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Tag: subscription website

At a subscription website, whether someone pays for the content or not, users subscribe in order to have content pushed (delivered) to them – by email, website, app or the U.S. mail – on a set schedule via their subscription.

A magazine subscription website and newsletter subscription website are, of course, familiar subscription products from far back in the print era, and portal subscription websites are Internet creations that share the same characteristic. In all three types of subscription websites, content is continually published and pushed to subscribers on a regular schedule.

In order to be a premium subscription website, the content being sold must stand out in the crowd to get customers to pay for it. By its very nature, the word premium means that the information product you’re creating is better than most of the products already available. It must meet an unmet customer need that’s compelling, valuable and easy to communicate.

Magazine and newsletter sites are usually premium (paid), and portals are free. Their purpose of a portal is to attract visitors with free content, convert them into email subscribers, and then push them to the magazine and newsletter subscription websites. They’re all valid and quite profitable website business models for publishers and are supported by Mequoda and our Haven Nexus CXMS.

One of the best things about subscription website publishing is that unlike a magazine, the website allows an observer to study all aspects of the publisher’s operation: content, design, curation, frequency, advertising and marketing. 

While many magazine and newsletter publishers have avoided building subscription websites, the rapid growth of tablet computers and the sale of tablet-based app subscriptions are convincing them to include digital subscription marketing in their core long-term publishing strategy.

However, as publishers begin to include website access in their long-term publishing strategy, they’re beginning to discover other ways of bundling web access into print and digital packages. The first, Universal Pricing, bundles platforms at a discount, but the second, Contrast Pricing, we’re finding is more profitable and gets consumers to pick higher priced bundles.

Success in subscription website publishing takes mastery. And no matter whether you’re just starting a subscription website or you already have one of the Internet’s successful subscription websites, you can learn and do more with your subscription website after you read our new FREE 130-page handbook, Subscription Website Publishing.

Mobile Lessons and Advice for Publishers

Asking the Right Questions and Getting Key Answers

“Now more than ever, it’s increasingly important for publishers to maintain a mobile presence,” Ben Bassi of CommonPlaces told a SIPA 2011 Conference session in June. “If you’re looking to optimize your site for mobile phones and tablets, there are a few different approaches.”

At a roundtable there, Greg Krehbiel of Kiplingers and a co-Conference Chair for the upcoming SIPA Marketing Conference in Miami, laid out a blueprint for your mobile strategy. The questions he asked included: “Why are you doing this? What do you sell that is uniquely mobile-friendly? How will you convert your content? Where will the purchase take place?” And “How will your mobile efforts integrate with your fulfillment system?”

Mequoda Strategy Bootcamp Prompts Website Launches

Step-by-step approach helps executives go from business idea to website launch and execution

Unlike our former bootcamp program that conceptualized content marketing, our new Mequoda System Strategy Bootcamp details specific actions for launching or relaunching an online business.

During this step-by-step seminar, publishers and CEOs absorb hands-on information that directly aids in the process of designing and launching an online business.

Week in Review: September 19th, 2011 – September 23rd, 2011

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

Get to Market Quickly with a Subscription Website

3 software options for building an open content subscription website

It’s not an online editor’s job to tell you how to create a website…but I do consider it my job to provide you with as much relevant information on that topic as I can.

At the Mequoda Summit East 2011, the Mequoda System Strategy Workshop introduced the entire 49-steps to building an online business to a crowd of people interested in content marketing and online publishing.

Building an Audience with Free Content

A collection of free reports that will help your audience development efforts

How quickly is your audience growing?

Have you been ramping up your audience development efforts at all?

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.

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.

Respect Your Email Marketing Lists: Make Unsubscribing Easy

Don’t be so needy – if someone on your email marketing list wants to go, let them go

When you are selling a subscription website, one of the most highly practiced rituals for keeping people subscribed is to make the unsubscription process a chore. Asking them to call a phone number in order to cancel their subscription makes the task a chore, which can end up getting put off for months, adding dollars to your pocket if you run a monthly subscription website.

However, when you try to practice this same approach in email marketing, the resulting “chore” can actually do you more damage than good, and here’s why. When you make it too hard to unsubscribe from your email list on your terms, they will end up unsibscribing on their own terms. That means you’re going to have subscribers hitting the “spam” button more frequently, which will result in you getting backlisted across multiple domains.

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.

What Gary Vaynerchuk Can Teach You About Being a Daily Online Publisher

If you thought your daily online publishing strategy was tough, try daily video publishing

When print magazines first entered the digital realm, they were—to put it lightly—not getting the concept of daily publishing. As publishers who were used to working against monthly or bi-monthly deadlines, it seemed absurd that they were now supposed to produce content like an average newsroom.

