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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.

Subscription Websites Going Forward

How changes in technology and media consumption will put an emphasis on subscription websites

I apologize in advance for saying it again, but the iPad has changed the online publishing environment. Not only from a mass communications standpoint, but also from a subscription website standpoint. Why? Because the iPad has begun to make consumers aware of the digital subscription concept. Therefore, subscription websites are even more of a hot topic than in the past.

Going forward, the deliverable in the world of tablets and mobile devices are downloadable issues. These issues could be a component of subscription websites, with additional archived information living within the subscription website itself.

Week in Review: September 20th, 2010 – September 24th, 2010

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

Subscription Website Archetype: The Membership Website

What is a membership website and what makes it a subscription website archetype?

A Membership Website is an online destination—in and of itself. It may be structured as a “pure-play” site or as a “companion” website. Either way, members or subscribers register and pay to access information, organized library-style by topic of interest, or research information or find answers to a question.

The Minimum Information Unit is a person or member and all the information that member shares via their member profile, forum posts, file uploads, links and other data. The Ladders, and SSUG are benchmark sites for the Membership Website Archetype. All three require registration and payment for full access. One-day memberships generally have the highest fee, while annual memberships usually offer the lowest price and the most benefits.

A Membership Website is a subscription website archetype since it generates the majority of its revenues from user access fees. This website business model is similar to a print newsletter or magazine that accepts little or no advertising, relying primarily on user support. Membership websites often sell other branded information products that may include books, events and print periodicals at special member-only rates.

Awards Finalists Can Get Your Juices Flowing

Awards Finalists Start the Creative Juices Flowing

The finalists for min’s Editorial and Design Awards were announced today, and it provides a good chance to look at some of the best in categories that are close to our mission. Winners will be saluted on Nov. 8, 2010, from 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. at the Grand Hyatt in New York City.

1. Under Blogs, IDG Enterprise – Enterprise Software Unplugged earns finalist billing. Just looking at yesterday’s entry shows that this is a very entertaining and informational blog. Thomas Wailgum is at Oracle’s annual mega-conference and reports on some of the most popular tech terms making the rounds. “Optimize. Good Lord, if I have to hear one more ‘optimize’ utterance, I might take a run at that America’s Cup trophy [being kept there] and let those two serious-looking security dudes beat the crap out of me.”

Uses for Subscription Websites

Content from the Mequoda Summit Boston 2010

At last week’s Mequoda Summit Boston 2010, Don Nicholas and Phil Ash hosted an interested session on subscription websites. In today’s digital landscape, it’s easy to see the value in the many subscription website models that exist. As an online publisher, how familiar are you with subscription websites? More information on subscription websites will be added to the blog in the next few weeks since content producers and Internet marketers can greatly benefit from the parameters set for content consumption.

“What is a subscription website?”

That question might be harder to answer than expected, mainly because there are different types of subscription websites. Some subscription websites offer a vast majority of content for free, with only a miniscule amount requiring a subscription for access.

Subscription Websites a Model for Profits

Your Pass to Building Profitable Subscription Websites

When you log onto MLP Profits, you immediately see substance—and potential. (MLP stands for Master Limited Partnerships.) The substance lies in the weekly articles in the left column and features such as How They Rate and Alerts and Getting Started in the middle. A welcome video from the co-editor and various links and bios dominate the third.

The potential comes from the numerous invitations to sign up for this newsletter and the many others in this “family.” But you never feel uncomfortable; rather, you feel good about the information and—if you’re in this business—inquisitive about the money-making possibilities.

Week in Review: September 6th, 2010 – September 10th, 2010

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

Subscription Website Archetype: The Reference Website

What is the reference website and why is it a subscription website?

The subscription website model is simple: pay-for-access.

Most subscriptions are sold on a time interval. One-day memberships generally have the highest fee, while annual memberships usually offer the lowest price and the most benefits.

Building Subscription Websites

Discover the “Holy Grail” of the periodical publishing industry. Learn the secrets to publishing profitable subscription websites from Phil Ash and Don Nicholas.

