7 ways to successfully sell corporate, group, and bulk subscriptions

Customize Your Offerings

Not all readers are the same. Individual subscriptions are the foundation of your revenue, but groups can be a nice boost.  Episode 16 of the Paywall Podcast, 7 ways to successfully sell corporate, group, and bulk subscriptions, explores different ways to sell group subscriptions and explains how, when, and why you should use each one.

The Highlights

  • Start offering bulk subscriptions right away; worry about the mechanics when you know which variations your customers will want.
  • Target your likely suspects. Think through which of your readers would be interested in group subscriptions and then reach out.
  • You can experiment with the pricing. Start low and inch it higher over time until you find the best number.
  • Type 1: By IP range: This type of subscription works at physical locations like libraries, schools, coffee shops. It allows anyone logging on from the specific IP address (or range of addresses) access to your publication.
  • Bonus: For a little something extra, find someone to sponsor this access. Add a header that applauds their generosity in making it available.
  • Type 2: By email: This type works well for groups like corporations who share an email extension. Anyone with a qualifying email address can log into your publication and create an individual account with it.
  • The Type 2 bonus: you have just collected dozens of new email addresses for your list. Build the relationship and watch them upgrade their subscriptions, purchase special issues, or buy gift subscriptions for their friends.
  • Type 3: By group: Group subscriptions are a number of ‘seats’ purchased by one host. The host can then offer those seats to anyone they choose, until they run out of seats.
  • Type 4: By bulk import: This type of bulk subscription is for large groups, with hundreds, maybe thousands of disparate email addresses. Set up a separate subscription level for them and then bulk import their email list into it.
  • Type 5: By family: Most people share their log-ins with their families anyway. This type of subscription, a variant on the Group subscription, just legitimizes that. Sell a five-seat plan and let them share it as a family.
  • Bonus: you can’t do anything about through the browsers, but in the app you can restrict the number of devices that can be logged-in to any one account. Just to encourage password-sharers out their to upgrade to a family plan.
  • Type 6: For students: Let’s face it: most students aren’t going to buy a subscription anyway. So set up a free level for anyone with a .edu email address. You’re building your list and giving access to some of the most prolific social media participants out there. When they share your content, it draws new people back to the website, people who might just purchase a subscription.
  • Type 7: By sponsor: Find someone to sponsor a subscription level. Create a subscription with their name and brand on it. Create a coupon they can offer to the people they want to have the subscription. Give them one-time access to the email list you create from their readers. (Sponsorship is a great alternative to more traditional advertising options, particularly for small, fully digital publications.)
  • You can also mix and match any of these. Stone Soup is a kids magazine, with a main audience consisting of schools. They’ve combined IP access and email access into their ‘School Subscription’ option.

Did you miss an episode?

Our past episodes answer common publisher questions, provide explanations on making the most of your paywall, show off how other unique publishers have found success, profile the growth of a successful publication, and provide a wealth of tactics for growing your subscriptions:

Stay tuned for the next episode of the Paywall Podcast, available on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, and Pandora.

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