Slowly but surely, publishers saw how much their traffic increased, depending on the frequency of their content. If they posted once a day, they saw one big boost in traffic. If they posted three times a day, the might see three boosts. In fact, the more content they posted, the more pages were ranking in Google and the more long-tail traffic they were seeing as well.

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?

Week in Review: February 21st, 2011 – February 25th, 2011

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

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.

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.

Week in Review: February 14th, 2011 – February 18th, 2011

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

Creating the Perfect Digital Magazine

Discuss the most important characteristics of a digital magazine at the Mequoda Summit West 2011

In the Mequoda Daily yesterday, I talked about building a digital magazine subscription website and the future of digital magazine publishing.

Although it’s unclear how the future of digital magazines will look, there are some characteristics I believe will be incorporated in the most successful digital magazines of the future. I originally outlined these characteristics in a post entitled “The Perfect Digital Magazine”.

Discover the 9 Most Profitable Subscription Website Business Models

This free report discusses the value behind subscription websites, including the nine most profitable subscription website business models

Download a free digital copy of Building Subscription Websites: The 9 Most Profitable Website Business Models now

Subscription websites are becoming a more valuable component to online publishers. In fact, subscription websites are among the most profitable websites on the Internet.

As mobile and tablet devices become increasingly popular, subscription websites are being used at the core of the modern publishing revolution.

3 Thoughts on Digital Magazine Subscription Websites

Concerns that need to be addressed by publishers

The point of the digital magazine revolution appears to still be unclear to some.

For instance, I recently read an article entitled “A Race Between Digital and Print Magazines” from Bits, a New York Times blog.

Week in Review: February 7th, 2011 – February 11th, 2011

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

The Non-Scientific Approach to “Giving Away” Paid Content

The conundrum continues: How much should you give away on your membership websites?

There’s no scientific methodology behind subscription websites. Publishers with excellent conversion architecture can get away with giving away a lot of free content and still converting a large percentage of those free users into paid users.

Others still, have such a good reputation and and worth-while free trial that it doesn’t require giving anything away (other than the free trial) in order to get people in the door.

Free Report Friday – Building Subscription Websites

Learn about the nine most profitable subscription website business models

Download your free digital copy of Building Subscription Websites: The 9 Most Profitable Subscription Website Business Models now

Subscription websites have become a digital land of opportunity for online publishers. Discover the nine most profitable subscription website models and online publishing utilizing each model in our Building Subscription Websites free report.

The “Walled-Garden” Approach: How The Boston Globe Will Keep Free Subscribers Happy

The new split business model for subscription websites

So you’re a newspaper or magazine who’s watching the other publishers scramble around to create a solid online business model that will hold strong. Some of them make everything free, while many of the larger publishers are back in the mode of throwing up walls around their paid content.

This doesn’t have to be bad. You pay premium prices for the articles written for print, while oftentimes, you pay much less for quick articles that are posted on your website in a flash.

New 2011 Federal Laws for Selling Subscription Websites

President Obama signed the “Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act”, so here are the rules that apply to us.

A Subscription Website is an online information product. It is a gated, content-based site that requires registration and payment in order to view the content (or most of the content) that has been placed behind a firewall.

Similar to subscriber-supported print magazines or newsletters, subscription sites are considered user-supported—although some carry advertising. Subscription Websites compare to a book, an encyclopedia, or a library, but one that is online, frequently updated, and available 24/7.

In the past few days, President Obama signed the new “Restore Online Shoppers Confidence Act”, which is meant to, as you might have guessed, restore confidence in online shoppers. Most relevant to subscription websites, this act is important because it has some new rules that we need to double-check in our own practices to make sure we’re abiding by them.

Membership Subscription Website Archetype

A membership subscription website archetype provides paid members with a library of information on a specific topic of interest or a cluster of topics and creates a community of individuals who share a common interest.

Newsletter Subscription Website Archetype

A Newsletter Subscription Website Archetype is set up to build subscriptions for a related print or digital newsletter and to provide access to issues of the newsletter.

Learn About Building Subscription Websites from Mequoda Group

This free report from Mequoda Group discusses how online publishers can begin building subscription websites

(Nationwide)—There is a renewed interest in subscription websites. Online publishers and content marketers are seeing the value behind subscription websites as they are among the most profitable websites on the Internet.

Any content producer or online publisher that has a lot of great content to offer should consider whether or not a subscription website would be of benefit to them.

