, and others will want more. But how many will buy the first and never return, and how can you generate continuous revenue through subscription products

The 6 Most Important Email Analytics for Magazine Publishers

How to turn six email analytics metrics into a big picture about the performance and plans for digitally marketing your publication

How to Create Overwhelming Value for Subscribers

At Mequoda, we have the privilege of marketing more than 200 premium subscription products including magazines, newsletters, and memberships that spark a myriad of ideas on how to create value.

How to Build Email Marketing Lists Using 3 Hidden Assets

You may be sitting on three significant hidden assets that you can use to build your email marketing lists quickly
Do you realize that you might be sitting on a few opportunities to increase your email marketing lists? In the investments world, hidden assets are considered those that don’t show up on a balance sheet. Real

The 3 Keys to Success for Multiplatform Publishers

When we look at the most successful multiplatform publishers we know intimately, like our publishing partners and close colleagues, we are usually able to determine what sets them apart from publishing companies that struggle.

Even within our own Mequoda ecosystem, we have more than 60 special interest media websites, serving more than seven million daily email subscribers. Each month, our network welcomes more than 40 million website visitors. But these websites don’t all run the same. Just like Ferrari, we can build the same car for everyone, but some win a lot more races. So why is that?

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. They’ve been able to get customers to pay $9+ per month as a membership website. Meanwhile, magazines have a hard time getting people to subscribe for $10 for a whole year. Netflix is also currently worth

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.

Sell More Magazine Subscriptions Online Using the Mequoda Method

At Mequoda, we’ve crunched the numbers and discovered how beautifully email newsletters work to drive revenue. It’s not the traffic that comes to your site, which is the prevailing view among folks in all industries who jumped on the bandwagon early. Back in those days, it was all about impressions! Eyeballs on your page! After all, if they show up on your website, they’re bound to subscribe to your magazine, right?

Wrong.

How to Make Your Magazine Library More Valuable

Using back-issues and other types of media to create a more robust and valuable magazine library
If magazine libraries and magazine memberships are being combined with magazine subscriptions to transform the publishing industry into a growth medium, magazine libraries are the nexus of this trend.
In this post, we’ll look at how two savvy magazine publishers have

How to Price Your Magazine Membership

How to use the principles of economic behaviorism, contrast pricing, and Six Sigma marketing to maximize magazine membership revenue and renewals
Earlier this week, we discussed how savvy publishers are combining their legacy magazine subscriptions with magazine libraries to create magazine memberships using the Internet.
Now we’ll we take a look at how publishers can use contrast pricing and the principles of economic

Do You Really Need a CMS or CXMS for your Membership Website?

Your membership 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

What is a Magazine Membership?

How to transform your magazine subscription business into a magazine membership business with one new product, and three new types of recycled content.
A magazine membership includes two components; a magazine subscription and a magazine library.
Magazine subscriptions, of course, are quite familiar to you if you are a magazine publishing company— they are the future

How Can You Improve Engagement as a Publisher?

This week we’re focusing on engagement, in How Can Engagement (E) Be Improved? The ‘E’ in the Mequoda Method’s ACEM, is really about retention, and the idea that if you’re a subscription-based publisher, that the link with relationship with your customer is key.

Double Your Revenue With an All-Access Offer

How to use web editions, collections and libraries to double your revenue 
Are you still selling your magazine on one platform? Sure, print magazines smell good and even look good on a coffee table, but the most successful subscription and membership marketers we know are leveraging more than paper to increase profits.

What are they doing exactly? They’re

How to Capture and Convert Web Visitors

ACEM doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but if you’ve been following along for awhile, you know this acronym is baked into everything we do here at Mequoda.

3 Steps to Make Your Publishing Business Worth More by 2020

It’s entirely possible that your publishing business is worth much more than you might think. You might be trapped thinking about your company like a print publisher, and because of that, your assets are being under-leveraged. Let me suggest three easy steps to unlocking that value.

