Boosting publishing profits
The Subscriptions Strategy newsletter publishes International case studies every two months of the very best marketing around: for the Internet, newsletters, books, websites and magazines etc.
The top source of marketing advice for publishers
We investigate and review hundreds of promotions to find those few that have something valid you can use. Here are some examples:
- An email capture programme that is currently building thousands of new subscribers worldwide, using a simple technique you can copy
- A clever idea for a low-cost direct mail pack (direct mail prospects are 10 times more likely to respond than email prospects)
- An insert card that pulls in three times more response than other leaflets: drop this insert into almost any media
- A new headline that has transformed the profitability of a poorly performing advertisement
- A Google adword promotion that pulls in ten times more response than its competing ads
How do we get this information?
Well, it’s not easy! There is a lot of stuff around, especially on the Internet, and most publishers don’t know much about marketing so very little is any good.
So the information we search for, and provide to clients is not readily available. Profit-boosting techniques are not common and not easily uncovered – it’s like finding gold on a mountain.
Why publishers are not marketers
A publisher’s primary concerns are producing and delivering editorial, selling advertisements and keeping costs below income.
Juggling all those different functions takes day-to-day concentration. Marketing does not, somehow, fit in that mix. Even the biggest publishing companies have tiny marketing departments that work across all titles. For small and medium publishers, marketing is not treated as a separate function – someone does some marketing when they can fit it in.
Why marketing is vital for publishers
Marketing is the engine that drives most successful businesses. Without test-marketing, for example, you will never know what price you can charge for your products – and charging what your market will bear is the foundation of any good business.
But most publishers have never carried out a price test.
Without test-marketing, a publisher can never find out how he can increase renewal percentages – and increasing the percentage of people who renew is how you increase revenue from your subscriber file.
But most publishers have never carried out a test on their renewal systems.
Without test-marketing, a publisher can never find out how far he can increase the number of visitors who register on his website, and go on to buy his products.
But most publishers have never carried out a test on their email address capture systems.
Yes, marketing is vital, especially in a downturn like this one. It’s also the best time to get up to speed, because most of your competitors won’t be thinking about marketing at all.
Why you can’t do it all yourself
I know how exhausting it can be to trawl through site after site looking for something that is ‘fit for purpose’, something you can copy.
Some sites look good, and there are lots of claims by website publishers who have a self-interest in telling you how great they are doing.
But the truth is, it costs almost nothing to put up a website these days, so there is a lot of rubbish out there. As you read and click
through the sites, you can’t help wondering how well it all actually works.
The fact is you cannot know how successful a technique is simply by looking at it. You need independent advice and that is what our newsletter, Subscriptions Strategy delivers.
What does this information cost and why isn’t it free?
I and my handful of fellow contributors are direct-marketing publishers. I have been in the newsletter, book and magazine publishing business since 1974, and in our particular niche, you could call it ‘direct publishing’, you live or die by results. If a promotion doesn’t work, we lose money. If it works, we don’t tell anyone – just use it again.
It’s very difficult to get someone to tell you what works, as you can imagine. Why would a publisher give away his revenue-earning secrets? So if I, or a colleague see something that experience tells us could work well, we test it first on our own titles. We record the results. We have become very good at this and by now, in 2009, we have accumulated between us more than 110 years of marketing knowledge.
Our longest contributor was the first publisher to introduce the ‘standing order’ and direct debit payment systems into publishing and is the founder of one of the foremost Internet publishers in the world.
Once a technique has been tested and found to work, we sell this marketing knowledge to clients, mostly publishers, membership
marketers, website owners and charities, in both consumer and business markets.
I am a publishing marketing consultant and I copywrite and create promotions for clients using devices and methods I have tested, and my clients pay the going rate, Â£800 a day.
But many companies, especially publishers, prefer to create their own subscription promotions. They have in-house design studios
and writers and want to do the work themselves. So to help them, we publish the techniques in our newsletter, Subscriptions Strategy which comes out every two months.
How to adapt and use our information
You can read our case studies and use our findings to lift response to Internet products, newsletters and almost any kind of subscription or ‘recurring payment’ product. We also reveal techniques that are currently selling books, reports, and website information access — as long as it brings in revenue, I will show how to adapt it to build you more business. You can be sure you are adapting and using something that is proven, rather than something that merely ‘looks good’.
Our advice will save you a lot of money, and a lot of time. If you have some new ideas, I can tell you if they have been tried and if they will work. If you are an experienced publisher, I can tell you what the current ‘best practice’ techniques are. Subscribing to this kind of information is a ‘no brainer’ really. I answer all my emails personally.
Each issue of the Subscriptions Strategy newsletter carries at least ten creative ideas that most publishers can use. We give full page illustrations and analyse each promotion with links to the successful websites so you can see the technique in operation. You’ll immediately start to improve response and reduce your costs.
Your free Â£66 workbook 15 Marketing Innovations Every Publisher Should Know
Our newly updated workbook is free with your trial subscription. It’s a compendium of techniques that will get more readers to
subscribe, stay for longer and buy more of your products:
- How to make your email promotion too good to resist
- Why your message needs to change in 2009
- How the top Internet publishers alternate messages to increase revenue
- The most essential ingredient in achieving higher renewal revenue
- The pros and cons of credit card and direct debit ordersâ€”and when not to offer them at all
- Countering the rising resistance to buy
- Current top incentivesâ€”how well they work
- Attracting new subscribers from a market that’s familiar with your publication
- How to create a great budget mail pack in seven steps
- Advice on the kind of response you should be achieving for your promotions
All the above have been tested in live promotions and will lift response by a minimum of 10% – usually far more.
Subscriptions Strategy Ltd
Mullion TR12 7HB