Instituting a paid subscription model online is frankly unwise unless you’re focused on customer experience feedback. It is that simple.So many media companies are experiencing the same evolution: declining traditional ad revenue, clients becoming their own media brands, influencers becoming advertiser darlings and a business model that requires holding on for dear life to dreams of the past. What’s the answer? Gated premium content?Our industry is buzzing with conference programs, consultants and articles focused on media companies’ unique position to migrate into “all-access” paid subscriptions. Many media companies are enthusiastic about the potential revenue stream, but don’t fully understand the significant shift in thinking that is required.For example, the shift means you can no longer look at your subscribers as a volume target focused on satisfying advertisers and giving confidence to your ad sales team. Instead, you need to look at transitioning them into “membership” within your brand’s unique association. This requires active communication that will go in the face of the old school thinking of, “We don’t need to ask anyone what is going on in the industry, our publication sets what is going on in the industry.” In this model, “members” need to understand the benefits of their investment and be confident that for every one dollar of a subscription investment, they will gain back three in privileged knowledge, access and professional authority. The only way to satisfy paid subscribers—and expand that base—is through a two-way channel of communication. They need to know the media resource is listening. Now is the time, therefore, to learn from some of the most successful membership associations about effective member retention and expansion tools if you wish to flourish in this paid landscape.Listening, in this case, consists of a direct outreach effort by your team combined with a significant focus placed on subscriber research. To be clear, this is more than just a readership study. In this case, an ongoing, “forever open” study, enabling subscribers to provide insights when they want to, using the device(s) and mediums of their choice.Here’s a rundown of some essential requirements for success:1. NPS (Net Promoter Score): This simple question is essential to member retention as your success will be dependent on converting “ambivalent” subscribers to “promoters.” You ask a single question, such as: “On a scale of 0–10, how likely are you to recommend this website to your colleagues?” One simple number choice will identify your “promoters” (9 or 10), neutrals (7 or 8) and “detractors” (0-6).Now you can take action by addressing the concerns of the “detractors” to encourage renewal of their subscription. “Promoters” are then leveraged to expand your paid subscription opportunity and help build your business. Doing this tracking quarterly, since it is only one question, will allow everyone on your team to see the positive and negative momentum of your strategy. This is more important than who you choose as a paywall vendor. It is critical to the relationship you must have with your subscribers—current, future and returning.2. Ask paid subscribers about the topics they care about the most, and how satisfied they are with what you are providing. This will map a content plan down to demographic and regional interests allowing content creators the opportunity to expand efforts on what is most important, identifying information needs not being satisfied, as well as eliminate activities that are of the lowest importance. With so many demands, understanding what to emphasize and what to reject is critical.3. Analysis of subscriber verbatim comments: The best CX survey platforms can aggregate keywords and align them with levels of satisfaction. If the survey remains open and is ongoing, it will provide essential focus points for subscriber satisfaction, renewal and outreach. Aligning “Price,” “News,” “Features,” “Video,” “White Papers,” “Events,” etc. with satisfaction will create an effective growth-map for your business.4. Heat maps: Some CX survey platforms enable you to predict subscribers’ reactions to promotions, offerings, advertising and more, thus providing direction before even conducting A/B testing.5. Ask for your members’ needs and fulfill them. Throw away the “people won’t buy what you give away for free” thinking and replace it with “people will always buy information that provides them a competitive advantage in their career, company, home and interests.” The key here is staying on top of what that “information” need is, as it is forever evolving.6. Marketing Automation and Inbound Marketing should be vital investments in your strategy, but before you invest a moment in these efforts, like the paywall vendor, ask your audience what will motivate them to action. Again, these triggers will be identified through an active CX survey effort.What makes a great CX survey platform? Byron Zanopoulo, managing director of Signet’s Sibyl Surveys, says he “focuses on flexibility and ease of reporting. Every organization has its own specific needs in data collection and reporting. Specific to ‘Subscriber Experience’ research for media brands using a paywall, this means having the ability to collect data unobtrusively through all touchpoints in all mediums and push the analysis and reports to those obsessed with the continual delivery of the most valued content.”We no longer drive onto unknown roads without a reliable GPS. Entering into a paywall subscription strategy is no different. It requires robust, ongoing research into customer satisfaction for direction. Too many of your peers have gotten lost driving unexplored roads because they believed they alone knew better. Even companies that reject paywalls because they have tried it and believe it can’t be done successfully may not have used a listening tool.Are you listening?
