Feature Frenzy #2: Giving It Away (Strategically) with Sampling Licenses

Continuing the Sisyphean task of trying to blog as fast as Tizra is upgraded, today's Feature Frenzy covers the new Sampling License, which as the name suggests, makes it much easier to give away precisely those chunks of content that advance your marketing mission...while keeping the rest behind the paywall or otherwise off limits.

The sampling license is ideal for promotional strategies like...

  • Using one content format to promote another — Say you want users to have free access to a web-only version of your content, but to charge them for the convenience of a version they can download, print, or load into their iPad or other ereader.  Or maybe you want to charge for video, or other multimedia extras.
  • Metered paywall — Gives users free rein to sample whatever parts of your content interest them, but limits the total number of pages they can view.  With the Sampling License, you can achieve an effect similar to what publications like the The New York Times are planning (presumably on much more expensive software than Tizra!). 
  • Pages 1-X free — Similar to the way the Transportation Research Board is giving away the first two pages of each of the thousands of technical papers they're distributing on Tizra, since those just contain summary information that helps promote the content.

Sampling License controls let users specify page ranges, date ranges, content formats and number or page views to be included in the sample.
To set up a sampling license, just go to the collection you want to manage in the Tizra control panel.  Click "Create Sampling License" and the dialog above pops up.  You can then specify a date range and content formats you want it to apply to.  If you want to restrict to a certain page range, or number of page views, check the "Page Sampling" box and follow the directions.

Then click "create" and you're done.  The terms are immediately applied to all the content within the collection.  Much faster than managing your samples one document or document excerpt at a time!

Other Sampling Strategies: Lead Generation
Generating leads with free content downloads.
Of course there are other reasons to give content away, some of which are best supported by pre-existing Tizra features.  A common one is using content giveaways such as white papers, analyst reports, etc., as an incentive for users who may be interested in your products to submit contact information.

Setting an Offer to Free.
You can support this by creating an Offer as you normally would when selling content, but instead of entering a price, selecting the "Free" option.  Users will automatically be presented with appropriate registration screens and claim buttons like the one above.  You can add whatever fields you want to the registration form by going to USERS > Individual Accounts, then picking an account and clicking "New Property."

Free Excerpts
In many cases, letting prospective buyers leaf through selected parts of a document, like the introduction or foreword, is the best way to help them decide if they want to buy.  That's why MIT Press gives away the front matter of books like Bandwagon Effects in High Technology Industries on their Tizra-hosted CISnet site.


Excerpt controls let Tizra customers like MIT Press give away specific sections of books (or sell them). 
With our standard Excerpt features, you can specify exactly which pages should be in the samples, and they'll automatically be labeled "FREE"  on the table of contents without your having to muck around with web design.

Creating an Excerpt from a ToC entry.
To configure free Excerpts, just go to the Properties page for the Document you want to offer samples on, then click the Table of Contents tab.  Click "Create Excerpt" on the ToC items as shown above.  When you've got all the Excerpts you want, click each and select "yes" next to "Make this Excerpt Free?"  Then publish the Excerpt and it'll be open to the world!

Sites that Speak Volumes: Recent Launches by Consumer Reports, TRB, Davis & Columbia

Already, it's clear 2011 is going to be different.  Holiday shoppers gorged on ereaders, iPads and smart phones.  And after years of talk, digital content sales are actually skyrocketing the way the pundits said they would.

We're seeing the results in a whole new level of action and ambition from our customers.  They're pushing beyond ebooks to create digital destinations that combine anything from conference video to consumer editorial to classroom PowerPoint slides.

As you'll see below, the sites speak for  themselves.  Our customers are building their brands and achieving their goals, while teaching us new things every day!

Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports Health was looking for a way to market a series of downloadable reports providing in-depth, unbiased information.  Working with Tizra, they succeeded in launching a custom-tailored e-commerce portal within weeks.  Tizra provided design and production services, so Consumer Reports could meet tight deadlines without distracting internal resources, then provided training so they could take site management in house.

Transportation Research Board
Our friends at Omnipress are among the best when it comes to configuring Tizra to the needs of large professional gatherings.  Nonetheless, the TRB Annual Meeting Online site was a tall order, with more than 5,700 session videos, technical papers and presentations to be shared among more than 10,000 participants.  Omnipress rose to the challenge, delivering a site that showed off their web design capabilities, and leveraged Tizra's search, access control and ecommerce to the hilt.

Davis Publications
As the only educational publisher in the world solely dedicated to visual art, you can bet Davis Publications didn't want to compromise on the look of its new ebook site.  They didn't want to compromise on schedule either.  Tizra's crack design and production squad delivered the site exactly on time, just three weeks after kickoff.  And that includes time for two rounds of very discerning design review!

Columbia University Press
http://cupola.columbia.edu
Columbia University Press was looking to establish a new digital brand, selling direct to readers.  And they wanted to test chapter-at-a-time sales, along with ereader-ready downloads and a variety of subscription terms.  And they wanted to take advantage of their own in-house design resources.  The Tizra platform let them have it all.  Their staff created a beautiful look using our powerful tools, and now they have CUPOLA (Columbia University Press Online Access).  All the flexibility and power of custom software, without the giant development costs!

Customer Coolness: Selling Ebooks by the Chapter, Download & Web Subscription All at Once

Sometimes a customer uses our software so well all we can do is gape and point.  (Actually, it's been happening quite a lot lately.)  Example: The way Columbia University Press has neatly exploited Tizra features to turn simple PDF files into a whole range of ebook products, including...
  • Web-only subscriptions of various durations.
  • Full book download/web combos.
  • Single chapter download/web combos.
A reader who just wants to answer quick questions about, say, how the concept of Strategic Innovation applies to Bill Gates, could just buy a chapter and browse it immediately online.  Someone with a deep interest in the topic could buy the right to download the whole book, load it into their ereader and take it with them on the road.

Tizra's supported these kinds of options—and a lot of others—for some time, but it takes design and copywriting flare to present them in ways users can quickly make sense of.  We think the paywall page below does it really nicely.
Typical CUPOLA paywall page automatically displays all relevant purchase options.
Tizra's dynamic offer management enables CUP to automatically put just the right promotions in the right places.  For example, if you want to read Flash Versus Blink: An Introduction to Strategic Intuition, which they offer as a free sample, you'll go straight through to the the content, and can either view it online or download the whole chapter.   But if you want read "Warrior Buddha: The Path to Beginner’s Mind," you'll hit a paywall page like the above.

Even better, CUP can now quickly test variations on pricing, terms, copy and design to optimize results.

It's still early in the project, but it looks to me like CUP's been reading some of their own books!