Eric Shanfelt

Eric Shanfelt

Eric Shanfelt is a 25-year digital media veteran and has been the Chief Digital Officer for several large publishing companies. He now consults with B2B, enthusiast and regional media companies on their digital platform, audience, and revenue strategies. You can reach Eric at eric@shanfelt.com.

5 Ways to Significantly Cut Subscription Renewal Costs

Whether you run a paid or controlled magazine, growing and maintaining your subscriber base is one of your biggest budget expenses. Finding ways to cut subscription renewal costs has a big impact on your profitability. Assuming you operate at a 20% profit margin, every dollar saved in your circulation efforts is the equivalent of $5…

How Newspack, A New CMS from WordPress & Google, Will Impact Publishers

When WordPress and Google team up to launch a new website content management system, all publishers had better sit up and take notice. Newspack is a new content management system (CMS) being developed by Automattic, the developers of WordPress. Google has dedicated $1.2MM to the project with another $1.2MM coming from other investors. The goal…

How to Create a Successful Online Subscription Product (Part 1)

These days, it seems that nearly every publisher is considering some form of paid subscription model. Companies want to diversify from reliance on advertising. Some want to adapt their print subscription model to the digital realm while others want to launch a new paid subscription offering online. Unfortunately, most publishers aren’t setting themselves up to…

Why Your Next CEO Might Be Your CDO

I've been a Senior VP of Digital, Executive VP of Digital, and Chief Digital Officer the bulk of my 25-year career. I've served in this role for B2B, enthusiast, and book publishers ... and in privately-owned, private-equity-backed, and publicly-traded companies. I have always said that the "Chief Digital Officer" is merely a temporary role, so…

Cut Your Email List and Make More Money

As media professionals, we’re used to measuring our impact by our reach. More print subscribers are good as long as it makes financial sense. And of course, the more social media followers, website traffic, and email subscribers the better. Or so we think … but more isn’t always better. An email that is unopened doesn’t…

Why Publishers Struggle with Subscriptions

As publishers, we spend a lot of time thinking (lamenting?) about the current publishing environment and if our strategies are correct. When it comes to subscriptions, however, more than the market or strategy, it’s our inability to execute on a basic level that is our biggest problem. It doesn’t matter if our publications are paid…

The Facebook Apocalypse Just Hit, But Don't Freak Out

Facebook just reduced the organic reach of your page to 0%. The good news, however, is that there is a way for publishers to still use Facebook to grow their business. You've probably read the news from yesterday of big changes at Facebook. The news feed is going to further prioritize posts from people over…

What Publishers Need to Do About GDPR

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into effect May 25, 2018. That’s only six months away, but I’m surprised by how many publishers don’t know about GDPR, don’t think it affects them, or they think they’re compliant, but they’re not. We’d much rather focus on the fun part of publishing: creating great content,…

How to Turn Audience Development into a Profit Machine

What if I said you could make $100 for every $1 you spend on audience development? It’s possible, but to achieve it, you’ll need to change your approach to audience development. For years now, I’ve been encouraging publishers to think more like direct marketers. Modern direct marketing has made a science out of nurturing cold…

Lead Nurturing: How to Launch a New $1 Million Revenue Stream

I recently read an article in The Atlantic lamenting the fall of Yahoo. “Today, Facebook and Google alone are slurping up the ad dollars … and Yahoo as we knew it has all but vanished. It won’t be the only web giant to fall.” As many stories about media seem to be these days, it…

Why Digital Transformation Is Easier for Some Media Companies

Digital transformation in media isn’t new. It’s been happening for over 20 years now and the landscape is still evolving and changing even today. Change like this hasn’t been easy for individuals, companies, or the media industry. But while it’s been a challenge, some companies have navigated this digital transformation more easily than others. For…

What Publishers Should Do About Google’s New Interstitial Penalty

Google is serious about improving the mobile web browsing experience. You’re probably already familiar with their AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) initiative to promote fast-loading web pages on mobile devices. And now, as of January 10, Google is penalizing sites that show “intrusive interstitials” to users of mobile devices. This change impacts all publishers that use…

Most Publishers Are Lousy at Audience Development. Here’s Why.

As media companies, we pride ourselves on building long-term content relationships with our readers. Our audiences are the lifeblood of our businesses driving advertising, subscription, event, lead generation, and other revenues. But despite our reliance on our audiences, we often struggle at developing them. It seems increasingly difficult for us to get more email subscribers,…

Drive More Ad Revenue with Digital Sponsorship Models

Consumer and B2B media companies are competing on an advertising playing field that is heavily stacked against them. We sell industry-standard web and email advertising positions and price them individually on a CPM basis, or a flat fee where it’s easy to calculate an effective CPM anyway. We then try to sell this inventory to…