Subscriptions: Expanding that revenue source may be easier than you think

photo_bill_garberBy William E. (Bill) Garber

Time to risk something new?

How about more of the same?

It’s a lot easier than changing!

And, in at least one substantial way, much more promising.

Newspapers have been around for centuries.

Their user interface was perfected before anyone came up with the words, user interface.

So what’s different these days?

Remember when publishers had had time to have that second cup of coffee with readers and advertisers at the coffee shop several times a week?

Churches were full. Schools were a little too full. And, the classified pages were bulging to overflowing.

Publishers weren’t wealthy, though their passion for community lived through the pages of their paper, a business that promised steady income and, in time, a well-deserved retirement.

What a story!

Times have changed

To be brief, classifieds are scattered, small businesses are fewer, and people are distracted by gadgets spewing infotainment on demand.

Publishers know every advertiser and potential advertiser in town in part because there are fewer of them. Services have migrated to businesses only larger communities can sustain, and even there, the economy is checkered at best.

The bright glow remaining is the loyalty of subscribers returning the favor of publishers loyal to their communities. Take that as a compliment, one threatened in the main only by the moving van and the undertaker.


So what now?

Where are we going to find that new revenue base?

Subscriptions have always been a newspaper’s most reliable revenue.

The most interesting thing is that subscriptions are also today’s largest-scale opportunity for growing immediate and recurring revenue at community newspapers everywhere.

Non-subscriber households frequently outnumber subscriber households, so the opportunity may well be twice the current subscription revenue at these papers.

That is why we are focusing on refining and simplifying Interlink’s until now quiet little Smart Sampling™ service. This newly improved service reduces the cost to acquire new subscriptions to an all-time low.

Smart Sampling™ is now by far the easiest and most successful systematic method of increasing reliable subscription revenue in the history of newspapering.

This is why Smart Sampling™ may well be the most-important tool in any community newspaper revenue growth plan.

Here is how the new, improved Smart Sampling™ will work for you.

“Smart Sampling” distinguishes between subscriber copies and non-subscriber copies.

This makes it easy to automatically insert special sample copy explanations and subscription offers exclusively in newspapers sent to non-subscriber addresses.

Until Smart Sampling™ you really had no other option but to flood both subscriber and non-subscriber copies with the same new sub offers. So Smart Sampling™ eliminates 100% of both the cost and the confusion by eliminating these materials in subscriber copies.

Of course, you tell your community’s story better than anyone. Always have. Always will.

Now with Smart Sampling™ it has never been so easy or inexpensive to help non-subscribers catch the habit subscribers love, and go ahead and add their names to your subscriber list.

Coming May, Interlink will be releasing our new Smart Sampling™ to community newspapers ‘across the fruited plain’ to help you spread your story and grow your business.

We can hardly wait!