Week in Review: August 23rd, 2010 – August 27th, 2010

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

Strategic Intent for Subscription Websites

This free report from Mequoda Group discusses 14 guidelines for subscription website design

(Nationwide)—A website that meets the goals of both the users and the publisher is said to have a strong strategic intent. Users typically have one goal: to answer a question they have or fulfill a need of theirs. Information or products can usually help them achieve the goal.

For publishers, there is usually a combination of three goals: generating ad revenue, selling products and building an email marketing lists.

5 Ways to Boost Renewals for Subscription Websites

Does your subscription website promote customer loyalty?

Many subscription websites have come and gone over the last decade. There are a few subscription websites have figured out exactly what it takes to succeed. What can we learn from their mistakes and successes? Let’s look at one successful subscription website –

My father and I have recently joined in an effort to find our roots and create our own family tree. I must say, they do an excellent job of keeping my interest peeked and my subscription renewed.

Relationships Matter Here and in Miami

Examining the Ties That Bind Between Marketers, IT, Copywriters and Customers

At the much-anticipated Marketing Conference in Miami, Nov. 10-12, Greg Krehbiel of The Kiplinger Washington Editors will lead a session titled Top 10 Things Marketers Need to Know About IT. “With online marketing more important than ever,” the description reads, “marketing managers need to have a strong working relationship with the IT department…This very practical session delves into the most common and vexing problems in the IT-marketing relationship, and offers proven solutions from interviews with professionals on both sides.”

Krehbiel raised this very interesting topic on the SIPA online marketing forum a couple months ago, and the responses gave a glimpse of just how good a session this will be.

Sites to Behold – and Bring in Customers

SIPA’s New Report Gives All The Latest on Subscription Websites That Sell

Here are snippets from the much-anticipated, just-released, 53-page SIPA Management Report titled Building Subscription Websites That Sell: A Marketing Perspective. The report features six archetypes—newsletters, magazines, reference, application, membership and periodical—numerous case studies, an evaluation device and a conclusion. It can be found on the Members Only section of the SIPA Website.

Who should operate a subscription website?


Who should operate a subscription website?


Subscription websites are especially popular for publishers with many years of back-content.

Print publishers put archives online and sell access for a fee.
Software developers have programs online that can be accessed for a fee.
Research teams offer information for a fee.

The list continues. What is constant throughout all Subscription Websites is that

Make Your Content as Profitable as Possible

Last chance to sign up for our Developing Successful Subscription Websites webinar

Should Subscription Websites Require Registration?

Do you know what to do about user registration?

Subscription Websites: Master the Pay-For-Access Model

A simple model for subscription websites

Subscription Website Design Free Report Released

Complimentary Guidelines and Case Studies for Designing Subscription Websites

Aesthetics of an Eye-Opening Subscription Website

Specific colors and an engaging design will help in building a community

Developing Successful Subscription Websites

Learn the 6 most profitable paid content business models in this 90-minute seminar hosted by Don Nicholas and several successful Subscription Website publishers.

Everything You Need to Know About Subscription Websites

Gain access to our free report Subscription Website Design: 14 Guidelines and 13 Case Studies for Designing Subscription Websites

Meet Our Panel of Email Subject Line Smackdown Experts!

Take part in our Email Subject Line Smackdown and test your email subject line prowess against 3 of America’s top copywriters

Email Subject Line Smackdown

This informative Mequoda webinar on creating and testing email subject lines explains the best practices for defeating email subject line spam filters and for tracking which email subject lines perform best for your products and services.

Save the Dates! Check Our Next Six Webinars!

Take a minute to add these 90-minute live and interactive webinars to your 2010 calendar!
Travel budgets have been cut significantly, but your employees still need education and training. Webinars are a great way to provide training to your entire staff for one low price, without the added travel costs or time out of the office.

