34% of Subscription & Membership Site Benchmark Reports Are Sold Outside the USA

Normally, I'd expect anywhere from 7-17% of sales for a paid content b2b product to be made to customers outside the US. That's based on a bazillion years of real-life experience. (OK, not a bazillion, I'm still in my 40s, but you get the picture.) However, so far 34% of the customers for our new Subscription & Membership Site Benchmark are international. It's a clean split between Canadians and Europeans. What does that mean for the site…

BadCustomer.com – A Clever Way to Fight Subscription Chargebacks?

Any subscription site that doesn't watch and worry over credit card chargebacks is a site that's doomed to have rocky finances. The problem isn't just giving back refunds, it's the fact that your merchant account processing fees will rise if you have too many chargebacks. Then your monthly processing limit could fall. Ultimately, you could lose your processing account completely, and have a darned hard time opening a new one. These are not inflated fears. If…

Subscription Publishers – Should Your Staff Be Mainly Virtual or Mainly In-Office?

According to a survey run on the SIPA site for the past 70 days, the 81 respondents mainly broke into two distinctive clumps. 30% of respondents work for a publishing company that's mainly virtual with 75-100% of staff working outside formal offices. 55% of respondents said their company is not virtual with 0-24% of staff working outside the main offices. The vast majority - nearly 100% - of SIPA members have a primarily subscription-based business…

Affiliate Marketers Aren’t Impressed With Long-Lived Cookies

Data from Shawn Collins 2009 AffStat Affiliate Marketing Study (available as a free 40 page report here) shows most affiliates don't care about your super-duper-365-day-cookie. They know cookies get wiped or overwritten. 55% are fine with a 30-day cookie or less. The vast majority of the remainder are cool with a 90-day cookie. So what do affiliates really want? direct deposit - 62% of them really want it, not a check please! landing pages that convert better, 80% watch…

MemberGate Sites Doing $70-75 Million Per Year in Total Subscription Sales

A couple of years ago, when I last checked on MemberGate, they claimed their sites were doing about $20-25 million in sales.   CEO Tim Kerber just answered my query saying, "For Oct 08-Sept 09, I would estimate our sites brought in approximately $70-75 million combined revenue. " MemberGate is ASP, hosted software that "powers" subscription sites, including a content management system, ecommerce system, DRM/security, and subscriber records management. They currently have about 900 clients using the…

Hulu Working on Tech to Sell Subscriptions

According to Dan Rayburn, Hulu has an in-house tech team busily beta testing a subscription system they've built.   Management (including Neo-Sub-Lover Murdoch) are being mealy-mouthed in official announcements about the ifs, let alone the whens, Hulu will actually launch subscriptions. Speaking as someone who has managed tech teams building in-house subscription platforms, my hat is off to them. It's way more complicated than anyone thinks. Yes, you can buy a piece of crappy software online for…

49% of Surveyed US Newspaper Publishers Think Their Content’s Maybe Not Worth Paying For Online

Newsasaur Alan Mutter has gotten his hands on new American Press Institute data showing that 49% of 118 surveyed US newspaper publishers aren't sure their readers would pay for their content online. Having spent much of the past seven years as a heavy business traveler in the US, I've probably read half these guys' newspapers at one time or another, and yeah, I agree with them. I don't care about the politics in the nearest big…

Magazine Publishers Say Paid Content & Blog Ads Generate Profit Margins Above 30%

According to stats from a Folio's 2009 e-Media Survey, paid content is the 4th largest electronic media revenue stream for magazines which is not impressive, but the profit margins are. Turns out 50% of respondents said paid content had profit margins of more than 30%. So, it's worth their while pushing the paid content envelope a bit further, wouldn't you say? The only other online revenue source that scored even higher, was blog sponsorships, with 56%…

Online Subscription Game Site World of Warcraft Sponsored by Mountain Dew

Proving you can indeed sell ads to a paid subscription game, Brandweek reports that World of Warcraft has sold an extensive sponsorship to Mountain Dew. Last summer the soft drink experimented with web 2.0 marketing, so if you're trying to sell ads to a 'cutting edge brand' in your niche, try surfing at Facebook brand fan pages. The sponsorship includes a 14-day free trial of the game online. This is a classic type of subscription site…

Print Subscription Marketers Seeing ~35% Conversions on Trials Marketed Online

In a discussion over at LinkedIn's Circulation Network Group, a networking group of mainly print publication circulation marketers, the question came up, "What are your conversion rates for trial issues marketed online?" Print newspapers, newsletters and magazines all now fairly routinely offer a trial print subscription online. However, most don't require a credit card number for a trial -- instead they rely on heavy follow-up marketing to close the deal and "convert" the trial to a…

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