B2B subscription publishing products are often bought for an entire team but the reality is that usually just 2 or 3 individuals are “power users” who get the most from all the functionality and breadth of research within a subscription portal.
This frequently poses challenges for defending a high renewal. If one or two of the power users leave for any reason then at renewal time the subscription sales rep or account manager has to go through a big process of building a case for repeating the high subscription – particularly when coupled with nimble emerging competitors tapping on the client’s door with a seemingly slick new product.
By developing offerings which enables a deeper relationship with the client through tools for efficiently delivering knowledge from multiple sources into a far wider set of individuals than just the few power users, B2B publishers can defend existing subscription renewals, generate additional revenues and become embedded with a client.
Ultimately, B2B publishers are focused on helping their clients achieve better business decision-making – whether this is via market forecasts, competitor analysis or identifying emerging trends. Offering new bundled products or services to help make that decision-making goal even more efficient is something that publishers should take advantage of.
These could be done through:
- An analyst setting up user groups with live alerts consolidating intelligence from the publisher and other sources
- Topic feeds from preferred sources into curated in internal micro-sites or Intranets for each client
- Curating tailored daily or weekly newsletters from the publisher’s own content to hundreds (or even thousands) of people
There are no doubt other ways that publishers can deliver more value to their high-value subscribers, but it’s the third one that is the most common ambition we are able to realize for our clients.
Personalizing newsletters – it’s not that hard
The state of email marketing is such that publishers are comfortable with the idea of sending “tailored” newsletters to subscribers – if by “tailored” we mean topic alerts around particular content themes that the subscribers may have toggled (“I want to receive ‘Derivatives’ news”; “I want to receive ‘US Bonds’ news”, etc).
This is certainly better than sending a newsletter with all of the day’s content or an ‘Editor’s Choice’ of the week’s content, but it’s not personalization – and it’s no way to deliver maximum value to subscribers, each of whom may have a general interest in a topic, but will most likely have more granular and particular knowledge needs for their professional endeavors.
Delivering this kind of ‘segmentation of one’ seems to be a step too far for even the best B2B publishers.
Recently, we spoke to Rebecca Clayton, former CMO of EMAP, who outlined the perceived problems of delivering personalized subscription renewal emails:
It takes a lot of ambition to put the systems in place that will allow an organization to record their preferences over time – what they read and what they don’t read, which content topics they prefer, what they like – and then send them the right piece of content, when you’re talking about tens of thousands of content consumers.
It also costs a heck of a lot of money to buy the systems that can do this. Most B2B publishing organizations that I am familiar with don’t have a lot of appetite to spend a lot of capex in one go to do this.
She’s right – if the systems that are used to do this are your typical marketing automation platforms, which are able to scale your marketing communications but not handle the decisioning of what is sent in each email or onsite recommendation.
But, as we explain here, the algorithms now exist to do the heavy lifting of intelligently deciding which content to send to each subscriber in your database. Forward-thinking publishers can now automate that process: whether it is delivering automating the newsletter content that subscribers receive from a particular publication or even deciding the most high-value message or offer to put in an email to encourage a retention or subscription renewal decision.
Retaining high-value subscribers with personalization
Recently, we worked with BMI Research (A Fitch Group Company) to power 1:1 personalization in their daily newsletters, to great effect. Another success story has been C-Spire, a US telco, that used Idio to power a personalized newsletter and saw a 537% increase in open rates and clickthrough increase by 92% with personalized daily newsletter.
Both of these clients have the commonality of a large high-value audience and a large pool of valuable content (paid reports, news intelligence, etc) that needed to be delivered in a personalized way through email newsletters to make sure professionals were armed with the most personally relevant business information.
As B2B publishers look at how they can continue to defend the cost of their products and services in a competitive world – personalized email newsletters stand as a relatively easy first step. To learn more about how Idio improves subscription rates and reduce churn with personalized emails, go here.