Under California law, it is false and misleading to advertise a former price of a product unless it was the prevailing market price within three months of the advertisement. Lisa B. Dubrow, Subscription Insider Guide to Regulation and Compliance, outlines the lawsuit against J.C. Penny, Kohl’s, Macy’s and Sears.
Last month the FTC filed another suit against a group of online marketers for violating the FTC Act and Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act (“ROSCA”). The defendants offered continuity plans and trial offers that were touted as risk-free and subject to a 100% money back guarantee. Lisa B. Dubrow, Esq., Subscription Insider Guide to Regulation and Compliance, explains this recent action, FTC’s “.com disclosure” Guidelines, and why it's important to follow them.
Influencer Marketing is an increasingly popular form of marketing where companies use individuals to talk about their brand (think an influential blogger, people hired to discuss a brand’s products, or even a topic expert) to establish credibility and influence with their target customers. Lisa B. Dubrow, Esq, Subscription Insider Guide to Regulation and Compliance, discusses a recent letter from the Federal Trade Commission sent to many companies inquiring about those companies’ use of disclosures in their influencer campaigns.
Anheuser-Busch is being sued by an individual who claims copyright infringement and a violation of her right of publicity. Lisa B. Dubrow, Esq., Subscription Insider Guide to Regulation and Compliance, explains the basis of this lawsuit and why marketers need to be wary of relying upon boilerplate publicity releases included in official rules to use images submitted through social media channels.
Are you familiar with the recent bill, the “Unsubscribe Act of 2017?” You should be. This bill focuses on negative option contracts offered on the internet and includes a number of potentially problematic requirements. There is also a host of state legislative initiatives also focused on “negative option” or auto-renew that can and will impact your subscription or membership business if you are not careful. Lisa B. Dubrow, Esq., Subscription Insider Guide to Regulation and Compliance, explains this flurry of legislative activity around negative option plans.
Like many legacy publishers, the 160-year-old McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI), the owner of 31 media companies in 28 U.S. markets, is doing a major transformation, moving aggressively over the last several years to become a digital-first company. Instead of fighting a changing tide, McClatchy is making sweeping, long-term changes that are beneficial to the company but also to its readers.
In the summer of 2012, Liz Cadman knew she had a problem. She was addicted to subscription boxes, and she wanted more. She couldn't find the information she wanted online, however, to make smart buying decisions, so she started a blog to talk about subscription boxes. The blog grew into My Subscription Addiction, a full-fledged website dedicated to the discussion of subscription boxes. In four years, the site has exploded in popularity, and she has added additional features including swaps, a discussion forum and more. Learn how My Subscription Addiction started and grew into what it is today.
How can you combine a wholesale book business and a passion for children's literacy to get more books in the hands of kids? With the subscription box model. That's how founder Eric Shmuely made his dream become a reality -- by creating a subscription book service for children.
Last year the publishing industry was abuzz with the news that the Winnipeg Free Press was experimenting with a Read Now Pay Later micropayment platform, where readers pay $0.27 (Canadian) per article they have read. Dana Neuts explores how well the first seven months of the strategy has gone.
At just three years old, Readly has experienced rapid growth and is defining success in the digital magazine publishing space. Now offering nearly 1,100 magazines and more than 17,000 issues in 49 countries, learn more about Readly in this exclusive INSIDER Case Study.
In this week's Five on Friday, Sitepoint shares three SaaS metrics that matter and how to improve them, PageFair identifies the demographics of people who are mostly likely to block ads, and Hubspot offers a character count guide for content marketing for blog posts, videos, tweets and more. We’ll also tell you about Huffington Post’s redesign and new branding and how PayPal is succeeding in attracting new users and growing on mobile.
Just because you can add advertising or other ways to monetize your data, doesn’t mean you should. Consider the online real estate listings databases, many with lots of advertising embedded in and around each listing. Russell Perkins, Subscription Insider Guide to Data Publishing Strategy, discusses if the extra revenue is worth the distraction, confusion and possible annoyance of a target customer, potentially worth thousands, tens of thousands, or more to the listing broker.
