The FTC has updated its guidelines and FAQs on Influencer testimonials and endorsements, after settling a case and sending warning letters to companies. Lisa B. Dubrow, Esq, Subscription Insider Guide to Subscription Regulation and Compliance and partner at Dubrow & Bhonslay, explains the updated Influencer Marketing guidelines that companies need to adhere to.
When Equifax revealed that hackers stole credit data for 143 million people, the company offered a remedy: a free year enrollment in its data protection service. The catch? After the year is up, users will be automatically billed for the next year. But that may raise more legal issues for the company if it is accused of violating ROSCA law.
It is reported that a bill in the State of California, California SB 313, is deemed likely to pass. The law would require new rules for companies offering trials and recurring subscriptions and memberships. Lisa B. Dubrow, Esq., partner at Dubrow & Bhonslay and Subscription Insider Guide to Regulation and Compliance, explains.
The FTC just filed a suit against 59 corporations and three individuals for violating the FTC Act and the Restore Online Shoppers Confidence Act (ROSCA) for deceptively selling products on 87 websites through free trials that converted to recurring charges on consumers’ credit cards. Lisa B. Dubrow, Esq, partner at Dubrow & Bhonslay and Subscription Insider Guide to Regulation and Compliance, explains.
Europeans and the European government are taking data privacy very seriously. In fact, some are saying it is the most important change in data privacy regulation in the last 20 years. In May 2018, the two-year transition period for the European Union’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) expires and the new data privacy law goes into effect. Any company doing business with European citizens, including subscription companies, will be impacted, regardless of where the company is located. Companies should start preparing now to comply with the laws and to avoid fines as large as €20 million for violation of the data privacy changes. Here’s what you need to know.
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.
Before you slip out of the office for the weekend though, take 5 or 10 minutes to review this week’s Five on Friday. This week we’re featuring Facebook and Instagram ad advice from Business2Community, recommendations from The Next Web on keeping your e-commerce site safe from hackers, marketing tips from Salesforce on engaging email subscribers, ways to keep calm in the face of stress from Ladders, and news about Walmart’s latest restructuring.
Subscription boxes are growing faster than any other sector of the subscription economy. However, not everything comes easy for subscription box companies. Robert Skrob, Subscription Insider Guide to Membership Retention and President of Membership Services, explains these challenges and how to overcome them.
As high winds blow, floods rage and wildfires burn across the country, we’re here to distract you with some helpful advice on growing your subscription company. In this week’s Five on Friday, Business2Community shares three ways SaaS companies can increase conversions, Jon Reed for Diginomica explains why social media sharing is not an adequate content distribution strategy, Small Business Trends offers 30 alternatives to PayPal, Fierce Retail gives B2B companies lessons to learn from B2C subscription companies, and Search Engine Watch recommends top SEO influencers and resources to follow.
In this week’s Five on Friday, Business2Community recommends three SaaS applications that we should all be using, IAB releases its first ‘Podcast Playbook,’ a buyer’s guide for podcast advertising, Media Post shares highlights of a recent report from Iterable with email tactics used by subscription box companies, BuzzSumo tells us that Facebook engagement for brands and publishers is down 20 percent this year, and Moz offers five strategies for keyword research in 30 minutes or less.
When Robert Skrob, Subscription Insider Guide to Membership Retention and President of Membership Services, discusses churn most companies feel they understand it. Truth is, they do not. And with one simple change, they can reduce subscriber churn rates. Robert explains how.
The idea of influencers is not a new one. In fact, they’ve been around for decades, often times in the form of a celebrities as company spokespeople. Remember Brooke Shields and her Calvins? O.J. Simpson for Hertz? William Shatner for Priceline.com? Joe Dimaggio and his Mr. Coffee? Those are all examples of influencers. The marketing world has evolved since then, but instead of having spokespeople, brands, including subscription companies, are now using (paid) influencers to promote and share their products and services. It is a subtler, but more meaningful approach. Let’s take a closer look.
In the last part of our series, Organic Search for Publishers, Kevin Novak explains how to create and scale a system for optimizing organic search across editorial, audience development, and other teams to drive readers deeper into a media property, and support revenue creation.
Kevin Novak continues his discussion on how to implement an effective SEO strategy. In part seven of Organic Search for Publishers, he explains where and how to use the keywords and phrases that are important for your business in your content and meta information. Kevin also goes deeper and explains what structured metadata is as well as why and how you should be leveraging that in your publication to more effectively communicate and provide context about your content for search engines.
Kevin Novak continues his discussion on how to implement an effective SEO strategy. In part six of Organic Search for Publishers, he explains and demonstrates the tools every editorial, marketing, and audience development team should use when determining what keywords will be used as part of their organic search strategy.
Kevin Novak continues his discussion on how to implement an effective SEO strategy. In part five of Organic Search for Publishers, he discusses the big mistake publishers make in their metadata, walks through how to choose the right long- and short-tail keywords for your business, shows examples of how a publisher should use keyword discovery tools and his favorite keyword discovery tools that publishers should use.