Membership Archetype

A Mequoda Website Satellite Archetype that generates the majority of its revenues from user access fees. This website business model is similar to a print newsletter or magazine that accepts little or no advertising, relying primarily on user support. These websites often sell other branded information products that might include books, events and print periodicals at special member-only rates

The Three Lenses of Consumers: Online, Offline and In-Person

A special-interest user experience includes multiple platforms: online, offline, and in person; using all three guarantees you the most visibility and the best user satisfaction.

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.

How to Ethically Get Testimonials and Use Them to Add Credibility and Increase Membership

Great testimonials can be very persuasive. The value of member corroboration and its ability to get new subscribers to your membership website cannot be under-estimated.

Know this about the buying process: Whether they know it or not, everybody has a personal strategy for rationalizing his purchase decisions.

All purchase decisions are emotional, but in order to be congruent, buyers need to create reasons for their choices.

Make Long Content Easy to Read by Choosing the Right Typefaces

Most printer-friendly pages are not really reader-friendly, but they could be.

We all know that web surfers skim and scan; they generally don’t read carefully. So, consider this online publishing strategy: When you publish a lengthy article that requires concentration and serious consideration, make is easy for your readers to print out a hard copy.

The Retail Media Website Archetype

Every Retail Media Website has two business goals. First, the website must allow users to buy products. Second, the website must begin a user relationship with both buyers and non-buyers that will lead to future sales.

The Membership Website Archetype

A membership website is a user driven, content-based website satellite that generates the majority of its revenues from user access fees. This website business model is similar to a book club, professional association or user group that accepts little or no advertising, relying primarily on user support.

How to Include an Online Offer in Your Offline Products

When selling a product through the retail channel, always give buyers your URL and a reason to visit to your website. Include, for example, an offer—either implied or overt—that encourages, requests, or requires the buyer to go to your site, a particular landing page, or an exclusive URL.

The Goals Guy Media Network Case Study

Selling Goal-Setting and Motivational Information to a Niche Market of Nascent Planners and High Achievers: The Goals Guy Thrives with Laser-like Focus on Creating Quality Digital Products, Superior Search Engine Optimization and Smart Strategic Alliances

Gary Ryan Blair is a serious strategic planner. His personal philosophy can be summarized in two words: Everything Counts!™ Blair believes in sweating the small stuff, and teaches that every action, word and thought either moves you toward or away from your goals, mission and ultimate legacy—that every moment offers an opportunity for advancement or retreat.

The Wall Street Journal’s Publishing Case Study

The Wall Street Journal’s website,, has achieved incredible success by selling print subscriptions online while simultaneously selling subscriptions to their online product. As a result, they are a great example of how to sell millions of dollars in subscriptions from one website. After perusing their site, we have identified seven marketing lessons to be learned from If your online publication can manage to follow at least five of the seven lessons well, you should be able to increase print subscription sales from your website.

Website Design Lessons From Cook’s Illustrated

Week after week, our editorial staff gets together to forage through the Internet looking for ideas and examples that could help our readers make their subscription websites more effective. In the process we often find ourselves getting on one soapbox or another, proving, once again, that there’s a lot of room for improvement out there. With the holidays fast approaching, we turned our attention to the many food and wine websites on the web, looking for the best subscription-driven website for cooking aficionados—a challenging field for generating subscription revenues as there are so many free recipe sources out there.

My 12 Most Important Beliefs About Marketing

These pithy statements about the psychology of buying and selling did not originate with me. Most were gleaned over the years from my various teachers—from their books, seminars and audiotapes.

I owe a debt to many, and at this juncture, it’s almost impossible to know accurately which of these “truths” to attribute to whom.

Among the many “influencers” are Michael Gerber, Bill Myers, Dan Kennedy, Gary Halbert, John LaValle, Fred Gleeck, Jay Abraham and others. In some cases I have had to separate the style and personality of the man from the sagacity of the message; wisdom can come from many places, and even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Twelve Ideas for An Effective Affiliate Marketing Program

The idea behind affiliate marketing is simple.