65% of Web Users Have Paid for Content

New evidence that subscription website models are valuable

We’ve discussed it before. Online consumers are willing to pay for content online, especially if it’s premium content.

The days of assuming everything online should be free may not be fully over, but the mindset has changed a bit as 65% of US Internet users have paid for some form of online content.

Social Network Subscription Website Archetype

A Social Network Subscription Website Archetype is a powerful networking took that relies primarily on user-generated content.

Portal Subscription Website Archetype

A Portal Subscription Website Archetype aggregates content from outside sources. Portals are intended to build and feed an audience; they are specifically designed for SEO, email marketing, list building, and lead generation.

Blog Subscription Website Archetype

A Blog Subscription Website Archetype blends publisher- and user-generated content that is updated frequently (daily, weekly, monthly) and consistently with articles posted by one or more authors and corresponding reader comments.

Reference Subscription Website Archetype

A Reference Subscription Website Archetype allows paid subscribers continued access to a library of content that is updated constantly with new information.

Magazine Subscription Website Archetype

A Magazine Subscription Website Archetype is set up to build subscriptions for a related print or digital magazine and to provide access to issues of the magazine.

Application Subscription Website Archetype

An Application Subscription Website Archetype allows access to specialized online software (an “app”) that allows users to input information, use calculators and/or search a proprietary database, and access results.

Periodical Subscription Website Archetype

A Periodical Subscription Website Archetype offers regularly updated news content that is intended to be consumed online, primarily in HTML, rather than downloaded.

Week in Review: December 13th, 2010 – December 17th, 2010

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

Subscription Website Archetype: The Application Website

What is an application website and what makes it a subscription website archetype?

While there is no single model for a Subscription Website, an application website is typically software based and allows users to download the software they desire internally. The Minimum Information Unit is a software application that often requires access to information in a proprietary database.

For most application websites, the majority of their revenue comes from user fees, and they usually accept little or no advertising. To keep fees rolling in, the application website publishers have to continue to provide customers with the information they want in an easily accessible manner.

Why Consumer Reports Rocks at Getting Subscribers

With 11 calls-to-action on the homepage alone, it’s no wonder why Consumer Reports has no trouble getting subscribers

With thousands of probable Turkey fryer accidents happening yesterday, I thought it would be an appropriate day to talk about We’ve mentioned Consumer Reports before in our FREE Subscription Website Design White Paper, but as the web changes, so do the websites we report on.

Today I wanted to talk about a few other layout and design elements that the Consumer Reports homepage is doing right. The site strategy is clear to a visitor: Consumer Reports is a reputable non-profit offering a lot of valuable content. The business makes money through direct sales and subscriptions alone, and there are several content products offered. Their main product is their subscription website.

Free Podcast: An Introduction to Subscription Websites Released

This free podcast from Mequoda Group discusses the various types of websites that publishers can build, which includes subscription websites.

(Nationwide)—There are a variety of website archetypes that can be utilized by online publishers to generate revenue.

In some of these website archetypes, the audience pays for the content. The audience members that end up paying for this content may be purchasing specific products, services or subscriptions to content that can be printed out and kept in the physical form.

Subscription Websites Can Change Industries

And technology is allowing this to happen

I wrote an article a number of months back discussing the record industry. As I see it, and many would agree, it’s a flawed system ruled by those who aren’t making an attempt to adapt to the changing tides.

I originally wrote the article before the iPad was introduced. And before the use of mobile devices skyrocketed (According to PC Mag, 96% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 19 own a mobile device.)

New Free Podcast Released on Website Archetypes Including Subscription Websites

Subscription websites are gaining in popularity and this free podcast goes over different subscription website archetypes

Download a free digital copy of the Mequoda Digital Media Podcast: An Introduction to Subscription Websites now

Our Mequoda Pro members had the opportunity to experience our Building Subscription Websites webinar this week. The webinar included experienced publishers Don Nicholas and Phil Ash as they went through the process of building subscription websites.

Our new Digital Media Podcast: An Introduction to Subscription Websites was inspired by this webinar. We see the tremendous value that subscription websites can have for online publishers. They create an environment where their content can continuously be updated while utilizing a model that can operate a renewal process and keep overhead costs down.

Subscription Websites and “Content Bundles”

Content bundles are strategic components some publications are utilizing; are they worth it and do they intrigue you?

If you tune in to the Mequoda Daily often, and I hope you do, you’ve probably noticed that we’ve been discussing subscription websites a lot lately. We have been doing so with good intentions. Frankly, we see the potential and value behind subscription websites to be greater than ever before due to new technological devices and online practices that have received excessive attention.

