Digital Payments Acceleration in Times of Uncertainty

Soliciting Voluntary Contributions & Donations for Online Content: 2 Approaches

I don't like the voluntary contribution Model because you never make the money you're really worth because the vast majority of people won't pay no matter how much they love you unless they are forced to. (For example, only a tiny percent of regular NPR listeners ever donate a dime.) That said, voluntary contributions make sense in three areas: #1. Goal is maximum public reach: If the primary and overwhelming goal of your organization is to serve/reach…

Associations vs Membership Sites: Competition and Confusion

Kevin Holland (no relation) writes a fantastic blog analyzing the association industry Model. Very much like the traditional print media industry, the Internet has kicked associations in the ass. Many of associations' traditional services, such as networking, classifieds, niche industry news, even events are now available free in all sorts of ways online, from social networking to Google News, to vendor webinars. As Kevin documents, many associations are floundering.   And, now the next line of Net…

New Myths of Email Deliverability Busted: Publishers Are Not as Safe as Some Think

Whenever I'm on the phone with a subscription or membership site publisher these days, one of the questions I invariably ask them is, "What email service provider are you using?" I can instantly tell from their answer how well run their email program is -- especially whether their email is actually getting delivered. (The latter is the primary, but by no means the only, reason most publishers should be using a good ESP rather than…

New Data: Subscription & Membership Site Publishers Bullish on Launches & Acquisitions for 2010

According to this new data from SubscriptionSiteInsider.com's own annual survey of subscription and membership site executives, the industry is looking at expansion for 2010. 302 publishers and executives responded to these questions -- a record for paid content industry studies.  They included b2b content sites as well as subscription sites selling content access to consumers. All of the executives were actively involved in a paid content subscription site (we surveyed other online and offline publishers separately.)…

M&As in New Media: Avoiding the Tire-kickers & Romeos

As revealed today in The Wrap's WaxWord column , that media investor Jimmy Finkelstein, who made his fortune in part by founding and selling off the National Law Journal, is playing his court-them-and-dump-them game again. In the past he came close to acquiring New York magazine and Thompson Educational Publishing (in fact news stories in 2004 reported the Thompson acquisition as a done deal) but then backed off. His newest dumpee is the blog iwantmedia.com…

ECard Holiday Card Campaigns – Great Word of Mouth Traffic Drivers

According to this story in MarketingVox, OfficeMax and Intel are both launching ecard campaigns to drive extra traffic during the holidays. Although, subscription sites such as AmericanGreetings.com have built multi-million dollar businesses around paid ecards, chances are most subscription sites will use ecards as a traffic driver. In the past, ad-supported sites such as ChristianityToday.com and Canadian portal Sympatico.ca have successfully used ecards for traffic driving. So, why shouldn't membership and subscription sites try them as…

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…

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