Subscribers vs. Subscriptions

My byline on iMediaConnection about the revenue benefits of increasing the number of subscriptions, on top of getting new subscribers. Or said another way, drive your engaged audience to subscribe to more than one newsletters. The more subscriptions you have (per subscriber) the more revenue you generate at all levels of the monetization funnel. Give your subscribers multiple, category-based newsletters to choose from, and cross promote. A corollary to this is that having one (personalized) newsletter to “rule them all” is bad for business. It may sound glib, but the more email you send, the more revenue you generate.

Forget Subscribers: It’s All About Subscriptions

PERSONALIZATION DOESN’T SOLVE THE REAL PROBLEM

1-to-1 personalization was nearing the end of the marketing hype cycle, when it suddenly morphed into something-something Artificial Intelligence. Regardless of how it is actually implemented, personalization is not the solution to publishing industry’s main problems: how to counter decreasing advertising CPMs and how to take back control of their audience from the platforms. At best, personalization can increase engagement of already engaged subscribers. As a solution, it’s got more in common with the “show more ads on the page” strategy for increasing revenue than it does with something that can actually change the course of publisher business models.

I expand on this in my contributor post at the Association of National Advertisers: The Truth Behind Personalization: Why It Doesn’t Solve Publishers’ Biggest Problem

THEY GIVETH, THEN THEY PUNCHETH YOU IN THE FACE

I was interviewed by Erik Sass at MediaPost about publisher strategy in the sometimes adversarial relationship between publishers and platforms. I love his opening line: “The platforms giveth, then they puncheth you in the face.”

Facebook, Google Squeezing Publishers Again

Publishers casting about for alternative ways to reach (and take possession) of their audiences are giving another look to older channels like email, according to Keith Sibson, vice-president of product and marketing at email platform PostUp. He noted publishers can also benefit from growing concern among advertisers about brand safety on the platforms.

“It’s a good opportunity for publishers to try to rekindle the direct relationship with advertisers and audiences.  Publishers themselves have become reliant on those very same platforms as traffic sources … One good way to hedge the risk centers around building a direct relationship with your audience is through channels like email. We’re not telling anyone to quit Facebook, Google, but don’t let it become their primary business,” said Sibson.

When it comes to audience-building strategies, Sibson said PostUp clients have had success converting traffic referred by the platforms into subscribers: “Of course, they do programmatic like everyone else, they get traffic from Google and Facebook like everyone else, but they view them as an opportunity to convert temporary short-term traffic into a long-term relationship.”