In this week’s Five on Friday, we’ll share PageFair’s 2017 adblocking report, MarketingProfs’ top tips for creating successful lead generation landing pages, legal ways to use customer testimonials, how to keep the trust of your customers, and last but not least, Digiday explains how Brexit’s unexpected election news has helped The Spectator triple its daily subscriber sales.
Why is data getting so much attention these days? Why is it such a good business? Why is it so profitable? Well, there are numerous reasons, but the one Russell Perkins, Subscription Insider Guide to Data Publishing Strategy would like to highlight today is that increasingly, data matters.
It is hard to believe it is Friday already, isn’t it? Where did the week go? Before you head into the long holiday weekend, take a look at this week’s Five on Friday articles with SEO tips from Search Engine Land, marketing time savers from Constant Contact, security best practices from Recurly and social sharing advice from Strong Social Media. We’ve also scouted out some top subscription jobs from LinkedIn.
In part two of Organic Search for Publishers, Kevin Novak walks through why segmentation of your subscribers (and prospects) and talking to them in their own voice are so important to an effective organic search strategy. In Organic Search for Publishers: Why Segmentation and Voice are Important, you will learn how why it’s imperative to get beyond internal thinking that can create false target segments and related content that true customers will not identify with. You will also understand why looking eternally to understand the vocabulary and nuances of how each segment communicates and finds information will be a key cornerstone to your organic search program.
In part one of Organic Search for Publishers, Kevin Novak walks through the basics of what organic search is and more importantly, why organic search is still relevant in the age of social media. If you are not achieving 55% to 75% of inbound traffic from organic, you are underperforming. The new reality of organic search is that you must accommodate and deliver engaging content that is easily discoverable. In Organic Search for Publishers: Understanding the Basics, you will learn how people search for information and how they find and engage with your content. In addition, you will understand the key signals a search engine uses to determine if your content is presented to someone doing a search.
Marketing Automation and lead generation continues to be a key challenge for subscription marketers. Kevin Novak, Subscription Insider Guide to Leveraging Technology, walks through a primer (and 30-page PDF slide how-to deck) on how to generate high-quality leads using lead scoring using marketing automation, behavioral and interaction data to move the lead from awareness to decision quickly and effectively.
Building Customer-Focused Products: An Insider’s Guide to Market Research, is a series compiled by product owners with decades of experience in creating and launching successful subscription products. In How to Prioritize Actions Based on Research, Diane Pierson, Subscription Insider Guide to Building Subscription Products outlines our Readiness Model for prioritizing what product opportunities you should target.
Building Customer-Focused Products: An Insider’s Guide to Market Research, is a series compiled by product owners with decades of experience in creating and launching successful subscription products. In this article, Diane Pierson, Subscription Insider Guide to Building Subscription Products, outlines how to quickly and efficiently track your competition.
In this week’s subscription headlines, Microsoft announces its first official integrations with the newly-acquired LinkedIn, Apple says it has fixed its cloud storage subscription bug, though the cause is still unknown, and publishers say Facebook can save Instant Articles with better data and subscription tools. Also, this week we’re reading subscription articles on OTT free trials, conspiracy theories on Google’s ad blocker and Salesforce’s revised guidance, thanks to deferred revenue.
On Wednesday, ESPN announced another round of layoffs, reports Yahoo Sports. This time about 100 employees will lose their jobs, including on-air talent. Yahoo Sports says the problem is not ratings, however. ESPN still has strong ratings which brings in ad revenue. The problem is subscriber loss. In the last six years, ESPN has lost 12 million subscribers, representing a 12 percent decrease. The lost subscribers are not necessarily ESPN viewers, however, but are more likely cord cutters who are canceling cable subscriptions altogether, which affects cable networks like ESPN.
This morning Meredith Corporation (NYSE: MDP) reported its third quarter results for its fiscal year 2017, including total company digital advertising revenue growth of 25 percent, a third quarter record. Meredith Corp., the publisher of well-known brands like EatingWell, SHAPE, Parents and Better Homes & Gardens, also reported total company revenue of $425 million and earnings per share of $0.87. For the first nine months of fiscal year 2017, Meredith reported total company revenue of $1.3 billion, a 4 percent increase year-over-year, and total advertising revenue of $704 million, a 3 percent increase year-over-year.