Tags 12 Comments Share your voice Security It’s hard to be sure where you are on the internet these days. Carefully checking the URL is one approach to avoiding danger. Trouble is, many fraudulent websites use tricks to make their URLs look like the real deal. Now, Google wants to call them out.To do that, the company is developing a new warning in its Chrome browser that appears when you’re visiting a site that’s mimicking a well-known web page. The warning could ask you, for example, if you actually meant to go to “paypal.com” when you were headed to a lookalike scam site called “paypa1.com” instead.The warning is intended to take the pressure off you to notice when something’s wrong with the URL. That’s important because most people don’t notice when they’re headed off to a scam site, Google Chrome engineer Emily Stark said in a talk on Tuesday at the Enigma Conference, a security and privacy event. “What people are seeing in the URL bar really just isn’t helpful to them as a security mechanism,” Stark said.The warning could help make it harder to carry out on one of the most pervasive and effective hacking attacks out there — phishing. If users heed Chrome warnings, it could save them from entering usernames, passwords or credit card information into websites controlled by criminals. It could also keep them from downloading malicious software at scam websites that could do things like encrypt their data and demand a ransom.Scammy websites use a number of tricks to look legitimate in that URL field at the top of your web browser. They might use a slight misspelling, or swap out the number one for a lowercase letter L to look like a legitimate website. The latter is called a homograph attack, and it’s powerful because it usually involves characters that the untrained eye will miss. The new warning, which is still being tested, alerts users to the fact that they aren’t heading to a popular website or a website they’ve engaged with in the past. If the user wants to keep going in that direction, they can click “ignore.” Stark said her team wanted to throw up a flag for users without overselling the danger.”We designed this warning to be informational rather than scary,” she said. The talk follows comments Chrome security experts made in September about security problems involving URLs. At the time, Google said its engineers were researching how to make changes to the way Chrome handles URLs in order to improve safety. On Tuesday, Stark said changes Google and other software developers propose should be “incremental.” Still, no idea is too crazy to at least consider, she said.”Website identity is so, so broken that all ideas should be on the table,” Stark said. Hacking Privacy
Share Brien Straw | Houston Public MediaHarris County Sheriff Ed GonzalezHarris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced Monday a $4.4-million in grants from the Texas Governor’s Office to assist victims of violent crime and combat sex traffickers. The money will also help change the way prosecutors address the problem.About one-million will be used to go after sex traffickers, while the remaining funds will be used to assist victims of violent crimes. Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez is putting those in the sex trafficking business on notice. “To all the offenders and predators out there, we’re going to continue to increase our resources, continue to build our collective efforts. And in Harris County we’re going to send a strong message, if you haven’t been caught yet, you will be caught. It’s just a matter of time,” said Gonzalez.Houston leads the nation in calls to the national trafficking assistance hotline, but Andrea Sparks, Director of the Child Sex Trafficking Team for Governor Greg Abbott, is hoping the grant money will change the narrative.“Let’s make it the number one city in trauma informed response to its victims,” she said.The number of staff able to assist victims will almost double thanks to the four grants, but according to Ogg, equally important is a shift to treating the women involved, into victims.“From putting prostitutes in jail over and over and over, to now focusing on the marketplace and their buyers, and more importantly their human traffickers, it’s not revolutionary but it really is a new era,” Ogg said.