The concept is basic “pay for performance.” You recruit other Internet marketers to help you sell your website’s products or services in return for a portion of the gross.

When an affiliate enrolls in your program, you give her an affiliate identification (name or number) that she uses in the links and banners for your site that appear on her website. When visitors to her site click through to your site and make a purchase or join, you pay her a commission for bringing you the new member. Landing Page Review

The fundamental mistake made by many entrepreneurs is the classic chicken-and-egg scenario in which the inventor first creates a new product and then seeks a market for it.

Experienced product developers do the opposite. They anticipate the changes in society. They assess the evolving problems, requirements and desires of consumers, and look for opportunities that have not yet been addressed by the market. Then they forecast demand and create new products that fill the gap. Website Design Review Epitomizes Great Website Graphic Design and is a Perfect Partner to Real Simple Magazine. So is it a Brand Site or a Membership Website? Is its Objective Lead Generation or Customer Service?

The Big Lie of the 1950s was the forecast that life in the future would be easier—even effortless—leaving us with lots of free time. Futurists in the 50s looked at all the labor-saving devices that were being invented and predicted that Americans would have so much time on their hands—owing to machines doing all the chores—that we would have to find more leisure activities to fill up the hours. Website Design Review

Is Jean Chatzky, the Latest Pop Personal Financial Adviser, Well Served by a Website that Confuses Visitors with Too Many Options and Stale Content? Jean Chatzky is the latest in a series of popular, photogenic (and telegenic) female financial advisors that includes Jane Bryant Quinn, Suze Orman and the late Sylvia Porter. Ms. Chatzky writes regular personal finance columns for United Features syndicate, Time, Money and USA Weekend, and is a regular contributor to NBC’s Today Show.

SSWUG Membership Website Case Study, a subscription website that provides an astonishing amount of technical information for database administrators, uses three levels of membership to secure loyal, paying customers. Website Design Review

Giving credit where it is due: a cornucopia of useful information for industry professionals and an exemplary business-to-business website.

IMR and SWEPA Merge to Create the New Mequoda Library, The Interactive Resource for Building Better Websites

Two of the publishing industry’s leading membership websites, Internet Media Review and SWEPA (Subscription Website Publishers Association), have merged to create the Mequoda Library, the interactive resource for building better websites. The Mequoda Library ( went live on June 3, 2005. (Jump to FAQs) Website Design Review

Providing news and information on how to comply with Federal laws and international banking regulations is the niche addressed by this subscription website Website Design Review describes itself as “the all-inclusive online destination for publishers, retailers, librarians, agents, authors, distributors, studio executives, screenwriters, publicists, book groups and more!” It’s an accurate description.

VNU Business Media, publisher of The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, Computing, and other trade titles, launched, its first solely online publication, in January of 2005.

A car restoration enthusiast starts a pay-for-access website after spending two years in Ulaan Baatar, Outer Mongolia

In this exclusive Mequoda interview, Satch Reed explains his popular subscription website that’s dedicated to antique car restoration. It’s also dedicated to making money for its publishers.

Interview with Larry Pike, who with his wife, Holly, discovered an under-addressed niche market and responded by building a very successful business around a subscription website

Over the years, Holly and Larry Pike have each had numerous careers, but they eventually quit their jobs to become full-time online entrepreneurs. Today, as husband and wife, they own and operate a subscription website for needlework hobbyists that ought to be the envy of every membership website publisher. Website Design Review

The Accounts Payable Network serves its members very well. There is an enormous amount of content here, creating an invaluable resource. It’s hard to imagine an AP professional not wanting to join this member site or objecting to its $695 initial one-year membership fee.

Interview with Dave Debs, the mastermind behind MemberScript Content Publisher, a new product for managing a membership website

Member sites are hot! As more subject matter experts and information entrepreneurs begin online publishing ventures, the demand for automated content management software continues to grow. For the second time in a month, a Mequoda member has introduced a product to help membership website publishers manage their online content.