On Monday, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) announced that it has opened a self-service marketplace for digital subscriptions, including everything from Dropbox, Fitbit and eMeals to Sling TV, Legal Zoom and The New Yorker. The marketplace, called Subscribe with Amazon, allows consumers to discover new subscriptions through searches and recommendations and to manage their subscriptions directly from the Subscribe with Amazon portal.
Match.com in the UK has launched a dating bot named Lara in Facebook Messenger, says Marketing Week. Lara can help users set up dating profiles without having to leave the social media platform. According to Marketing Week, the bot uses artificial intelligence and language processing techniques to interact with Facebook users. Match.com first tested the bot in France last year. UK is the next country to give it a go with the rest of Europe to follow. Lara is just one of 100,000 bots used on the Facebook Messenger platform.
Before you can generate new subscribers you've got to implement systems to stop your members from quitting. This on-demand seminar is focused on delivering actionable tactics to reduce subscriber churn and increase member lifetime value. Robert Skrob, our Insider Guide to Membership Retention, will walk you through 14 tactics to improve your subscriber and member retention. With all that Robert will discuss, there will be at least one strategy revealed that could be a quick, easy win for you, which could improve your renewal rate within two weeks or less.
Learn how to maximize SaaS and software retention rates. During this on-demand seminar, Adriana Iordan—expert in global eCommerce and payments and Chief Product Officer at Avangate—will teach attendees why SaaS subscription businesses face unique customer retention challenges and how to handle them. This session includes benchmark data, best practice tactics, and three separate case studies to help you learn how to overcome the unique challenges SaaS recurring businesses face.
Revenue signals go way beyond renewal and churn KPIs. In order to maximize potential revenue, you need to get under the hood of your subscription product or service to understand revenue-related data. These “revenue signals” are in your billing, product, and customer data and they show where your subscription business is at risk for lower revenue or where you losing potential revenue opportunities. In this on-demand seminar, you will learn what to look at in your own data and analytics, what learnings you can glean from each revenue signal, what actions your subscription business should think about taking, and most importantly, the revenue impact of acting or not acting on each signal.
Have you seen a rise in declines or a rise in chargebacks or fraud? Are your renewals taking longer to successfully process? Do you understand why? Paul Larsen, Subscription Insider Guide to Payment Processing, leading expert in card-not-present recurring payments, and Managing Partner of the Paul Larsen Group, in this on-demand version of our January 2017 online seminar, will outline key payment processing trends every subscription company should be aware of, and be on top of, for 2017.
Understand state, Federal, and credit card regulations that cover subscription promotional and trial offers as well as auto-renewal practices. This one-hour on-demand training session features Lisa B. Dubrow, Esq., Subscription Insider's Guide to Regulation and Compliance and one of America's leading attorneys specializing in helping paid subscription businesses, membership organizations, and continuity clubs understand how the law impacts their business on a practical level. …
Many print newspapers have been around for more than 100 years. Digital news, on the other hand, is relatively young in terms of life cycle. Unfortunately, the news industry continues to struggle with the transition away from print toward the digital side of the house and how to monetize it. Arvid Tchivzhel of Mather Economics discusses the revenue strategies of news content to better understand ROI and shares insight into how a subtle change in mindset can make a big difference.
Since the AMEX-COSTCO "divorce", many recurring merchants have been proactive reaching out to customers to mitigate its impact since American Express cards operate separately from the Visa/MasterCard Account Updater network. Melanie Stout, of the Paul Larsen Consulting Group, outlines their latest data on declines and on the "divorce's" ongoing impact to recurring subscription merchants.
As ad blocking usage continues to grow, publishers and organizations like the Newspaper Association of America are turning up the heat, to fight against companies like Adblock Plus, Brave and Optimal who threaten their livelihood. As ad revenue declines because of ad blocking, publishers like Axel Springer are waging court battles abroad to fight against unfair competition and business practices, while in the U.S., the NAA takes their complaint to the NAA.The growth of mobile ad blocking escalates the problem, particularly for mixed revenue business models. In this report, we've got the latest ad blocking news with exclusive commentary from NAA and Adblock Plus.
Involuntary churn for subscription- and membership-based companies are rising. It’s not just due to EMV (“chip cards”) either. Now that it’s been a month since the Costco-American Express “divorce”, we are seeing an 18% increase in decline rates and expect declines to continue to rise in July and August.