How to Use Six Sigma for Membership 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 publishing partners—who publish on multiple platforms, run several premium membership websites, and have helped define our pricing best practices—will see a drop in paid memberships when they stop testing. I told this to a premium content partner who went from having some of the highest conversion rates of our partners to having our worst performing rates, and we believed the culprit was a lack of membership offer testing with new offers, like a 30-day free trial.

5 Expectations of Web Magazine Consumers

Web magazine consumers like to read their magazines like they read their news – online.
Users are becoming more accustomed to viewing magazine content in the form of web magazines. Web editions are built like web pages, so they can be displayed on any mobile or desktop device, and users are as familiar with the interface as

Double Your Email Capture Rate (ECR) to Boost Overall Revenue

Five steps to increase your email capture rate starting today
Converting website visitors into email subscribers is a key metric driver of your membership website. At Mequoda, we currently operate more than a dozen membership marketing systems in partnership with some of the country’s leading content brands including Harvard University, Hearst Magazines and Yankee Publishing.

Testing website conversion

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 premium membership website running and how much familiarity you have with third-party fulfillment systems.
Periodical publishers and other membership-based organizations do not run the same kind of business as most others do on the web, so why do so many

30 Great Sources for Magazine Trends

We aim to be one of the best sources for magazine trends online, but we do it with a whole lot of help from our brothers and sisters in the industry.

Below we’ve compiled a list of the best portals, the best influencers, and the best reports on magazine trends available online. If you have more to add, please share your favorites with us in the comments.

Email Marketing Guidelines for Opting People Into Your List

One of the most important email marketing guidelines you’ll encounter is how to confirm subscribers to your email list, and there’s always time to change your mind.
When you think of email marketing guidelines, you probably think of headlines, subject lines, calls to action, and button colors.

At Mequoda, we currently operate more than a dozen membership

One Thing Top Magazine Companies Have in Common

When you think of the top magazine companies, you probably imagine Time, Cosmopolitan, or Better Homes & Gardens. If you publish a magazine, try to instead think of the magazine media companies in your niche. Comparing a niche magazine to a general-interest publication will leave you empty-handed in the idea department.

39 Ways to Sell New Multiplatform Membership Programs

39 ways to increase your Internet audience, revenue, and profits through new multiplatform membership programs
We currently operate more than a dozen membership marketing systems in partnership with some of the country’s leading content brands including Harvard University, Hearst magazines and Yankee Publishing. The tips and advice provided in this article are drawn from our direct experience around building

Beyond Paywalls: 3 Ways Magazine Publishers Sell More Subscriptions

Since most magazine publishers are competing for these dollars and losing the battle, the need for revenue from subscriptions increases every day.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Free in Multiplatform Publishing

What’s “free” to the naked eye isn’t exactly free. It costs money to produce a product, even when it’s recycled. And for the user, they pay either with their eyeballs and data on an ad-driven site, or with their email address on a product-driven site.

Just think of all the “free” that you give away on your website:

Subscription Marketing: How to Sell News, Instructional, and Advisory Content

In subscription marketing, the type of magazine content you sell, matters. However, the strategies you use to sell it, work across niches and industries.
In our 2018 Mequoda Magazine Consumer Study, we discovered that out of all the paid types of magazine content available online, adults in the US pay for news, most. If you’re in

How to Double and Triple Email Revenue in a Few Weeks

Improving email revenue? I certainly didn’t learn that one in school, and you probably didn’t either. In fact, in four years of journalism school, I never even had a single lesson in newspaper economics.

My professors were experienced reporters and editors, but none had ever figured out the business of publishing a newspaper. And none had ever met a payroll.

Write Better Subscription Marketing Copy By Learning From the Greats

In 1926, a long-form print ad for the U.S. School of Music was written by John Caples, and the headline read, “They Laughed When I Sat Down At the Piano, But When I Started to Play!” It’s been noted as one of the most perfect headlines ever written.