Cloud-based monetization platform Aria Systems announced last week that it raised $18 million in new capital in a funding round led by Madison Bay Capital along with Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, InterWest Partners and Venrock. The new funding, which will help fuel additional growth at Aria Systems, brings the total raised to date to $150 million. In addition, the company announced that Steve Reale, managing partner of Madison Bay Capital Partners, and Drew Harman, Director of InterWest Partners, will join Aria’s board of directors.
To kick off the new school year, Spotify and Hulu have teamed up to offer a premium subscription bundle for college students. For $4.99 a month, students can listen to their favorite music on Spotify, and watch their favorite TV shows on Hulu with a single subscription. They are calling the bundle Spotify Premium for Students, now with Hulu.
While Equifax and Amazon dominated subscription news headlines this week, other subscription companies had their time in the spotlight too. Medium added Bloomberg and other publications to its subscription service, Postmates expanded its Prime-style subscription to 250,000 merchants, and when it wasn’t busy with the launch of the latest iPhone, Apple worked a music deal with Warner. Also this week, Kobo challenges Audible, movie execs weigh their options, and Trinity Mirror is going shopping!
Two social media influencers, Trevor Martin, ‘TmarTn’ and Thomas Cassell of The Syndicate Project, settled with the Federal Trade Commission on charges that they failed to disclose their ownership in CSGO Lotto when they endorsed the online gaming company. According to the FTC, Martin and Cassell paid other social media influencers thousands of dollars to promote CSGO Lotto on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Twitch, but failed to disclose this in their social media posts. As part of the settlement, the FTC is requiring the pair to ‘clearly and conspicuously disclose any material connections with an endorser or between an endorser and any promoted product or service.’
Known for its unique, high quality content, The Atlantic is trying something new. In addition to its print and digital subscription offerings which range in price from $24.50 to $34.50 per year, the 160-year-old magazine just launched The Masthead, a $100-a-year premium membership that will provide exclusive content to subscribers. According to The Masthead’s landing page, subscribers will get exclusive content not available elsewhere and they can help ‘fund the future of sustainable journalism.’
When it comes to choosing a subscription management platform for your company, there are many options. Choosing the right technology can be a daunting task. Make the right decision and you are a hero. Make the wrong decision and you are faced with higher costs, mismatched features, or worse. Did you know that when buying technology for your business, 35-50% of the sales go to the vendor who responds first? Crazy? For companies that bought in this manner, they typically experience a 50% greater rate of REGRET about their purchase than companies who used a more thoughtful process
In this on-demand seminar, learn the key questions to ask potential vendors, and your team, when selecting the best subscription platform for your business. Kevin Novak, CEO of 2040 Digital and subscription technology expert and Kathy Greenler Sexton, Publisher of Subscription Insider will discuss: The subscription technology landscape, how to self-assess what your company needs, understanding budget and total cost of ownership, and mapping your budget and team to the best platform for your company.
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.
The top complaints about email: Too much, too aggressive, too irrelevant, too repetitive, too busy. Here are data-based tips to tackle these problems and retain subscribers.
Consumers say they opt-in to email newsletters, promotions, and lists because they want discounts and promotions. Or because they want an offered incentive. Or to support a brand or cause they love. Or to get exclusive content. Our latest trend report takes a close, research-based look at these and other factors that make subscribers smile to see your email.
What do you call a market that has not yet served 65% of its potential customers? A market selling low-weight, easily shipped, relatively high-value merchandise? And that merchandise has broad appeal for everyone from Millennials to Seniors? The beauty box subscription market is ready for growth.
Red or white, rose or sparkling, wine is America’s new trendy drink. It is being embraced by younger drinkers, who are also those most likely to want experiment with new tastes, making them ideal potential customers for subscription wine clubs. But outdated blue laws make it hard for retailers to ship wine across state lines. Here’s how online wine merchants are satisfying the demand while working through (and around) the regulatory bottlenecks.
The easy way to do retention is to blast out special offers and rewards to loyal customers, lumping all the steady subscribers, the sleeping dogs, the irregular users, and other at-risk customers into the same anti-churn program. Research shows that, compared with control groups of customers who are not targeted at all, some retention programs actually inspire existing customers to cancel. Here are some of the factors and methods to consider in avoiding that failure mode.
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.
- Monetization Platform Aria Systems Raises $18 Million in New Capital
Industry News September 19, 2017
- Spotify and Hulu Launch Streaming Entertainment Bundle for Students
Industry News September 18, 2017
- This Weeks Subscription News: Postmates, Publishers and Pros and Cons
Industry News September 16, 2017
- The FTC Speaks Out Again On Social Media Endorsements: Updated Endorsement Guidelines and FAQs
Best Practice September 15, 2017
- Five on Friday: E-commerce, Email Tips and Facebook Ads
Features September 15, 2017