For instance, there’s the iPad. I won’t elaborate too much on this since it’s been discussed so much everywhere since it came out. However this device has intrigued consumers and has opened them up to the idea of paying for premium content.

Week in Review: October 4th, 2010 – October 8th, 2010

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

Last Chance to Discover The Subscription Website’s New Position Among Digital Publications

Consumers are showing awareness and acceptance of digital publications, learn how your publication can benefit from a subscription website

Register now for our Building Subscription Websites webinar, which will be presented live on October 12th

Although subscription websites have been around for almost a decade, they are now becoming more important than ever to publishers.

Why is this so?

AMC-IMAG 2010 Coverage: Lessons in Paid Content from Consumer Reports

Consumers Union Vice President and Editorial Director Kevin McKean shares his thoughts on paid content

Consumer Reports, like other multiplatform publishers, creates content once and repurposes it endlessly. A brand that takes no advertising, their business relies on selling that content in every channel they distribute in. The most intriguing channel for us is their successful paid subscription website:

The pricing model is as follows: print subscribers get a discount for the web subscription and web subscribers get a discount for a print subscription. McKean says the majority of subscribers on both sides are paying full price, meaning there’s only a small percentage of subscribers who take both offers. Why? Because the audiences are truly different. Magazine readers subscribe for mastery, while online users subscribe primarily for research. The print magazine has 4 million subscribers and the website holds steady at 3.2 million paid subscribers.

Apple Gives Publishers the Opportunity to Offer Subscriptions on the iPad

Publishers want to sell subscriptions and Apple wants to sell iPads; see how the two can work together

Pundits covering the iPad have been saying that Apple is not allowing publishers to offer subscriptions directly through the iPad. This however is not completely true. Apple is allowing publishers to bypass the Apple Store and offer subscriptions if they meet certain criteria.

How publications are offering subscriptions through the iPad

For instance, The Wall Street Journal is offering a subscription facilitated through the iPad. This subscription is what we at the Mequoda Group have been calling Universal Subscription Access. In this case of the Wall Street Journal, paying print subscribers are given a digital subscription for already being a subscriber.

The Process of Building Subscription Websites

And why it’s more important than ever to do so

Traditional print publishers are realizing the power and potential behind the Internet. As they saw their print subscriptions and profits fall, publishers began looking for alternative methods for delivering their content. Thankfully for them, the iPad emerged on the scene and brought a media-rich experience with it.

Then, some publishers began to realize that the Internet, smartphones and tablets could be utilized to offer subscriptions to content-filled websites and apps. This allows users to access the content on the go.

The Wireframe Process and Subscription Websites

Helpful tips on creating a website prototype before the actual building process begins

Before designing a website, it’s important to map out what the website will look like. If you don’t do this, the process will be virtually impossible to do correctly. We refer to this process as creating a website wireframe.

According to Wikipedia, a wireframe is “a basic visual guide used in interface design to suggest the structure of a website and relationships between its pages.” Wireframes help designers maintain a consistency between pages throughout a website. The importance of wireframing lies in creating user expectations, developing a familiarity with the site and within the communication process between content creators, engineers, developers and clients.

Another Major Publication Set to Offer Digital Subscriptions

The Boston Globe is joining the digital revolution

Who’s next? The Boston Globe announced yesterday that the online version of their newspaper would be moving locations, from to, and switching to a paid subscription website model. This change will take place the second half of 2011.

For publishers to stay relevant, and in business, this trend will continue to happen with mainstream and niche publications through the coming years.

Community Building with Subscription Websites

This free report from Mequoda Group discusses 14 guidelines and 13 case studies for designing subscription websites

(Nationwide)—Some of the most successful websites let their users generate 99 percent of their content. The websites that can do this become leaders in building communities that draw in users and get them to read and post.

Websites with frequent postings are not only encouraging constant traffic due to fresh content, but they also generate thousands of pages of content. Generally there is a new page created for each topic covered. This massive amount of content and pages helps to drive search engine optimization through the roof.

Portals and Email Newsletters: Two User-Friendly Website Archetypes

Two money making website archetypes for online publishers

Online publishers and editors are always looking for ways of growing their audience. For most, this involves increasing the number of email subscribers on their email marketing lists.

It is, of course, very important to be continuously looking for new audience members. Or better yet, be visible to audience members who are searching for the content you provide. That’s why SEO, social media marketing, link building and distributing press releases are important marketing strategies within the online environment.