Case Study Lessons: How to Get Bloggers to Promote Your Subscription Launch

One Friday afternoon, business coach Justin Lukasavige had an idea for a paid newsletter that offers practical tips and sample topics for bloggers. Six days later, he had a site and email system finished to begin registering paid subscribers for the newsletter, called Need a Topic. This week’s exclusive Subscription Site Insider Case Study reveals the secrets of that rapid launch, with practical advice that could help any subscription site test a similar low-overhead project.Along with sharing content model details and technology systems that enabled quick development, Lukasavige described the low-cost or no-cost marketing tactics that were essential to keeping the launch budget under $1,000. One of those tactics was our top lesson learned this week: Offering a handful of complimentary subscriptions to influential bloggers can help spread the word about your subscription or membership service to a highly relevant target audience.Lukasavige had tons of connections in the blogging world thanks to interviews he’d conducted for a separate podcast site he runs called So when he launched the new blogging-tips newsletter, he selected about six of those contacts to receive complimentary subscriptions. There was no obligation for them to blog about the service. He just selected a range of bloggers with different experience levels. Some had successful, profitable blogs. Others were new to blogging and needed help getting their blog to grow. The goal was to find a range of comp subscribers who reflected his target audience.The result was immediate visibility for the new service. “Without exception, every single person is talking about it. It doesn’t cost me any overhead to do that,” says Lukasavige.You don’t want to go crazy offering comp subscriptions. After all, when you’re trying to convince prospects that your site is worth money you can’t undercut that message by giving away content too often. But you can invite a few carefully selected comp subscribers to give you feedback on the site or provide value in another way — such as being likely to talk about your site with their own blog readers. Limiting complimentary access to just a month or less is another way to limit the appearance of diluting your service’s value.When comps are used sparingly and chosen carefully, they can offer a good return on that marketing investment.

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