FW: AM: Customer Acquisition via the Web
Here are two ways to generate revenue for publications. Just a little
background: I worked for eight years at Phillips Publishing and Reader's
Digest, the world's largest newsletter and magazine publisher respectively.
1. SITE LICENSES. Some newsletter publishers, particularly in the
business-to-business space, have found site licenses to be effective. Site
licenses are effective for a publisher because the distribution costs are
very low and the price that can be charged to a single large company is
often very high, sometimes above $100,000. That company would then
distribute the publication to its employees. The problem is that it takes
a while for the companies to pay up, since the sum required for the service
is so high. This longer-than-usual pay-up period sometimes makes
publishers nervous. But overall, once the large companies get over the
nervousness of large up-front payments, this business model can work well.
2. EDITORIAL. This second point hits at how do you get subscribers. This
is an indirect answer to Bill's question. The way to sell an existing
publication- most effectively online or offline is to target very closely
the essential needs of the customers, meet those information needs and then
promote that you're meeting those needs. This may sound obvious, but it's
important. In business-to-business newsletters, the audiences typically
are much smaller than in consumer publications. So most of the major
players know each other, talk and schmooze. If your newsletter can create
a "buzz" with exclusive information that really provides essential
information for an executive about trends, competitors, acquisitions, that
person is bound to subscribe. The technology becomes secondary, because
the executive is really interested in the content, whether it be online or
offline. Since the renewals are the lifeblood of newsletters, as Linda
points out so well, the editorial really must sell itself.
FYI: I will be speaking about the "Seven Steps to Breakthrough
Newsletters" on May 31 at the Newsletter Publishers Association conference
and will touch on some of these issues later this month there.
Hope this adds the discussion, Bill, Linda and Amy...
Tom Billington, Advisor
The Potomac KnowledgeWay's Netpreneur Program
1801 Robert Fulton Drive, Suite 550
Reston, VA 20191
703/620-8971, ext. 118
From: Linda Kolker [SMTP:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, May 13, 1998 10:36 AM
Subject: Re: AM: Customer Acquisition via the Web
I've had many years' experiencing in working with publishers to get new
customers. Here is an idea or two for you to think about. Traditional
newsletter publishers rely 100% on direct mail as their new business
generator. And they are finding it harder and harder to make direct mail
work. The economics are a killer. Controlled-circulation (advertising
supported) pubs who switch to the paid-subscription model have a tough row
to hoe. List rental is absolutely the key, and the offer has to be well
structured. And then you have to do renewals--the real money is in the back
end, the renewals. The newsletter publishers who have been my clients
started with products on paper and have gone to the Internet subsequently,
offering a licensing model to subscribers who prefer electronic delivery.
Most publishers who have a website drive readers to it by promoting the URL
in the print publications they send out. The Net is also terrific as an
archive available on a paid basis.
Motley Fool has been experimenting with print, and may provide an
instructive model as a business that started out e-based and moved into
I know this just scratches the surface--it's a complex issue.
At 09:05 PM 5/12/98 -0400, email@example.com wrote:
>NetResponse is an internet consulting and development agency. One of
>our clients is in the midst of planning an aggressive customer
>acquisition campaign. The client is a web based publication, which
>recently migrated to a subscription model.
>Thus far, banner ads have not been a cost effective channel. I was
>wondering what experiences, thoughts, or recommendations people had in
>regards to alternative customer acquisition vehicles.
>We are looking at list rental for direct email, text ads on email lists,
>and sponsorships, as well as testing off line advertising mechanisms
>(direct mail, print, and local NPR).
- Re: FW: AM: Customer Acquisition via the Web, Bill Robins