A Look Back on 2019 Yields Revenue Strategies to Put to Use in 2020

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As we reflect on 2019, here are 12 valuable strategies (with the link to where they appeared), one from each month of SIPAlert Daily articles: 

Survey your audience.
Argosy Group asked their PartnerConnect audience—fund managers and investors—what asset class was missing in their portfolio and what they needed from a conference brand. "The results were overwhelming," said marketing manager Karolina Tarczynska. "We received over 1,100 responses, and both fund managers and investors at 85.5% said they 'would definitely attend' or 'may attend' an event targeted at family offices." That led to the launch of Family Office Connect, a sold-out 2017 event. The success continues: PartnerConnect East 2020 takes place March 16-18 in Boston. 

Use a partial paywall to get more subscribers.
With their blog's growing readership from subscribers and non-subscribers alike, Irving Levin started blocking off 50% of content for subscribers in order to entice non-subscribers to sign up for a trial subscription and ultimately join. Five of the top six trial-generating blog posts in 2017 were "protected content" for subscribers only. Those posts generated a range from 7-24 trials. 

For podcasts, focus on getting top guests.
"When [we] decided to launch [AdExchanger Talks], an interview-format podcast focused on media and marketing technology, the seniority of the guests was foremost in our minds," said Access Intelligence's AdExchanger senior editor Tilde Herrera. "[In the beginning, executive editor] Zach Rodgers recorded interviews with CEOs from Omnicom Group, Bleacher Report, The Trade Desk, The New York Times and Vox Media. These are fascinating people and companies, and for that reason the podcast has really found its audience." They have indeed—to the tune of 4,000+ downloads per episode. 

Make sure your webinar content is always available.
Always-on viewing times continue to grow year-over-year. This year, the average viewing time has increased from 44 to 47 minutes, reflecting the popularity of always-on content. "Attendees are accessing more content in an always-on fashion to fit it around their schedules. While keeping content fresh is important, don't remove access to your webinar too soon. Instead, use that time to drive views even after the event is over—and plug other webinars to encourage Netflix-style content binging."

Give a behind-the-scenes look.
"Subscribers tell us all the time that they love getting behind the scenes of our journalism—they love our journalists and getting to know who they are," said Ben Cotton, New York Times executive director of retention and customer experience. "So [when we can] connect our subscribers with them, either in person or via a conference call or some other form of digital connection, we get really fantastic feedback. We've seen in testing that those kinds of things help with our retention." 

Make transcripts from your webinars.
"First make an agreement or contract with a speaker that you can use the webinar content for copy and books," said Business Management Daily's Cal Butera. "Webinars are profitable but also very rich in content." He suggested one place for this: Rev.com. "They charge maybe a dollar for every audio minute and offer a 12-hour turnaround time. Cut that up into articles. We've turned a webinar transcript into a book before." 

Play off of popular culture.
Danica Stanciu, a vice president at Politico, spoke about Politico Pro, a policy intelligence platform that reaches 4,000 subscribing organizations and 25,000-plus individual subscribers—and accounts for 60% of Politico's revenue. One of their successful initiatives is a Game of Thrones Playbook. "We're just taking advantage of the opportunities that are out there," Stanciu said. "Game of Thrones is everywhere. We drew in potential subscribers by producing a playbook [based on the show]. We're always looking for ways to focus on our audience and draw them in." 

Pick up the phone.
A MemberZone survey found that 68% of respondents use email to get subscribers/members to renew. That's no surprise, of course. But many respondents reported that phone calls were nearly as effective: 66% picked up the phone to get a member to renew, and some of those calls came from company higher-ups. Just over 15% said they used calls from other members to spark renewals. 

Draw on customer conversation insights.
Robin Crumby, co-founder and managing director, Kademy—and formerly the head of Melcrum—spoke about making customer listening valued in your company. "For us, customer intelligence became the new currency internally," he said. "So every team meeting would start with an insight from a customer conversation, and people learned very quickly that if they really weren't having regular contact with customers, they really weren't having a say in those meetings." 

Set expectations for remote work.
"Experience is a big factor," Money-Media's Dan Fink said. "Earlier career-stage staff looking to work remotely can raise concerns. It's important to set expectations. Maybe they can do this role, but then a situation comes to fruition, and a lot of expectations were not sorted out up front. There were two different interpretations." And when will the person be in the office? Setting expectations on how days may shift is important. Child care may require them to be at home certain days. There has to be clear expectation on both sides. Or there could be difficulty. 

Send promotional email Thursday morning.
Omnnisend's data confirmed that the best day to send promotional email is Thursday, the second Tuesday and third Wednesday. The optimal time for sending email newsletters—those that contain retail offers—is at 8 a.m., just before the workday starts. Those earned an average open rate of 20.32% and a click-through rate of 7.79%—and even more importantly, an average of eight orders per campaign. 

Launch a reader lab.
American Chemical Society's Chemical & Engineering News launched C&EN Reader Lab with 400 readers so all product development from beginning to end would be reader-informed. "We go to them whenever we have questions or want to launch something," Jessica Morrison, product manager, said. "We do discovery interviews with this group and prototype testing."

Ronn Are you subscribed to the SIPAlert Daily?
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Ronn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering a variety of topics before joining SIPA in 2009 and SIIA in 2013 as editorial director…