Every fall, InfoCommerce Group announces their picks for the InfoCommerce Model of Excellence awards. This program profiles industry exemplars to show how real revenue is generated by selling and distributing information online. To decide what companies are selected to become a model of excellence, they scan the business information landscape to identify companies whose products - both new and established - that have important new business models, or offer technological innovation within the field of online information and highlight them as a model for other companies to emulate.
Not all failed recurring payments can be “saved” with an Account Updater update. Failed payments can be for a variety of reasons from cancelled cards, cards opted-out of Account Updater services, or declined transactions due to credit limit issues. In this sample, we show three very different approaches to notifying subscribers about a declined payment and requesting updated payment information. (Plus, a bonus at the end, Subscription Insider’s own notice!)
Are you receiving more alerts notifying you of expiring cards? We have and frankly, it’s no surprise with the increase in the volume of payment cards that been reissued. Without that updated payment information, subscribers and members will not get renewed successfully. In this sample, we show you real examples of payment card update notices from three separate companies, with three very different approaches to getting their subscribers to update their payment information. Plus, a bonus, Subscription Insider’s own notice!
ABC Mouse Early Learning Academy is an award-winning, subscription-based site/mobile app that uses email promotions to acquire subscribers. In this Sample, we walk through their promotional email campaign and offers. Are they sending too many promotions? Are they effective? You be the judge.
You may not be a sports fan, per se, but everyone plays games, whether it's chess, checkers or Thursday nights down at the local bridge club. We took a look at three sports-themed businesses offering subscriptions to see how well (or not) they are converting visitors into subscribers.
Many subscription sites are using some lighthearted copy that borders on passive-aggression. Is this an effective tactic? What do you think?
Starting your search for research and data to support your business plan, product research, customer segmentation or data for your next presentation to investors, employees or conference? Beyond any primary research you will be doing, you will need access to third party data for segmentation, validation and an understanding of your market. Subscription Insider's Definitive List of Secondary Market Research Sources lists literally hundreds of data sets for your research. Our definitive list includes business, consumer and government data. Use it for marketing, competitive research, market data and more. It includes easy-to-use data and not so easy-to-use data accessible via APIs.
Understanding the difference between your most valuable customers and those that will not renew, is like separating out the wheat seeds from all the wheat chaff at harvest time. It will take the right tools and tactics to maximize renewal rates. Subscription Insider's Retention Workbook (Excel) will help you track the retention performance by key drivers in your business, turning your data into both a summary and a detailed retention report that you can use to manage your retention.
Does your subscription management or billing platform connect you to Account Updater — a service offered by Visa, MasterCard, Discover and more recently, American Express — that provides updated payment card information to help merchants manage involuntary churn issues? With this directory of 25 subscription management and billing platforms that support account updater services, you'll be able to create a short list of vendor contenders for your subscription business based on applicable industry experience, existing customers, payment gateways and processors supported, as well as pricing.
This extremely detailed subscription & membership financial model was developed as a tool for would-be subscription businesses who either are planning a new launch or an acquisition. It may also be useful for current publishers who are doing a minimum of marketing and who want to see how their cash flow might change if they ramp up marketing and/or ancillary product offers. Its purpose is educational and inspirational rather than strictly predictive . Everyone's business is slightly different, so it was impossible for us to create an easy-to-use model that would work with enormous accuracy for all. However, if you've not modelled this type of business extensively before, you'll learn a great deal from it!
Effective monitoring of subscriber retention is the result of understanding retention opportunities and trends, tracking attrition patterns, developing a tracking methodology, and applying those metrics in order to manage your retention business more effectively. Use this excel workbook to track and manage your subscribers and members.
- This Weeks Subscription News: Google, Guidance and The Guardian
Industry News April 29, 2017
- Hurting from Millions of Lost Subscribers, ESPN Lays Off 100 Employees
Industry News April 28, 2017
- Five on Friday: Ad Block Demographics, SaaS Metrics & the New HuffPost
Features April 28, 2017
- Meredith Reports Record Digital Ad Revenue for Q3 Fiscal Year 2017
Industry News April 27, 2017
- Amazon Opens Self-Service Marketplace for Digital Subscriptions
Industry News April 26, 2017