The Yahoo Dossier
Last month, Peggy and I went to Europe at the behest of a former client. The challenge: to head up an internal workshop on how to monetize the 800,000 readers of his free online publication.
In the past several years he introduced several paid publications with fairly high subscription rates. These pay the bills.
But as I pointed out, if one or more of the editors of these pricy communiqués were hit by a bus, his business could be seriously hurt.
"Eight hundred thousand readers," Peggy muttered when I gave her the outline of the challenge. "How can we get 1 euro a month out of these people?"
Only two elements were off the table: advertising and list rental.
Okay. So how does a publisher monetize 800,000 freeloaders—without resorting to advertising or list rental?
[See the first image in the media player above right for the tacky frontispiece I designed for our workshop agenda.]
Quite simply, I went through my private business and marketing archives (plus Google) searching out publishers who out of necessity turned themselves into marketers.
I looked at what others had done to 1) monetize their existing material and 2) come up with line extensions—relevant new products and services that should delight their existing readers.
I found 24 possibilities—versions of new products and services that were being offered to readers by U.S. publishers.
Following the conference, I did not send a long summary or my usual series of takeaways.
Instead I wrote direct marketing letter offering a number of the agreed upon products and services, piling goodie on top of goodie on top of goodie. The price: just 1 euro a month (or 9 euros annually).
My two lodestars:
"See what others are doing successfully and then STEAL SMART." —Dorothy Kerr, Former circulation director of U.S. News & World Report