Breastfeeding among Black women remains comparably low. In observance of Black Breastfeeding Week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), released a new study, documenting the statistics, and calling for a return among Black women to breastfeeding.According to the CDC’s 2016 Breastfeeding Report Card, among infants born between 2010–2013, 64.3 percent of Black infants started breastfeeding, compared to 81.5 percent of White infants, a gap of 17.2 percentage points. Additionally, of the 34 states and the District of Columbia included in the study, breastfeeding initiation rates for Black infants registered consistently lower than for White infants.The Center for Disease Control is calling for more Black women to breastfeed. (Courtesy photo)Dr. Kristen Prescott, a South Dakota-based pediatrician who helps spearhead Breastfeeding Week (Aug.1-7) activities across the country, said in a statement that babies benefit from the special immunity properties of breast milk, making it a best practice with infant care. A separate week for Black women, dedicated to thwarting the racial disparity, is from Aug. 25-31.“Breast milk has been shown to decrease the rate of ear infections, of respiratory illnesses, vomiting and diarrhea illnesses, and obviously, decrease the rate of hospitalizations due to these illnesses,” Prescott said. “We are doing a very good job here in the United States, because now there is an increase of new moms initiating breastfeeding after birth, and that is up from a decade ago. We have a long way to come, however, because at 6 months of age, fewer moms are still breastfeeding.”The CDC currently works with more than 69 community health departments and organizations to provide peer and professional lactation support, specifically to Black mothers and infants, who, they document, face challenges in committing, long-term to breastfeeding. “Breastfeeding reduces the risk of ovarian and breast cancer for mothers later on in life, and also aids in less postpartum bleeding, so with Black mothers disproportionately less able to breastfeed their babies because of socio-economic factors and lack of postpartum support, is unconscionable,” said Jen McGuire, a lactation expert who writes a post for the parenting blog, “Romper.”Addressing the racial disparity of breastfeeding, which in most cases show a double-digit rate (between 10-17 percent across the country) requires outside support that many advocates believe is hindered by mothers feeling awkward about asking for help. “Black women are generally employed and serve as either equal partners or heads of household, meaning their return to work after giving birth tends to preclude them from breastfeeding each meal for the first year,” Shayna Swift, a breastfeeding advocate and Ward 7 resident, told the AFRO. “So many people believe that a baby just latches onto a nipple and the feeding begins, but there can be a lot of frustration – the latching-on process, the discomfort of breastfeeding, including cracked nipples, and soreness – all of which require patience and outside support.”To increase the rate of breastfeeding among Black infants, the CDC recommends interventions to address barriers, including “earlier return to work, inadequate receipt of breastfeeding information from providers, and lack of access to professional breastfeeding support” on a community level.“It’s not rocket science and the mothers of the community used to help new mothers without having to be asked,” Swift said. “We simply need to return to helping out our young mothers so that they raise strong, healthy children.”
Kolkata: The Election Commission (EC) is trying to address the connectivity issue for monitoring each and every polling station for ensuring a streamlined and peaceful election in West Bengal, an official said here on Friday. “In West Bengal, the number of polling stations with voice and internet shadow zone are respectively 159 and 1,019. Efforts are underway to reduce the number of polling stations falling under the shadow zone,” Additional Chief Electoral Officer, West Bengal, Sanjay Basu told reporters. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata Bose Asked if security personnel would be increased in these shadow zones, he said: “The District Election Officer, police officers and the observers will decide, and if the booth requires more force, it will be deployed.” This year, the Commission has instructed that the end-to-end movement of all reserve EVMs and VVPATs shall be carefully monitored at all times, for which Sector Officers’ vehicles with reserve EVMs and VVPATs shall mandatorily be fitted with GPS tracking. “This monitoring will be done on a real-time basis. This way the movement will be monitored through EVM Control Room at CEO and DEO levels,” he said.
Hot-brewed coffee has higher levels of antioxidants than cold brew, which are believed to be responsible for some of the health benefits of the popular drink, a study has found. The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, also found that the pH levels or acidity indicator, of both hot and cold coffee were similar, ranging from 4.85 to 5.13 for all coffee samples tested. Coffee companies and lifestyle blogs have tended to tout cold brew coffee as being less acidic than hot coffee and thus less likely to cause heartburn or gastrointestinal problems, said researchers from Thomas Jefferson University in the US. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfWhile the popularity of cold brew coffee has soared in recent years – the US market grew 580 per cent from 2011 to 2016 – the researchers found almost no studies on cold brew, which is a no-heat, long-steeping method of preparation. At the same time, there is well-documented research that hot-brewed coffee has some measurable health benefits, including lower risk of some cancers, diabetes and depression. While the overall pH levels were similar, the researchers found that the hot-brewed coffee method had more total titratable acids, which may be responsible for the hot cup’s higher antioxidant levels. “Coffee has a lot of antioxidants, if you drink it in moderation, research shows it can be pretty good for you. We found the hot brew has more antioxidant capacity,” said Megan Fuller, an assistant professor at Thomas Jefferson University. Researchers said, coffee drinkers should not consider cold brew a “silver bullet” for avoiding gastrointestinal distress.