|Targeted promotions and content bundle upsells are two ideas to test in optimizing sales.|
This is the third in a series of blog posts based on our webcast, "10 Factors to Consider when Developing your Digital Publishing Strategy." You can still watch it in its entirety here:
So far we have talked about the importance of understanding your audience and whether or not to sell direct. Today, we investigate the various monetization strategies publishers utilize.
The entire publishing industry has been experimenting with pricing and delivery models, from the Netflix-like subscription services offered by Oyster and Scribd, to bundling of ebooks with print editions, to chapter-at-a-time sales and more. Yet no single pricing model has emerged.
What does that tell publishers? It means that you need the flexibility to experiment with your pricing strategy and adapt quickly to market fluctuations and demands. You will need a commerce and delivery solution that supports experimentation and a wide variety of pricing options.
Before you get started, you'll need to ask:
- Do we need different pricing depending on customer type?
- Will we offer discounts and promotions?
- What pricing strategies do we want to experiment with?
- Will we be selling internationally and need to support multiple currencies?
Let's examine 5 Strategies for Monetizing Content:
- Free + Paid Combo - Some publishers, like Orca Book Publishers (see Orca case study), offer a combination of free and paid content. Free content can include free trials, free sample chapters, or just a subset of content that is always free with premium content that is monetized. Ideally, you want a delivery system like Tizra that is equipped to handle all pricing models within a single platform.
- Subscriptions - Subscriptions come in different forms. Associations such as ARL (see ARL case study), might offer monthly subscriptions to journals or newsletters to members, including libraries and other institutions. While educational publishers like Gibbs-Smith want to offer classroom subscriptions for shared access, as well as individual subscriptions for teachers.
- Content Packaging - Having the ability to unbundle and remix content provides publishers with a great deal of flexibility when it comes to creating content packages that are appealing for different customers. Publishers could deliver one chapter-at-a-time, blend together relevant journal articles and e-books, or create content packages for specific curricula. HighWire Press uses Tizra to offer both journals and e-books through its Folio product (see HighWire Press Release.)
- Tiered Pricing - Some publishers, especially associations, want to offer different pricing tiers dependent on set factors such as one price for members vs. non-members. These types of marketing strategies demonstrate the value of membership for associations like IASP and AAOS.
- Coupon and Redemption Codes - Many publishers, like OEM Health Information (see case study), utilize coupon codes to run promotions for new or targeted content. Others, like Goodheart-Wilcox (see case study), manage customer access through redemption codes.
All of these strategies are valid, and effective, depending upon your audience. Our suggestion to publishers is to experiment with various strategies and offer your customers multiple ways to purchase your content. By offering this flexibility you have agility to adapt and meet the needs of multiple customer types -- thereby maximizing your monetization.
Tizra's digital publishing platform is well-suited to handle all of these pricing strategies and provides the flexibility and control you need, within your own site, supporting your own brand. To learn more, contact us today.