Case Study Lesson: Promoting Digital Subscriptions via Facebook Pages

For this week's Subscription Site Insider Case Study, we spoke with Cory Whitehead, Director of Brand and Digital Marketing for Christianity Today. The 55-year-old nonprofit publisher launched its first paywall site in 1999, and now operates eight paid content sites that generate 40% of total company revenues. Whitehead described how they create sites to target niche roles within the church, and how they're balancing subscription sales, paid downloads, and advertising. One of the biggest lessons learned was…

The Unintended Effect of The New York Times’ Paywall Button Copy

Every time I discuss paywall optimization rules with publishers and subscription sites, I emphasize the big impact that a few little words in your call-to-action button can have. You want an eye-catching button and an active, benefit oriented phrase to get subscribers to clickthrough -- "Start your trial now," or "Get Instant Access," and the like. What you don't want is people thinking of themselves getting some bad news from their doctor. Yet that's how Josh…

The Daily Needs to Fix its Paywall Offer Screen: Two Suggestions

The viability of The Daily, Rupert Murdoch's high-profile iPad magazine, was the subject of debate this week when Nieman Lab released a report suggesting the app is struggling to attract and retain readers.While there may be plenty of other reasons for the decline, we noticed one way The Daily could boost its subscriber base: Improving their paywall offer screen.Although the marketers at The Daily haven't done an awful job with the page, it's not remotely…

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…

Why the Epsilon Email Breach Might Hurt Online Subscription and Membership Sites

Last week the email marketing company Epsilon announced it had suffered a security breach that exposed an as-yet unknown number of personal email addresses to hackers. While Epislon and many of its affected clients - including Capital One, US Bank, LL Bean Visa Card, Citi, and JP Morgan Chase - were quick to reassure customers that the hackers gained no other sensitive information such as credit card numbers, this breach could still have big repercussions…

Popular Science Sells 10,000 iPad App Subscriptions

Popular Science recently sold the 10,000th subscription for its iPad application, which launched six weeks ago.Those subscribers are paying $14.99 a year's worth of monthly editions-- $2 more than a $12.99 print subscription. Popular Science also sold 2,500 individual copies of the March edition of the iPad app at $4.99 each, according to a report in Ad Age. Other publishers have hesitated to offer iPad subscriptions because of concerns about Apple's terms, which include taking a…

Case Study Lesson: Browser-Based Mobile Publications – An Alternative to Subscription Apps

Apps aren't the only game in town when it comes to mobile publishing. And if the prospect of developing unique apps for multiple platforms seems too daunting, you might consider creating browser-based mobile publications instead.That's one of the big takeaways from this week's Subscription Site Insider Case Study on Nomad Editions, the new mobile publishing venture launched by media industry veteran Mark Edmiston. Nomad has created five subscription-based weekly magazines designed to be viewed on any…

PCI Council De-Lists Mobile Payment Applications While it Formulates Standards

In March, the PCI Security Standards Council de-listed several mobile payment applications that had previously been approved as PCI compliant. The move comes as the PCI Council works to develop security standards for mobile payment applications, which could take several months and leave subscription sites that want to accept mobile payments exposed to compliance risks. VeriFone is one of the mobile payment apps recently de-listed, according to a report by StorefrontBacktalk. It's unclear how many other…

Glenn Beck’s Post-Fox Career: Subscription Site Mogul?

Fox News Channel talk-show host Glenn Beck is developing subscription-based online TV programs that could be the precursor to a full-fledged premium video site or cable channel planned for after his contract with Fox expires at the end of 2011. Beck's production company has been staffing up and expanding its roster of web TV shows offered as part of the Insider Extreme membership plan on Beck's website. The site also simulcasts Beck's three-hour radio show and…

Case Study Lesson: Finding Internal “Champions” for Site License Sales

If you're selling site licenses for your online subscriptions, your best marketing person probably isn't on your team - it's someone within the organizations you're targeting.That's one of the big lessons from this week's exclusive Subscription Site Insider Case Study on BuildingGreen.com, which offers a suite of subscription products for architects and designers in the sustainable building industry. BuildingGreen President Nadav Malin told us that site licenses account for 30% of the company's subscription revenues, with…

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