Publisher's Paradox: The Unlimited Email Revenue Strategy
The Paradox: Your newsletter's revenue potential is hamstrung by your link back strategy.
For the past two weeks, Publishers Paradox has focused on rethinking our email strategies. Thanks to a reader comment we've already addressed the fact that email is an interpersonal medium. Now it's time to rethink the opportunity to drive higher revenues with an email strategy that's people-powered.
The Eternal Quest for Page Views
As publishers we're constantly searching for ways to increase the number of page views we earn. The more page views we rack-up, the more display ads we serve, the more impressions we garner, and the greater our revenue. (Or that's the hope.)
Unfortunately, this simple strategy leads us to design email newsletters that rely on shoving a ton of links into the inboxes of our subscribers in the hopes that they'll click on something -- anything. Why? So we can rack-up our page views...
It's time we rethink the way we leverage the power of our audience's email inbox to drive real revenue. After all, we're much closer to the center of our audience's daily content consumption habits in their inbox than we are at our website.
Why Can't I Subscribe to Content Written By A Specific Person?
If email is an interpersonal medium and we embrace the idea that an email should be sent by a person to a person, then why can't I subscribe to content written by a specific individual at your magazine? For example, I read Yachting Magazine. I like boats. I subscribe to the print magazine and get their newsletter full of boring links to content I ignore on a daily basis.
However, I love Kim Kavin's articles. Kim Kavin is a spectacular luxury yacht photographer and a great writer and I've come to enjoy the articles she writes. Here's the problem: There's no way for me to subscribe to Kim Kavin's content. If I could, every time I received an email from Kim, containing an entire article or links to her photography. I'd read it.
So instead, I've subscribed to Kim's blog (which isn't updated often enough and doesn't deliver what I wanted -- but that's her problem.)
Let's assume for a minute I could subscribe to Kim's content through Yachting Magazine. Given Kim's stellar photography skills and my interest in her content, don't you think a non-endemic photography brand would be interested in sponsoring her content? Wouldn't her audience of boaters like me be valuable to a specific brand?
You see, an interpersonal opt-in strategy is self-selecting. Because it's highly targeted content driven by the personality, passions, and perceptions of the writer, I know a lot about the audience that consumes the content. The more I know about the audience, the more valuable it is to the right brand.
This means, your revenue potential is as deep as your pool of writers. Wouldn't it be great if every single one of your journalists had a inbox relationship with a valuable audience?
The Publisher's Challenge
I want you to ask your web development team to help you build an email opt-in strategy that's based on the people that power your platform. Invite your technology team to embrace the opportunity. I want you to allow your audience to build inbox relationships with the talent you've hired to power your brand.