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.

Executive Council Updates: Attract More Subscribers with Views of Paid Content on your Haven System!

We would like to introduce you to the Haven Advanced Metered Paywall Manager. This plugin restricts access to paid publication content, but allows nonsubscribers to access a limited number of premium articles per month. The number of articles that can be viewed for free can be defined in the plugin settings up to a maximum

Selling Subscriptions While You Sleep

I woke up this morning thinking about all the great ways we’ve discovered to sell subscriptions on the Internet. Yes, these are the things that I dream about. The idea that while I’m deeply asleep, the systems we manage are busily selling subscriptions to magazines and newsletters and premium memberships that include all sorts of benefits to customers who are awake and spending money while I’m sound asleep makes me a happy guy.

8 Ways to Sell Digital Magazine Subscriptions

It’s amazing to look back to just a year or so ago, when digital magazines were still something of a novelty. Today, it’s a given that print publishers will soon create a digital version of their product if they haven’t already.

Executive Council Update: Help Make your Support Tickets as Efficient as Possible

This week we wanted to share some best practices and tips for submitting support tickets. To help ensure you are able to receive the fastest response possible, please include the following information with each support request:

If there is more than one step to the ticket, please have each step numbered. If the items are

Protected: Executive Council Update: Score a 100% on Your Blockbuster Posts

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How to Build a Multiplatform Website for Multiplatform Content

A multi-platform website enables a publisher to create dynamic content on multiple platforms. Some of these platforms might be online streaming through a membership library of training videos, or it could be a web magazine—formatted for, and read on the web.

But multi-platform website doesn’t just refer to the number of ways you recycle content across text, video, graphics and other mediums. It also means your website is responsive and will show visitors these different types of media, no matter what device they use: desktop, laptop, smartphone, tablet, phablet, whatever you’ve got. More thoughts on responsive design.

Digital Magazine Marketing: 7 Ways to Promote your Digital Magazine

If you’re making plans for your own digital publication, it behooves you to also plan how to make money from it with strategic digital magazine marketing.

After all, buying a list and mailing a big direct mail package, in hopes of getting a bunch of people to subscribe as we all did in the old print days, is rather like trying to sell 21st-century tablets themselves at an old-fashioned general store where hardware, ladies’ hats and pickles all shared the same space, and the proprietor fetched everything on your list, then wrapped up your purchases in brown paper and twine.

Audience Development Strategies for Instagram Stories and Chatbots

Facebook and Twitter were once major focuses of audience development strategies. Some digital publishers still receive favorable traffic from these social sources, but we’re also seeing other social networks and strategies gain popularity. Today we’re looking deeper into this news to see how it’s impacting publishers.

How Does Your Average Email Open Rate Compare?

Your average email open rate can only get better (with these tips)
The thing about metrics and the KPIs you track is that everyone needs a baseline. So while you can compare yourself to the rest of the publishing industry, the best thing to compare yourself to is yourself.

With that said, the average email open rate

What is a Roundtable Event?

Publishers who are generating revenue through multiple platforms may include events on their list of products. If you’re in the B2B publishing niche, you may see your competitors throwing roundtable events and wonder, “what is a roundtable event?”

New Hires Expand Reach to New Markets for These Multiplatform Publishers

We’re seeing new developments from some multiplatform publishing giants, including Hearst and The Wall Street Journal, that involve a focus on content and digital experience.

10 Digital Publishing Tips and Strategies for Multiplatform Magazine Publishers

Only five years after the advent of the tablet, strategies for successful digital magazine publishing are starting to sort themselves out and deliver measurable results. Of course at Mequoda, we’re all about documenting these things so digital publishers don’t have to re-invent the wheel.

Here are 10 things you must do if you want to join the ranks of millionaire publishers … a goal we think is worthy of all digital publishers today.

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.